Being born into one of the greatest legacies in wrestling makes it pretty difficult to stand out on one’s own and marrying into that legacy isn’t a walk in the park, either. There were definitely pros and cons in regards to the career of Cody Rhodes and his relationship with his father, Dusty Rhodes. There were also no doubt plenty of pros for Brandi when she married Cody or she wouldn’t have married him, but there was one undeniable career con that came as a result of it, as well.
The youngest representatives of the Rhodes family will forever be judged in comparison to their famous forefather, and neither Cody nor Brandi Rhodes have been able to live up to Big Dust thus far in their careers. On the bright side, this hasn’t stopped the two of them from finding plenty of happiness in their personal and professional lives as of late, largely due to the strength of their marriage. Cody has long been considered one of the more underutilized performers in modern pro wrestling and it turns out his wife has been harboring similar feelings about her own career potential.
The power couple are proactively working together onscreen and off to enhance Cody’s legacy to one that hopefully starts to match his father or even his brother, Goldust. Free from the constrictive confines of WWE, they have a better chance of achieving this goal now than they ever had before. As they continue to take the independent wrestling world by storm, keep reading to learn 15 things you never knew about Cody and Brandi Rhodes’s marriage.
15 They Met Working For WWE
Considering both his father and half-brother were world-famous pro wrestlers, in many ways Cody Rhodes was destined to become a wrestler from the day he was born. He made his wrestling debut as a referee for his father’s company Turnbuckle Championship Wrestling, signed a developmental contract with WWE just before he was 21, and was promoted to the main roster days after turning 22. Brandi’s path to WWE wasn’t quite as linear, starting with an education at the University of Miami, where she studied towards a Master’s degree in Broadcast Journalism. In her own words, WWE randomly found her and decided to give her a shot in 2011, initially training her as a wrestler but then deciding to make her a ring announcer after learning of her college background. Cody apparently started making his interest in Brandi well known amongst friends and co-workers almost immediately, perhaps even coming on a little too strong…
14 Not So "Dashing" Cody Rhodes
Because Brandi didn’t enter wrestling in the traditional fashion, she was virtually friendless during her early days in WWE. She wasn’t unpopular per se; she just didn’t know who anyone was and they didn’t know her, either. Apparently, Cody Rhodes was one of the first wrestlers to reach out of her and he did so in highly flirtatious fashion. After a few weeks of gauging one another’s interest, Cody made his big move in the middle of a conversation with Sheamus, Kelly Kelly, Ted DiBiase, and a few other superstars, inviting Brandi over to their table and immediately hugging her and starting to pet her. If that sounds a little creepy, it’s because it kind of was, and Brandi was actually bothered enough to get up and walk away. Cody texted her shortly afterwards to apologize and ask if he went too far or misread things, and Brandi responded she was simply surprised by how sudden and public his affection was, and their relationship started later that same night.
13 How Did Brandi Reveal They Were Dating?
Most WWE fans are aware by now of Cody’s dramatic exit from the company in 2016, as well as Brandi’s departure that followed not long thereafter. However, it probably isn’t common knowledge that this was actually the second time Brandi had quit WWE, doing so for the first time in late 2011. Brandi’s initial stint in WWE lasted from May to December of 2011, mostly appearing on Superstars and NXT, in addition to a handful of SmackDowns. Brandi was released from the company on her own request and though she didn’t go into detail on why she wanted out, most people presumed it dealt with the fact she initially was training to wrestle when the company forced her into announcing. The one thing she did have to say about her dismissal was that it meant she could finally announce her relationship with Cody Rhodes, which she had previously only been able to hint about online and never acknowledge onscreen.
12 They Were Engaged During Brandi's Time Away
Despite it meaning the couple parting ways on a professional standpoint, Brandi’s decision to leave WWE may well have been a positive as far as their relationship was concerned, considering it gave Brandi more time to focus on her personal life. That life was very much becoming about Cody and supporting him, something she was more than happy to do, as evidenced by their engagement to marry, something Brandi announced to her fans on Twitter. Coincidentally or not, the engagement occurred during the month Rhodes took off after suffering a concussion, from which he returned sporting his infamous moustache for the first time. The couple experienced a semi-long engagement of nine ten months, and were then wed in September of 2013, a fact that was worked into Cody’s WWE storylines through his family feud against the McMahon’s. While the McMahon’s used his personal life against him onscreen, the real goal was to do him a favor…
11 Cody Was Fired In Kayfabe So They Could Go On Their Honeymoon
The Rhodes Family battle against The Authority fast became on of the most emotional stories in recent WWE history, thanks both to Dusty and Goldust’s longstanding reputations as top workers and the amount of real life information all involved performers were throwing into the feud. The closer Cody and Brandi became to one another, the more relevant it was to the angle, so Triple H and Randy Orton brought it up to Cody the week of his wedding, as mentioned. Later that night, Randy defeated Cody in a match where his job was on the line, with the secret upside to it all being that Cody wanted the time off so he could have his wedding and go on his honeymoon without interruptions. Shortly after Cody was fake fired, his brother Goldust returned to WWE and his new wife would follow in a manner of months. Cody obviously returned as well, winning the WWE Tag Team Championships with his brother and achieving part of a lifelong dream. However, WWE never let Cody or Brandi do everything what they wanted, a fact that weighed heavily on both of their minds.
