Cody Rhodes promises to ‘claim my kingdom’ at Backlash with a win over Brock Lesnar

After hinting at his plans for SmackDown during WWE’s Backlash press conference earlier in the day, Cody Rhodes was finally afforded a chance to address a live crowd with a hot microphone in his hand in the lead-up to his match against Brock Lesnar in San Juan, and as he often does, “The American Nightmare” had a lot to say about the past, the future, and future plans for “The Beast Incarnate.”

“So San Juan, Puerto Rico: ¿De qué quieres hablar?” Cody Rhodes asked the fans in Puerto Rico. “Mata a la bestia. ‘The Beast,’ the next big thing, the most decorated athlete in all of combat sports. Cowboy. Coward. There are a lot of nicknames I can attach to my opponent for tomorrow, of course I’m talking about Brock Lesnar. But when I think about Mr. Lesnar, a different name comes to mind. Gatekeeper. Gatekeeper. My old coach ‘Double-A’ used to tell me that when you’ve really made it as a top guy in the industry, when you are a star today, tomorrow, and yesterday, that you have reached ‘The Kingdom.’ That’s what he would call it, ‘The Kingdom,’ and Brock Lesnar is the one standing in the way looming over that gate, the gate to ‘The Kingdom.’

“And news flash: if you work for WWE, you never have to fight against Brock Lesnar. You don’t have to compete against ‘The Beast.’ You can go on the road, you can call yourself a WWE Superstar, you can travel all around, make a good living, and never have to fight Brock Lesnar. But Brock Lesnar picked a fight with me, and Brock Lesnar has yet to explain why, maybe tomorrow at Backlash when I beat it out of him he’ll provide that information. I just saw the same beautiful video that you did, and in it, I actually said that I was afraid of Brock Lesnar, and it’s still true here and now. Everybody should be afraid of Brock Lesnar, but the difference is tomorrow is Backlash. I don’t have any time to be afraid of Brock Lesnar. Because tomorrow I bring the pain, Brock Lesnar. Tomorrow, it’s a fair fight, Brock Lesnar. Tomorrow, I leave this beautiful ‘Island of Charm’ with it etched into my heart, because this will be the place that I got back on the road to finishing the story, to claiming my kingdom, and I did it by defeating Brock Lesnar!”

After some, namely Paul “Triple H” Levesque felt as if Rhodes had things a bit too easy heading into WrestleMania 39, with “The Grandson of the Plummer” having to “earn it” moving forward, “The American Nightmare” has one of the biggest challenges of his career ahead of him in Lesnar at Backlash. If he wins, he might just have a shot at wrestling Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship once more, be that at SummerSlam or via a Money in the Bank title shot. And if he can’t get the job done? Well, there’s always the new World Heavyweight Championship, which Reigns isn’t eligible to wrestle for.

Triple H adds new stipulations to the World Heavyweight Title before Backlash.

Speaking of Triple H and the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, Levesque commented on his promotion’s new belt and laid out a plan for the lead-up to Night of Champions that has drawn more than a few eye-rolls from fans following the 2023 WWE Draft.

“A few weeks ago, I introduced the world to the new World Heavyweight Championship,” Levesque said. “Since then, with Roman Reigns and the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship being drafted to SmackDown, this world championship will now be the property of Monday Night Raw. But starting after Backlash, this Monday night on Raw, we will begin a world heavyweight championship tournament. It will be across both brands. On Monday Night Raw, there will be two triple-threat matches, with the winners facing each other later that night to determine a winner for Monday Night Raw. That Friday on SmackDown, the same thing will happen. Two Triple Threat matches will take place. Those winners will face each other at the end of SmackDown to determine a winner there. Those two winners from Raw and SmackDown will then go on to Night of Champions, where one of them will be crowned the new World Heavyweight Champion.”

… so the whole “strong brand split” thing is just out the window, as Natalya mentioned on Thursday? Or is this simply one performer who will be allowed to go to RAW, should they win the belt as a SmackDown Superstar and either relocate permanently or jump from brand to brand like the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Liv Morgan and Raquel Rodriguez? Fans will find out on the night after Night of Champions.

The post Cody Rhodes promises to ‘claim my kingdom’ at Backlash with a win over Brock Lesnar appeared first on ClutchPoints.

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