Professional wrestling isn't often associated with wine. But it should come as no surprise that Cody Rhodes is changing that.
“Wrestlers should be connected to wine,” Rhodes said. “Andre the Giant could drink a cask of wine and it wouldn’t even phase him. Personally, I really revel in the idea of sampling and tasting wine, and I’ve even helped craft my own selections.”
Rhodes is boldly stepping foot into the wine industry, though he is not doing so alone. He is joined by former WWE opponent–and Arrow star–Stephen Amell.
Rhodes and Amell began to develop a bond in the build to their match at SummerSlam in 2015, but the relationship flourished in the aftermath.
“Stephen is one of the hardest workers I’ve ever encountered, and we’re talking a Vince McMahon-level drive,” Rhodes said. “Through our SummerSlam match-up and my guest appearances on Arrow, we moved from a mutual respect for one another’s work ethics to a really cool friendship.”
Amell created the Nocking Point wine club in 2012 with his business partner Andrew Harding, and they now have over 6,000 current members throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
“We want to eliminate the pretense surrounding wine,” Amell said. “The same thing is true of Cody, especially in the most recent part of his career. Cody has crafted and cultivated something on his own for himself in professional wrestling. He shares the same entrepreneurial spirit that we do, which is one of the main reasons we wanted to partner with him.”
Rhodes, who exited WWE in 2016, is no stranger to challenging conventional wisdom. It's a philosophy Amell has also taken on in acting and even during his lone match at SummerSlam in a tag with Neville against Rhodes’ Stardust character and Wade Barrett.
“I first met Cody in 2015 when I was a guest of the WWE during a Monday Night Raw at the Nassau Coliseum while I was filming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” Amell said. “Cody mentioned to me that if I was sitting ringside, he had approval from Vince McMahon to hiss at me when he came to the ring. We had what Cody describes as a good piece of business at SummerSlam, and he later auditioned for Arrow and got a part on that, so we’ve both dipped our toes in each other’s worlds, and it’s been a really great friendship.”
A part of Amell's WWE experience that he will never forget occurred before the match even started with Paul “Triple H” Levesque.
“I was standing in the ‘Gorilla’ position before our match,” Amell recalled. “Hunter walked up to me and said, ‘If you think you’re going too fast, slow down. When you’re sure you’re going too slow, then slow down some more. And when you’re positive you’re going too slow, then slow down some more.’ As soon as I walked out into the Barclays, all of the moisture was immediately zapped from my mouth. I literally forgot to get in the ring, but I couldn’t ask for a better person to work with than Cody. It couldn’t have been better.”
Rhodes is collaborating with Amell’s Nocking Point to create two new wines, both with a significant connection to the wrestling industry. The first wine, “Dream”, is a sparkling white wine dedicated to the memory of his father, the “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes, and the second is a blood-red named “Nightmare” that captures Rhodes’ drive and motivation to succeed in the bloodthirsty, competitive world of professional wrestling.
“I like to think ‘Nightmare’ tastes like Klingon bloodwine,” said Rhodes, who is a devoted Star Trek fan. “The original idea was to create ‘Nightmare’, but once I heard I’d be working on two bottles, ‘Dream’ was a no-brainer. There is a personal quote from my father on the bottle that reads, ‘You can’t be a beacon if yo’ light don’t shine’, and it is such a nice touch. Of all my father’s sayings, that is one he regularly told his grandchildren in the last few years of his life."
The wine is only available through membership in Nocking Point, which is a quarterly wine club. Members will receive a bottle of Rhodes’s wine, which will be shipped along with two other bottles. For those who purchase two boxes, they will get one of each of Rhodes’s bottles, along with four other bottles of wine. The wine club shipments also include comics, coffee and other assorted gear from Nocking Point.
“Cody feels the same way about Nocking Point that we do,” Amell said. “He’s so passionate, and his fans are going to dig this. We have paired with some of the very best wine makers in the Pacific Northwest to create interesting, approachable well-priced wine.
“If you’re in the wine club, you’re receiving a wine shipment with an unparalleled value. If you are on the fence about wine, you should give it a try. We love it, and it doesn’t need to be as stuffy as it purports to be.”
Rhodes believes people should invest in the wine, primarily because it is designed specifically for people to enjoy.
“People should invest in fun,” Rhodes said. “Invest in celebrating the conquests and achievements of a long day. People should invest in the fact that, four times a year, Nocking Point is going to provide them with wine and coffee and gear that is intended to lift their spirits up and celebrate life.”