Ric Flair thinks 2-time IC Champ will win 2023 WWE Royal Rumble and dethrone Roman Reigns

Ric Flair believes Roman Reigns will almost certainly be in Cody Rhodes’ sights when he returns to WWE in-ring action.

Rhodes is due to undergo surgery this week after tearing his right pectoral tendon off the bone before Hell in a Cell. Despite the gruesome injury, The American Nightmare still defeated Seth Rollins inside the steel structure on Sunday.

Speaking on his To Be The Man podcast, Flair predicted that Rhodes would win either the WWE Championship or Universal Championship from Roman Reigns.

“Cody’s gonna be the champion sooner or later,” Flair said. “I’m sure they’ll figure out a way to get that championship off where Roman has both of them — get one of them off him. I think the company functions better with two champions anyway.” [10:25-10:43]

Rhodes was initially among the favorites to win the Money in the Bank contract next month. Due to his injury, Flair thinks the former AEW executive is more likely to receive a title opportunity after winning the 2023 Royal Rumble.

“Absolutely, if that’s the time frame,” Flair added. “Those things are very delicate. That tissue in there takes a long time to heal, and you can’t rush it. You’ve got to actually follow the doctor’s orders.” [11:11-11:28]

Rhodes was seemingly written off television when Rollins attacked him with a sledgehammer on RAW this week. It is currently unclear how long he will be out of action.


Will we see Cody Rhodes vs. Roman Reigns in 2023?

Since returning to the company in April, Rhodes has repeatedly stated that he plans to win the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship. His late father Dusty previously challenged for the WWWF Championship (the current WWE Championship) in 1977 but failed to win the title.

Flair, one of Dusty’s greatest wrestling rivals, reiterated that the RAW star should win the Royal Rumble en route to defeating Roman Reigns.

“Yeah, unless somebody comes along miraculously,” Flair continued. “First of all, it’s hard to determine what they’re gonna do because there’s so many, with both companies [AEW and WWE] right now, moving parts. Looking at it just from today, not knowing any more than I do as of this moment, that’s what I would do with Cody, yes.” [12:37-13:03]

Rhodes is a two-time Intercontinental Champion and six-time Tag Team Champion, but he has never held a World Championship in WWE.

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