Kevin Owens has discussed the role he played in changing the wrestling business when he put Cody Rhodes in touch with The Young Bucks back in 2016.
In 2016, Cody Rhodes left WWE for the first time and found success when he partnered up with Bullet Club and in particular The Young Bucks. Together the trio led a wave of momentum that manifested itself in the All In show in September 2018. That in turn led to the formation of All Elite Wrestling, the company which Cody Rhodes left in early 2022 before returning to WWE.
Speaking on WWE After the Bell with Corey Graves Kevin Owens has discussed Rhodes leaving WWE the first time around and says the guidance he gave The American Nightmare was to put him in touch with The Young Bucks:
“I’ve told him this before but I’m so proud of Cody. When he was here, he and I got close pretty quickly and then he left and that really sucked for me because I felt like I was really losing [a friend]. I have people in this business that are really more like brothers to me than friends, it’s not everybody but there are a few people out there that I consider more like family. Cody is one of them, so when he left, it was a blow to me.”
“Cause I figured, look, we’re going to be so busy, we’re barely going to see each other, which is true, we saw each other once, maybe twice the whole time he was gone. When he was going out on his own, he was doing it because he felt this was best for him. He didn’t feel like he was being given the chance to be what he could be in WWE, so he decided to bet on himself and leave.”
“And the only thing I did, he asked me for some sort of guidance because he had never been on the independent scene before, and I gave him The Young Bucks’ numbers and I told them ‘can you guys take care of this guy?’ And look what happened. They really changed the industry, they did, there’s no denying it. Cody went out and did that, he didn’t do it himself, he had a lot of help and a lot of people but he was an integral part of that.”
Kevin Owens adds that he believes a return to WWE where he made his name but didn’t achieve the level of success he might have hoped for was always Cody Rhodes’ ultimate goal:
“Then he came back here, which I don’t know about as much, but I think that was always his ultimate goal. As he was doing it, as things were progressing, his mindset might have changed at some point and seen himself coming back at some point because he was doing so well.”