Cody Rhodes and Lance Archer have engaged in a rivalry on All Elite Wrestling television in recent weeks, but the company's vice president appears to have some legitimate beef with the former NJPW star.
While speaking to Bleacher Report Live, by way of 411 Mania, Rhodes revealed that the pair's dislike for each other could be down to the fact that they grew up in the same state. However, Rhodes also has a problem with the hype surrounding Archer, and doesn't think that he's as underrated as some people claim he is.
"Maybe it's because I'm a former Texan, and maybe it's because he's a Texan and there's just a natural city-by-city Texas rivalry that has always existed. That's why college sports and high school sports are so competitive. Here's another deep-dive, psychological, me examining myself as to perhaps why I don't like him. I was somebody who was undervalued and under-appreciated, and now, I'm not undervalued and under-appreciated. And I feel like I got to the light at the end of the tunnel. I'm harder on those same guys because a lot of times when you're called 'underrated,' you're not."Rhodes went on to say that he isn't ready to admit that Archer might have been as undervalued as he was throughout the years, suggesting that perhaps Rhodes doesn't want his future opponent stealing some of his own shine as the company's standout success story. Much like Rhodes, it took Archer several years to make a name for himself in the wrestling industry. Both competitors used to wrestle for WWE, but they didn't come into their own until after they'd left the company and went to NJPW. Both competitors also won the company's United States Championship, and Rhodes acknowledged their similar career paths during the interview.
According to Rhodes, he has a tendency to discredit his opponents whenever he harbors a grudge against them. He also admitted that his criticism of Archer can also apply to him, given their similar experiences, but he didn't take any of his words for "The Murderhawk Monster" back.
It's unknown if Rhodes is being serious or simply remaining in character to add more heat to the feud. However, if he was acting for storyline purposes during the interview, he did a very convincing job. Rhodes is known for being open about the business during interviews, so perhaps there is some legitimate competitiveness between him and the former NJPW star.