10 Brandi Encouraged Cody To Quit WWE
While virtually every wrestling fan had an opinion in one way or another on Cody’s bombastic WWE departure in 2016, one thing that the average person probably didn’t consider is how the move would affect his home life. Cody was stepping away from a considerable contract he probably could’ve kept renewing for years and not every wife would be entirely supportive of her husband saying goodbye to all that money. For her part, though, Brandi apparently never complained in the slightest about Cody leaving WWE, apparently even going so far as to have urged him along when he was considering the move. Brandi wasn’t alone, as Cody later claimed his father Dusty also told him to consider making a name for himself elsewhere, even as Big Dust himself was back working for the McMahon’s up until his death.
9 Brandi Quit Mere Days After Cody
On May 21st, 2016, Cody Rhodes announced his upcoming departure from WWE through his Twitter account, with WWE confirming the news the next day. Only two days later, Brandi Rhodes was released as well, albeit for completely unrelated reasons. In fact, Brandi’s departure had been in the works for several months at that point, with her having been open with company officials about her lack of desire to resign when her contract ran out that year. Brandi had apparently been creatively frustrated for some time, wanting to become more involved in her husband’s career and possibly start wrestling like she had initially trained to do. WWE turned down all of her ideas the same way they did Cody’s, which no doubt is what inspired her to tell him he should consider quitting. Even so, the fact she planned her resignation well before Cody was thinking about leaving makes it clear the two were in no way related.
8 Cody's Idea For Their TNA Debut
Four months after their controversial departures from WWE, Cody and Brandi Rhodes debuted together at TNA Bound For Glory on October 2nd, 2016. Thanks to WWE being particularly strict with copyright laws, Cody was relegated to a mononym while Brandi was allowed to use the family name. However, this isn’t the only reason the two decided to make their entrance together, nor is it why Brandi led the way for Cody during their initial appearance. It was Cody’s idea to have his wife front and center, more because he felt it was time for her to shine as a talent in her own right once and for all. While WWE forced Brandi into a ring announcer role, TNA apparently promised to allow her much more creativity and freedom, something she took advantage of from day one. The Rhodes also worked together in Ring of Honor and other independents, though TNA is appropriately where they’re making the most impact at this point in time.
7 Brandi Wrestled Her First Match As Cody's Partner
As already covered, Brandi entered wrestling by chance, discovered while she was a student and forced into a ring announcer role because of her background in broadcasting. Although she was never too loud about it, Brandi had apparently long harbored a desire to step in the ring herself, or at least get the chance, which she finally did only one month into her tenure at TNA. Joined by her husband in an intergender tag team match, Brandi won her debut against Mike and Maria Bennett on the October 27th episode of Impact Wrestling. Coincidentally, in between her WWE exit and TNA debut, Brandi had been interviewed about a potential stint in the ring, with her husband’s father’s infamous intergender tag team with Sapphire against Ted DiBiase and Sherri Martel at WrestleMania VI used as a reference point. Brandi claimed to have no inclinations to imitate that match, only to wind up doing something quite similar when it finally came time for her to start wrestling.
