There was a time when Cody Rhodes was considered by many to be All Elite Wrestling's most popular babyface. But ever since his feud with Anthony Ogogo leading up to Double or Nothing, the fan support for "The American Nightmare" has mostly evaporated. Even though he still operates like a babyface on TV and swears he'll never turn heel, crowds have consistently started booing him even when he's going up against villains like Malakai Black. Rhodes talked about those reactions while on Busted Open Radio this week.
"If you're a wrestler in the ring, you can hear and if you don't hear [reactions], you're doing yourself a disservice. You're doing the whole company a disservice, you're doing the match you're in a disservice. I can hear but I also play chess, not checkers," Rhodes said (h/t Fightful). "So I think it's fun to speculate and there's so much that we've seen in the past, "That's how this went and that's how this could go." The challenge I'm facing in the direction I'm going is something that has never been done in wrestling before. There's tons of just old plays that we could run here, 'Oh, kick this guy in the balls and abuse my EVP power.' Very soap opera bullshit. I don't mean to say that harsh, but the challenge for me now is to go in a direction that perhaps no wrestler has gone before. I don't come out of either tunnel, if that's probably the best way to put it, and I'm looking forward to it as the most fun I've ever had in my career has been navigating some of these new spaces. For example, in New York, we had 25,000 people and that reaction's a little different. Last week, I'm in the concourse doing a book drive for community outreach and it's the opposite of that reaction in Philly. That beautiful feeling of, 'Alright, these are my people,' depends [on the setting]. Some places I go, they'll be my people. Other places I go, they won't, but that's your right as the fan to do what you want."
Rhodes then compared his situation to the one Woody had in the first Toy Story movie after he was pushed to the side when Buzz Lightyear arrived.
"Woody was having a hell of a time," he added. "He was having a great time. He was getting played with every day. He was the number one toy. Buzz Lightyear shows up, Woody gets thrown in the toy box. If you're wondering how I feel, take a peek at how Woody felt in the very first Toy Story because that, to a degree, has been my role lately. However, with that said in my pettiness aside, I have been doing this since I was 15 years old and that education is invaluable in terms of me not panicking, and in terms of also me enjoying this moment. I've never had a run like this in my career where everything is happening at once personally and professionally. I want to ride the wave. I want to look back at it and enjoy it. But yes, if anyone wants to know perhaps how I feel identify with Woody from Toy Story if that makes any sense. That's where I'm at with it."