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Cody: ‘I’m the biggest draw in this entire industry’; Roman Reigns responds

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Following his successful defense of the Ring of Honor World Championship against Kushida on night three of Global Wars, Cody cut a very passionate promo outside of Express Live! in Columbus. Here’s the full transcription:

“There is something, about a man, who does what he says he’s going to do. When I came back, over a year ago in August, there was this gaggle, this plethora of fans, of supporters of mine. And that night, I ended up garnering more critics than I had fans. I was polarizing. But as Ian Riccaboni pointed out, as you should know, everything that I said would happen in Ring of Honor has happened. I came into Final Battle and I said I would give them their biggest houses in history. I would give Ring of Honor that. And I cheated, I had The Young Bucks with me; Matt and Nick Jackson and we gave them the biggest houses. And then I said I’m going to give you the biggest pay-per-view buy rate you’ve ever had and I set that record at Best in The World when I won my very first World Heavyweight Championship. And then at Death Before Dishonor, with that shooter, Minoru Suzuki, I broke my own record and I set a new record. It’s not longer the company that defines the man, it’s the man that defines the company and that company is Ring of Honor and the company that I keep is the Bullet Club.

“So come at me and I will be smiling. Because I am the biggest damn draw in this entire industry. And if you’re someone who’s competing with me for that title, you know exactly who you are, and I know exactly what you should do. Kiss the ring.”

When notified of Cody’s promo on social media, WWE’s Roman Reigns said the following in response:

Dave’s Take: While Roman does have a point, The Bucks and Cody aren’t even near WWE numbers on any level, every single time Reigns, Vince or anyone else in the company respond with words or actions to something that is done on the independent level — it’s a win for the “little” guy. Cody’s passion in this promo alone is more than I’ve seen from anything out of Roman on the mic. Independent wrestlers no longer have to fear WWE. It’s no longer the end all be all in professional wrestling. We’re seeing it from both sides. If you want to go there and treat it like a retirement home to collect a check and take your chances—that’s great. These men and women deserve a place to get paid on the backend of their careers. If you want to take the Cody approach and pound the pavement, book a million dates and work your own schedule before finding a home, that’s also an option. That’s something that somebody like Neville and Austin Aries can do now on the strength of what they accomplished for themselves in a company like WWE or TNA.

The landscaped has changed for everyone and you simply will not be able to talk about how it’s changing in 5-10 years from now without mentioning names like Cody or Nick and Matt Jackson. Even Kenny Omega’s decision to stick with New Japan at the end of his contract instead of leaving for WWE spoke volumes. While New Japan isn’t an indie organization, it’s still a huge deal for someone to turn down leaving for New York when New York is calling. In this social media age, more wrestlers are willing to bet on themselves than ever. In the long run, this can only help wrestling more than it will hurt it. Competition creates chaos and chaos creates innovation—innovation creates interest. WWE is at their best when they aren’t competing within their own “Universe”. If Bullet Club continues to poke and prod them and they continue to respond, everybody wins in the long run.

Dave has been covering Pro Wrestling and Mixed Martial Arts for various websites since 2010. He currently runs both FightBooth and FightBoothPW with the help of some lovely and talented people.

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