During the January 22nd 2024 edition of WWE RAW, there was a verbal confrontation between CM Punk and Cody Rhodes leading up to the Royal Rumble PLE. The two shook hands at the start of the segment but things quickly got heated. Here is an excerpt…
Punk: My father was blue collar. My father was just a regular guy. He was an electrician, which makes it kind of ironic. I’m more of the American Dream than you are.
Cody: Okay, American Dream. Here’s what I want to talk about. Let’s talk about the pipe bomb you set right up there. You said a few words. You rattled off the formula for a revolution. You inspired countless. There are wrestlers who have gotten in this today because of said interview. Count me one of those who was inspired. But then you left. And when you left, you really left. You didn’t pass the torch off. You dropped it on the way out. And I don’t think you cared who picked it up, but I think you know who did.
Cody said he became more of CM Punk than Punk himself and the exchange continued…
Punk: It’s getting a little hot in here. You’re more CM Punk than I am? Well, allow me to give you the full road to Wrestlemania. You have carried this company on your back for a soul crushing two years. And you’re right around the corner, and they hand you the cover of the WWE 2K24 video game. Congratulations, by the way. It’s on sale pretty soon, I’m sure. And right when you’re about to cross the finish line and finish your story. Oh, wait, what’s that in the distance? It’s a much bigger superstar that hasn’t been around in a very long time, coming to take it all away from you. And I’m talking about me.
Cody: There you are, looking out for me again. You might be right. You talked all about the American Dream. Well, then you should know this. He was my best friend. And he regularly quoted John Wayne. And the quote I heard the most is ‘courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyways.’ You may be right. But I have only one direction I can go. I have to go. And that’s forward, and that’s in the Royal Rumble. That direction goes through you.
The two had an intense staredown to end the segment.