Last night, the WWE presented its premium live event called Hell in the Cell which was going to be main evented by the third matchup between Seth “Freakin'” Rollins and “The American Nightmare” Cody Rhodes inside the Hell in a Cell structure. This was the match that had the best build-up over the weeks prior to the event.
Then word came out that Cody Rhodes had been injured. He was pulled out of a Saturday night House Show against Rollins starting the speculation. The day of the show came and more rumors started swirling that Cody Rhodes was injured badly.
Cody Rhodes had just returned to the WWE at Wrestlemania 38 this year after leaving six years ago, becoming a huge star on the independents and being part of the ownership group that created AEW. When Cody left AEW, there were rumors flying around that he was going to return to WWE but it was still a surreal happening. Cody won at Wrestlemania and was being pushed as a main star in the company.
For a professional wrestler in a major spot, there is never a good time for an injury, and this was no exception. WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns was already not on the card and the whole build was toward this Hell in a Cell match. If Cody Rhodes could not perform, the company would be in a real spot.
Then came a press release from the WWE saying that Cody had a torn pectoral muscle, torn off the bone, but that he was still going to wrestle.
As Seth Rollins stood in the ring inside the Hell in a Cell, Cody Rhodes walked down the ramp in his coat. It was obvious which side of his body was injured as he held his right side lower and only raised his left arm. Then, once in the ring, the amazing moment of Cody taking off his robe/coat and revealing the massive bruise on his chest and down his arm that utterly silenced the crowd. As I watched this, I wondered if the injury had makeup to make it look that bad (No makeup, btw)
I wondered that because I could not believe that the WWE doctors would allow Cody to go out and wrestle. The last few years, the WWE has been known to not clear people to wrestle on all kinds of things, but here was Cody Rhodes with a clear injury. I’m not sure this is the precedent that WWE wants to set, letting their wrestlers “tough” through injuries.
Plus, there was dangers to Seth Rollins. What if Cody Rhodes went for a move that he could not execute and suddenly Seth is in a dangerous situation? However, they do a great job of protecting each other while still looking as if they were killing each other. Seth Rollins is truly one of the best wrestlers in the world and he was amazingly professional.
The question about whether this match should have happened or not is real, but, according to some doctors I had heard on YouTube after, if the muscle was torn off the bone, there was no way that Cody could do any more damage to the pec. However, there was a chance that he could have injured something else by over-compensating for his injury.
Having said all that and not been 100% sure that the match should have gone on, Cody Rhodes is an absolute warrior. Coming from an old school mentality, Cody showed how tough he was because that injury looked horrendous. He had to be in so much pain that it is astounding that he could put together any sort of match, let alone a Hell in the Cell match. Because of the circumstances, it will be one of the most memorable Hell in the Cell matches of all time.
I saw one of the haters on Twitter claim that there was no crowd noise during the match and so it was not a good one. I can only assume that the crowd was quiet because, like me, they had their breath held for every bump or move because we did not want Cody Rhodes to have his arm fall off. Crowd noise during this match was not an effective barometer for the match’s success. This was something different. Listen to the response after the match if you want to judge it in that manner.
After the show went off air, Cody got on the microphone and told everyone that nobody forced him to work the event and that it was his decision. Of course that meant that no one stopped him from working the match either, and perhaps someone should have.
But since the match happened, I can be in awe of “The American Nightmare” and his unbelievable toughness and grit, as well as Seth Rollins and his professionalism and overall skill. This certainly will go into the argument for match of the year (along with their other two matches).
Cody is going to be on RAW tonight to talk about the injury. If I were the WWE, I’d have someone attack Cody (maybe like the Judgment Day faction) and have a respectful Seth Rollins make the save. Seth Rollins was on his way to a face turn before Cody arrived. That face turn was put on hold, but now is the time to pull the trigger so there can be a new face while Cody is off recovering from his surgery. Just a little fantasy booking for you there.