Arriving at the Heroes & Villains Fan Fest in Secaucus, NJ early this morning, my wife and I settled in for a long day meeting some of the biggest stars in entertainment, primarily in the DC TV Universe. Stars of the CW’s Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow as well Fox’s Gotham were there, including headliner Stephen Amell, fresh off the conclusion of Arrow season 4 and his role as Casey Jones in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. Also at the convention was Amell’s arch nemesis from the world of pro-wrestling, Cody Rhodes; formerly Stardust in WWE. The two had engaged in a public twitter war for over a year, culminating in Amell participating in a tag team match against Rhodes and fellow wrestler Wade Barrett at WWE’s Summerslam last August at Brooklyn’s Barclay’s Center. During a joint panel between the two former foes, it didn’t take long for Amell to drop the big news; Cody Rhodes will appear in Arrow next season.
Cody, the son of the late Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes, said on the panel that he first thought himself too small to follow in his dad’s line of work, and actually went to Los Angeles to take up acting. He eventually did become a wrestler working in the WWE for the better part of the last decade, where he met his wife Brandi who appeared as a co-moderator on the panel. The two men discussed the role reversals they’ve each played for the other in their careers. On their match at Summerslam, Amell confessed he was scared to death of his first move, a springboard over the ropes, fearing he’d slip and face endless mockery. He also jabbed at Cody for hitting him a bit hard with an enziguri (leaping kick to the head). Cody fired back that he had to ask Wade (his partner in the match) to pose and do something because he feared Amell was out of breath and hurt. Amell’s response; “It’s called acting Cody.”
Rhodes will now feel the pressure of stepping into Amell’s world this season on Arrow. When pressed by fans for details, all we get is that Cody and Stephen will fight again, an obvious wink that Rhodes will be a villain of some sort, and it’ll be in episode 3. One thing that is undeniable is that Rhodes and Amell turned a chance meeting at a WWE event into a gigantic cross promotional publicity stunt, and ended up forming a lasting friendship. Amell joked at Cody’s geek status; “He knows more about the Green Arrow than I do!”
Arrow returns to the CW for its 5th season on October 5th. Heroes & Villains Fan Fest continues tomorrow at the Meadowlands Expo Center in Secaucus, New Jersey.