Cody Rhodes Talks WWE Not Quitting on the Stardust Gimmick, Why Miz is “Next Level Special”, Would He Have Quit WWE If He Knew About the Draft?

Former WWE star Cody Rhodes was the guest on the latest edition of The Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast, which you can listen to in full at this link.

On If He Would Have Stayed If He Knew About the Draft:

No, because. The drafting came. Let’s be honest; six months before the drafting came, they told us the drafting was going to happen, and we filmed these commercial with these flags. The commercials became about Smackdown leaving SyFy, so everyone was aware of the draft, but no one knew where they were going of that nature. I did ask, my second to last week, on someone who I really trusted, who is still on the creative team, and I’m still friends with; I asked if there was a plan for me, he had a plan going into Wrestlemania, but that plan was squashed, so anyway, I asked him and he said, no there currently is no plan, so when I look at the draft and stuff, I don’t think anything would have changed for me because, I’m a big believer in what you are given, whatever the character; whether you are a magician, or Stardust, whatever you are given, you have the chance to go out; that is your TV time, that is your moment, you can make Vince literally look up from his phone and go, oh, that worked, let’s keep going with it. The issue with me was, I was boxed in to just do Stardust so it didn’t seem possible anymore. For the first time in my career it didn’t seem possible to win even to maximize the minutes from a viewer perspective, so that was part of the decision and made it a lot easier for me to go.

On Why WWE Wasn’t Quitting on the Stardust Character and Letting Him Be Cody Rhodes:

Honestly, no. It was like, if you have your creative team, and you have Vince, obviously. It kind of felt like a 9 to 10 vote that obviously, Stardust was done and over with. It outlived the three month lifespan; two years in, we are obviously done with this, but he just didn’t see it that way and that was his preference. I think he really liked Stardust, but I don’t know how he enjoyed it. Maybe it was funny to him, I don’t know, but the pageantry behind Stardust, some of the cool stuff they let me do, where they let me jump up the barricade, that was all my idea. The wardrobe elements of Stardust were fun, and the music, you can clearly hear it was ripped off from a rap song, it was ripped off terribly. But, the pageantry behind Stardust was a lot of fun, and I think that was what he saw. I don’t think he looked at it from my perspective from the slightest, and I think that is hard for anyone to just jump into your head, and you know, I didn’t want to do what Dustin [Rhodes] was. To me, that was a living hell. That is what he does, I hadn’t done that.

On Wanting to be Different than His Dad & Brother:

So, I didn’t not want to do Dusty or Goldust because I didn’t think they were great or that I don’t love them, because I do love them, and I do think they are great, so if you go out and you do someone’s finishing move that you are related to, I feel that they are not cheering for you, they are cheering for the nostalgia; they are cheering for whoever was the one who made us look at that maneuver. I always approached it that way; it may have been stubborn, but that was how I looked at it. That is why in the early stages, I dyed my hair black; I was an antagonist; that was great because Dusty was the lifelong hero, and Goldust was this bizarre-larger than life character, so at the end of the day, I wanted to be different; you look at us on paper, and it’s like, cool, everyone is different; just look at the Rotunda family. You don’t see Bray going out there and telling people to pay their taxes. I would love it if he did, but one night, I would love it. Bray is doing it correctly, look at Husky Harris, it takes a few runs at of being a second and third generation is falling on your a** and failing on occasion, like hey, this didn’t work. I feel like the first part of my career wasn’t working. The plucky underdog, like what was exciting about that? So, when Vince asked me, which is weird because he is also multi-generational. It was a bizarre ask, but when I first got the concept art. Whenever creative services gets on something, it makes you feel good because you know they tend to invest in it, so creative service department came up with some of the greatest characters in WWE. They make all this concept art. The first stuff I saw about Stardust was the coolest stuff ever, and it was right along the lines of a comic book villain. I had silver hair, a star in my eye contact; I was like, wow, I’m going to be ok. I can wear a bodysuit, I can stop working out for a few weeks, I’m going to be ok, and then, every week, this is what he picked, and this is what he picked; so, every week it was becoming more and more a carbon copy of Goldust. There is some pictures online; I don’t think any of the boys posted it, but I was supposed to have a mask, and the mask looked like black condom on top of my head, and it was just terrifying, and they made me go up to the production meeting room and stand there in this get up, and I lifted it up, and said, this I cannot do. Then they said, well, why don’t you shave your head…like Dustin, and then I was like, so, I’m only going to be mini-Dustin, because Dustin is like 11 feet tall for some reason, so I’m going to be mini-Dustin, and I even had a fight and said let me do silver and black, then they made it gold and black. The first concept was so cool, then it went away and I tried slowly, slowly to get there.

On Miz Being One of the Hardest Working Guys in the Business:

There is nobody like Miz, all around in wrestling. I hate to say nice things about Miz, there’s nobody like him. He is committed to try and become a better wrestler, which he is actively doing. He is committed to become the loudest guy in the room, but draw your attention in a positive way. His run to the WWE Championship when he was out there getting kicked out of the locker room, like he took his real life story, it does pain me, he is on the level of Cena in terms of work ethic. Clearly, John Cena is the hardest working guy in the WWE, then there are some guys that you don’t know that are right on his level, who draw and help pull the wagon with him, and Miz is certainly one of them. You may not think it when you are looking at the card some of the time, and think, well, all these cool guys coming from NXT, and buzz and equity, but believe me, Miz is next level special.

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