Current FTW Champion in AEW Ricky Starks has opened up on how he still reaches out to Cody Rhodes for advice, despite the fact he now works for WWE.
Making his AEW debut as one of the competitors challenging Cody Rhodes in an open challenge for the TNT Championship, Ricky Starks has been with AEW since June 2020.
Although he was as unsuccessful as most in challenging for the title during that run, Starks ended up forming a real-life friendship with ‘The American Nightmare’ including making appearances on his Rhodes To The Top reality show.
During an appearance on Busted Open Radio, Ricky Starks made it clear that it doesn’t matter Rhodes now works for the competition and he is still able to go to him for advice.
It’s gonna be Cody. I have people I’m able to go to.
Whilst Starks also singled out Sonjay Dutt for praise, he made it clear that he can still reach out to Rhodes rather than it being something he did in the past.
It still is Cody. There is nothing wrong with saying that. I don’t really have that type of relationship back there (in AEW). There are people I can talk to, for sure, but it’s not in terms of taking me under their wing. Sting is a person I talk to with stuff outside of wrestling. Sonjay (Dutt) is a producer I talk to and I like Sonjay a lot because he understands me and that’s all I’ve asked for from people, is to understand me as a person, and he does.
Jericho, I’ve talked to to get advice, but there isn’t anyone I go to and sit there and pick their brains because I don’t feel like I have that relationship just yet. It’s not because of me, it’s just how it is there back there and that’s cool with me.
Starks went on to heap further praise on Dutt, explaining that their similar mindset is a key factor in getting the best out of him inside the squared circle.
What I say about understanding is he understands my style of my matches. I don’t really think of wrestling that most guys think of it. That’s not to be ‘I’m such a mysterious or difficult guy,’ I’m very easy to get along, but I think people look at me and put me in a box immediately. I do not fit in a box of wrestling.
A lot of people look at me and go, ‘this guy is a high-flier,’ style-wise, that type of box. Then they try to put me in a box with my type of character. There is no character. This is who I am and how I operate and I know it works. Sonjay gets that. We are on the same page when it comes to that type of dynamite.
This isn’t me saying ‘people don’t get me back there,’ it’s more of an artistic and creative understanding and Sonjay is always on point and knows how to get the most. Trying to articulate my ideas is sometimes a hard part for me because my brain is so scattered. Sonjay can look at, organize it, and go, ‘here’s how we can do it.’ That’s why I like Sonjay. He’s the man when it comes to that.
Ricky Starks will be in action at AEW Double Or Nothing, where he will team with Powerhouse Hobbs to challenge for the Tag Team Championships against current title holders Jurassic Express, and Swerve Strickland and Keith Lee.
With thanks to Fightful for the transcription.