Exclusive: Rhodes family reacts to Cody's firing
Cody Rhodes was going all in. On Raw, the second-generation Superstar was pitted against his former mentor, WWE Champion Randy Orton, under the most unforgiving of stipulations: If Rhodes lost, WWE COO Triple H would fire him.
The two-time Intercontinental Champion and four-time Tag Team Champion gave it his all, fighting for his very livelihood. A vicious kick to his injured knee and an RKO later, and it was all over — the match, Rhodes’ WWE career and his aspirations to one day become a World Champion.
Under the harrowing circumstances, the three-count was difficult to watch, especially to those closest to Cody. His brother Dustin — known to the WWE Universe as Goldust — was in a state of disbelief as his little brother bid farewell to the WWE Universe all too soon.
“It’s ridiculous,” the two-time WCW United States Champion told WWE.com. “Cody made one wrong step in that match and got his knee kicked out from under him. He had everything going for him, and he’d been doing so, so well — now, all of a sudden, he doesn’t have a job?”
Although Superstars on the active roster have been tight-lipped regarding The Game’s recent actions, Dustin — unseen in a WWE ring since the 2013 Royal Rumble Match — didn’t hesitate to question the WWE COO’s leadership abilities.
“What’s good for business? I don’t think Hunter knows right this second,” the three-time Intercontinental Champion affirmed, critiquing the man who put Cody’s career on the line solely because he spoke his mind. “I think he’s a little bit blinded by this job and his position. He wants to make his mark and I understand that. But he’s going about it the wrong way.”
As Cody was led out of the building Monday night, he commented on the McMahon family’s hatred for the Rhodes family over the past two decades, from transforming his father into the polka-dot clad, dancing “American Dream” and rechristening “The Natural” Dustin Rhodes as the bizarre, face-painted Goldust.
The veteran continued, “Cody has taken whatever he has been given and has done it to the best of his ability with the perfect attitude. Sure, he’s a little hot-headed and impatient at times, but he was continuing to grow and continuing to cement himself as one of the top Superstars. His future was bright, and it was all taken away because some executive decided to abuse his power.”
Dustin said he has yet to speak with his brother about the firing, which has cast a dark cloud over the week the Rhodes family was getting ready to celebrate Cody’s nuptials.
“I texted him a couple of times, he did text back and said ‘I don’t want to talk right now,’” Dustin explained. “I understand that. If I can’t get on the phone with him, I’m driving down to his house to see if I can talk with him and figure out a Plan B. Whatever happens, Cody’s got me and dad. That’s for damn sure.”
As rattled as Dustin was in the aftermath of Triple H’s startling power play, nothing could prepare WWE.com for the furious diatribe that “The American Dream” had for WWE.com about Triple H and the McMahons’ relationship with the Rhodes family …
Of all the criticisms leveled against the McMahon family and their stewardship of WWE, “stupid” has rarely been counted among them. Turns out they just hadn’t made the right person angry … that is, until they fired Cody Rhodes.
“It broke my heart to see this,” said Dusty, who currently works extensively with young WWE talent in NXT. “Why would WWE be so stupid as to throw away a talented kid like this who does the right thing?”
Dusty was careful to stress to WWE.com that, despite his inherent investment in Cody’s future, he had never intervened with WWE management on his son’s behalf. “I’ve stayed out of his business, I have not voiced myself,” insisted the three-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion. But with his son currently unemployed, there was truly nothing holding “The Dream” back.
“I’ve kept my mouth shut long enough,” he said. “The stupidity of what went down last night, the stupidity to take a kid in his 20s, probably the hottest product that we have at this stage in our industry, and to put him in a situation like that?”
“Maybe because Hunter worked for me as a young man in the NWA and they don’t want to recognize that … [There’s]always been a problem with the McMahons and the Rhodes [family].
“Cody’s right,” continued Dusty. “When I went to WWE I was at the top of my game. It was determined I was gonna play this person with the polka dots, but I went there with the intention of being Dusty Rhodes, “The American Dream,” getting a shot to wrestle Hulk Hogan, legitimately being who I’d been all those years. After 12 to 13 months, I had proved I could take anything they threw at me and hand it back as a success … And Dustin being Goldust revolutionized the way we look at characters.”
It was Cody’s tenacity, Dusty seemed to think, that ultimately doomed his son before the bell even rang. “Cody’s not gonna back down from anything,” he said. “Give him an opportunity to wrestle Randy Orton, anywhere, anyplace, in an alley, it doesn’t make a [difference] to Cody … So why would you be stupid enough to throw something like that away, because he voiced an opinion, you know what I mean? It was not good for business, Hunter. It was not good for business.”
The WWE Universe and locker room was, of course, stunned by the sudden dismissal of the former Intercontinental Champion, but no one seemed to be affected quite so much as Dusty himself.
“It hit me bad,” he said. As for the future? Even “The American Dream” doesn’t know where that road leads.
“My kid’s on the way home,” he said. “So I’ll sit and talk about him and we’ll plan out what his future’s gonna be.”