Since stepping out of the bright spotlight of the WWE, Cody Rhodes has made a big name for himself on the independent circuit over the last few months. After making his presence felt with a brief stint in TNA, Cody turned heel in his first match in ROH and then a week later was announced as the newest member of the infamous Bullet Club faction.
Now going by "The American Nightmare" (a perfect play on his father's moniker), Cody is finding life outside of the WWE more rewarding than even he expected. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Rhodes discussed his journey and gave a surprising thought on the WWE's position as the end-all be-all for every professional wrestler. While Cody still remains complimentary of his former employer, he does believe a wrestler can "make it" without the big machine behind them.
The part that shocks me the most is that professional wrestlers today do not need WWE. WWE is the biggest, most wonderful company, and they have WrestleMania, so almost any professional wrestler is going to seek that goal. However, it's no longer needed, because in the era of social media and streaming, wrestling fans have more options than they've ever had. So instead of feeling backwards to me, it’s almost feels linear. It feels like, "OK, I'm no longer just a WWE guy, but you can catch me with Evolve, Ring of Honor, TNA." Originally, I had the same thought process you did, especially coming from second or third generation. There used to be a rule in the business that you would go to Japan when you were a youngster, even if you only went for a month, when you were second or third generation. And then you would be able to say, "Oh, well I've wrestled in Japan," so there was this cred. But it was kind of a lie when second and third-generations' fathers would kind of put their kids up to it.
It's no secret Rhodes was unhappy having to keep using the Stardust gimmick after his father, Dusty Rhodes passed away. Rhodes has said before that he wanted to go back to using his family name, but was denied. While the son of a son of a plumber is happy with his new life in the Bullet Club, he did have reservations about saying he was finished with the WWE.
I don't know the full answer as to where I'm going. I wish I knew. My wife asked me the other day, "What if they called you and said, 'Come back at the Royal Rumble'?" I said, "No, I don't think I'd be interested in that." She said, "What if they said, 'Come back at the Royal Rumble, and make it about you and Triple H and head to WrestleMania with that'?" And then my answer really changed. Maybe in my heart, the end game is to go back to WWE, but it's definitely not in the forefront of my mind. Each time I go out there, I find out a little bit more about where I'm ultimately happy being.
Would you like to see "The American Nightmare" back in a WWE ring again?
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