Rhodes continues to make the media rounds leading up to WrestleMania 39.
WWE is a month-and-a-half out from WrestleMania 39 and the Undisputed WWE Universal Title match will either be Cody Rhodes challenging Roman Reigns or Sami Zayn.
Leading up to this week’s Monday Night Raw and Elimination Chamber events, Cody made the media rounds and he sat down with Peter Rosenberg of HOT 97 for an interview.
Before Rhodes returned to WWE at WrestleMania 38, he had a meeting with Vince McMahon and he shared more details from that meeting. He shared McMahon’s reaction to the neck tattoo and added that he brought McMahon the original WWWF Championship belt to show him. Rhodes received the belt from Dan Lambert.
There’s a fun moment (from the conversation I had with Vince McMahon before my return to WWE). I had such a great conversation with him. If I had not decided to come back, I still walked out of that meeting with him feeling really good. I brought him the old WWWF Title to show him because I have it. Dan Lambert gave it to me for free, shockingly but, he just made a comment, he goes, you know, ‘We have the best artists and Creative Services Department in the world. We can come up with some new logos for you’ and I remember I just leaned in and kind of went like that and showed him (pulled his collar down so McMahon could see the neck tattoo) and he just kind of did one of those classic laughs like, ‘Ha! Never mind. That’s it, that’s it.’ So he knew we really can’t change it at this point. This is what it is and he said something really great to me that day. I stood my ground. I said, ‘I don’t wanna change a thing about myself including my song. I wanna have my elevator, I want all this’ and he said something, he goes, ‘Well that’s what we’re buying. It’s not broke’ and I thought, that feels good, because I hadn’t figured it out when I was here the first time. Everything was broke and that was a nice feeling.
Speaking about his presentation on Raw pre-torn pec muscle and present day, Rhodes stated that he felt there was an ‘absence’ on the show and he’s glad to take that responsibility of filling that spot. He went on to express that Raw is still the flagship.
It’s one of these things where, the final month before I came back (to) WWE in the first place, I really couldn’t sleep in the first place so having to try everything I possibly could just to quiet my mind down and go to sleep because I was really giddy. Very giddy about returning to wrestling. I don’t know if ‘giddy’ is the most masculine of words but, very giddy and also at the same time, giddy is what got me in trouble. Lifting and just going nuts because I was so excited and I felt so much responsibility. This time, I’ve just tried to be calm and cool and come in and do my thing and help in the best way I can. Not that WWE needs help but it did feel like there was this absence on Raw perhaps and I’m really glad I could — maybe it was just my absence and I’m glad to jump back in and take that responsibility.
It’s nice to be missed and I, having grown up in the company, I appreciate SmackDown for all it is and being on FOX and all that wonderfulness there. But, Raw’s still the flagship show and it almost seems like maybe a younger generation of fans, some of the kids for example that we have at the Nightmare Factory, I ask, ‘Hey, what are you watching?’ This and that. I feel maybe they forgot that it’s the flagship and it is the flagship show. You’ve got Bianca (Belair) on there, you’ve got Seth (Rollins) on there, you got Becky (Lynch) on there, I’m back on there and plus, there’s so much crossover. We’re in the Mania season where the walls are down. You don’t know what’s gonna happen, Paul Heyman last week. But for it to be the flagship show, (John) Cena being one of my biggest role models in the business, that’s kind of the individual you want to pattern your steps after and he’s one that I’ve tried to do that and be very proud of being on Raw, being back on Raw.
On a recent episode of Raw, Rhodes had an in-ring segment with Paul Heyman. He stated that what he said to Heyman regarding the appreciation he had for him for what he did for Dusty Rhodes was sincere. The biggest takeaway from that segment for Cody was when Heyman said this story is about him.
He’s amazing (Rhodes said about Paul Heyman)… One of the things about the interview (segment with Heyman), I’m glad people — and it was one of those where I didn’t really look at it as an interview and I see all of the discussion. How can you not? But, all I really wanted was whether it’d be on-screen or behind-the-scenes, whatever, all I really wanted was for him to hear the version from me because that was very sincere and that changes a kid at that impressionable age where you’re counting your, okay, this person’s an ally, this person’s an enemy, whatever, you know? I’m gonna get this guy, I’m gonna take care of this guy. I wanted him to hear the story because I know we’re going to war. I know there’s nothing that Paul Heyman isn’t gonna say or do as we found out. But I wanted — before all that, the respect is still there. He’s still Mr. Heyman to me and he will remain that. I just cannot repay that. However, the best way to honor Mr. Heyman, the best way to do that is to beat his boy. Again, it’s like honoring a second or third generation. Great, they’re amazing and you do their moves and the crowd reacts but that reaction’s really not for you as much as it’s for them. It’s okay to sprinkle that in, but you also have to — he said the most important thing in that interview that I took and it wasn’t the last line. It was when he said, ‘This is about you’ and I took that as very much it has to be because old man’s not here with me, brother’s not here with me, it is just me. I’m the island of one against this ‘island of relevancy’ and that was a very nice thing to hear and a contentious interview segment that I’m glad people enjoyed but also to your point just from watching the show, I do think there’s layers. Enjoy everything that’s happening with Sami (Zayn) and if Sami is my opponent at WrestleMania, don’t be surprised.
Rhodes was present on the 2/13 Raw and he was face-to-face with Sami in addition to picking up a singles win over Baron Corbin.
If the quotes in this article are used, please credit HOT 97 with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.