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Ricky Starks On His Relationship W/ Cody Rhodes—The Former Harland Back In NXT Debuts For AEW

Of course by now we all have enjoyed Cody’s return to WWE (some more than others for obvious reasons and they have nothing to do with Cody)… a triumphant and powerful one at that. Powerful and triumphant because it showed one and all that AEW stars have a massive following. Cody’s return garnered quite the anticipation and eventual pop once he came out as Seth Rollin’s mystery opponent at this year’s WrestleMania. In terms of validation for Cody and AEW, that was huge, as many others have already stated.

But the question comes up often in interviews for many wrestlers currently in AEW: Do they still talk to Cody? Well, Ricky Starks, who has had a tremendous relationship with Cody Rhodes over the years, stated how you just can’t turn that off because a man goes off to work for another promotion….

via MrSuede /YouTube

He made these statements while speaking with Wrestling Inc.:

“I know a lot of people make up these rumors and ideas because I’m friends with someone that certain things happened, and it’s just funny to me. It’s like, ‘Hey, how dare he still talk to…’. It’s like, if you had a real friendship with someone, you guys would know that it doesn’t matter where they go or what happens to them…

Yes, him — Cody and Tony (Khan) brought me in, for sure. I still talk to Cody, I still ask him for advice. There’s nothing wrong with that. I’m not a turncoat or something like that…It’s just a genuine friend to have and somebody that actually cares and looks out for me because that’s very few and far between…

The other person in AEW is Sonjay (Dutt). Sonjay actually looks out and is helpful with me, and sometimes you need that, man. Sometimes you’re just a misunderstood person and people just don’t want to bother. It’s good to have these people that do care.”

via Wrestling Inc.

The former Harland debuts for AEW at a recent Dark taping

For someone who was supposed to be the next Brock Lesnar, WWE sure seemed to lose interest pretty quickly. He was recruited in 2021 and was released earlier this year after being of course involved with NXT.

via WWE /YouTube

Despite the fact that even Paul Heyman sang his praises and WWE developmental’s praises last year, Parker Boudreaux (Harland) was still released. Here’s some of what Heyman had to say back then:

“Parker Boudreaux is a very interesting human being that took his education very seriously. He’s not just a meathead. He’s a six-foot-three, six-foot-four, 300-pound athlete who has one hell of the head on his shoulders. So Parker Boudreaux is doing what everyone else does…

He’s starting from the bottom. He has reported to the WWE Performance Center. And he’s got to work his way up to the top. There’s a lot of roadblocks on the way. Do I think he can navigate them? Absolutely.”


According to a piece at Wrestling Inc., Boudreaux debuted at a taping of Dark for AEW recently. He was introduced specifically as a member of a newly formed faction by Ariya Daivari; the faction is called the Trust Fund. Boudreaux subsequently won his first match, which was against Serpentico.

Can AEW handle this young upstart better than WWE did? Track record would show that yes they can, but that’s if both parties play a little of the give and take game. Boudreaux is still very young and green in terms of the game of pro wrestling, and he has to show he can take instruction and prove he has what it takes on the microphone as well, and AEW needs to find creative ways to put him over, which is of course where WWE failed and where they always fail.

Interested to see where he takes this.; especially with people like William Regal and Samoa Joe back there, who helped make NXT what it is today…the term ‘the sky is the limit’ sure comes to mind.

NEXT: Sonjay Dutt Talks WWE Gig & Why He Left It Behind

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