Cody Rhodes is a prime example of how high the ceiling is now for former WWE stars on the independent circuit.
Having left WWE following years of under-utilization, the second generation wrestler has become one of the biggest wrestling stars in the world outside of WWE. He is the present Ring of Honor World Champion, a member of the Bullet Club, and a frequent visitor to Japan's popular New Japan Pro Wrestling.
So how does Cody feel about his transition outside of WWE? And how has that move impacted his pocket book?
We'll leave it to Cody to explain.
"I just had the absolute best luck in the world in terms of meeting The Young Bucks and they might look like wild little rock stars who are irresponsible but they are business geniuses. They set up the deal with Hot Topic and they're going to be the first 7-figure downside characters that New Japan Pro Wrestling has. The best way to put it is it's better. It's currently the best it's ever been for me. So yes, I don't want to be tacky but it's very exciting."
The Young Bucks, along with Pro Wrestling Tees, have spring-boarded the wrestling merchandising phenomenon to the next level. There's no doubt about it. Having Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson on your side when it comes to merchandising is a smart move, and it looks to have paid off for Rhodes who routinely has some of the top selling shirts through Pro Wrestling Tees.
Additionally, being able to work a schedule that he can choose for himself (for the most part) has to be an added benefit, and Rhodes explained how much he has loved getting to work outside of the WWE.
"I was really confident when I left WWE. I was confident that I would have a good time and I was confident that I could wrestle differently than perhaps people saw me in the last few years with WWE but I definitely wasn't prepared for this level of everything. This level of fan interaction, this level of financial residuals coming from these shows and this level of just love," he said.
You can check out the rest of the interview at the top of this article, courtesy of WSVN-TV out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.