When Cody Rhodes parted ways with WWE in 2016, the main catalyst was his discontent with the creative decisions, especially revolving around his Stardust persona. Seven years post-departure, Rhodes acknowledges he could've been more proactive in influencing the gimmick’s direction rather than resisting it.
Speaking on the "Dale Jr. Download" podcast, Rhodes confessed, “With Stardust, many could be blamed. Yet, as years have passed, I've begun owning up to my role in its downfall. If I had voiced concerns six months in, rather than stewing silently for two years, things might have been different."
Rhodes' Fitness Revelation
Although not a fan of the phrase "trust the process," Rhodes concedes that his younger self could have been more tenacious.
He's now aware of the critical role of an athlete’s physique in professional wrestling. "It might sound trite, but transforming your career in wrestling often means getting into peak physical shape,” emphasized Rhodes.
Elaborating on the vanity aspect of the business, he stated, "This industry thrives on aesthetics. Wrestlers, essentially semi-clad and gleaming, perform for a management that idolizes bodybuilding. When I counsel budding wrestlers, my first tip is always, 'Attain your best shape; it recalibrates your mindset.'
" Looking back, Rhodes wishes he had recognized the significance of physical presentation earlier. He believes that a well-toned physique could have made power players like Vince McMahon sit up and reconsider creative choices.
“Instead of championing for my persona as Cody Rhodes and proposing new attire, I harbored resentment, assuming my efforts would go unnoticed,” he remarked. Drawing on the what-ifs, Rhodes mused, “Imagine a ripped Stardust with a chiseled body.
I bet the WWE’s creative minds would’ve wondered, ‘What’s the plan here?’ and pivoted”. Before concluding, Rhodes dropped a bombshell about the Stardust character's evolution. "WWE once suggested a mask for Stardust.
It looked utterly ludicrous, akin to an overinflated condom. It was a disaster." After shooting down the mask idea, he shaved his head, paying tribute to his sibling, Dustin Rhodes, adding with a chuckle, "Thank heavens that mask never debuted."
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