In a memorable and sensational segment on this week’s episode of Monday Night RAW, Cody Rhodes and Paul Heyman were reportedly given the freedom to compose their own promos. The American Nightmare mentioned his late father and WWE Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes during the epic promo battle.
Speaking to Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, Rhodes revealed his personal rule when it comes to referencing his father Dusty in promos.
You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:
On his own internal guidelines about referencing Dusty: “One thing that’s burnt into my brain is, I forget if it was Eddie Guerrero — I was watching WWE with my dad, and he told me, ‘When people say, ‘He would have loved this,’ don’t ever let anyone say that about me.’ That’s burned into my brain. There’s a rule. It’s my rule. It’s not a big, serious rule. If you don’t know Dusty, like if he didn’t train you in NXT, if he didn’t work with you, if you’re going for some cheap heat. You can’t use him. He’s not coming out here making the bionic elbow. He’s not with us, right? In the case of what I’m doing now, I’m playing on the other team, and it’s like, my dad is the head coach of the other team. Bayley, Kevin [Owens], Sami [Zayn], Seth [Rollins], particularly Seth, Roman [Reigns], all these people he helped. He didn’t train me. Paul’s not lying.
“I know, there’s kind of this fun [narrative of] ‘Cody’s always crying. He’s always talking about his dad.’ There’s probably going to be a lot of that because I think about him so much heading into this situation solely because I think he was one of the few people who thought this could happen to me. He would lose it if he knew I was wrestling Roman, one of his guys; in Hollywood, a place where he wanted me to be in the first place,” Cody added.
On second and third-generation wrestlers on the WWE roster: “The big secret, which is not a secret, because I’ve said this in every interview, is when you’re a second generation, third generation, whatever. You do want to be like them, sure, but you want to be better than them. When you say that, people are like, “How do you be better than Dusty? What a dick.’ No, it’s how you honor him. If you’re a second or third-generation, nepo babies, or whatever we’re called. The door is wide open. You can come in, you get the job, and then you’re held to the most ridiculous standard. Now we’ve got some major [second generation talent,] Dominik [Mysterio], Ava [Raine], Charlotte [Flair]; not knocking other fathers and mothers or anything like that, but we’re dealing with some of the heaviest hitters. I consider Dusty that. Again, I think he would get such a big kick out of it.”
On his promo with Paul Heyman on Raw: “Mr. Heyman said the exact thing that — I don’t think he knew I needed to hear this, but I heard it. He said it’s not about him [Dusty Rhodes]. Bruce Prichard told me that, too. He said, ‘Nobody loves your dad more than me, but this is about you. That Nightmare logo isn’t polka dots. All these kids with these little foam white belts? That’s not red, white, and blue Dusty Rhodes tour shirts. They’re into you.’ That’s an interesting thing to hear, right? You want it. You want it. You want it. Then, you’re like, ‘Maybe I’m getting there. I just think that he would get a huge kick out of all his hand prints all over everything with WrestleMania. He’s still giving to the business, even from the grave.”
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