Cody Rhodes may have put an end date on his pro wrestling career, but for now he’s sure enjoying the hell out of his time on the independent circuit. In a new interview with Channel Guide Magazine, Rhodes talked about his upcoming debut at Ring of Honor, which will happen on Friday at Final Battle. Rhodes is super pumped for his ROH debut and compared and contrasted that company and WWE. It’s perhaps a bigger deal for him to compete for Ring of Honor than anyone may have expected.
“A prominent thing in wrestling is delusions of grandeur. So many times guys think they are better than they are or think they had a more significant run than perhaps they did. The last thing I wanted to be was someone who was having delusions of grandeur. I fully admit that if I had hit the road running after leaving WWE, if I had fallen flat. I would have known I would have a lot of ground to cover. I made this big stand and went on record about why I left WWE, turning down seven figures. I wrestled a few weeks ago, I’m not going to say where, but the ring literally cracked in half in the match prior to us going out there.
“This was all a big test. I’m now going to places that are just freakin’ magical like Ring of Honor Final Battle. Final Battle, I’m not lying, is bigger than what WrestleMania was to me. Maybe because I’m out there in my own skin. Maybe it’s because I have cultivated my own brand now. Maybe it’s because the best revenge in the world is success. Maybe I want to prove naysayers and WWE wrong. I found I stopped focusing on the negative, which, especially in this modern day of social media, is hard to do. I’m driven by the positive. Almost every single show we’ve done on the independent run has had a record crowd. To me, the meet-and-greets with the fans has been very rewarding.”
It’s easy to understand Rhodes’ frustrations with his creative direction in WWE over the past few years, and it must be incredibly liberating for him to be doing exactly what he wants to do for pretty much the first time in his pro wrestling career.
Rhodes will face Jay Lethal at Final Battle on Friday at 9 p.m., which you can watch on pay-per-view. We’ll see whether the two are able to blow the doors off, like they’re both hoping to do.