Cody Rhodes is set to challenge Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship in less than two months in the main event of WrestleMania 39.
During a recent appearance on the After the Bell with Corey Graves podcast, Rhodes addressed his late father Dusty Rhodes, and why his title clash at WrestleMania will be a form of vindication for him. It is to be noted that Dusty never won the Royal Rumble nor did he ever manage to lay his claim on the prestigious WWE/WWF World Championship.
You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:
On reading hurtful things about Dusty growing up: “I’ll shoot straight with you. As a kid, I saw a lot of the things that were written about my dad after his career. And he never swat them, because he had been to the top, right? He had tasted it. Dusty was one of the biggest stars in the history of the business, and top five most in terms of — currently still, I’d say inspirational [stars]. The footprint of what he left behind is something. But as a kid reading some of these things, these are professional outlets that would call him a fat slob and stuff.
“As a kid, again he didn’t sweat it. And I wish I had spoke to him about it, but I sweat it. I took it personally. And my sister to this day, it’s like Game of Thrones. That’s how we felt as a family, this forgotten wrestling family. My sister to this day, Teal, she doesn’t make peace with those people. She’s got her list and they’re on it, and if she sees them, she’s going for the jugular. For me, when he passed, a lot of those people did change their tune and a lot of things were corrected.”
On how he deals with those feelings: But to me, I still look for — I would say in the simplest of terms, revenge. And part of revenge, the best part of it. The best way to really get revenge and vindicate and avenge somebody like a Dusty Rhodes from things that didn’t even bother him, is success. That’s really it. You can call someone else names back, you can bring up the past, or you can actually be as kind as possible to those people but just make sure they know you’re gonna run up the damn score. You’re gonna run it up, and you’re gonna make sure when my daughter puts her name down somewhere, when Kellen and Maris, and Dylan and Dalton and Dakota do the same, that they know the Rhodes were at the top of their field and good people.”
On making his title win about his first name and not his last: “I think there’s a lot of people who will look at this situation — you know, ‘Finish the story.’ And we’re talking about Dusty Rhodes, 1978, holding the championship, the crowd thinking he won it, and then it being stripped away. And that being my first dream in the business to just win this title, win it and let him know I have it, right? But circumstances have changed. That interaction can’t happen but nonetheless, it’s a discredit to my story to just make it about if he was here.
“A lot of people hit me with the ‘if he was here’ but don’t know him. Corey [Graves] knew him. If he was here, he wouldn’t even want me to be saying his name. He would be, ‘It’s you, it’s you.’ And I do get it. Fathers and sons are important stories to tell, and that’s why I do bring it forward. But at the end of the day, whoever’s standing tall at WrestleMania, it’s either Roman Reigns or… it’s Cody Rhodes. That’s who’s in the ring, that’s who’s standing tall. That’s who’s taking the spot. That’s who’s the quarterback and that’s who’s moving forward. And all the family, all the bloodline — his and mine — all of that is tuned out for that moment. It’s your face and it’s yours. And that’s why I thought it was important to remind folks. It’s a complicated story here, his and mine. Dusty’s, mine, Roman’s his family’s — very complicated and a lot of emotions.”
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