Cody Rhodes battled Seth Rollins in a WrestleMania-esque SmackDown dark match

Cody Rhodes was once again involved in a prominent WWE dark match, taking on Seth Rollins when SmackDown went off the air on Friday.

The ‘American Nightmare’ made his long-speculated return to WWE at WrestleMania 38. He was revealed as the mystery opponent of Rollins on night one.

Rhodes received a massive pop from the crowd and put on a very impressive display. He won the match after performing his Cross Rhodes finisher twice before following that up with a Bionic Elbow and a third Cross Rhodes.

Rhodes cut a promo on the subsequent edition of Raw, outlining his intention to win a world championship. At the end of the promo, he had a staredown with Rollins, before the two men shook hands to seemingly end their rivalry.

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However, earlier this week, Rollins again walked to the arena following Rhodes’s victory over The Miz on Raw. ‘The Visionary’ challenged his WrestleMania adversary to a rematch at WrestleMania Backlash. Rhodes accepted.

However, SmackDown fans on Friday got a taste of what to expect when the two lock horns at this month’s premium live event. By all accounts, it was a cracker.

Rhodes v Rollins closes out SmackDown

This Friday’s edition of SmackDown went off the air after Riddle defeated Jey Uso in the main event. As is traditional, a dark match followed. However, the identities of the wrestlers caught fans by a pleasant surprise.

Cody Rhodes and Seth Rollins are signed to the Raw brand, meaning their appearance on SmackDown was unexpected. However, both men were present and ready to fight.

Wrestling Headlines described the dark match as being “about as good as their WrestleMania bout”. Given that the initial match in question was a 21-minute epic, it’s fair to say that SmackDown fans got their money’s worth.

Twitter user @PJM75TWEETS posted footage of the match, which shows Rhodes landing the pinfall after performing his Cross Rhodes finisher three times – similar to how he won at WrestleMania.

Rhodes is now unbeaten in four matches since he returned to WWE. He has defeated Rollins twice and Kevin Owens and The Miz on one occasion.

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