Cody Rhodes returned to the WWE after over seven years at WrestleMania 38. He fought Seth Rollins that night, and he spoke about not signing his original WWE release papers back in 2015. Cody Rhodes went on to wrestle for various indie promotions before forming All Elite Wrestling with Tony Khan.
Cody Rhodes left the WWE as he was not happy with how the WWE Creative Team. He stated that he didn’t like the Stardust character that WWE gave to him.
Cody Rhodes Reveals that He Never Actually Signed His WWE Release Papers Back in 2015
Many people believed that Cody Rhodes would stay as Executive Vice President for AEW for many years to come.
However, that was not the case. After failing to negotiate a new AEW contract with Tony Khan, Cody left AEW with his wife and returned to the WWE as ‘The American Nightmare’. On the Broken Skull Sessions, Cody recalled that he didn’t sign his original release papers.
“I didn’t even sign my release papers. I didn’t care, I worked for you [WWE] for 10, wonderful, beautiful years, I met my wife here, I had this great run with my brother here, I got to work with my heroes in the business and it can’t end this way for me.
So, I’m moving on…no hard feelings, which was the best possible thing I could’ve done at the time. There was no way out of this [points at photo of Stardust], I was so embarrassed. I’ve talked about the good parts about Stardust and I did mean that but I had to do appearances in full gimmick and people would say it’s the commitment.
No, it’s the fact that I can’t bring myself to be Cody Rhodes and tell them that I’m also Stardust. It’s the sad cloud thing but there was no other way out other than the nuclear option, which is what I did and I am so glad I did it and if it pissed anyone off or it affected anyone adversely, I do apologize, I don’t think it did and we’re all here now”.
Cody Rhodes remembered being a major part of NJPW, and ROH. He eventually led The Bullet Club which he recalled that he felt will lead to something much bigger. “When I went to New Japan, I was slowly started to carve out The American Nightmare identity, but they specifically wanted to have that connection to The American Nightmare, because Dusty [Rhodes] was The American Dream’.
Their audience, who doesn’t watch a lot of American wrestling, even though we think they do…their audience needed to be educated, ‘OK, who is he?’ and they’d have clips of Dusty in the 70s and the 90s, ya know, The American Dream and now his son is The American Nightmare.
I remember Gedo and Rocky Romero asking me about the Bullet Club and I thought no way, it doesn’t work for me because I like stories and I’m a different type of cat. But I like a challenge, I remember talking to everybody and Zack Ryder, Matt Cardona was like ‘you gotta do it, it’s out of your comfort zone, yeah, but you gotta do it!’.