Cody Rhodes revealed that he regrets “almost everything” about a controversial angle between himself and Anthony Ogogo.
Current AEW TNT Champion Cody Rhodes faced off against Nightmare Factory member Anthony Ogogo in May of 2021. Taking on his father’s moniker of the American Dream, Rhodes confronted the British former boxing star after Ogogo had run down the United States while proudly waving the Union flag of the UK.
During his impassioned promo, Cody Rhodes pointed to some of the issues in the US including racism. The grandson of a plumber talked about his wife and his soon-to-arrive daughter as he discussed how far the country had come over several decades.
However, his promo was polarizing among fans, with some accusing him of “mansplaining racism.”
In a recent interview with Brandon Walker on the Barstool Rasslin’ podcast, Cody Rhodes now says he regrets “almost everything” about the way that program went.
“I can, on record, just go ahead and say [that] I regret almost everything about the Anthony Ogogo angle. Almost everything about it. I’m good now and comfortable now. Anthony is a former Olympian, he’s definitely someone who’s a developmental talent who’s going to be — We’re training him and we recruited him and we’re bringing him up through the ranks.”
Rhodes went on to admit that while his intentions were good and he stands by what he said, he now understands why his promo may not have been well received by everyone.
“What ultimately — I’ve never gone on record saying this, but this is the perfect time. I stood by what I said in the promo. I stood by it because I thought the content was good and I thought the intentions were good. However, a white guy talking about race relations, who has an American flag tattoo on his neck, I can see why people would use the terms ‘tone-deaf’ when it came to that.
“Then trying to defend it and all — Just again, intentions were good and sincere and I was so excited about Brandi and the baby but it just — That should have just been one where I went out and almost just winged it.”
Cody Rhodes further explained that he tends to workshop and plan everything he does in wrestling, and that he worked particularly hard on that promo, which makes it even more devastating that it didn’t hit the mark.
“Everything in wrestling I work really, really, really hard on. So you hear about Randy Savage, how he is about his matches and his promos — There are wrestlers who tend to be more like Randy in terms of their preparation, and then there are wrestlers who are more like my dad who are just cutting a promo on the produce at the grocery store and it’s better than most stuff you’ll hear on television.
“I tend to be more of the big-time thinker, planner, workshop, all that stuff, and I worked on that one really hard. That’s what made it even more like, ‘Damn, every now and then you’re going to come up to the plate and strike out.’ I overplanned it and struck out.”
While Rhodes stands by the actual content of the promo, he realizes that it wasn’t successful in setting up the classic angle he’d intended, and says he’d rather leave the story in the past rather than revisiting it.
“Although I stand by it. I don’t have any problem with the content, but once that had happened, it set the angle in a way that Anthony, as far as wrestling age is concerned, he’s like 18, he’s a baby. He doesn’t know what’s going on. It set the angle in a tailspin where it just wasn’t a classic, USA vs. UK, fun-spirited deal.
“I was going to go over to the UK and have the return match. Now I just never want to think about it again.”