Article written by James Viscardi with Ben Morse
Marvel heroes like Cable and Franklin Richards know what it’s like to grow up with famous fathers, but perhaps not even the likes of Cyclops and Mister Fantastic cast a shadow quite like the one and only “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes.
Current WWE Superstar Cody Rhodes—who will attempt to win the Intercontinental title for a third title this Sunday at No Way Out when he challenges Christian, the man who defeated him for the championship—calls the multi-time World champion and WWE Hall of Famer “dad.” With Father’s Day coming up, we chatted with the younger Rhodes about how Dusty has influenced his career, the differences between them, and what advice “The Dream” has passed on to his progeny.
Of course we also got Cody’s take on the latest twists in Avengers Vs. X-Men plus his pick for “Father of the Year” in the Marvel Universe and more.
Marvel.com: So as we approach Father’s Day, we have to ask: what’s it like being the son of Dusty “The American Dream” Rhodes?
: It’s a great thing! You know, when you’re a part of a wrestling dynasty like our own, it’s a privilege. But that’s not to say it’s easy. The daunting aspect of having my dad being who he is is carrying his name. It’s a name that means something to wrestling fans and it’s up to me to keep it that way.
Marvel.com: When you were coming up in wrestling, did you ever think about adopting a character similar to your dad’s? Or did you want to go in a different direction entirely from the get-go?
: For me, I never considered doing anything like Dusty, only because I’m very unlike Dusty to begin with. We always joke that I’m adopted because I have black hair, and he has bleach blond hair—it’s just a joke—but for me, I was told early on by Dean Malenko, one of the producers for WWE, to try to strive away from doing anything that your father did, and that was some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten. A lot of second or third generation [wrestlers] try to model themselves after their fathers and end up just being juniors. I never wanted to be a junior.
Marvel.com: As you’ve come up through the WWE ranks, has your dad given you any golden nuggets of advice as you grew as a performer?
: The man gives me great tips every Wednesday, and every Saturday after he watches SmackDown, especially. It’s funny, with my dad being tied so close to the WWE he’s a bit biased. If he had his way, I’d be World champion now. So with that, I have to pull him in from that time to time. But he has this understanding of the inner workings of sports entertainment, better than almost anybody out there and that stuff is invaluable. And that’s great for me to know; I feel like at 26, I have knowledge of the backstage inner workings of sports entertainment more than most.
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