Martin Hines of Metro.co.uk is featuring an interview with former WWE star and current ROH Champion Cody Rhodes where he discusses a number of topics including his departure from WWE, why he felt he developed a reputation backstage and wrestling in Japan.
On his departure from WWE and being successful on the independent scene:
“I had seen a lot of people who had been released from WWE, or asked for their release, and gone out into the wild unknown. There’s more cases of it being unsuccessful than successful. I knew I was unhappy in my heart at the end in WWE, and I had time to plan even though I knew it was going to be hard. That time to plan is what made the difference and I invested in myself as a talent from the ground-up. I got a concept artist to draw up some new gear and I got a publicist and a manager, but all this kind of stuff is nonsense unless you activate it, so everything I’ve had I’ve activated.”
Developing a reputation as a complainer in WWE:
“I do recall that when I did speak up for myself from time to time it didn’t make a difference. Essentially the answer I would get was thanks but no thanks. I think I developed a reputation as a complainer and that’s hard to escape. You don’t want to be a complainer, you want to be someone who says ‘I don’t like this but here’s my alternative.’ I don’t know, maybe because I’m Dusty’s kid and I have a creative mindset that he gifted me a little of, almost every idea I ever got I thought I wanted to do something different. My relationship with the creative team might have been better, because essentially if you’re telling them every week you want to do something else instead, you’re telling them they’re not good at their jobs. Nobody wants to hear that.”
Wrestling in Japan for New Japan Pro Wrestling:
“I grew up really strongly aware of New Japan because my dad had an unflinching respect for Japanese culture. He told me all about Inoki when I met him at Slamboree, and I had the respect ingrained in me. Upon my first meetings with NJPW and Tiger Hattori, it was like we were very much of the same mindset. There was a lot of respect, but it wasn’t just that they were offering me dates to work, but challenges to present as well. I was told if I met those challenges it would be good for everybody. I like that, I don’t want to coast off the fact I was a WWE guy in the slightest. There have been plenty of WWE guys who did a few shows for New Japan and got the hell out. The challenges will keep coming, and I’ve tried to make myself as available for NJPW as much as possible in 2018 because I think we have a future together.”