Rhodes during a episode of Raw in May 2014
|Birth name||Cody Garrett Runnels|
|Ring name(s)||Cody Rhodes|
|Billed height||6 ft. 2 in. (1.88 m)|
|Billed weight||220 lb. (100 kg)|
|Born||June 30, 1985 (age 36)|
|Billed from||Marietta, Georgia|
|Trained by||Dusty Rhodes|
Cody Garrett Runnels (born June 30, 1985) is an American professional wrestler signed to WWE working on the SmackDown brand, better known by his ring name Cody Rhodes.
Runnels is the half-brother of Goldust as well as the son of Dusty Rhodes, and worked as a referee in his father's promotion during high school. He is also the nephew of professional wrestlers, Jerry Sags and Fred Ottman, and the godson of Magnum T.A. Runnels started wrestling professionally in 2006, using his real name, wrestling for Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW). Where he recieved from training from the likes of Al Snow, Ray Lloyd and Bruno Saas.
Rhodes made his Monday Night RAW debut in July of 2007 and stayed strong with the WWE until December of 2008 where he decided to take a hiatus from the business. This seemed out of the ordinary for someone like Rhodes so young and so fresh in their careers, even getting a chance to get in ther with the likes of Randy Orton and possibly start a faction with the Viper.
But Cody's hiatus wasn't long lived as he made his return to the WWE on May 6, 2009. Rhodes was then signed to the Saturday Night SmackDown! brand where he went onto win various Championship's such as the WWE United States Championship and the WWE Tag Team Championships with Ted DiBiase Jr. Moving to Monday Night RAW later that year, Runnels found success in the largest way possible capturing the WWE Championship at the 2010 Pay-Per View New Year's Revolution. Cody went onto defend that Championship before vacating it due to injury suffered at the hands of his own brother, Goldust! After vacating the Championship it was deemed that Cody would still be able to participate in his first of two, Main Event slots at WrestleMania, the first coming at WrestleMania 26 and the second the next year at WrestleMania 27.
Earlier in 2011 Cody went onto become the WWE World Heavyweight Champion at the Royal Rumble Pay-Per View which he then defended in the Main Event of WrestleMania 27 against Papydum. It would be awhile before the youngest member of the Rhodes line tasted gold again, but he did at the June 2012 Pay-Per View Invasion where he became a two-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Upon losing the Championship to Jon Moxley in September of that yeat, Rhodes took some time off to deal with his personal life and some issues making their presence known. Although he was still heavily involved with the company, including various NXT training sessions due to his family home being located in Tampa, Florida. Returning to the ring in March of 2013 Cody aligned himself with the Alliance, starting a brewing fued between himself and good friend inside and out of the ring, John Cena. The two went on to face off at WrestleMania 29 earlier this year, where Rhodes was declared the winner via count-out.
- 1 Amateur Wrestling Career
- 2 Professional wrestling career
- 3 Other media
- 4 Personal life
- 5 In wrestling
- 6 Championships and accomplishments
Amateur Wrestling Career
Runnels had a successful high school wrestling career, attending Lassiter High School in Marietta, Georgia. He placed sixth in the 171 lb (78 kg) division as a sophomore. As a junior, Runnels won the Georgia state tournament at 189 lb (86 kg) in 2003, and successfully defended the title in his senior year. Runnels had planned to wrestle collegiately at Pennsylvania State University, but decided to become a professional wrestler instead. During his time in high school, Runnels also acted as a referee in his father's Turnbuckle Championship Wrestling promotion. After graduating from high school, Runnels attended an acting school.
Professional wrestling career
World Wrestling Entertainment / WWE
Debut and early storylines (2007–2008)
On the July 2 episode of Raw, Runnels made his television debut, using the ring name Cody Rhodes, in a backstage segment with his father Dusty Rhodes and Randy Orton, where Orton introduced himself to Rhodes and then slapped Dusty as a sign of disrespect. On July 9, Rhodes slapped Orton in return, and the following week, Rhodes faced Orton in his debut WWE match, but lost. Rhodes appeared at The Great American Bash to prevent Orton from further attacking his father. The next night on Raw, Rhodes challenged Orton to a rematch from the previous week, only to lose again. Orton followed this up by kicking Rhodes' father in the head, similar to how he had, in storyline, nearly ended the careers of Shawn Michaels and Rob Van Dam.
