Cody Rhodes on WWE humbling him and criticism from fans.
Despite his last name, Cody Rhodes was never looked at as a main event player in WWE. Seeing his future as a midcard talent, watching his career fade with stop and start pushes, and being ignored creatively, Cody asked for his release in 2016. Three years later and he is now the Co-Executive Vice President of All Elite Wrestling. And it was being told that he wasn't "great" by WWE that fueled him.
“I was arrogant,” admitted Rhodes to Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated. “I needed to be humbled. I hold no grudges against that situation. Two people [Vince McMahon & Triple H] didn’t see me in the main event, I can’t be angry about that. Saturday in the MGM Grand, there will be more than two people watching."
Many want to crown AEW as the next champion in the wrestling world. But some are expecting the promotion to fail once the going gets tough. Cody has seen the theories as to why the company won't succeed and done his best to block everything out.
"I handle the doubt through self-awareness,” explained Rhodes. “That’s a big issue in wrestling. You cannot be in a bubble and you can’t be a mark just for the hand that feeds you. I’ve learned you have to explore the space and genre of this sport. We want to be an alternative product. Criticism and toxicity are two very different things. Social media is a wonderful tool and way to engage fans, but I’ve learned to not be swayed by its toxicity. The ‘Attitude Era’ is the most profitable era in this sport’s history. It’s an amazing period, something to really learn from and study. But it’s over. It is not coming back, it’s that simple. The product cannot be centered in nostalgia. It can have nostalgia, but it cannot take precedent and it can never overshadow a rising male or female star breaking out on television or in front of the crowd for the first time. This show has a new cast.”
Cody will attempt to "kill" the Attitude Era tonight when he faces his brother Dustin Rhodes at AEW Double or Nothing.