Cody Rhodes has previously indicated that one of the traits of his American Nightmare character is to go against the grain and challenge WWE’s time-honored verbiage.
On the April 11 “WWE Raw” episode, for example, Rhodes would refer to “Superstars” as “Wrestlers” and “Titles” as “Championship Belts” during a Miz TV segment, for which he was corrected on live television by The Miz.
Turns out, Rhodes is fine being charged a $1,000 fine every time he uses a banned word on WWE TV.
Rhodes made his intentions known during Mattel’s recent WWE San Diego Comic-Con 2022, where panelist Steve Ozer pointed out how “title belts” were being added to the 2-pack WWE figures before he quickly corrected himself to say “championship titles.”
This promoted Rhodes to ask the Mattel employee to continue saying whatever he wishes.
“Buddy, you can say belts,” Rhodes said. “If they fine me $1000 every time I say belts, I’m fine with it. Belts. It can be a title belt, sure, it’s a championship. But it also physically goes around your waist. It’s a belt. So, those are great belts [in the new Mattel figures].”
Earlier this year, Dave Meltzer of The Wrestling Observer released WWE’s updated internal list of over 30 banned terms.
There is also speculation that the word “attacked” was added to the list following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine earlier this year. This is supposedly why announcer Jimmy Smith corrected himself to say “assaulted” after using the term “attacked” while describing Seth Rollins’ backstage fight with Cody Rhodes following their match at WrestleMania Backlash in May.
Rhodes, currently sidelined with an injury, is the early odds-on favorite to make a triumphant return at next year’s Royal Rumble. During the same Comic-Con panel, Rhodes discussed the possibility of his comeback at January’s annual battle royal.
“[My doctor] told me flat out that he’s not going to give me a timeline because he’s afraid I’m going to try and jump it,” Rhodes said. “So I’m still going to try and jump it.”
Rhodes added that his recovery is “ahead of schedule” but also noted that he “couldn’t win an arm wrestling contest” right now.
“My Royal Rumble stats are top 10, they’re phenomenal,” Rhodes added. “So if I was to come back at that event, there is a chance I could actually get up in the top five and I’m all about that …. You never know! We’ll see.”
Source: Wrestling Inc.