World Champion Cody Rhodes brings Ring of Honor into the limelight

By Wade Sheridan  |  Updated Nov. 16, 2017 at 6:50 AM
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Nov. 16 (UPI) -- Ring of Honor World Champion Cody Rhodes has helped ROH reach new heights as the promotion closes the book on one of its most successful years ever.

Backed by the popular and high-volume T-shirt selling Bullet Club, Rhodes -- who goes by Cody in ROH -- admits that the company is reaching new heights, but doesn't want to take all of the credit for the brand's recent successes.

"Nothing has been more exciting for me knowing that Ring of Honor is experiencing their best crowds, their best buy rates and their best merchandise numbers while I'm the champion," Cody said during an interview with UPI before a packed crowd arrived for ROH: Elite in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

"I definitely don't think it's a direct correlation because I'm the champion but I do think it's a small part of it and that makes me very proud," he continued.

"Some people, their seeking elsewhere, looking elsewhere. I love WWE, but this is the type of wrestling that I grew up on. And every week it's bigger and bigger. And these shows are just getting more and more special," Cody said.

The American Nightmare's confidence in ROH led the reigning champion to officially sign a multi-year deal with the company in September. The deal comes as ROH has announced a new upcoming streaming service and plans that Cody said could lead to the promotion being broadcasted on "a major television station."

"I put my confidence in Ring of Honor because they put their confidence in me," he said.

Among ROH's big plans is to feature Arrow star Stephen Amell as the host of an upcoming sold-out show in San Antonio on Nov. 17 that is going head-to-head with a WWE NXT show in the same area.

Amell previously faced off against Cody in WWE at SummerSlam 2015 when the champion was going by Stardust, a space-oriented version of his brother Goldust's character. The pair enjoyed a competitive friendship that segued into Cody appearing on Arrow as villain Derek Sampson.

"I know from having worked with Stephen in WWE and having worked with him on the set of Arrow, Stephen doesn't like to do anything that's not hands on. So I would imagine in San Antonio he will be doing something and he will be getting physical," Cody said of the chances of seeing Amell wrestle again. "He loves wrestling and you feel that coming off Stephen so people respect him right away."

Cody, when asked about possibly returning to the superhero series, stated, "If there is a spot for Derek Sampson to come back, which I've heard there is, then I will come back."

Other ROH plans may include a future match between Cody and fellow Bullet Club member Kenny Omega of New Japan Pro-Wrestling fame as fans have continued to ask about a confrontation that would pit friend against friend.

"I think its probably something that if it was the right show, the right cause, it could happen. Right now no plans, but who knows," Cody said about a potential match against Omega who is the current IWGP United States Champion.

"It's definitely something that has been requested and you can feel it and if you can feel it in wrestling, it usually happens," Cody stated.

Cody is the son of the late Dusty Rhodes, one of the most influential and legendary figures in professional wrestling history. Rhodes, known as The American Dream, was recently featured in ESPN's Ric Flair documentary as part of their 30 for 30 series.

"I cried my way through the entire thing," Cody said of watching the special which paid homage to his father's storied history with Flair, whom the 32-year-old referred to as the "Babe Ruth of our industry."

Cody continues to carry Dusty's legacy with him while still doing things in his own, unique way. Still, Cody says, working with ROH and helping the company prosper helps him feel closer to his father.

"It kinda makes me feel like I'm my dad in the NWA (National Wrestling Alliance)," Cody said of leaving his mark on ROH's biggest events, something Dusty did in and out of the ring in NWA, WCW and WWE.

"I know its very different, but just knowing that I can be a part of these big events, that I can add my thumbprints to them, makes me very proud," he said.

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