Cody Rhodes made an appearance on X-Pac 1,2,360 in which he discussed reaching out to Kevin Owens before he left the WWE and how NXT inspired him to leave WWE.
“I had a lot of time to prep… I kinda field tested all the resources I had. Kevin Owens for example is somebody I must have asked eight-hundred-thousand questions to. About everything from how travel is different from where to ask for more, where to not worry about the money. An absurd amount of questions, to timing, to the opponents, you name it, presentation, all of that. So, I had a lot of time to prepare. It was definitely this feeling of fear but I have this rule, that if it doesn’t scare you it’s not an adventure.”
“NXT was also a huge inspiration for me to leave because NXT is just Hunter’s independent scene, it’s amazing. He hand plucked all these buzz-worthy talents and had them fight against each other and it’s just those were the guys that were getting the attention of the crowd, capturing their imaginations and I was very inspired by NXT. I know that doesn’t sound like it makes sense to then leave WWE but that’s what it did, it was seeing those guys that already had a brand and who already had buzz…something I had to do.”