Cody Rhodes Admits Some WWE Fans Want Heel Turn

Cody Rhodes angry

Cody Rhodes is one of WWE’s most beloved superstars in recent years but now he’s explained what it takes to be a great heel in wrestling.

When Cody Rhodes returned to WWE in 2022, it seemed like the last thing fans would ever want to see is Rhodes as the bad guy and so far he has stayed well away from that even being a serious thought as he continues to elicit huge reactions and sell massive amounts of merchandise all over the world.

What makes that even stranger is just a few weeks before Rhodes came back to WWE, AEW fans were booing The American Nightmare out of buildings as they were desperate to see a villainous Rhodes. Needless to say, they’re still waiting.

Speaking on The Pivot Podcast, Cody Rhodes discussed the art of being a heel in wrestling and says most people in the business don’t want to be truly hated:

It is very hard to be a heel today. Very hard because what is a heel? If a heel is trying to actively take something away that you like…

You’ll hear people in wrestling say ‘There’s a wrong type of heat’, there’s truly no such thing as long as you can manage it. Today people get cancelled for everything, every hour someone’s getting cancelled and uncanceled. A heel’s job is to get cancelled. A heel’s job is to not be cool, to not sell merch, and I think in wrestling the term has gotten more identified with The Rock types, that aren’t really heels.

This is the Rock, he’s in a Disney movie, he’s beloved. Watching him is a prime example, you have to really go to lengths to upset people and he upset them greatly because he was taking away a spot and he was smart enough to know that was a good spot to be in. Most people are uncomfortable in that spot. Most people don’t want to explore being hated.

Cody Rhodes Thinks Heels Have To Go “Scorched Earth”

Cody Rhodes pointed to the approach taken by WWE Hall of Famer JBL when he was on top as a heel and said that kind of approach is harder than ever in 2024 and acknowledges there’s a section of fans that want to see him go down that route:

John Bradshaw Layfield, JBL, you couldn’t sell his merch, even in his hometown he’d go up to the stands personally and make sure (JBL shirts) are not there.

He was meant to be hated, he wanted you cheering for John (Cena), he wanted you cheering for Eddie Guerrero, that is a hard ask, especially when we’re recruiting outside of wrestling, they’re like ‘I want to be that guy, I want to be the champ’.

There’s a beauty if you can commit to being a bad guy, it’s a unique space creatively, you need to be vulnerable and open, and you’ve got to be blood-hungry in terms of how you are on the microphone, there’s a growing section of fans that wants to see that happen for me at some point.

I understand the links, but I don’t really know if they know what they’re asking for though. If you’re really wishing for that, it’s scorched earth. And then you might be like ‘ah I don’t like that, no, that’s rude to that group of people’, no that’s the job.

Someone’s going to come out and beat me up in a minute, before they do, I’m going to talk my trash. You have to really go scorched earth in this day and in 2024 it’s hard.

Cody Rhodes will be in action at Money In The Bank as the WWE Champion teams with Kevin Owens and Randy Orton to face three members of Solo Sikoa’s new look Bloodline.