Martin Hines recently interviewed Cody Rhodes for Metro. Below are a few highlights:
Your personality has really shined on the independent circuit, whereas in WWE it felt like sometimes you were stuck in a vacuum at times. What could have WWE done better for your character?
"I honestly think the more time I spend away from WWE the less it was WWE's fault and the more it was my inability to go with my guts. There would have been a big difference if I had done that. And that would have meant saying no to a writer or correcting a few folks and maybe ruffling some feathers and stepping on some toes, but I can't think of anything more important for a wrestler than to go with his gut.
"Specifically in backstage segments and in interviews, no matter what, if you're not feeling it, you can't say it. There was only a couple of incidents in my WWE career where what I said on the microphone was all me, and they were my most successful. It's not a knock on WWE creative at all, they're there to guide you and give you the bullet points of where it may be going, but they can't script it. You can't script wrestling."
Did you ever speak up? The stories go that if you complain in WWE you get punished.
"I don't recall at any point ever being punished for anything like that, but I do recall that when I did speak up for myself from time to time it didn't make a difference. Essentially the answer I would get was thanks but no thanks. I think I developed a reputation as a complainer and that's hard to escape. You don't want to be a complainer, you want to be someone who says 'I don't like this but here's my alternative.'
"I don't know, maybe because I'm Dusty's kid and I have a creative mindset that he gifted me a little of, almost every idea I ever got I thought I wanted to do something different. I've told a couple of people this but I feel that I wish I'd played dumb a little bit more and just have fun and do what they say. My relationship with the creative team might have been better, because essentially if you're telling them every week you want to do something else instead, you're telling them they're not good at their jobs. Nobody wants to hear that."
People still have many complaints about WWE's creativity – or more accurately, the lack of it. Where does the buck stop with this? Who should they be complaining to?
"WWE is so powerful in terms of their world presence and the talent they have on board, so I think what's going to happen at some point is that they're going to restructure all of this. There are some guys in WWE, Vince McMahon, Triple H, Michael Hayes, Arn Anderson and Mike Rotunda included, who should be writers but instead are producers. I would hope at some point they will consolidate all of that, because if you were to get some of these megaminds in a room, you could write out two years worth of TV and stick to the plan.
"Wrestling is not an episodic TV show. If you were to come into my office and say 'hey I wrote 20 episodes of Friends and I want to be a WWE writer', I'd say 'that's great but do you know who Lou Thesz is? Do you know who Bruno Sammartino is? Do you like wrestling?' You'd be surprised at how many would say they'd never watched wrestling. That blows my mind, and if you were to shift the power to some of the greats in our business, you'd have a big difference."
Cody also discussed how life has changed since winning the ROH World Championship, his success on the independent scene, wrestling Okada in Long Beach and more. You can read the full interview by clicking here.