Cody Rhodes has found clarity after leaving WWE.
Cody Rhodes rocked the world of professional wrestling when he returned to WWE at WrestleMania 38, which was WWE’s first appearance for The American Nightmare in more than seven years. Cody was recalling his original departure from WWE in 2015, which was something that, according to the man himself, was something he simply ‘needed’ to do.
Cody explained when appearing in Steve Austin: The Broken Skull Sessions. “I just had to make one of those recently and at the time, there were all these factors. Stardust was supposed to end, I was supposed to be Cody Rhodes and I’d be stardust, all of these things were going to happen but it didn’t happen fast enough. All advice which I was getting, ‘Go talk to so-and-so’, ‘Go talk to so-and-so’, like, OK… I don’t feel very welcome. I let myself go, I just made a statement on social media, someone in relationships said Talent “I’ll see you next week!” Because I had opened up to them and said “No, you won’t.” Then I put this thing on, it was incredibly unprofessional, I cut ties, I had to go, I needed to go.
I didn’t even sign the release papers. I didn’t care, I worked for you [WWE] For 10 years, wonderful and beautiful, I met my wife here, I had this wonderful journey with my brother here, I worked with my heroes at work and it just couldn’t end that way for me. So, I’m moving on…no hard feelings, which is the best thing I could do at that time. There was no way out of this [points at photo of Stardust]I was so embarrassed. I’ve talked about the good parts about Stardust and I really mean it but I had to make appearances on a total stunt and people would say it’s the obligation. No, it’s a fact that I can’t be Cody Rhodes and tell them I’m also a stardust. It’s the sad cloud but there was no other way out other than the nuclear option, which I did and I’m so glad I did and if it pissed anyone off or affected anyone negatively, I apologize, I don’t. I don’t think it happened and we’re all here now.”
After leaving WWE, Cody quickly became a staple in NJPW and ROH programming and would eventually become one of the leaders of the Bullet Club, which according to Cody led to the start of something much bigger.
“When I went to New Japan, I slowly started to identify The American Nightmare, but they specifically wanted to have that connection with The American Nightmare, because Dusty [Rhodes] It was the American dream. Their fans, who don’t watch a lot of American wrestling, even though we think they do… their fans need to learn, “Okay, who’s who?” And they had clips of Dusty in the ’70s and ’90s, you know, The American Dream and now his son is The American Nightmare. I remember Guido and Rocky Romero asking me about the Bullet Club and I didn’t think any way, it doesn’t work for me because I love stories and I’m a different kind of cat. But I love a challenge, I remember talking to everyone and Zack Ryder, Matt Cardona was like “You have to do it, it’s outside your comfort zone, yeah, but you have to do it!”
“To be around Matt [Jackson]nick [Jackson] and kenny [Omega]It’s a different kind of psychology, and for me to get out of my comfort zone and be around these guys, that was when The American Nightmare was really able to evolve. I was, for the Bullet Club owners, for me to be a part of the Bullet Club was their worst nightmare, like, “No, no that’s a WWE guy, he doesn’t do what we do, no, no!” And then introducing myself as the leader of the group, you know, Kenny and I were kind of at odds, it was perfect, it was perfect. Finn Balor, who founded the entire Bullet Club, started this one-of-a-kind group where we played and jump on each other and the whole of the entire Bullet Club and what was happening in New Japan and more specifically, Ring Of Honor, when we were doing that. The show wrapped up and all the fans would tell us to do anything, bring the fan to the ring and drink beer, do something, I felt like something was going on, something bigger was going on. They were following me, and they were on the plane with these guys… which will lead to what happens next.”
What happens next will be the joint pay-per-view event between NJPW and ROH, All In, in September 2018, which is credited with launching what would become AEW.
“So everything clicks but the conversation ends up being everyone trying to move the damn goal and [Dave] Meltzer was the one who finally said Ring Of Honor couldn’t attract 10,000 fans… I knew we could. I actually knew we could do it in a heartbeat and I was all tweeting before a workout that’s when the best and worst of things came out and that’s when the bet happened and I said I’d take that bet. I think it was 20 minutes, 11,263 tickets, a building full and full and that was my first night as an executive [laughs]. This gave me false hope that I would always be able to do this. So, I managed to wrestle, I think we went fourth and Nick [Aldis] And I had a really great match and it’s one of the loudest I’ve ever heard in any arena and I heard the decibels… and I heard the decibels, so that was very satisfying but then I was able to produce a Battle Royale, which I was able to do earlier, I was able to come To come here and talk to the Ring Of Honor production about how much we can do because All In was so real. We paid as much as we could have and also booked the card and did all sorts of things.
“So, that made me think and he died [Jackson] and nick [Jackson] I’ll tell you to this day, I kind of thought we’d do this kind of thing every night…every night! [laughs] It was just a moment in time, good night in the office, they come and go but this was one that changed a lot of people’s outlook on the alternative. What might we see down the road in WWE? Who cooks? This is amazing [All In] The weekend, first of all, because Konrad Thompson hopped on board with Starrcast, that was like Woodstock, I called a security detachment for us, not out of ego but I thought it might be hard to go somewhere because everyone wanted to talk and we definitely needed to her. I felt like the word was over, I think we were over. Everything was a beautiful thing and it changed everything for me.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Steve Austin’s: The Broken Skull Sessions with ah/t to Wrestling Inc. for copying.
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