6 Where Did Cody Take Brandi On Her Favorite Date?
The list already covered how Cody came on a little strong when he first started flirting with his future wife and his literal heavy petting may indeed have come a bit too early. However, sometimes a big and bold move right at the beginning is what it takes to win a woman’s heart, so for one of their first official dates together, Cody took Brandi to Universal Studios during Halloween Horror Night 21 in 2013. Universal Studios is more about spectacle than rides, but the happy couple has also been on a decent number of roller coasters together, long considering theme parks one of their strongest shared interests. According to Brandi, part of what attracted her to Cody was the fact he took her on such a unique date so early and Halloween Horror Nights have since become a yearly part of their lives together. Naturally, a second interest is present in this story…
5 They're Both Big Horror Buffs
Cody appears to be the big amusement park roller coaster fan of the bunch, while Brandi’s interest in their dates at Universal Studios was more interested in the horror of it all. That isn’t to say Cody isn’t a big horror fan himself, noting a love of such Universal Studios classics as King Kong and Jaws, in addition to an interest in the films of Alfred Hitchcock. Brandi is more general about her horror fandom, if only because she’s so obsessed with the genre she doesn’t want to badmouth it, noting on Twitter she always tries to enjoy the creativity in even a subpar scary movie. Brandi is so enthralled with the horror genre that she’s taking things into her own hands, a fact we’ll explain more as the list continues. For any horror fan out there who thinks they can talk to the Rhodes about your fandom now, here’s a tip—the one franchise they’ve one on record as saying they don’t like is The Walking Dead.
4 Brandi's Moment With Big Dust
Regardless of how hard it was for Cody to step out of his father’s footsteps, he never stopped loving The American Dream and appreciating him for the man he was both to his family and the entire wrestling world. While Brandi couldn’t have known Dusty Rhodes the same way his son did, she nonetheless became extremely close to her father-in-law during the short time they spent together. According to Brandi, one of the highlights of her career was walking the red carpet with Dusty at the Hall Of Fame Ceremony he would live to attend in 2015. Perhaps one of the lowlights was when she became the person to reveal Dusty’s cause of death, a fact that while somber also goes to show how close they truly were. Brandi was apparently amongst the family members with Dusty in his last moments, a final declaration they accepted and one loved another as true family.
3 They Were Hurt When Fans Rejected Stardust
The death of Dusty Rhodes shook the entire WWE Universe, most of all Goldust and Cody Rhodes, the latter of whom took a month long hiatus to recover from the emotional trauma. Cody’s problems with WWE had been brewing for a long time, chief amongst them his desire to cast aside Stardust and begin celebrating the Rhodes name. Fans had hoped desperately that some little good could come out of Dusty’s death in that it would be the impetus for WWE to finally let Cody make the switch. Instead, he returned a few weeks later still as Stardust, mostly in order to finish a high profile feud with TV star Stephen Amell. Fans on the Internet were furious with Cody for not taking the opportunity to end Stardust once and for all, but surprisingly, both he and his wife were staunchly defensive of the decision to stay Stardust, noting Dusty would’ve wanted him to finish what he started. Even if Cody wanted to use his father’s name all along, he knew it was more important to finish the story his company set out to tell, a lesson Cody and Brandi took to heart in practically everything they’ve accomplished since his passing.
2 Did WWE Keep Them Apart On Screen?
On top of the Rhodes’s shared love of theme parks and horror films, the two also have shown a particularly penchant for comic books, especially by way of Cody’s career. Stardust had enough comic book characteristics for him to feud with a literal superhero in Arrow star Stephen Amell, but some fans could never get over his connection to Goldust and see their character on it’s own merit, as previously explained. Perhaps things could have gone better if Cody and Brandi were given the green light on their other super villain idea, Rhodes Industries, inspired in part by Iron Man’s Stark Industries. Though Stark is a hero, Cody was going to rely on his extravagant wealth and self-aggrandizing personality to become some sort of evil genius or at least that’s what we can pick up from the one vignette WWE filmed and never used. We also know that Brandi was going to be by his side for the first time in his career, as well, with the video implying she would play a huge role in the character due to their real life relationship, greatly bolstering her career. Unfortunately, Rhodes Industries was thrown out entirely, only to exist in speculative form.
1 They Have A Second Career In Common
When a couple meets on the job, most people would assume working at their shared profession is high on the list of favorite activities to do as a couple. Cody and Brandi Rhodes get to experience this feeling times two, because in addition to both being wrestlers, the two also plan to become published authors in the near future. Buried amidst the much bigger news of them leaving WWE and starting to work on the independent scene was that both Cody and Brandi are working on unrelated books. Cody’s is a biographical account of his father’s life and career, while Brandi’s writing a complete work of fiction in the horror variety. Both of these books are still in the planning stages, though Cody’s is much further along and even has a potential title, The Last Cowboy. The only thing holding him back is copyright issues with WWE, who still own many of The American Dream’s trademarks. It at least does appear that Cody and his former employers are willing to work together in this regard, so the book is a strong possibility. Brandi’s book apparently has a lot further to go, but knowing this family’s work ethic, fans probably won’t have to wait too long to learn something about it.
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