Cody Rhodes has discussed hearing from Triple H recently, as well as calling The Game “probably his favourite wrestler” and someone that reminds him of his father, Dusty Rhodes.
The first-ever TNT Champion was speaking to Inside The Ropes’ very own Kenny McIntosh for issue 11 of Inside The Ropes magazine, where he discussed his admiration for Triple H and smashing that throne at Double Or Nothing.
Going back to the match with Dustin for a moment: the sledgehammer spot during your entrance is so iconic. It was very reminiscent of the Monday Night Wars, where there used to be a lot of jabs back and forth between the WWF and WCW that people used to really love.
ITR: Obviously, you knew what you were doing with that spot, but was it something you just wanted to have a bit of fun with to get people talking, or was there something else behind it?
I think I wanted to make a statement on what we were doing, and I think what we did was clearly the biggest statement we could make. Afterwards, you know, I get really long-winded. Sometimes I say the wrong thing and, in this executive role, I’ve put my foot in my mouth so many times, whereas when I was a talent I could get away with it. Talents can lie. Talents can exaggerate. When you’re any type of management, you’re held accountable, which is a lesson for me to learn.
Cody Rhodes then discussed seeing Triple H as a role model and someone that reminded Rhodes of someone very close to home:
So I don’t know if I should share this, but, at some point, it’s going to come off my chest: Triple H is probably my favourite wrestler and was a role model. I only watched from a distance, but he reminded me a lot of my dad in the sense that I watched him do all the work, be this executive, and then go out there—and he was only part-time for the most part other than when I first started and had that run with him and Teddy and Shawn. He really was a model in terms of, “OK, you can do both, you can do both, but you have to be really disciplined. You have to take it really seriously.” And that doesn’t get you many friends when you’re the Hermione Granger of the company, and you just take it so seriously and are just a little bookworm.
For Rhodes, he looks at the controversial moment as trash talk, which is commonplace in the wrestling world. The AEW EVP touched on his belief that NXT was positioned to counter programme AEW Dynamite to split the wrestling audience on Wednesday night’s and said he wasn’t ready to take that lying down:
But, yeah, I wanted to be clear what we were doing. You mentioned the barbs back and forth—that’s part of what we do. Trash talk is part of what we do, but also when they counter-programmed us for no reason other than to split our audience, I didn’t want to meet that in a cowardly fashion. I wanted to flat out say, “OK, well, great. Our show is still going to be better and as crazy as this is, we’re going to win. So if you want to have this moment in time on Wednesday nights where we put all eyes on wrestling, we’re going to win.”
I don’t want to go into any battle with the idea that we’re going to lose. I’m face-forward in the company on so many things, so I wanted to go in and let them know I am willing to fight. I am willing to openly smash this iconic symbol, and what it stood for and stands for to some fans. Yeah, there’s so much to that moment. That may be my favourite moment. The match was one thing, but that was something that . . . I hear this a lot in wrestling school and it blows my mind. People will be like, “Well, the match . . .” They talk about matches with the sound off. “Like, well, it’s different with the sound off.” That’s ridiculous. Wrestling never has the sound off.
So I never, ever will regret that moment because when I turned to head back up the ramp, everybody in the building knew what we were about to do and everybody wanted us to do it, and we did it, and we wanted to make a statement. So that was a statement.
Cody Rhodes then said that he didn’t hear from Triple H after the moment at Double Or Nothing in 2019 but he did hear from The Game more recently.
No, he did not. He did congratulate me on my baby. And no one knows! Because he’s got, like, a hundred girls, I think. That was very nice of him.
Cody and Brandi Rhodes welcomed their daughter Liberty Iris Runnels into the world in June. Triple H has three daughters of his own with his wife and WWE Chief Brand Officer, Stephanie McMahon.