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Cody Rhodes Was Jealous Of Original NXT Class, But Now Has Perspective And Connects With Them

Cody Rhodes has no problem admitting he was jealous of the original NXT class, but now he has a new appreciation for the work they did with his father.

WWE star Cody Rhodes recently appeared on After The Bell with Corey Graves and discussed his father, Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes’ importance on the original class of NXT. Cody was quick to admit he felt jealous of the original NXT class, which included Graves, for getting to work in a ‘red hot’ program alongside his father.

“I think there’s a group of you guys that were there on the ground — you [Corey Graves], Becky [Lynch], Bayley, Seth [Rollins], Kevin [Owens], a few others who were truly kind of within, for a brief period, the realm of Dusty [Rhodes]. The promo classes, the Performance Center, the winter of his career and life,” Cody explained, “that last bit was given to you guys. And for a very long time, jealous is probably the best word, but it wasn’t just jealous as much as it was — yeah, maybe it was jealous, who knows — but it was difficult.

“When those initial Takeovers started, I lived in Winter Park, Florida. I remember specifically, the Sami Zayn and Cesaro Takeover that was at Full Sail and I remember telling Brandi [Rhodes], ‘today’s gonna be a bad day for me’. This super hot thing is happening right down the street and here I am of the same age, but not clicking on this level. This super hot thing is happening and my dad is one of the people spearheading it and I’m nowhere near it. I remember that day, I was like ‘let’s put it out of our minds’ and instead, I actually sat down and watched it because I wanted to feel it, like, ‘yeah, it is this good, they have something special going on there.’”

Rhodes says it took him a long time to move on from jealousy to be in a place of peace, explaining how he was jealous not just because it was his father as coach, but also because he didn’t get that experience in NXT himself.

“Dusty separated himself from me and he thought that was the right thing to do and I totally get it. He told Arn Anderson to look after me, he left the [WWE] writing team, he went to Florida and started up with you guys and was having a blast. I talked to him every day but we never really got into ‘how do I do this?’ We never really got into it, like, he was so close to me and I was his son, we had this great relationship as father and son. I don’t think we would’ve been able to have a real functional, like, ‘well here’s this and you have to do this this way,’” Cody explained. “As a kid, you’re never gonna listen to your parents. So, it was unique in that I didn’t get it and I was just mad that you guys did.

“I remember talking about this vignette with you this one time and I’m sure you never did it because it was so ambitious, but he was talking about this car and driving it all over the classic areas of Hollywood, all this just stuff,” Cody noted, as Graves recalled Dusty telling him he’d be his ‘James Dean’ of WWE. “I remember when all of those conversations would come up, I would honestly be like ‘yeah, it sounds great, it’s really cool.’ I don’t think he realized that I was like ‘yeah, I like the vignette dad. Can you make one for me?’ But that ship had just sailed and I’m okay that it sailed, I got great trainers on my own and I look back now and see this effect that it had and I feel connected to you guys. That’s what that look between you and I was. I feel more connected to you guys more than I ever was. I wasn’t at the Performance Center or at Full Sail but I feel that all of these little things — he wasn’t a ‘functional teacher’ in ‘hey, here’s your curriculum’ — it was things he would say from time to time that would just be like ‘oh my gosh, now I get it!’ and I’m glad that I get to share that with you guys.”

Related: Cody Rhodes Discusses Tribalism Among Professional Wrestling Fans, Says It Felt Weird Seeing His AEW Shirts Burned

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