Cody Rhodes Says Tony Khan Was Against His Cage Moonsault

Feb 24, 2020 - by Steve Gerweck

Cody spoke with Sports Illustrated and discussed his cage match with Wardlow on last week’s Dynamite, his feud with MJF and more. You can check out highlights below: 

On his moonsault off the cage: “That was a very Terry Funk style of a moonsault. I’m a bigger guy than people think, so the moonsault doesn’t come off easily … The only piece of thinking in my mind was to throw my head back,” said Rhodes. “My body will go where my head will go, that’s something John Laurinaitis and Dean Malenko told me when I first started doing the moonsault. As long as I threw my head back, I knew I’d be OK.” 

On the match having more of an old-school feel: “That’s what I bring. Matt and Nick [Jackson] introduced a new style of tag team psychology. Kenny Omega provides an absolutely different way of doing wrestling that is really important to the evolution of wrestling. Hangman is a big run-and-gun heavyweight. My strength is plugging into the wrestling I grew up on, from the late ’80s to the early ’90s and even farther back. That style was a little bit more disciplined, a little bit more deliberate, and I complement those guys by doing that. I don’t really consider it a ‘territory style’ match. In this weird way, we’re in new territory. All the older wrestlers will tell you, ‘What’s old is new.’ They’ve never been more right. All these elements of magic are available to use from some of the greats, and I try to pick as much as I can from some of the best ever. And I’m not going to name names, but when you have the two greatest of all-time texting you every week critiquing your work, there is not a better pep talk than that.” 

On people trying to talk him out of the moonsault: “The cage has to be lowered [from the ceiling], that was my rule. So I ended up with the highest cage I could possibly get, and that cost me. I’m terrified of heights. That’s why my eyes are closed. I thought about it all day. Tony Khan was adamant that I didn’t do it. I’ve never seen a boss like him and how he leads, and the way he cares about his investments. Too many people were trying to talk me out of it. Typically, I’m by the ‘Go position’ during our show, but I stayed away.” 

On AEW’s action figure line with Jazwares: “This is another one of those ‘They’re real’ moments for us. I really like those ‘They’re real’ moments. I don’t like them as a way to rub it in people’s faces who disbelieved. I think it helps people who believe. It’s not unlike Picard. I’m watching Picard on CBS All Access right now, and if no one is talking to me about Picard, I’m not happy. It’s that weird ‘success begets success.’ For people who bought in and believe, I want them to know there is a wicked cool toy company in Jazwares. The line is amazing, they’ve blown away current wrestling figures. I’m proud to be part of the first line. They’ve set a new standard in wrestling figures.” 

On his feud with MJF: “There is a pure evil to Max. He’s unlike anyone who I’ve ever encountered in pro wrestling. I don’t think anyone knows the real Max. He lives in Long Island with his family, and I think they’re the only people, when that door closes, that know who Max really is. His commitment is incredible.” 

On the deeper elements of the feud: “There is a deeper element at play. That’s why I don’t like the term ‘heel.’ If you look back at Christmas night in World Class Championship Wrestling from 1982, the night Michael Hayes turned on Kerry Von Erich. That’s not what happened. He got kneed by Flair into Kerry, and then Terry defended him because he only saw the second half of the hit. There was not a plain, black-and-white heel turn. Max talks about how I held him down, and that genuinely hurts. Now he’s in the big spotlight, in the second main event of a show in a sold-out arena, and we’ll see what he can do.” 

On last week’s Dynamite as a whole: “That was my favorite episode of Dynamite, from top to bottom. The tag team battle royal, the tag team title match, Cobb was there, Nyla cut a live promo in front of a very rambunctious audience and she stepped right into the role as champion and delivered. I loved the show, it was very much a snapshot of what Dynamite is supposed to be.”


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