In order for Cody Rhodes to convince the world of his greatness, he had to take quite a few steps back in the industry he was born into. He is the son of Dusty Rhodes and the Rhodes family is one of the royal families of professional wrestling.
And it was after many would have considered a privileged upbringing in the realm of WWE, he stepped away from that existence because it just wasn’t working the way he would have at first hoped.
He was put through the Ohio Valley Wrestling developmental system—then WWE’s developmental territory—and he eventually made it to the main roster. He had a decent time of it overall and put forth great matches, but it wasn’t catching with the audience as well as it should have, nor with WWE management.
There are many out there that would have been content to just go along with it, but Cody wasn’t, or rather isn’t the type. He wanted to shoot for the stars and earn what he felt he was destined for all along—which was a spot at the top of the industry.
The Stardust character was probably the final straw as the expression goes. Rhodes was made to essentially be an offshoot of his older brother’s Goldust character, and although it was a fan favorite, Cody definitely wanted more than that.
So he opted to take those aforementioned steps backward, taking his career to the independent circuit. It was on that independent circuit that he became a legend in the industry, making stops in ROH, NJPW, TNA/Impact and he dominated on those respective platforms big time.
He won titles he never would have gotten a chance to win in WWE at the time, and perhaps the most important thing was he convinced the naysayers wrong, proved them wrong, and showed that he wasn’t just a contender but a definitive legend in the industry, or rather a legend in waiting.
It would be in 2018 that ROH would back an event that has now become legendary in the industry of pro wrestling, the All In event. A partnership between Cody Rhodes, the Young Bucks and ROH brought this show to fruition and many believe it was this event in particular, the precursor for AEW.
The show was a huge success and broke attendance records for independent wrestling shows, hitting an attendance of 11,263 people according to Wikipedia.
AEW would start the following year officially after months of rumor, and the rest as they say is history. But Cody would do what many thought was the unthinkable when he left the company earlier in the year, making the move back to WWE, premiering at WrestleMania 38.
He left the company because he wanted a chance to reach for the brass ring that so eluded his father as well…that world championship…something he had been after all along. But what a way to make it work for you in the end, eh? And Cody Rhodes did just that.
As it turns out, he’s still quite motivated by what they were able to accomplish with that All In event and where it obviously led him. He is currently rehabbing from a pectoral injury he suffered earlier this year and as he stated in a post on his social media, a backstage pass from that All In event hangs in his van. Here’s what he said in the post:
“Hanging in my truck. Everyday on the way to PT, a nice little reminder to shoot for the furthest goals and to dream bigger every day.”-Cody Rhodes /Instagram Story