Between his Dashing, Damaged and Stardust personas, AEW's Cody Rhodes went through his fair share of character changes back when he was in WWE. However in a new interview this week with Dan Le Batard, Rhodes explained that he nearly had a gimmick that would've felt straight out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. According to Rhodes, right before he asked for his release from the company he went down to the WWE Performance Center to try and iron out a new persona with his famous father, Dusty Rhodes. One of his big ideas was to become a Tony Stark-esque industry genius.
"None of them got green lit, but there was one based on Tony Stark as kind of a prince in the industry, the opposite of the common man which Dusty was," Rhodes explained [h/t Wrestling Inc for transcript].
He also recalled the awkwardness of having his father try to help him produce Stardust promos, a character Rhodes has openly admitted he resented.
"Stardust, when I was doing the Stardust character, I really wanted to have a hairless cat," Rhodes said. So my poor dad, he's trying to produce this promo, and I've got this hairless cat in there in the makeup and the glitter. And he's watching his son just absurd pieces of business, but he was always really helpful. At the end, everything I flew against the wall didn't stick, which the ultimate answer of that was why don't I try being myself and see if that sells any tickets. And that's where I've been fortunate and blessed enough to have the most success."
Rhodes made his WWE debut back in 2007 and worked his way up the midcard and tag team divisions over the next nine years, capturing six tag team championships and the Intercontinental Championship twice. After requesting his release Rhodes reinvented himself on the independent scene as The American Nightmare, working for a variety of companies while winning the ROH World Championship in Ring of Honor and the IWGP United States Championship in New Japan.
While he can't challenge for the AEW World Championship due to a self-imposed stipulation, Rhodes does have a chance to hold a title in the near future when he faces Lance Archer at Double or Nothing later this month for the new AEW TNT Championship.
Check out the card for this week's AEW Dynamite below:
- Cody Rhodes vs. Joey Janela
- Matt Hardy & Kenny Omega vs. Chris Jericho & Sammy Guevara (Street Fight)
- Jon Moxley vs. Frankie Kazarian
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