Source: The LAW
"Yeah, I think that word independent contractor is so unique and I know people have examined it as it relates to WWE a lot but it's nice to see it honest, the word independent contractor. I don't want to go into anybody's house and wreck shop or anything like that. I only want to make their product better and maybe their product will make me better so it is really – to be able to go anywhere and represent various brands, to see an independent contractor actually be honest is a huge kick".
Making your own schedule:
"That is the moment they don't tell you about, I'm going to hit various indies up and I'm going to do this whole post-WWE tour. That's the part people don't tell you, you're going to be in charge of promotion, you're going to be in charge of so much that's involved. You're basically saying you're your own brand and it actually takes true meaning when you are in control of everything like the simplest things like what photos, what merch you had and what the graphics are going to look like and how you are going to go about promoting the shows. I get the biggest kick out of that because my dad was a promoter. I mean, he was a wrestler too obviously but he was a promoter and the big events and the sizzle behind the substance was one of the things he was really good at doing in acquiring and the cross promotion and all that so for me to take a stab at it, I don't know if you can tell in my voice but has really been the happiest time of my life and I'm glad it's going successfully."
Getting to showcase talents outside of WWE, limitations of Stardust character:
"Yeah, I think one of the things that was so disappointing for me at the end of the time in WWE was simply that people had forgot what I was doing prior to Stardust because yeah, Stardust had its purpose and such but I was doing all this wonderful stuff as Cody Rhodes, specifically on the Smackdown brand years before and even when I tagged with Dustin when it started to kind of dwindle down. Even then I was able to showcase and I was able to put out so when wrestling is a really fickle animal, it's very much what have you done for me lately and because of the position I was in, I hadn't done much lately. So, for people to forget for new audience members, for kids who were coming to WWE to not know, that sucked. That just sucked. The hardcore fans, they're there for you and they remember but man, if you're a kid, to not know who Cody is but to know who Stardust is was one of those moments where I was like okay, we need to change the course of this ship, we need to change the direction. There are times where I really enjoyed doing Stardust but more particularly for the reason I'm telling you than if Stardust was going to re-write my history, then that was definitely not my plan and that's why it's cool to go on my own terms and try to fix a little bit of it."
"Whenever you get to paint your face or wear a mask or be a bit more of a colorful entity on television, that's fun. Yeah, all the stuff that leads up to it might be stressful, all that backlog I just gave you about my mental state, that can be stressful. However, when you're out there that's performance, that's not stressful, that's your moment in the sun. So, as Stardust, as Cody, as whomever, whenever you're in the ring it's still always great, whenever your music hits and from bell to bell, it really still and should always be for any wrestler still great. There's plenty of times I enjoyed Stardust."
Going to TNA:
"I really wanted to get certain things done like we're talking about on the list and a couple of guys are TNA stars that were on the list, Mike Bennett, Moose particularly. So, it was a matter of both parties came together at the same time and I was really happy to do that because you see so much negativity about TNA which is unrelated to the in-ring product, it's related to the business element. Who's suing who and who owns what and I don't really give a damn, there are still a lot of really great wrestlers. Some who are ex-WWE, some who are WWE bound, some worldwide stars and I was happy. My experience there was gleaming from the moment I went to Nashville to film my bumper, my teaser for coming to the last taping I was part of. It was very much a first class operation so whatever goes on behind the scenes must be a madhouse because I didn't see any of that, I had really great interactions with both Billy and Dixie and was really happy to be there. It was short-term but because of the tapings they do, really everything is short term until the next set of tapings. If the ship continues to sail in the direction it was sailing when I was there, there's no doubt I'll be back and be happy as hell to be back."
Concerns over the state of TNA:
"This is going to sound like such a stiff upper-lip answer but I'm not doing it for the money. You should never do anything you feel good at for free and I am certainly will expect to be paid but it doesn't – this wasn't for the money, this was more for the fun. This was more for the fact that I had seen Impact on Pop sitting at home and I thought, man this is a wonderful production here. It's always better to be on TV than not be on TV so it doesn't worry me really at all. If any of the information was given to me as it comes about what's going on day to day, it might stress me a little bit but I have kind of been going on a handshake deal from place to place and my experience, like I said with them was totally gleaming. Billy, thumbs up, Dixie, thumbs up so it doesn't worry me."
Returning to WWE eventually:
"I don't know, I don't think the door to WWE ever closes. I'm always been told that the revolving door – you know, it's a tricky question because there were a lot of genuinely large issues for me personally that it would be hypocritical for me to just go back, they would need to be fixed. We don't have to get into all of those but that's something I've wrestled with, whenever somebody, anybody says would you ever go back – the fans dictate what we do to begin with so if the fans wanted me back, that's not something I would not consider but I made all my decisions and they were really tough decisions for the reasons given so the last thing you want to do is be a huge hypocrite and show back up unless there was a damn good reason. With that said, there's plenty of good reasons. They do a really good job of honouring my father and it is strange, kind of like how we began the conversation, it is strange to be on the outside of that. It's not just strange for me, it's strange for them. Believe me, there's various texts back and forth about it, that's why there's no reason to say anything negative right now about my name because this month, I look at it like this is about my dad, the tag tournament and these youngsters, they're not youngsters, some of them might be older than me. These NXT talent, these stars going for the Dusty Classic and that's what needs to take the focus. That's kind of why I have been hush-hush about the name."
"I told them Truth can hand out the trophy this year – no I didn't (laughs). I think this year is probably a really tough sell but I definitely don't want people to think that's because I don't love my dad more than anything on earth. I think this year I will probably hand over my responsibilities as such to Dustin and maybe his daughter Dakota. They currently have a lot better of a situation with themselves in WWE than myself but again, that night has nothing to do with me or WWE, really. It has everything to do with young guys getting their shot and Dusty Rhodes in general so I don't know. I haven't been reached out to yet so if I was, I definitely would not just flat out say no."
Check out the full interview with Cody at this link.