There's a new drug on the streets of Star City and a very devious dealer bringing it to the masses. Former WWE superstar Cody Rhodes plays Derek Sampson on the next episode of "Arrow," "A Matter of Trust," and in doing so is closing the gap between comic books and wrestling once and for all.
In the episode, a drug called Stardust is ravaging Oliver Queen's (Stephen Amell) city. Not so coincidentally, Stardust also happened to be the name of Rhodes' WWE character before he very publicly exited the company in May.
The decision to name the drug came from the writers of the show and it was something Rhodes wasn't entirely on board with in the beginning.
"It was a little scary of first because obviously I've left WWE and it was in a bit of a dramatic fashion. But as I thought of it, it was perfect," Rhodes says. "It's a wink to the audience. Stephen brought a lot of 'Arrow' fans to WWE that stayed fans. So it's a bit of a wink that we're bridging the two, even though they don't connect."
And, as executive producer Marc Guggenheim explains, "If you know who Cody is and that his wrestling identity is Stardust then you get a little charge. If you don't, the episode plays totally fine."
While naming the drug Stardust won't take anything away from "Arrow" fans who don't follow WWE, it may add something for those that do. "I always treated Stardust the character like there was something causing him to be Stardust," Rhodes says. "Why would he want to be Stardust when he was at one point Cody Rhodes? Maybe it's a drug named Stardust?"
As for WWE's reaction, the wrestler can't wait to find out what they think, though he has a pretty good idea.
"I'm really curious what WWE will think when they see the episode," he says. "I'm actually sure, if I know them like I think I do, they'll probably get a kick out of it."