Former WWE Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes (and erstwhile Lord of the Cosmos Stardust) left the company earlier this year over creative differences about his on-screen character and how he felt it should be played. Since then, he's appeared at PWG Bola, wrestled Kurt Angle in the middle of a baseball diamond, signed with TNA, and been broken up with on Twitter. He recently spoke with False Comeback about what lead to his exit from WWE, the lessons he learned from his father Dusty Rhodes and about that time when DX tricked him into ... well, you'll see
As noted, the main reason he left WWE was because he was basically done with playing Stardust, and Vince & Co wanted it to continue. There was a point where playing Stardust just wasn't fun for him anymore.
"I think the disconnect was once my dad passed away, it was like the audience and performer -- the most important connection you need to make, whereas most people it would have been great if they were booing Stardust or in on it," he said. "But most people just felt bad, like here is this situation that we've all been made well aware of, wrestling fans' grieved just like my actual family did, so then here is his son who is just kind of dressed up in an awkward fashion. I think that was the disconnect, whenever you feel any lack of connection it's a huge bummer. You want to nip it in the bud right away and move forward, and the problem was it wasn't happening right away we had to move things forward on our own."
Having Dusty Rhodes as a father had to have been both a blessing and a curse; there's a lot to live up to, but a lot that can be learned from as well. "He had really good wrap on family and road, travel, how to be a family man, there are very few who can do the family man and do the business man, and the performer man, the common man. He was able to do it all," Rhodes said. "I think his comfort level, which he approached wrestling with, which he approached creating with, which he approached everything with, is like the model for any wrestler. Essentially this is a stressful enough job, if you're not having fun with it then it's gonna eat away at you. Especially lately now that he's passed that's like everything -- like from this morning, I'm doing a seminar this afternoon, to her show (Brandi), everything this evening should be fun. It's okay to work hard and rack your brain a little bit, but everything should be fun."
As with anyone who's been in the business as long as Cody has, there's bound to be some great stories, and Cody told one of the time he got ribbed (and ribbed good) by DX:
"I have really good road stories, so many of them are inappropriate. There was one the other day in the UK at an event called Inside The Ropes, I was telling these stories and I was like 'I hope nobody reveals these stories.' I always tell this one (instead). I was so excited about working Triple H and Shawn Michaels -- they're just the best. DX is doing their return reunion tour in the UK, and me and Teddy (DiBiase Jr.) were the main event, it was just a big prominent moment. I remember Hunter told me -- and we had this banner that hangs over the regular pipe and drape, 'come out and rip it down, disrespect DX so people will boo' and I said that was great. I didn't know it was a rib, I came out, grabbed the banner, pulled it out and (pop). The only thing supporting it was a two by four and it hit me in the back of the head and I'm covered in this green speckle paint. I get in the ring and Hunter and Shawn just laughed at me the whole match. I always thought 'oh it was an accident' but no it was a very intentional rib and I fell for it. But that's the road, ya know?"
No word on if Cody ever got Hunter and Shawn back for that one, but if so, it's probably one of those stories he doesn't want revealed.