Why did Cody Rhodes leave WWE?
Cody Rhodes is the "Grandson Of A Plumber" as he is the son of the legendary Dusty Rhodes. He has represented his family legacy proudly since his debut in professional wrestling and since his departure from WWE (and his last name) Cody's been on a rise to the top of pro wrestling. But why did Cody Rhodes depart from WWE in the first place and what led him to that decision?
Cody Rhodes was in WWE for a decade before taking off to dominate the world's indie wrestling scene and becoming ROH World Champion. After training in OVW, Rhodes came to the main roster and was programmed in a partnership with Hardcore Holly for a bit and carried the World Tag Team Championships before joining Legacy which brings us to our first chapter in Cody Rhodes' WWE story.
Legacy was an amazing stable
In the spirit of Evolution, Randy Orton formed Legacy. They were a stable where Orton was the veteran and brought along Cody Rhodes for the ride.
Rhodes was still a World Tag Team Champion alongside Hardcore Holly when Ted DiBiase Jr made his WWE debut. DiBiase claimed that he would have a mystery partner join him to challenge Rhodes and Holly at Night Of Champions in 2008. But when the night came, Rhodes turned on his partner and he and DiBiase won the WWE Tag Team Championships. Essentially, Rhodes just traded partners and remained the champion which is apparently something people can do.
Cody Rhodes continued with Legacy for three years which saw Randy Orton running with WWE's top title. But Cody Rhodes' time at the top was still out of reach as he continued to steal the show.
Let's get Dashing
Cody Rhodes was drafted to SmackDown during the 2010 WWE Supplemental Draft. Later, he went on to mentor Husky Harris during the second season of NXT. Harris became much more famous later on as Bray Wyatt.
But the partnership between those two Superstars with great wrestling pedigrees was short lived as Cody Rodes developed a new and more narcissistic gimmick when he became "Dashing" Cody Rhodes.
This new persona meant he walked to the ring with a mirror to admire himself and gloat about his achievements. He teamed with Drew McIntyre during this time and captured the WWE Tag Team Championships once again but he ended up losing those titles to John Cena and David Otunga later on as part of the Nexus storyline and his partnership with McIntyre would soon dissipate as well.
Intercontinental Championship Run and Rhodes Scholars
Cody Rhodes became not-so-dashing anymore after his nose was legit broken by Rey Mysterio thanks to a 6-1-9 and an exposed knee brace. It was actually a rather serious injury and required facial reconstructive surgery.
But Rhodes turned this situation into chicken salad where he went on to sport a faceguard and incorporate it into his character.
Rhodes had a nice Intercontinental Championship run but he lost his title to The Big Show only to regain it 28 days later. During his run with the IC Title, Cody Rhodes introduced the new white strap design we know today.
He then dropped drop his Intercontinental Championship to Christian and formed an alliance with Damien Sandow to form Rhodes Scholars. In November 2014 Cody Rhodes suffered a strained shoulder and a concussion during a match forcing him to take some time off and pulling him from a Survivor Series match in the process.
When Rhodes came back he was sporting a sick new moustache which became his calling card for a while. After the Money In The Bank pay-per-view, Damien Sandow attacked Rhodes effectively turning Dusty Rhodes' youngest son into a babyface for the first time since 2008.
Partnering with his brother
Cody Rhodes would soon form a partnership with his real-life half-brother Goldust and incorporated much of his real family legacy into the WWE storyline. This union was jumpstarted by an angle where they had to fight for their jobs and eventually invaded Raw by attacking The Shield.
The Rhodes Brothers won their jobs back by defeating The Shield at Battleground in 2013 and went onto a program toward the tag team gold.
Cody Rhodes and Goldust went on to capture the WWE Tag Team Titles two times before dissolving. Cody soon grew melancholic due to a losing streak he kept blaming himself on.
The two sons of Dusty Rhodes had a great run together which is sometimes discredited but in all honesty, they could have done more with this amazing partnership
The Introduction of The Inter-dimensional Oddity
Cody soon debuted as Stardust as a replacement for himself when he vowed to find Goldust a better partner. The two would tag together for a while but they never recaptured the magic they had as The Brotherhood.
It might not have been anyone's favourite character but he played this part up the most he could with as much zeal as he could muster. Stardust's promos were strange and sadistic but also satisfying. Stardust's ringwork incorporated cartwheels and showing off the fact the palms of his hands made a star when he pressed them together just right. It was an odd time for him, but it was a much-needed catalyst that helped him make a decision to leave in time.
As Stardust, Cody Rhodes feuded with Arrow's Stephen Amell but other than that there were no real notable programs. He did everything he could to be the best entertainer in the ring while he was out there, but nothing seemed to do click with the management to get him to that crucial next level.
The end of the line for Cody Rhodes and WWE
On May 21, 2016, Cody Rhodes requested his release from WWE and was granted it the next day. However, he had to leave his last name in the clutches of Vince McMahon and Company because as unfair as it may seem, WWE owned the intellectual property over the name "Cody Rhodes."
It was a smart decision, in the end, considering how well Cody (Rhodes) has done for himself on the indie scene but it was still a risky one. However, it was still something that needed to happen because no matter how hard the second generation tried, WWE never gave him a real chance to run at the top.
He has obviously proven WWE wrong at this point and should be seen as someone who could run with a top title if he ever did decide to make a WWE comeback. But for now, it looks like he'll be enjoying the next portion of his career doing his own thing and cementing his own legacy in professional wrestling.