Cody Rhodes Compares Using The ‘American Dream’ Nickname To Putting On Batman’s Cape And Cowl For One Night Only
Photo Credit: All Elite Wrestling
Cody Rhodes knows the gravity of taking on an established and revered identity, even if it’s for one night only.
Rhodes recently spoke with GameSpot’s Wrestle Buddies podcast and talked about the symbolism behind using the “American Dream” moniker at Sunday’s Double Or Nothing pay-per-view event against Anthony Ogogo. Rhodes first announced he would use the name made famous by his father on the May 12 episode of AEW Dynamite, and he explained the inspiration behind it and how it relates to comic book lore that people might be able to understand on a different level.
“I’m a big Batman reader and all the characters I love in Batman are all of the screwed up Robins. Damien’s a killer. Dick is pretty much the only one with his head on his shoulders. Jason, obviously is Red Hood, Tim, etc. They’ve all got problems,” Rhodes explained, “and that’s what it’s like being a second-generation wrestler. We’re a bunch of broken toys and this is one of those times where it feels like putting on the cape and cowl. If anyone can do it and do it justice and do it with honor, it could be me. Maybe not full-time and maybe not long-term, but for one night I’ll be the Batman.”
“You’ll never know if you can fly unless you take the risk of falling.”
That same May 12 promo drew a mixed reaction from fans for various reasons, but Rhodes explained that this promo—and many others—have gone through focus groups and explained the process behind crafting the speech that made it to air.
“This is probably gonna sound not cool, because a lot of wrestlers–especially wrestlers from my dad’s era–will lie to you and say, ‘Oh, I just came up with that promo right there on the spot,’ which is bulls**t, but whatever. I workshop my promos heavily for weeks on end. We have a full focus group for them, as crazy as that sounds. This is a data-based company,” Rhodes said, “so I workshop everything I do. And because my promos have been held to a really high standard–people pick at them and find things in them and they put a microscope on them, which I love. With that in mind, when I was doing the promo I couldn’t come up with a finish.”
Rhodes explained how the finish finally came to him, noting that it felt like fate but once he said the line, he couldn’t move past it.
“When I was just thinking about what the story really is, Anthony [Ogogo] is living the American dream for real. All the wrestlers, like Bruno Sammartino, who I referenced in my interview, who have come over, have lived the American dream here,” he explained. “[With] what [that] stands for and [it being] Memorial Day weekend and fans coming back and just all that beautiful synergy and kismet, I ended up saying it once. ‘He won’t be wrestling the American Nightmare. He’ll be wrestling the American Dream.’ And when I said it, I just couldn’t move past it. I thought, ‘That’s it. That’s the ticket.’”
Rhodes added that taking on the name as a gimmick would be the wrong approach, but having it come up organically through the promo writing process ensured it was from the heart and worth it.