When Dusty Rhodes told Cody Rhodes to leave WWE after match against AEW star

Dusty Rhodes (left) and Cody Rhodes (right)
Dusty Rhodes (left) and Cody Rhodes (right)

Dusty Rhodes wanted Cody Rhodes to leave WWE four years before he initially departed the company.

In 2012, The American Nightmare lost the Intercontinental Championship to The Big Show in a five-minute match at WrestleMania 28. Dusty Rhodes felt that his son should have been booked more prominently on WWE's biggest show of the year.

In a 2016 interview with Wrestledelphia Radio, Cody Rhodes revealed that his late father advised him to leave WWE after the event:

"At 28, I recalled particularly, he was unhappy with the direction things were going with me and Big Show, and he just thought that I was so close to the keys to the kingdom, and they were slipping away, that maybe leaving would wake them to the idea that this is somebody who wanted to captain your ship and the way you guys are treating him has pushed him out." (H/T Fightful)
4/1/2012The Big Show defeated Cody Rhodes to win the Intercontinental Championship at #Wrestlemania XXVIII from the Sunlife Stadium in #WWEMiami Gardens, Florida.#TheBigShow #PaulWight #CodyRhodes #AmericanNightmare #SmokeAndMirrors #MyKingdom #ICTitle #WWE #WWEHistory

Cody Rhodes left WWE when his contract expired in 2016. The 37-year-old returned to the company in 2022 after three years as an AEW Executive Vice President. Paul Wight, aka The Big Show, also joined AEW in 2021 after two decades in WWE.

Why Cody Rhodes didn't take Dusty Rhodes' advice

The two-time Intercontinental Champion stayed with WWE after WrestleMania 28 because he was determined to work his way to the top.

Cody Rhodes later admitted that he should probably have taken his Hall of Fame father's advice years earlier:

"It seemed at the time like kind of a leopard's play, so it just didn't interest me. I wanted to stick it out, and I always tried to not take Pop's advice, because he's my dad, so the advice always came from that part of his heart, not the businessman part of his mind, but his heart, and actually at the end of my WWE career, he was right that I should have made that decision maybe a little sooner."

In 2022, Rhodes defeated Seth Rollins in his WWE return match at WrestleMania 38. He is now preparing to challenge Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship in the main event of WrestleMania 39 on April 1-2.

Do you think The American Nightmare should have left WWE in 2012? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Edited by Danny Hart