The brutal battle was especially memorable because Rhodes worked the bout with a torn pectoral tendon. The sight of the apparent injury shocked the WWE Universe, as Rhodes’ chest was purple, and “The American Nightmare” earned plenty of respect because he was clearly in pain for the duration of the match.
In an interview with Stephanie Chase of Digital Spy, Rollins recalled the moment he saw Rhodes’ chest and called it “pretty gnarly.”
“It was pretty gnarly,” Rollins said. “I don’t think I expected it to look like that. I’ve had some torn muscles in my day and I know that the blood seeps down, gravity just takes over but I had never seen anything like that.
“I remember Triple H had torn his pec some time ago at an event and shared a picture of it and it was pretty brutal but nothing like what we saw from Cody at Hell in a Cell. His bicep, tricep, shoulder, pec it was down to his belly button almost, it was pretty gnarly. It was definitely shocking and I think the way I felt about it was how the audience in Chicago felt. They were just very uncomfortable for the first little bit. I think people were even wary just to cheer for him because it was so wild.”
“The Visionary” went on to describe how they worked around the injury. He hadn’t had any experience with a situation like that, so he had to figure out how to deal with it in the moment. The former WWE Universal Champion that they made magic out of the unideal circumstances.
“It’s one of those things where, I’ve never encountered anything like it, so the preparation is entirely brand-new,” said Rollins. “It was a full hurdle thrown my way that I’d never seen before and so trying to wrap ourselves around it was an interesting process. I think what we got out of it was magic, how we got there wasn’t ideal but that’s life, you gotta roll with the punches sometimes.”
Rhodes ultimately won the match, and he subsequently had surgery. He is expected to be out for the next few months. Meanwhile, Rollins is now feuding with Riddle; they will face off at WWE SummerSlam.