For the most part in Professional Wrestling, the goal for many wrestlers is to get hired by the WWE. An understandable dream since it is the biggest wrestling promotion in the world. Many guys who have reached the WWE did so by wrestling in throughout the globe with different independent promotions until they were noticed by the WWE. For example, guys like Daniel Bryan, Sami Zayn, and CM Punk. Of course there are many others. However, on rare occasion do we see it the other way around.
Cody Rhodes son of Dusty Rhodes was born into the wrestling industry, his dad a legend in the industry and his older brother Goldust also went into the wrestling world. Cody started off wrestling at Ohio Valley Wrestling in 2006 and by the following year he would make his WWE debut on Monday Night Raw. Since then he wrestled for the company all the way through 2016. A decade of wrestling in the world’s most popular wrestling company. For many people in this same situation might have seen this as their peak, but for Cody it was only the beginning.
Cody Rhodes left WWE in 2016 to pursue a career in the independent circuit. As I mentioned earlier, the opposite route.
In a recent interview on Sean ‘X-Pac’ Waltman’s podcast X-Pac 12360, Cody Rhodes came on and explained why he decided to leave the WWE. And ironically enough his main source of inspiration for leaving the company was NXT, what many people would consider the third branch after Raw and Smackdown. Cody said, “NXT was also a huge inspiration for me to leave because NXT is just Hunter’s independent scene, it’s amazing. He hand plucked all these buzz-worthy talents and had them fight against each other and it’s just those were the guys that were getting the attention of the crowd, capturing their imaginations.”
Because so many guys that work through the independent circuit develop a dedicated fanbase, the word quickly spreads amongst wrestling fans, therefore creating a hype when said guys are hired by the WWE.
“It was seeing those guys that already had a brand and who already had buzz…something I had to do.” said Cody on the podcast.
Since leaving WWE, Cody has reinvented himself as “The American Nightmare” Cody. He has wrestled for numerous promotions including Evolve, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, Northeast Wrestling, What Culture Pro Wrestling, Impact Wrestling and others.
However, since signing with Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling and replacing Kenny Omega as the new leader of the Bullet Club, his stock has risen and is considerably more popular than ever.
In fact, during Wreslemania weekend in New Orleans, Louisiana, Cody wrestled Kenny Omega on Ring of Honor’s Supercard of Honor show. Which sold over 5,000+ tickets, marking it the biggest crowd in Ring of Honor history. The show itself went head-to-head with NXT Takeover. “I think that is so good for wrestling that we are going head-to-head. And that we both have full houses and I want to make sure that what I do is better than what they do. I don’t think that’s a bad thing for wrestling at all.” said Cody on X-Pac 12360.
Cody went on to say that his match against Kenny Omega is “the biggest match I’ve ever had in my life, everything has been built to. I’m almost emotional thinking about all the work that went into this match.”
ROH Supercard of Honor XII had eleven matches on the card, and Kenny Omega versus Cody Rhodes was one of the best ones of the night.
Listen to the full Cody Rhodes interview on X-PAC 12360 here.
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