May 15, 2010
Cody Rhodes: 'I need to evolve'
By TIM BAINES - Ottawa Sun
There'll be no silver spoon treatment for Cody Rhodes.
The WWE superstar, recently drafted onto the Smackdown roster, says he's not looking to rest on the laurels of his famous father, "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes.
Quite the opposite, in fact.
"(Being a second-generation wrestler) can be incredibly easy or incredibly difficult. I didn't want to be my dad," says Cody. "I don't want to be Dusty Rhodes Jr. I want to be Cody Rhodes."
Rhodes says the opportunity to wrestle on Smackdown is just what he needed.
"It was a bit of a surprise," he says. "When they do the draft, they group us all in this little cell. You never know what's going on. So what you get is a genuine reaction. It changes your schedule, but it keeps you from getting stale.
"RAW was more of a variety show. Smackdown is more of a wrestling-based show. That's my area. It gives me a chance to showcase myself. I feel I'll do really well between the ropes.
"I think things are going to be changing for me along with the brand change. As a fan, I like to see the talent evolve and I need to evolve.
"I really wasn't a character on RAW. It was 'here we have our second- and third-generation superstars.' Now, fans will have the opportunity to see who Cody Rhodes is."
While Rhodes often takes heat from the fans, he's also been on the other end of it.
"It's funny, in the Mexican tour, I received some very positive reactions. What's happening with Randy Orton now (with fans cheering him) is happening across the board. It's not as phony as you may be led to believe. Wrestling is not black and white anymore. It's very grey. Fans will decide who they like and who they don't like on their own.
"I don't mind taking what's given and running with it. My whole thing is I just want them to be the loudest for the longest (when I'm out there). Then I know that me and whoever my opponent is have done our jobs."
He believes he is capable of rising to the top of the Smackdown ranks.
"Smackdown is like a varsity team with a lot of talented freshmen," he says.
"Somebody like Christian was a star of the 1990s, but I don't think he can have an impact like guys like Dolph Ziggler, Kofi Kingston and myself. Vince (McMahon) believes in a survival of the fittest mentality."
He enjoyed his Legacy time with Randy Orton and Ted DiBiase Jr., but says it was natural to move on to something different.
The point was to introduce us, as The Legacy, the same as when Randy Orton and Batista were brought in with Evolution. I don't think it'd be totally bizarre if three, five or seven years down the road from now, you saw a Wrestlemania match with me and on the other side, Ted DiBiase."
Until then, he wants to keep learning, keep getting better.
"There are those who might say they know it all, but there are those like Shawn Michaels who was learning right up until he retired," says Rhodes. "That's the template I'd like to follow."
It's a good template, a good path, for sure.
WWE IN CANADA
The wrestling really heats up this weekend in Canada. A RAW live event on Saturday at the K Rock Centre in Kingston (7:30 start) features John Cena and Randy Orton vs. Sheamus and Ted DiBiase. A 5 p.m. show Sunday at the Labatt Centre in London is supposed to feature the same main event. Bret Hart vs. The Miz will be featured on Monday's live RAW TV event in Toronto (8:15 start). Drew McIntyre vs. The Big Show is among the matches scheduled for Tuesday's Smackdown/NXT TV taping in Ottawa (6:45 start). There are also Smackdown live events in Halifax on Saturday and both Moncton and Saint John on Sunday.
Tim Baines is the Sports Editor for the Ottawa Sun and can be emailed at Tim.email@example.com.