Cody Rhodes first signed with WWE back in 2006 and joined their developmental promotion, Ohio Valley Wrestling where he quickly made his name, winning the OVW Heavyweight Championship less than a year after his first match.
The star was called up to the main roster in July 2007 and soon began rising up the ranks, first winning the World Tag Team Championships with Hardcore Holly before moving on to form The Legacy with Ted DiBiase Jr and Randy Orton.
As part of Legacy, he assisted Orton in his feuds with Triple H which included high-profile matches between the reformed D-Generation X and Rhodes & DiBiase. The faction imploded in 2010 with Rhodes and DiBiase turning on Orton before being defeated by their former mentor at WrestleMania 26.
Rhodes was then traded to SmackDown where he became ‘Dashing’ Cody Rhodes and eventually won the Intercontinental Championship in 2011 and held it for 236 days. Over the following two years, Rhodes saw success tagging with Damian Sandow as the Rhodes Scholars and later formed an alliance with his brother Dustin Rhodes, then going by Goldust.
In 2014, Rhodes began emulating his brother by donning his won facepaint and going by the name Stardust. After he turned heel by turning on Goldust, he became more and more like a comic book villain and seemed to lose traction in the company.
This change proved to be pivotal in his departure in 2016.
Cody Rhodes reveals why he first left WWE
“Stardust is the reason I left. So it really the story was I was with WWE since I was 19 and was kind of a very much a legacy hire. They knew he was Dusty’s son and that opened the door for me. And then the tricky thing being second or third generation once the doors open once you got that special treatment here, now your expectations are through the roof.
“I wasn’t ready for those expectations, slow learner all that. But I was really chipping away and you know, the brass rings are these things you get when you’re lower to the middle of the card. Everything I was, you know, good live segments. I was nailing them. I won the Intercontinental Championship, I was making the most of it.
Now, however, things have completely changed for the star as he is closer than ever to reaching the top of WWE as the winner of the 2023 Royal Rumble, something he says is life-changing.
“I felt like I’m right there, I’m right there. I was gonna win Money in the Bank a couple times. And it changed like, as we got closer I mean these, that’s the thing about people don’t understand how real wrestling can be some of these moments like winning the friggin Royal Rumble, I haven’t slept. That’s life-changing.”
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