There’s no doubt about it, Cody Rhodes has changed the landscape of wrestling. Following his departure from WWE, Rhodes would take the indies by storm before recognising his legacy as being one of the creators of AEW.
The hard work of Rhodes isn’t lost on many in the industry, but definitely not in two legends of the game like Arn Anderson and Diamond Dallas Page, who recently told Inside The Ropes their thoughts on the two-time AEW TNT Champion, both from a young age, and what he’s doing now.
Cody’s coach, Arn Anderson, would reminisce about how he felt like he “owed” Dusty Rhodes at least enough to keep an eye on Cody.
“When Cody first started with WWE, day one, I talked to Dusty and I said, ‘I will keep an eye on him and I’ll take care of him.’ Now, that did not mean – and nor did Dusty believe it meant – that he was going to get any special treatment. It meant I was going to get in his ass – more so than anybody else – because I felt like I owed his father.
“When I came to Crockett Promotions and started working with Dusty Rhodes, it elevated me about tenfold. I never forgot that. So I stayed on, I rode Cody and Ted DiBiase Jr harder than anybody else and I was very close to both of their dads – and still am – and I felt like I owed them. The respect is telling them when they stunk, and there was a few times they really stunk, and give them a pat on the ass when they did a pretty good job. And then when they had that rare occasion, as they were climbing the ranks, where they had an outstanding performance, I told them that.
Speaking to why Rhodes asked him to be part of AEW, The Enforcer would discuss how a different perspective would be the reasoning.
“I think he wanted that same honesty now that he’s a top player, because it’s easy to look from the outside in. But when you’re on the inside, looking out, sometimes you’ve got to change a few things – and that’s what I’m there for. I’m just there to advise Cody.”
Anderson would also open up on Rhodes “juggling” quite a bit, and not seeing himself as the face of the company – saying that’s the one place Cody is wrong, as he IS the face of the company.
“He’s juggling quite a bit, you know, as is his wife, you know, and when you live in the same household, they got a lot of ‘face of the business’ business that they have to take care of.
“Cody is in the best shape of his life. I think he’s clear-headed. He is goal-oriented. He wants to be a leader of the company. I don’t think Cody looks at himself as the face of the company, even though he is – because he has such a rapport with the fans. I just think that the sky’s the limit for this guy.”
Another man who had very high praise for Rhodes when speaking with Inside The Ropes was Diamond Dallas Page, who opened up about how close he is with Cody.
“Cody is like my nephew. When Cody won both his state championships in wrestling, in shoot wrestling, I flew back from Los Angeles for both of them.”
Hall of Famer Page would reveal how the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree regarding Dusty Rhodes living on through his son.
“Cody is one of the EVPs, but he is the Dusty Rhodes version – meaning he is the main guy with the ideas, the follow-through, the storytelling. The Bucks have a lot to do with it and so does Kenny – but they’ve never been involved, not until now, in the laying out of the show, and of course Cody has been around it since he was a kid. It gave him a big leg-up.”
Another point was that Cody Rhodes “treats legends with respect” and their close relationship is why DDP is happy to work with AEW without a contract.
“I appreciate what they do, but Cody Rhodes is my boy. If he needs me to do something. I don’t have no contract with them. Jake does, Arn does, I don’t have one. I do stuff for them because I want to, because it helps Cody. If he wants me, I’m there. If he doesn’t, I’m not. I’m no pain in the ass to him. If he needs me, I’m there. Love what he’s doing.”
DDP would also discuss Cody convincing him to have one last match in AEW.
“If it wasn’t Cody Rhodes, I never would have done anything with any other wrestling group – ever.”
DDP went on to reveal how the match came about in the first place.
“When he first talked to me about All In, I said, ‘I know I told you I wasn’t doing any more Diamond Cutters but if you need me to do it, if it comes up, if there was a spot, I’ll do it.’ He just let that simmer, and about three days before All In, He said, ‘You still want to do that Diamond Cutter?’
“I said, ‘If you want me to.’ He said, ‘I’ve got a spot.’ I was like, ‘All right.’ And then later on, we talked about me doing a match when they became AEW. I was kind of for it, then I started thinking about it, I called them back and I was like, ‘Hey, bro, I might have bitten off more than I can chew. I don’t know if I really want to do it. I feel really good right now, so maybe I won’t do it.’ I said, ‘Let’s just call it off.’ He said, ‘Yes, we’ll take it aside. Don’t worry about it. We’ll talk about it again.’ Then he asked me again at Christmas. We were talking about doing something, because I wanted to do that, if you told me, that interview, 19 years ago, that DDP would be back on TNT with a company called AEW, I’d have to say you’re smoking crack. Why would I think that? The company’s been disbanded? Who the hell is AEW?”
DDP revealed how he thinks what Cody Rhodes designed for his final match was perfect, but revealed the trust he has in the man he calls his nephew.
“If that’s the last thing I do, again, what a the way to head off into the sunset. I don’t know how we can do anything better than then. If he comes up with it, then I’ll do it. If he believed it, I’d believe it.”