"I always though of it as filling the block. As in an entitled -- or as a plucky underdog, second gin. So I'd fill that block. Then the entitled, bratty legacy. I filled that block. So I always thought they built on top of one another, I never really felt like I was starting from square one because I was taking like -- I was one of the last guys who got the opportunity to wrestle Shawn, Taker, Triple H, on a regular basis. So I wanted to take what I got from them, and build and build. I thought that's how it worked. Especially when you start at 19-years-old, debut on television at 20, I had no choice but to grow up in front of em. I was definitely not good to go, guys from NXT and they're good to go. Equity is built in them and they're 100 percent the character they're gonna be. I grew up on the television set -- I loved it, I never thought like 'uh oh, I gotta be someone new.' It kind of gradually flowed into that, and I'm such a fan of -- this is silly, I feel like he's not a wrestler but Daniel Day Lewis is my wrestler if that makes any sense. I think that's a good sign of somebody who's learning as they go and has the ability to paint new faces. I love when I see pictures of everything I've done in WWE and to see they're all different. And to see that none of them are me in pokadotted trunks with beach blonde hair, just doing an imitation. Instead they were all my best pieces of work, and I was real proud of all that."
The possible Stardust vs. Goldust match at Wrestlemania that never happened:
"Not in the slightest. So, it was never gonna happen, it was never slated to happen. I always get this question asked so much that I'm like 'Man, I feel like people don't believe me.' It was never going to happen, however, I would have been open to it but it was never on the particular docket -- to do Stardust vs. Goldust or do Cody Rhodes vs. Goldust at a Wrestlemania. I'm not disappointed -- here's how this worked, people who met Dusty, he was the most charismatic, larger than life presence that literally in this room would be glowing. Then you meet Dustin, Goldust, he's the nicest human being you've ever met and his ability to go to a more bizarre place. When people meet me, I'm more of the dick of the family if that makes any sense. I'm rather cold, I'm not like -- all the camera men when they first met me were like 'Dude, he didn't even introduce himself.' Yeah, so like we're so different. I think Dustin particularly wanted that match a lot when he was off WWE television and then once he got on it I think it was something that didn't appeal to him anymore. We had that bad match, and we had a lot of good matches that nobody ever saw in the live events, but it's probably not the last time you'll see us wrestle. He's never gonna stop."
Why the Stardust character didn't work:
"I think the big issue was -- wrestling is the one thing that always gives you a payoff. I prefer wrestling vs. the mixed martial arts of today, and people are allowed to love whatever, but pro wrestling you always get, at least one in the night, desired result. It makes you feel good. The problem was we were getting the 'Cody' chants, and the character of Stardust is having all this issue with them but I knew we weren't going to pay it off. This can't last forever and I wanted to capitalize when we could. Then when my dad passed away people went through that, he was their dad too to some people if that makes any sense. That's the last thing you want to do is see someone in the ring, and know that I was going through a rough time. In hindsight, not so much WWE's fault, more my fault that I came back at all. I wasn't really to come back, I knew that we were coming to SummerSlam and I really wanted to make the Stardust-Arrow stuff happen. But I wasn't ready to come back, I wasn't ready to come back as Cody Rhodes or Stardust. Then subsequently it turned out to be a good thing because it put me in the position today to say 'Nope, I need something else, I need to find something else.' We've traveled the whole country trying to look for it and that's what we're here doing today."
If Cody Rhodes is going to go Hollywood after his Arrow appearance:
"Yeah, actually yes. I don't know how much, but I actually got a place in LA and I wanted to give it my full attention after the Arrow episode. Wrestling is not going anywhere, I could never not be a wrestler, but I would definitely like to explore the creative element behind the big screen, the little screen, and see if I'm able to offer something to it."
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