Since leaving WWE last year Cody Rhodes has been on a tear on the independent scene competing for promotions such as TNA/GFW, Ring of Honor and NJPW.
In a recent interview with the Metro, Rhodes talked in-depth about a number of things and didn’t hold back with his opinion.
Here are some highlights.
Rhodes is thrilled to be the ROH Champion and the feeling of reaching the world championship level in his career
“It feels good. It’s a cliche, but it’s good to be the champ” Rhodes explained.
“I wanted to be a world champion of some sorts since I got into the industry when I was 15-years-old, and I was able to do that.
I’m looking at the belt on the top of the bag across from me and it still hasn’t fully hit me. There are multiple stages to all of this, but I know that every time I walk into a gym or go to a new locker room since I won the title, I’ve felt like the world champion.
My understanding of the world title and what it means is consistency.”
Rhodes went on to discuss his WWE career and his journey since parting ways with the biggest wrestling company in the world.
“I had seen a lot of people who had been released from WWE, or asked for their release, and gone out into the wild unknown” Rhodes said.
“There’s more cases of it being unsuccessful than successful.
I knew I was unhappy in my heart at the end in WWE, and I had time to plan even though I knew it was going to be hard.
That time to plan is what made the difference and I invested in myself as a talent from the ground-up.
I got a concept artist to draw up some new gear and I got a publicist and a manager, but all this kind of stuff is nonsense unless you activate it, so everything I’ve had I’ve activated.
When I wasn’t wrestling I got back into school a little bit. In Dallas there was VIP Wrestling, and in Atlanta, AR Fox has a great school, so it’s good to get back in there and continue to learn.
As a team we have all been about what happens the next day. Yes it’s absolutely the coolest thing ever to win the world title, but now tell me what we’re doing tomorrow.”
Rhodes talked about promos and his regrets for how he spoke up and handled his character’s direction during his time in WWE.
“I honestly think the more time I spend away from WWE the less it was WWE’s fault and the more it was my inability to go with my guts” Rhodes admitted.
“There would have been a big difference if I had done that. And that would have meant saying no to a writer or correcting a few folks and maybe ruffling some feathers and stepping on some toes, but I can’t think of anything more important for a wrestler than to go with his gut.”
Specifically in backstage segments and in interviews, no matter what, if you’re not feeling it, you can’t say it” Rhodes explained when discussing promos.
“There was only a couple of incidents in my WWE career where what I said on the microphone was all me, and they were my most successful. It’s not a knock on WWE creative at all, they’re there to guide you and give you the bullet points of where it may be going, but they can’t script it. You can’t script wrestling.”
Rhodes went on to talk about the times he did bring up things to WWE creative regarding his character and if he ever got into hot water for doing so.
“I don’t recall at any point ever being punished for anything like that, but I do recall that when I did speak up for myself from time to time it didn’t make a difference” Rhodes commented.
“Essentially the answer I would get was thanks but no thanks. I think I developed a reputation as a complainer and that’s hard to escape. You don’t want to be a complainer, you want to be someone who says ‘I don’t like this but here’s my alternative.’
I don’t know, maybe because I’m Dusty’s kid and I have a creative mindset that he gifted me a little of, almost every idea I ever got I thought I wanted to do something different.
I’ve told a couple of people this but I feel that I wish I’d played dumb a little bit more and just have fun and do what they say. My relationship with the creative team might have been better, because essentially if you’re telling them every week you want to do something else instead, you’re telling them they’re not good at their jobs.
Nobody wants to hear that.”