Cody Rhodes was recently interviewed by Metro and talked about his career post-WWE, wrestlers speaking out about poor creative, and more. Here are some of the highlights:
Why he’s been so successful on the indy scene:
“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. 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.”
If wrestlers get punished for speaking out:
“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.
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.”
Who wrestlers should complain to about bad creative:
“WWE is so powerful in terms of their world presence and the talent they have on board, so I think what’s going to happen at some point is that they’re going to restructure all of this.
There are some guys in WWE, Vince McMahon, Triple H, Michael Hayes, Arn Anderson and Mike Rotunda included, who should be writers but instead are producers.
I would hope at some point they will consolidate all of that, because if you were to get some of these megaminds in a room, you could write out two years worth of TV and stick to the plan.
Wrestling is not an episodic TV show. If you were to come into my office and say ‘hey I wrote 20 episodes of Friends and I want to be a WWE writer’, I’d say ‘that’s great but do you know who Lou Thesz is? Do you know who Bruno Sammartino is? Do you like wrestling?’
You’d be surprised at how many would say they’d never watched wrestling. That blows my mind, and if you were to shift the power to some of the greats in our business, you’d have a big difference.”
What the next year has in store for him:
“After everything with Okada happened, I looked at the landscape and saw that there are a lot of benefits to wrestling Japanese stars, especially the incredibly skilled ones. It helps to test me, and I’m all about testing me.
I would hate if I failed any of these tests, so I think you’re going to see a lot of interaction between myself as the world champion and some of NJPW’s key stars.
For 2018 I hope that we put our money where our mouth is, and the Bucks and myself continue to grow ROH. I am not exclusive to ROH, but I am their champion and I do love the promotion and the production they put on.
I’m all about putting more and more eyes on it. I don’t believe in competition any more, but what I do believe in is choice.
It’s been a very hot run, it can continue to climb the hill or it can start to head down, so we’ll see.
With all the ways to watch wrestling now, it’s more accessible than ever and it’s the best time for fans. I want to be on as many of those screens as I can be and keep the run going.”
For the full interview with Cody Rhodes, check out Metro.