Cody Rhodes was recently a guest on Steve Austin’s: The Broken Skull Sessions where he opened up about how he would have gone about his WWE departure in 2015 in a different way.
The American Nightmare shocked the wrestling world last month when he appeared at WrestleMania 38 to make his first WWE appearance in over seven years. Prior to his return, Cody, of course, met with none other than Vince McMahon. The meeting between Rhodes and the WWE Chairman was one that, according to Cody, should have happened before his departure in 2015.
“That conversation needed to happen in 2015 and I owed him [Vince McMahon] that conversation in 2015 and I didn’t get that opportunity,” Cody explained. “So, I looked at that conversation as more of ‘hey, understand where I was and why this happened, then we can talk about what may be next.’ I don’t think a lot of people, him included, understand the influence they had.
“Again, the house that built me and I took that everywhere I went and I needed him to hear that. So, the conversation was very about who we are human beings-wise much before it got to business. Part of me thought what would be said would be uninteresting but I’ll be able to thank them and love them and be flattered that I went from being someone they could care less about to having this conversation. I feel good. But what they said wasn’t anything less than just freaking spectacular. It was just time.”
Before Cody spoke with Vince, the first person to make contact with him following his exit from AEW was the Executive Director for WWE Raw and Smackdown, Bruce Prichard.
“The first person I spoke to, and it’s much later than people think, I think people thought I had this thought process and grand scheme but the grand scheme presented itself to me later than others thought. The very first person who made contact was Bruce Prichard.
“Bruce Prichard had called me and one thing led to the next and Bruce didn’t think it was real, he thought we [Cody and AEW] were working a thing and to a degree, we were working a real story but it was also real. A formal meeting would come after that and then rising up at WrestleMania.”
Circling back to his final months during his original WWE run, Cody called back to the Stardust character. While Cody thinks it was his ultimate demise in the company, he believes it was something necessary to help him deal with the passing of his father, the late, great WWE Hall of Famer, Dusty Rhodes.
“We were talking earlier about Dashing Cody Rhodes, which was a departure and it was fun. You [Steve Austin] used the term ‘base’, that was my base. It’s like when you get a new tag partner, I’m gonna train with him, I’m gonna learn about him, we’re gonna build a chemistry. This one [points to photo of Stardust] was so hard to start with because originally, it was Silverdust.
“I had walked into a production meeting with the silver suit on and a paint prototype look and it was so, just uncomfortable. It was definitely a step down from where we had been just in that angle alone. I don’t think it’s intentions were to bring me down, I’m a believer is that everyone’s intentions are to make it work and in the initial stage, a lot of it was challenges.
“Like OK, say wish upon a star and fully commit to it and do it, it was like accepting challenges you didn’t want. OK, I can make it a thing, I’m gonna make Stardust a separate entity, almost like the Symbiote to who I was as Cody Rhodes, I’m gonna make it. But they weren’t fulfilling, even if you got the job done. That’s another thing about the Stardust run, we had these great matches with The Usos, we won the Tag Titles, but it was too much of a departure off my map as to who I wanted to be.
“It was short-term and it ended up not being short-term. So, it has these phases, in the beginning, it was almost like a mini-Goldust then Stardust veers off and I had a British accent and I’m hissing and I’m facing Stephen Amell, I get that Arrow cross-over, which was huge. This was peak Stardust, there were these great moments to it, there really was and I was able to get a whole new lease on my career based on this specific match.
“This [points to photo of him facing Stephen Amell] was right after my dad [Dusty Rhodes] passed away, so I don’t blame WWE for keeping me as Stardust, I don’t think I could’ve been anyone else at the time. I wasn’t ready to emerge and basically, hey, he’s gone, now you’re gonna be Cody Rhodes, the head of this family essentially. I wasn’t ready for that at all, legit.
“I was very angry and bitter and jaded when I left and a lot of those things I still would say but this was a good place to be actually, behind the paint, I don’t know how many people have heard that actually, I needed to be here, I wasn’t ready to be Cody Rhodes, everything at home was terrible, we’d lost Dusty unexpectedly, I didn’t know how to handle that and I didn’t know what to do with my mom. ”
Cody Rhodes most recently competed at WrestleMania Backlash, where he again, defeated the man he dispatched during his WrestleMania 38 return, Seth Rollins.
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 the transcription.
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