Cody Rhodes (real name: Cody Garrett Runnels) is possibly one of the biggest names in the wrestling industry. Starting his career off as an in-and-out WWE guy, Cody Rhodes changed the landscape of the wrestling business globally by shaking up the independent wrestling circuit. A founding member and former Executive Vice President of All Elite Wrestling (AEW), Cody Rhodes is one of the biggest superstars present in WWE today.
The American Nightmare is the younger brother of veteran professional wrestler Dustin Rhodes, who is best known for his stint in WWE as Goldust, and the son of WWE Hall of Famer and late wrestler Dusty Rhodes.
Cody Rhodes was born on June 30, 1985, in Marietta, Georgia, US. He was born to WWE Legend Dusty Rhodes and his second wife Michelle Rubio. His father has a total of four children - a son and a daughter from both his marriages. The oldest of his children is Dustin Rhodes, the man who would go on to be known as Goldust.
Cody was born as Cody Garrett Runnells but he changed his name to Cody Garrett Runnells Rhodes in his teenage legally. He did his schooling at Lassiter High School and also partook in wrestling where he had a successful wrestling career. He also attended an acting school later but chose pro-wrestling as his career at last.
In 2006, Cody Rhodes started his professional wrestling career by competing as Cody Runnels in WWE's developmental brands. As a member of the company's ECW brand, he made his WWE television debut in 2007 with Hardcore Holly as his tag team partner. Known as The Holly Cousins, the two men had numerous rivalries. Ted DiBiase Jr. and Damien Sandow were two of the many tag team partners Cody would go on to have throughout the years. Throughout his tenure in the WWE, he was also successful as a singles wrestler, adding the prestigious Intercontinental Championship and Tag Team Championship to his resume.
Cody has had several famous storylines and feuds throughout his time in WWE. One of his most significant feuds was against Randy Orton, which lasted from 2011 until WrestleMania XXVI and included stablemate Ted DiBiase Jr. Cody turned on Orton, with whom he had previously been associated, and attacked him during a bout, according to the plot. The American Nightmare then had a decent run as the 'Dashing' Cody Rhodes, which saw him introducing the classic Intercontinental Championship with the white color belt strap. Following the loss of his title, Rhodes would unite with half-brother Goldust to form The Brotherhood, which is when his paths would first cross with WWE Undisputed Universal Champion Roman Reigns, who was a member of the SHIELD stable at the time.
Rhodes would then turn over a new leaf in his career, turning into Stardust, a character that had tremendous potential but was held back by improper booking and presentation. The damage done was so much that even having Stardust lead The Ascension in a faction named 'The Cosmic Wasteland' and a match with mainstream star Stephen Amell couldn't save the gimmick. This poor management of his gimmick led to Cody announcing that he had requested his release from WWE. At the time, he cited creative differences as the reason for his departure, stating that he was unhappy with the direction of his character and felt that he wasn't being utilized to his full potential.
Cody began wrestling on the independent circuit after leaving WWE, appearing in many promotions including Ring of Honor (ROH), Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG), and New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) (NJPW). He also continued to use the Stardust gimmick for a short period before retiring it. Cody began to look into other prospects in the wrestling industry during this period, including working as a promoter.
After leaving WWE, Rhodes signed with Ring of Honor (ROH), one of the world's leading independent wrestling organizations of the time. Rhodes debuted in ROH in September 2016, defeating Jay Lethal in his first fight in the promotion.
Over the next few months, Rhodes rose to prominence in ROH, appearing in several high-profile matches and establishing himself as a fan favorite. Rhodes won his first ROH championship in December 2016, defeating Adam Cole to become the ROH World Champion. Rhodes would still be associated with the promotion while organizing the famous All In event.
Cody Rhodes changes the wrestling landscape with All In and All Elite Wrestling
Not any time soon twitter.com/TheWWEGuy_/sta…
I'll take that bet DaveI already gave them their biggest buyrate...put The Bucks & I on the card & 3-months to promote CC @ringofhonor twitter.com/davemeltzerwon…
In 2018, he and several other wrestlers organized the "All In" wrestling event in Chicago, which included multiple high-profile matches and wrestlers from several indie organizations. The event was a smashing success, selling out the venue and generating a sizable pay-per-view crowd.
Following the grand success of "All In," Cody and Tony Khan launched All Elite Wrestling (AEW), a new wrestling promotion. Cody, along with Khan and fellow wrestlers Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks, was named an executive vice president (EVP) of the organization.
Double or Nothing, AEW's debut show, took place in May 2019 and included several high-profile matches, including Cody vs. his brother Dustin in a gory and emotional encounter that gained critical acclaim. Cody continued to wrestle for AEW and was a part of several noteworthy feuds and battles, including one with Chris Jericho that culminated in a match at AEW's Full Gear event in 2019.
