Cody Rhodes knew exactly what he was doing with his 'checklist,' but didn't expect the type of response it garnered.
Rhodes is now on the radars of ROH, TNA and NJPW after wrestling in PWG and Evolve since leaving the WWE. When speaking to the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling Podcast, Rhodes said the much circulated checklist exceeded expectations. Two Man Power Trip sent along these highlights, transcribed by Chad and John. You can hear the full podcast at this link.
The jolt he has sent on the Independent scene thus far and checking boxes off of “The List”:
“I think it has been really flattering, as far as the "jolt" you speak of so to say and the reactions and attendance at these Independent events. When I made the list it was very measured and well thought of in terms of who I wanted to mix up with but also in terms of who would be possible and it is very enriching to check the boxes as we go. Early on I realized that you can't put this out there unless your intentions are that to finish it and my intentions are to finish the list and that could be difficult in some areas for those exclusively tied to companies but I am kind of hell-bent on making that happen. I'm really glad that it is materializing and coming to fruition in a very big, loud way and that is just pretty damn cool.”
Has the response to “The List’ exceeded his expectations:
“It's exceeded expectations. What I've noticed at some of the independent brands that I've found myself competing at and with people on the list is there have been a lot of eyes, especially in this day of social media where everything you do can be out there if you want it to be, there have been a lot of eyes on each match. More than just the intimate crowd that are there that evening, a lot of nay-sayers as well as the folks that are supporting this and are kind of rallying behind this either or tend to want to know what happened each night of the independent run and I'm sure at VIP Wrestling in my match with Chris Hero, my match with Brian Fury and at WrestlePro with Pat Buck and back to Evolve with Johnny Wrestling, Drew Galloway and all of those matches are getting a spotlight and if that is because of me I am pretty happy about that and I like the pressure that also comes with that because you have to deliver. That is the best thing ever, pleasing a fan and shutting up a critic. That is the best thing in the world is to do that and the only way to do that is to deliver.”
Anticipating his debut in Ring of Honor at Final Battle:
“On my radar no doubt for Final Battle is the biggest thing for me. It is my WrestleMania this year. They are both exceptional events and with Final Battle being Ring of Honor's biggest and it’s my first opportunity to go the Hammerstein Ballroom. My time in ROH is not going to be limited to one show as far as not just doing Final Battle, taking my money and leaving. I rode the roads with Daniel Bryan, Cesaro, Kevin (Owens), guys that were "ROH guys" and to be able to share the link now to say I'm going to be in ROH and I'll know all about the Code of Honor and be in a company with I'd consider to be some elite guys like Dalton Castle, The Young Bucks, Adam Cole, Warbeard Hanson, Dijak, Christopher Daniels..I am an over-sharer so I could just sit here and say everyone’s name but I am very excited about joining their roster and the matchups that are going to happen. Like we said with the list, Adam Cole is at the very top of it. It is isn't numbered, it isn't prioritized but if I put your name on the top that means you were the first person I thought about so that is the one. That is the one thing I want and in wrestling sometimes you need to know and that is the one I need to know.”
ROH’s link to New Japan Pro Wrestling and the possibility of competing against Shibata:
“New Japan Pro Wrestling is the hottest thing in wrestling. WWE is taking things that were popular in New Japan and putting them on their program, smartly because of how much success that New Japan has absolutely had. When you are in the bubble that is when you work for WWE and I guess when you are just focused solely on WWE and what you are doing and who the top person in your company is wrestling against and you can either stay in that bubble or look outside it for inspiration. When NXT really blew up and NXT is essentially a very well done and produced (let me bring every Indy All-Star into this promotion) and let's polish up the diamonds that you already are. That makes you look where did they come from? Did they come from Ring of Honor or did they come from Japan?”
“Shibata is legit a natural born killer and probably the riskiest name I put on the list. But he has a magnetism and charisma and it isn't in the talking and it isn't in so much in what he wears. It is just there. It is in the eyes, it is just somebody that I was a fan of and when I decided to leave I had the opportunity to get in there with guys that I am a fan of and he is one of them and as far as New Japan goes he is my favorite and the pre-existing relationship with Ring of Honor/New Japan helps to potentially make that happen.”
Reflecting on his Dad’s advice following his passing and using it now to succeed post WWE:
"I didn't use his advice so much in his life. But in his death I use his advice considerably more. It has become one of those "What Would Dusty Do?" situations. I find myself asking that a lot and I think his gut was similar to my gut. Maybe I didn't follow my gut for a while kind of in my latter days at WWE so to be able to follow my gut just that reminds me of him. My Dad was not an over thinker or over-analyzer. If you ask any of the guys that were in his communications class at NXT, he wanted to make you feel comfortable and when you are comfortable and you are peaking that audience is also comfortable or you are going to make them uncomfortable as much as you can. I just hope we have a similar gut and I find myself in a lot of those "What Would Dusty Do?" situations and I don't do so much what Cody would do anymore.”