Recently, Cody Rhodes was interviewed by Brian Soscia and discussed a number of interesting topics. The discussion included; the white Intercontinental title, Bob Holly, wearing the protective mask and much more. Here are some of the highlights:
On former tag team partner Bob "Hardcore" Holly and how Holly handled Rhodes' nose ring: "He did not take my under his wing, necessarily, but he did make attempts to teach me things. One thing he was helpful with -- where I had never been helped -- was in the arena of lifting, training and getting bigger. My dad was not a body guy and I didn't have a lot of people/mentors who were helpful in that capacity of sports-entertainment. So, that's one thing I did pick up from Bob.
"Obviously, the one thing that anybody who's been in the ring across from Bob or anyone who's in the same corner as him (learns is that) that's a man and you've got to learn to be a man yourself. So, there are things I learned to do and things I learned not to do from Bob Holly. And I stole his patented finisher and I still call it the Alabama Slam with every bit of spite.
"... Actually, he didn't notice I had a nose ring. Most people didn't notice until about a year into my career. It was small. I had people from the production side of WWE say, 'What's that?' You'd think they were joking and just picking on you but they weren't. They genuinely couldn't figure it out. So, he never rode me about it. Bob Holly never really rode me about anything."
On his ring gear and why he took so long to wear knee pads: "I got a lot of elements to steal from in terms of ring gear. I had some hand-me-down Austin Hall boots which -- gosh -- I wish I could still wear. Those were the cowboy boots that had the flat sole that everybody in the 1980's was wearing. Those were probably my favorite piece of hand-me-down.
"But, I grew up watching wrestling when it was about the pageantry. The gear was just as important as the moves you could do. That's one of my favorite parts of this job: Getting with those seamstresses and mapping out what I want.
"... I just try to do everything I can to differentiate the way I look and the way I come off on television. I try to differentiate it from my father. I saw this picture of 'Nature Boy' Buddy Rogers and I just thought that he looked so classy and elegant.
"He had the trunks that were like a quarter of an inch higher than everyone else is wearing today -- maybe an inch higher. He had the boots with the socks sticking out a little bit and no knee pads. And I thought there was a gritty, tough element that was in that photo that I kind of wanted to steal. But the trip is that it just bugged people.
"I had people yelling at me leaving the building, 'Put on knee pads!' It just bugged people. If you get under people's skin, that's a good thing. But that doesn't seem like that money-making way to get under their skin. And, the more moonsaults I kept doing -- a la The Great Muta -- I didn't want to end up not being able to walk 'cause I was putting a lot of pressure on my knees. So, I switched."
On bringing back the white leather Intercontinental title: "It was 100% my idea. It took a great deal of selling, it took a great deal of pestering. But, there's this vocal minority of wrestling fans but the truth is, they're becoming less and less the minority.
"I wasn't even the biggest WWF fan growing up or WWE fan later on. I was from a WCW family and I just tended to watch more WCW. But, even so, the Intercontinental title that I saw, that sold out Wembley Stadium, that the Ultimate Warrior, Mr. Perfect and Texas Tornado, Rick Rude -- all those guys are tens. Why wouldn't I want to wear that title?
"And, the other one was ugly as sin. I wanted it so bad and with Shawn Michaels being my hero growing up, I know he got pissed that I used the white one. But, I did it as more of a homage than anything."
On having to wear his protective mask and the benefits it provided: "Honestly, I learned the commitment from masked Cody Rhodes. The commitment I had to that mask was probably where I learned more about myself than anywhere else in my career. I felt more like myself under that mask.
"I was telling someone else this the other day. When the mask was removed, I felt like Master Chief. I felt like something was wrong with my face. This was real. My face was all un-tanned because I'd been wearing the mask so long. It was such an Edge to me to have that mask and it saved my life, actually, to have that mask.
"The very last night I had it, Randy Orton kicked me so hard in what was supposed to be an unbreakable, Dr. Murray designed -- the same doctor that made Kobe (Bryant) and Rip Hamilton's mask -- it was supposed to be unbreakable but it had a huge beak on it because it was for a broken nose.
"He cracked it straight down the middle. Had I not been wearing that mask, I might be dead. I mean it -- he kicked me so hard and that was the last night I had it.
On the best advice he ever got in the business: "Shawn Michaels once told me that getting over is a full time job. That was around the time in my life that I realized that you can ride the middle and have a fun life. Meet chicks, make a little money and think you're a celebrity. Or, you can put in seven days a week. There are little moments here and there for yourself, but -- seven days a week.
"I love this job. I guarantee you that I'm going to make it to the top of this job because I don't think many people here do that anymore. There's actually very few. So, that was the best advice I ever got."
To check out the entire interview, click here.
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