Cody Rhodes Departure Perfectly Encapsulates What’s Wrong With WWE
Cody Rhodes asked for, and was granted his release from WWE after a lengthy run of toiling in the mid-card. Rhodes departure is the latest in WWE that could be chalked up to another wrestler that just couldn’t cut the mustard, but we all know better than that. This is just the latest talent to leave the massive umbrella of WWE, and one has to believe that it will not be the last. Rhodes wrote a rather detailed post on his Twitter account explaining why he chose to walk away. The letter doesn’t come across as him whining, or being bitter about anything, but rather the realization that he is better than how he’s been used the last few months.
My one&only statement on the matter. No podcasts or tell-all nonsense.
Thank you friends. pic.twitter.com/c5MNKw6spH
— Hyrule Husky (@PrinceCGR) May 22, 2016
Let Vince McMahon tell it, Cody is just another soft millennial, afraid to reach up and grab the brass ring. With some WWE talent, this could be true, but in the case of Cody Rhodes nothing could be further from the truth. Cody burst on the scene with Ted DiBiase Jr and Randy Orton as a third of the villainous group, Legacy. Rhodes and DiBiase held their own against the WWE tag team division and eventually scored a victory against the biggest heavyweights in the business at the time, DX. Legacy continued to have a pretty solid stranglehold in the main event scene, as Randy Orton was the World Champ at the time, with Rhodes and DiBiase acting as his henchmen. The group continued their reign of terror until Randy Orton turned face and Cody Rhodes was drafted to Smackdown.
During his time on Smackdown, Cody Rhodes was able to truly show off his talent and get his shine as a solo act. Initially, Rhodes stole the show with his “Dashing” Cody Rhodes gimmick, but then turned things up a notch after suffering a legit broken nose after being hit in the nose by Rey Mysterio’s knee brace. Dashing Cody Rhodes turned into a disfigured heel character, that seemed to thrive in that role. Rhodes would eventually win the Intercontinental title with this gimmick, and would regularly use a mask to cheat to win. Cody was also instrumental in debuting the white Intercontinental Title design we see today, as a nod to some of the great IC Champions from the 80’s. After having a solid 8 month reign as IC Champ, Cody then briefly moved into the Tag Team division, first teaming with Damien Sandow as one half of Team Rhodes Scholars. Rhodes Scholars were mildly entertaining, but they agreed to split the team up after Cody began getting more and more favorable reactions from the crowd thanks in part to his moustache being super over with audiences everywhere. It was during the Money In The Bank match in 2013 that Cody Rhodes finally showed the world what he was made of. He had an outstanding showing in the match, and midway through, the WWE Universe was soundly behind him. Just as it looked like he was going to win, he was dumped off the ladder by Damien Sandow and lost the match.
This began a solid run of bad booking by WWE, seemingly hell-bent on keeping him out of the title picture despite him being massively over with the audience. WWE even went so far as to team him with his brother Goldust, and turn him into an offshoot character, naming him Stardust. Stardust was subjected to the longest losing streak in Rhodes career, and never really recovered from it. It seemed that Cody was fully committed to the Stardust character, but after reading his statement on Twitter, WWE was more sold on the character than he was. He had actually wanted to return to the Cody Rhodes character and hopefully finally get his shot at running with the WWE title, but it appears that day will never come.
Now, the ghost of WWE past comes roaring back into fans lives again. Although he chose an amazingly higher road, Cody’s complaints sound really similar to those of one CM Punk. The writers and talent agents have orders they have to follow, and those orders are usually coming down from Vince McMahon. This scenario furthers mine and pretty much everyone else’s belief that Vince is too far out of touch now to keep WWE fans (and lately talent) satisfied. Therein lies the problem. Vince continue to stick around and force his will down the throats of fans and employees alike. Now that Cody is gone, I have no faith that I’ll ever see a Dolph Ziggler, Cesaro, Sami Zayn, Neville, Dean Ambrose or Bray Wyatt championship reign. I really hope I’m wrong, but as long as Vince is running the show, it’s highly possible I’m not.