The success of the Rhodes family has made them an iconic name in the wrestling business. Dusty Rhodes was one of the biggest legends in the industry with his two sons following in his footsteps. Dustin Rhodes has been wrestling for decades with stints in WCW, WWE, TNA and now AEW. His younger half-brother Cody Rhodes also found success with WWE, ROH, NJPW and now the AEW management role under his belt.
We will look at arguments for why each brother is the better sibling in the ring. Dustin fans will look at his experience with a hit list of great accomplishments. The talking points for Cody will be some of the more recent moments of greatness. Both sides have fair points with both brothers having strong careers. Pick your own favorite after viewing five reasons why Cody is the better Rhodes brother and five reasons why Dustin is.
10 Cody: Betting on himself by leaving WWE and Hitting a home run
Most unhappy WWE superstars remain under contract despite the misery due to the financial stability. It was quite difficult to make great money outside of WWE when Cody Rhodes make this decision, but the success would follow him in tremendous fashion.
Cody, meanwhile, clearly had a game plan when releasing a list of opponents that he wanted to face in different promotions. The hype added to the bookings and the fan interest helped Cody thrive in Ring of Honor and New Japan to build up his star power. Cody leaving WWE was the best thing for his career and quite impressive.
9 Dustin: His WCW run
The start of Dustin Rhodes’ career in WCW as The Natural featured many ups and downs. It was a tough start due to the pressure of being Dusty Rhodes’ son and having to live up to the instant push given to him. The progression of Dustin would see him become a strong performer.
Outstanding matches in the War Games stipulation helped him shine bright. The body of work in WCW didn’t necessarily showcase his star power, but it did prove that Dustin was a great worker. Many fans would still argue his best matches came in WCW.
8 Cody: His Incredible tag matches against DX
Cody Rhodes's run in Legacy with Ted DiBiase Jr. under the leadership of Randy Orton put him in some important situations. Shawn Michaels and Triple H reforming D-Generation X made them look for new opponents on the roster.
DX ended up having a lengthy feud against DiBiase Jr. and Rhodes on three consecutive PPVs. The top-level matches and one PPV main event helped Cody get his feet wet in a top position for the first time. This learning experience helped Cody grow as a performer.
7 Dustin: He's still great in older age
Even though he is now 50 years old, Dustin Rhodes still has a lot left to offer the wrestling business. Fans would see Dustin join AEW after requesting his release from WWE. The move was made to not only work with his brother but to show he could still perform at a high level since WWE stopped using him.
Dustin had arguably the best match of his career and one of the best matches in AEW’s short history against his brother Cody at Double or Nothing. Future matches against the Young Bucks and others all have proven he can still keep up with the young stars as an ageless wonder.
6 Cody: His huge success in Bullet Club
Cody Rhodes joining the Bullet Club in New Japan and Ring of Honor was a massive step forward in his career after leaving WWE. The success of the Bullet Club led by Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks saw them getting merchandising deals with Cody becoming a huge part of that as well.
NJPW loved using Cody as a heel often stirring up issues with Omega as the two members never could get on the same page. The ROH run was even better with Cody winning his first world title as the ROH Champion. Bullet Club helped Cody rise to an even higher level in the business.
5 Dustin: His Role in success of the Attitude Era
The Attitude Era featured strong characters trying to get television time during the highest rated wrestling shows of all time. Dustin Rhodes playing Goldust would give WWE another strong mid-carder that the fans enjoyed watching.
Dustin's impeccable character work here made him an early star in the Attitude Era. Many things from the time are criticized today, but Dustin's contributions to the era stand the test of time. If ranking the best performers of the entire Attitude Era, Dustin deserves a high spot on that list.
4 Cody: His feud against Rey Mysterio
Cody Rhodes received his first major chance to thrive as a singles performer when feuding with Rey Mysterio. Reports indicated that Mysterio went out of his way to request having a storyline with Cody heading into WrestleMania 27.
A legend like Rey vouching for a young talent usually shows the ultimate sign of respect that he can become a big star. Cody and Rey had one of the best matches on the WM card and another great one the following month. Fans were treated to the early signs of Cody’s future potential.
3 Dustin: He rebounded from various disasters
Dustin Rhodes was given quite a few horrible storylines and gimmicks in his career. The WCW return as the Seven character destroyed all momentum when it was a fake out with no such character existing after the opening promo declaring he was back.
TNA used him as the even worse Black Reign character meant to spoof a horror villain. All the negative moments of Dustin’s career could have doomed many wrestlers, especially given his personal issues in the past. Dustin, however, rebounded every time and persevered to have a legendary career, somehow coming back better than ever before.
2 Cody: He played a huge role in starting AEW
Cody Rhodes' in starting AEW may very well be the most important thing he does in the industry. Cody, Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks starting to gain popularity with their merchandising deals showcased that there was a strong following out there.
This inspired Tony Khan to reach out to The Elite about starting a new promotion that turned into AEW. Fans are now treated to the first major wrestling promotion outside of WWE since WCW went out of business. It is hard to believe things play out the same way if Cody never gets involved.
1 Dustin: His portrayal of Goldust
Most wrestlers would have failed with the Goldust gimmick being given to them by WWE in the mid-90s. The character with an ambiguous sexual overtone was extremely unique, but Dustin Rhodes put his all into the gimmick to make it work.
Goldust became a top mid-card star for WWE thanks to such an outstanding performance. Fans would see the character endure many changes throughout the years. Dustin would still get huge pops with Goldust as recently as early 2019 before his WWE run ended. It was truly a legendary character that should get him inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame one day.