Cody Rhodes recently spoke with the Toledo Free Press about growing up as Dusty Rhodes' kid, his career and more. Check out the highlights:
On growing up with Dusty as a dad: "For me, I didn't really pick up on the fact that he was, like, Dusty Rhodes, until about the time that I was in middle school. For me, he was always just dad. He was retired, not really as heavily involved. We got outside of the suburbs a little bit, and through other friends of mine's parents I figured out how much that he'd done in the wrestling industry. I'd been to a lot of shows where he was a prominent figure, but I didn't know how much he had done, especially in the late '80s."
On how much of a wrestling fan he was as a kid: "I was a fan, but I don't think I knew how much of a fan I was."
On his decision to become a wrestler when he was a teen: "It was hard for my mother to take, because I never explored the options of doing anything else. It was just like it was set in stone. I think that's what made it worse for even her — she couldn't even say anything to change my mind."
On starting out as a referee in Turnbuckle Championship Wrestling: "For me, it was just as exciting as being the one wrestling. The referee has a lot of control that I don't think a lot of people realize in the ring. And I got the same rush performing as I did as a referee, especially as a teen."
On working in OVW: "I also got a very firm grasp on how big of a fan I was. I was told when I was going to Louisville that you're gonna eat, sleep and breathe wrestling. And I thought I'd have some outside interests. And from the time I entered, I never had any outside interests. When we weren't at [training], we were at somebody's apartment, watching WWE 24/7. And when we weren't there, we were eating, and I was learning about diet and training — that was something I never had any access to. My dad was not a body guy. And in this day and age, when a company has evolved to where a lot of the specimens you see on TV are carved from stone, that was all new to me."
On learning from John Cena: "I spent a year driving Cena around when I was on the Raw brand. The goal was to learn a lot about him, what he does in the ring, how he has gotten where he has gotten, but also to learn a lot about merchandising and marketing, pretty much all the things he does. And I'd say I learned a great deal on what it takes outside of the ring. He's noted as being one of the most hard-working people in entertainment, and he is. If you want his job, you have to work as hard as he does. And it is much easier said than done."