Truth Behind Ricky Starks Attending WWE Royal Rumble 2023

Why Ricky Starks was accompanying Cody Rhodes at WWE Royal Rumble 2023.

Ricky Starks Royal Rumble

AEW star Ricky Starks was at WWE Royal Rumble 2023 this past weekend, accompanying Cody Rhodes backstage ahead of 'The American Nightmare's' triumph in the titular men's match.

Starks' attendance was revealed when a leaked still from a security camera started doing the rounds online. Ricky, who was brought into AEW by Rhodes during his TNT Championship run in 2020, had crossed the promotional divide - though this isn't unheard of.

Fightful Select reports that Starks and Rhodes have stayed close since Cody departed AEW in early 2022. As well as this year's Royal Rumble, Ricky was at WrestleMania 38 too, where Rhodes returned to WWE, felling Seth Rollins in his first match for the promotion since 2016.


Such AEW/WWE crossovers aren't out of the ordinary, either. Fightful notes that Dolph Ziggler was recently at AEW's Los Angeles, California tapings, while AEW pillar Britt Baker would often visit NXT shows while partner Adam Cole worked for WWE.

Starks is currently in the midst of a strong babyface push in AEW, positioned alongside newcomer Action Andretti against the Jericho Appreciation Society. Ricky landed one of the biggest wins of his career to date by defeating Chris Jericho on 4 January.

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Andy has been with WhatCulture for six years and is currently WhatCulture's Senior Wrestling Reporter. A writer, presenter, and editor with 10+ years of experience in online media, he has been a sponge for all wrestling knowledge since playing an old Royal Rumble 1992 VHS to ruin in his childhood. Having previously worked for Bleacher Report, Andy specialises in short and long-form writing, video presenting, voiceover acting, and editing, all characterised by expert wrestling knowledge and commentary. Andy is as much a fan of 1985 Jim Crockett Promotions as he is present-day AEW and WWE - just don't make him choose between the two.