Cody Rhodes spoke with Brian Zane of Wrestling With Wregret recently about TNA's legal issues, how NXT has changed the game on the independent circuit and what he wants his final legacy to be when all is said and done.
Cody joined TNA at Bound For Glory, right in the midst of the rumors of it being about to go under, but as far as what he saw, Cody never noticed a problem.
"All I can say is, my personal experience with TNA was gleaming," he began. "Dixie Carter, such a wonderful woman. So nice to meet her, she helped my father out considerably and that was like -- I like engaging with those people. Billy (Corgan), exceptional human being, the artist that he is, to help me and get his take on interviews and things of that nature. Also I got paid each night without fail, and I didn't have a single bad experience. Whatever was going on was clearly behind closed doors, which is the way it should be. I was never privy to any of it, the talent seemed happy, I was happy with what I was able to do with Eddie Edwards, and Mike Bennett. If I was asked to come back I sure would think about it, yeah."
Cody cut a recent promo while doing an independent show, saying that his passion for the business died along with his father. But does he still really feel that way?
"I think it's the whole point of this, and maybe it's the reason we've had such good fan support, I think the whole point of this is finding it. I think every night you find something else," he said. "This is so on the ground, so grass roots, you get to speak to people. You get to talk to people about dad, you get to talk to people about my career. I think every night I find a little bit more of what got me into this in the first place if that makes any sense. And I love the idea that there are certain places that I can go and not be Rhodes, because that is a challenge. What if I never was? What If I didn't wake up the son of The American Dream? What if I didn't have that advantage? Would I be able to cut it? So some places I almost get a kick out of that."
Some wrestlers, when leaving the relative comforts of WWE for the sometimes unforgiving grind of the indies, find it to be a real shock to the system. Not Cody Rhodes, though.
"I have yet to have a lesser experience. I know it might happen, but all the shows I've been a part of so far, including tonight, have had a, not indie feel about them, but they have a local feel about them. A brand feel about them. We were talking about What Culture like it's not a brand, not an indie and the difference is just, the productions are higher."
Cody believes that the WWE developmental brand has had a great effect on how people perceive "the indies."
"NXT did a great service to the business by spotlighting all of the indie superstars because now people are going, in the thousands, to independent shows," Rhodes said. "So for me I have yet to have an 'indie experience', they've all been pretty wonderful. Crowds of 800 to 1,000 end up sounding like 18,000. I haven't, none of them have felt 'indie' yet."
When asked what he wants his final legacy to be, he's not so sure just yet.
"That's the heaviest question of all," he said. "I think so many of us are fans of our fathers, and after a while I try not to bring Dusty up because after a while you're kind of beating people over the head with it. However, he was my hero and for me to feel accomplished I want to do something where I can stand in his company and feel important. To him, he was a really big fan of me, and that's great but he was my dad so -- for me there's something out there. I don't know if it's a title, if it's a roll, gosh I don't know what it is. Senate run in Texas? Something out there will make me say 'Hey, I did alright by the old man.' That's all I can think of at the current point, I don't have any kids. Pretty selfish in my current mind point, so yeah."
Cody's time on the indie circuit has been fruitful. He's the new Global Force Wrestling Champion, won gold as the Internet Wrestling Champion at WCPW, and just last weekend, he had an acclaimed heel turn against Jay Lethal at Ring of Honor's Final Battle pay-per-view.
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