A Look at Cody Rhodes’ Storied Wrestling Career


Cody Rhodes, born Cody Garrett Runnels, is a name synonymous with professional wrestling excellence.  For over two decades, he has carved a path through the industry, leaving his mark on both established giants and upstart promotions.  This article delves into Rhodes’ remarkable journey, from his second-generation roots to his current reign as the Undisputed WWE Champion.

Son of a Legend, Legacy to Uphold

Born in 1985, Cody’s wrestling lineage runs deep. His father, Dusty Rhodes, was a WWE Hall of Famer known for his charisma and “common man” persona.  Half-brother Dustin Rhodes (better known as Goldust) is also a veteran wrestler.  Growing up surrounded by the industry, Cody’s path to the ring seemed almost preordained.

He began training at a young age and debuted in 2006 with Ohio Valley Wrestling, a WWE developmental territory.  Quickly rising through the ranks, Cody arrived in WWE in 2007, forming a tag team with Hardcore Holly.  Their success culminated in a World Tag Team Championship victory, showcasing Cody’s potential.

Early Days in WWE: Dashes of Brilliance, Frustrations Mount

While early years saw championship reigns and memorable feuds (particularly with Randy Orton), Cody felt creatively stifled.  He transitioned from his “dashing” persona to a more brooding character, but limitations remained.  In 2016, Cody made a bold decision – he requested and received his release from WWE.

A Risky Gamble: Founding AEW and Championship Gold

Unleashed from creative constraints, Cody became a key figure in the launch of All Elite Wrestling (AEW) in 2019.  He took on a dual role as an Executive Vice President and a wrestler.  AEW promised a fresh alternative to the established wrestling landscape, and Cody became a cornerstone of its success.

He emerged as a fan favourite, engaging in critically acclaimed matches.  He locked horns with the likes of his brother Dustin, Chris Jericho, and the late Brodie Lee.  He also became the inaugural AEW TNT Champion, a title he would hold a record-tying three times.  His time in AEW showcased his in-ring prowess and leadership qualities.

The Prodigal Son Returns: A Dramatic Homecoming to WWE

After failing to reach terms on a new contract with AEW in 2022, Cody made a shocking return to WWE at WrestleMania 38.  His entrance, complete with a torn pectoral muscle, was a dramatic moment that solidified his status as a top star.  He secured a string of victories, including capturing the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship alongside Seth “Freakin” Rollins.

The pinnacle of his return came at WrestleMania 39.  In a gruelling and emotional match, Cody defeated Roman Reigns to become the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion.  The victory marked the culmination of a long journey, proving himself both inside and outside the WWE system.

Beyond the Ring: Business Ventures and Family Life

While wrestling remains his central focus, Cody has explored other ventures.  He co-founded the independent promotion All In, a precursor to AEW.  He also runs his wrestling school, the Nightmare Factory, dedicated to nurturing future stars.

Cody is married to fellow wrestler Brandi Rhodes (now using the name Brandi Reed).  Together they have a daughter.

The American Nightmare: A Future Full of Possibilities

Cody Rhodes’ career trajectory is unlike any other.  He has defied expectations, thrived in both established and upstart promotions, and earned the respect of fans and colleagues alike.  As the Undisputed WWE Champion, his future holds immense possibilities.

Will he continue his reign at the top of WWE?  Will he venture back into the realm of independent wrestling?  Only time will tell.  One thing remains certain: Cody Rhodes, the American Nightmare, is a name that will continue to be a major force in the ever-evolving world of professional wrestling.

Additional Points of Interest:

Cody Rhodes is known for his innovative and high-flying in-ring style.

He is a skilled storyteller, weaving intricate narratives into his feuds and matches.

His willingness to push boundaries and take risks has endeared him to fans who appreciate his dedication to the craft.

By following his passion and defying expectations, Cody Rhodes has become a true icon in the wrestling world.  His journey is far from over, and fans eagerly await to see what the American Nightmare accomplishes next.


Q. Who is Cody Rhodes?

Cody Rhodes (real name Cody Garrett Runnels Rhodes) is an American professional wrestler currently signed to WWE’s SmackDown brand. He is the reigning Undisputed WWE Universal Champion, holding both the WWE Championship and Universal Championship titles.

Q. What are Cody Rhodes’ biggest accomplishments?

  • WWE:
    • Current Undisputed WWE Universal Champion (First Reign)
    • 2x Intercontinental Champion
    • 6x WWE Tag Team Champion (including reigns with Drew McIntyre, Goldust, and The Miz)
  • AEW:
    • Executive Vice President (Founding)
    • Inaugural and 3x (record-tying) AEW TNT Champion

Q. Where did Cody Rhodes start his wrestling career?

Rhodes began his career in the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) in 2006, following in the footsteps of his father, the legendary Dusty Rhodes.

Q. What was Cody Rhodes’ time in WWE like?

Cody Rhodes’ first stint in WWE lasted from 2007 to 2016. He achieved success, winning tag team and Intercontinental championships. However, he felt creatively stifled and left to pursue opportunities elsewhere.

Q. What did Cody Rhodes do after leaving WWE?

After WWE, Rhodes had a successful run in various independent promotions, including Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro-Wrestling. He also co-founded All Elite Wrestling (AEW) in 2019, serving as an Executive Vice President and becoming the company’s first TNT Champion.

Q. Why did Cody Rhodes return to WWE?

Reasons for Rhodes’ return to WWE in 2022 are speculative, but it likely involved a desire for a fresh challenge and a chance to compete at the pinnacle of professional wrestling once again.

Q. What’s next for Cody Rhodes in WWE?

As the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion, Rhodes is positioned as the top dog on SmackDown. He will likely face stiff challenges from other top contenders looking to dethrone him.

Q. Is Cody Rhodes also an actor?

Yes, Cody Rhodes has made appearances in several television shows, including Arrow and Warehouse 13, and is reportedly set to star in the upcoming reboot of the Naked Gun franchise.

Q. Where can I learn more about Cody Rhodes?

You can find more information about Cody Rhodes on his official WWE profile,  his Wikipedia page, or by following his social media channels.

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Jyoti Kumari

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