One of Rhodes' most famous feuds in AEW involved MJF, a young wrestler who initially supported Rhodes before betraying him in a widely publicized plot. The feud ended with Rhodes defeating MJF in a highly emotional match at AEW's Revolution event in February 2020.
The American Nightmare was also synonymous with the promotion's TNT Championship and his rivalries with Darby Allin, Brodie Lee, Lance Archer, and Sammy Guevara contributed significantly towards building the prestige of the recently established championship. Rhodes remained closely involved in AEW's creative direction, assisting in the development of new storylines and characters and working behind the scenes to grow the company's brand and image.
When the shocking news of Rhodes not re-signing with AEW came into public knowledge, the fans went into a frenzy, making bold predictions of him returning to WWE and being featured in the wrestling behemoth's flagship event, WrestleMania, in a prominent position. These wild predictions turned out to be true, as the American Nightmare made his surprise return on Night 1 of WrestleMania 38. He would go on to fight Seth Rollins in the co-main event spot, starting a rivalry that would culminate months later in an all-time classic Hell in a Cell match. The build-up to this grueling match however saw Rhodes suffering from a torn pectoral tendon, leading to the American Nightmare missing nine months of in-ring action.
Rhodes' determination to win a World Championship would not be deterred, as the American Nightmare would return at 2023's Royal Rumble Premium Live Event to win the titular match to challenge Roman Reigns for the Undisputed Universal Championship in the main event of WrestleMania 39. On the Road to WrestleMania, Rhodes would go on to unite himself with Sami Zayn against Roman Reigns before Zayn lost to Reigns at the Elimination Chamber 2023.
At WrestleMania Hollywood, Rhodes and Reigns gave in their all in a hard-hitting contest. Solo Sikoa interfered in the match before being sent off by the referee. The Usos made their presence known followed by Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens who evened the odds. At last, Rhodes was about to give a third Cross Rhodes to the champion before Sikoa made his way back and hit him with a Samoan Spike while Heyman distracted the referee. Rhodes lost the match via pinfall after a spear from Reigns.
The following night, Rhodes challenged Reigns and Sikoa to a tag team match. Brock Lesnar came out as Rhodes' tag team partner. However, Lesnar instead attacked Rhodes himself. Theron, Rhodes wanted to seek revenge on Lesnar, setting up a battle at WWE Backlash 2023.
At the event, Rhodes managed to defeat Lesnar when he converted the Kimura lock into a roll-up pin. An infuriated Lesnar attacked him a few weeks later. During his match against Finn Balor and The Miz in the World Heavyweight Championship tournament, Rhodes was attacked by Lesnar who broke his arm. This resulted in a kayfabe arm injury, eventually leading to Rhodes' defeat at Night of Champions 2023 at the hands of Brock Lesnar.
Following the event, Rhodes was involved in a confrontation with Dominik Mysterio. This set up a clash between the two and they battled it out at Money in the Bank 2023 at the O2 Arena in London, UK. At the event, Rhodes pinned Mysterio within nine minutes to score a victory. Following the event, he challenged Brock Lesnar once again and was a victim of an attack by The Beast. Lesnar accepted Rhodes' challenge setting up the third match between the two superstars, this time at the Biggest Party of the Summer (SummerSlam).
At SummerSlam, Rhodes managed to beat Brock Lesnar clean and square. This achievement is as impressive as it gets, given the small list of individuals who have slayed The Beast. Lesnar embraced Rhodes after the match, ending their feud for good. As of now, Rhodes is scheduled to appear at Payback, not as a wrestler but as a guest to Grayson Waller's special talk-show The Grayson Waller Effect.
As per various sources, Cody Rhodes is worth around $ 4 Million in 2023. Click here to read about the net worth of The American Nightmare in detail.
Dusty Rhodes is considered to be one of the greatest WWE Superstars of all time. Every WWE fan is well aware of the fact that Dusty Rhodes is the father of Cody Rhodes. Born on 11th October 1945, Dusty Rhodes is better known by his nickname - "The American Dream", which is the opposite of the name his son uses - "The American Nightmare".
Known by some as Goldust, while as Dustin Rhodes by others, Dustin Patrick Runnels is the son of WWE Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes and is the half-brother of Cody Rhodes. He was born in 1969 on the 11th of April and made his WWE debut in 1995. In 2019, he joined AEW alongside Cody Rhodes. However, he did not leave the company like Cody did in 2022.
Cody’s wife, Brandi Rhodes (real name: Brandi Alexis Reed) is also a wrestler and holds the position of Chief Brand Officer of AEW. Brandi was born on June 23, 1983, in Canton, Michigan. She was a figure skater for 17 years and graduated from the University of Michigan.
She was employed as a news reporter in Michigan for two years. She shifted to Miami and began modeling for renowned magazines such as Maxim and Hawaiian Tropic while also attending the University of Miami for a Master’s degree in broadcast journalism. She has also acted in the series WAGS Atlanta.