Cody Rhodes, aka Stardust, went to his personal Twitter account to tell his followers that he had requested his release from the WWE and the company complied with that request on May 22nd, 2016. With little explanation, the youngest second generation Superstar of the Rhodes family thanked the fans for all their support over his career that lasted a decade.
Though his tag team with Hardcore Holly didn’t seem like a great first step, Rhodes would make a name for himself as a reliable, entertaining midcarder.
His run in the tag team division has led to several entertaining teams being formed such as his stable with Ted DiBiase Jr. and Randy Orton called Legacy, a stable that would make Rhodes and DiBiase both prominently featured midcarders and multi-time Tag Team Champions. Other teams like Rhodes Scholars and The Brotherhood were also entertaining and helped to further bolster his resume with the WWE.
As a single’s competitor, Rhodes found his niche in the midcard fighting for the Intercontinental Championship. And while many will debate whether or not Cody Rhodes added prestige to the Intercontinental Championship, it goes without saying that he increased the attention paid to the title in an era where midcard titles seemed more like burdens. He also has had very good matches with wrestlers like Randy Orton and John Cena, as he has shown over the years that his legacy wouldn’t be defined by the trail left by his father and brother.
While many fans despised the Stardust gimmick that he was portraying since 2014, the fans had respect for Cody Rhodes’s ability and some fans even though that he should’ve held a World Title before his career ended. Whether fans loved him or hated him, the fact remains that he gave ten years of his life to the WWE and put effort into whatever he was given. So with the knowledge that his WWE career has come to an unexpected end, this article will highlight some of the best moments in the career of an established mid-card talent.
And no…absolutely NONE of Cody Rhodes’s work as Stardust will be included on this list. Unless you’d like me to mention his tag team with The Ascension…
12 Rhodes Scholars
11 Feud With Damien Sandow
At the 2013 Money in The Bank PPV, Cody Rhodes put on a spectacular performance at the start of the show for what would be the last Money in the Bank Briefcase match for the now defunct World Heavyweight Championship. And as Cody Rhodes was about to win the briefcase, Damien Sandow cost Rhodes his chance at the title. This not only ended the Rhodes Scholars team, but it would result in Rhodes’s first babyface run since his debut. The feud only lasted until SummerSlam, but it made for an entertaining midcard feud.
10 The Brotherhood vs. The New Age Outlaws
9 Triple Threat Match at WrestleMania XXVI
8 Feud With Big Show
When thinking of great Intercontinental Championship feuds, the one between Cody Rhodes and Big Show doesn’t come to mind for most people, but it has its place amongst the history of the Intercontinental Championship history. Rhodes had begun a feud with Big Show over his lackluster WrestleMania record even going as far as to call him the “Reverse Undertaker.” In retaliation, Big Show challenged Rhodes for the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania XXVIII. The buildup consisted of Rhodes tormenting and teasing Big Show for all of his WrestleMania blunders and awkward moments. The match ended with Big Show winning the title and having his first big WrestleMania moment. Continuing the feud at Extreme Rules, in an unlikely series of events, Rhodes defeated Big Show for the title in a tables match in the most unexpected way possible.
7 Feud with Booker T
6 Joining Legacy
5 Undashing Cody Rhodes
4 2013 Money in the Bank Performance
3 Legacy vs. D-Generation X
2 Bringing Back The Classic Intercontinental Championship
1 The Brotherhood vs. The Shield
While Cody Rhodes bringing back the classic Intercontinental Championship was a highly notable achievement, his feud with The Authority alongside his brother and father was the greatest storyline he was ever involved in.
In an effort to make The Authority look dominate, the WWE used knowledge of Cody Rhodes taking time off for his marriage and honeymoon to their advantage. After being fired by The Authority, both Dusty Rhodes and Goldust attempted to get Cody his job back. This led to a match at Battleground between The Rhodes Brothers and the nearly unstoppable faction, The Shield, with all of the Rhodes’s jobs on the line. The match that ensued was one of the best tag team matches of that year. Dusty hit a Bionic Elbow, Cody hit the Cross Rhodes for the win, and the rest of the locker room came out to welcome Cody and Goldust back to work. Truly a great moment.
Whether this is the last of Cody Rhodes we see in the WWE or if he comes back later on, Rhodes has had a really good and memorable career in the WWE and you can’t ask for more than that as a fan.
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