Rhodes' next storyline was a rivalry with Daivari, after he pinned him on the July 30 episode of Raw, to keep his job. In the midst of this rivalry, he also feuded with The World's Greatest Tag Team, defeating both members, Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin in singles matches. The two feuds combined, when Rhodes, along with Paul London and Brian Kendrick, beat The World's Greatest Tag Team and Daivari in a six-man tag team match. The following week, Rhodes teamed up with Mickie James to defeat Daivari and Jillian Hall, ending their scripted rivalry.
Three weeks later, he began a feud with Hardcore Holly and lost three consecutive matches to him. Rhodes eventually earned Holly's respect, impressing Holly during their matches with his persistence and several near-falls, and the two formed a tag team. They earned a shot at the World Tag Team titles by defeating Paul London and Brian Kendrick and The Highlanders in a WWE.com exclusive match after an Alabama Slam. They fought against the Tag Team Champions Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch at Survivor Series, in what was Rhodes' first on-screen title shot and pay-per-view match, but were unsuccessful. On the November 19, 2007 episode of Raw, Rhodes faced Holly for a fourth time, and beat him for the first time, although they were both attacked by Randy Orton afterwards.
On December 10, 2007, on the Raw 15th Anniversary special episode, Rhodes along with Hardcore Holly defeated Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch for the World Tag Team Championship, marking Rhodes' first championship in WWE. The following week, Rhodes and Holly retained their title, in their first title defense, against Cade and Murdoch. They also successfully defended the championships against the teams of Santino Marella and Carlito and Paul London and Brian Kendrick. In May 2008, Ted DiBiase began feuding with the duo, threatening to take their titles in his first match as part of the Raw brand.
At the pay-per-view event, Night of Champions on June 29, Rhodes turned on Holly by revealing himself as Ted DiBiase's partner to help DiBiase win the match, becoming a villain. After holding the championship for just over a month, they dropped it to John Cena and Batista on the August 4 episode of Raw. The following week, DiBiase and Rhodes used their rematch clause to regain the championship. Rhodes and DiBiase were joined by Manu, the son of Afa Anoa'i, in September, forming a stable of multi-generational superstars. On the October 27, 2008 episode of Raw, Rhodes and DiBiase lost the World Tag Team Championship to Kofi Kingston and CM Punk.
During this time, Rhodes, DiBiase and Manu entered a storyline with Randy Orton where Orton constantly criticized and insulted them, and attacked DiBiase on the November 3 episode of Raw. At Survivor Series, Rhodes, along with Orton, was a sole survivor, for Orton's team, in the annual Elimination match. Rhodes and Manu accepted Orton's offer for an alliance in the following weeks, and the trio dubbed themselves "The Legacy"; debuting in a two-on-three handicap match against Batista and Triple H. Orton began scheduling tests for The Legacy members, so they could prove themselves, and over two weeks, both Manu and Sim Snuka were kicked out. This is right when Cody decided to take his hiatus from wrestling, from early December of 2008 until May of 2009.
Return and various championship reigns (2009–2010)
Cody headed home to Georgia to try and regain some of his passion back and within 2 months he was itching to get back in the ring. On May 6, 2009 Cody signed once more with WWE and signed back to the Saturday Night Smackdown! brand this time with a new attitude, a new drive and..he was ready..to once again become..the PRINCE OF PRO WRESTLING! Cody had a vingette air on the May 9th edition of Smackdown occuring in the next few weeks. However, in a slight turn of events Cody appeared that night helping his old friend and current World Heavyweight Champion, Ted DiBiase Junior steel chair in hand. Cody was to have his debut on the following week in a match with someone he fought off in his very first outing with WWE since returning, Muhammad Hassan. Cody was able to win the match with Hasaan on Smackdown! and was then assigned a match at that Sunday's Smackdown! Pay Per View, Judgment Day. Cody would be in a triple threat match with Hassan and William Regal, one half of the Tag Champions WITH the title on the line. Cody unfortunately lost the match at Judgement Day when Regal used Brass Knuckles behind the referee's back. Later in the night, Paul Burchill was awarded the title as Cody was escorted to the back due to the "brass knuckle shot". On the following edition of Smackdown there would be a Triple Threat Tag Team match with the Champions, Paul Burchill and Randy Orton taking on the team of Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase Jr. along with the team of Muhammed Hassan and Kyle Anderson. Cody and Ted were victorious and became the new World Tag Team Champions for the third time.
On July 11, Cody Rhodes was attacked backstage by an unkown attacker who everyone including Cody later assumed to be Nate Cavallera. Cody was unable to compete in the World Tag Team Championship Match that night causing Ted DiBiase to fight along against Paul Burchill and was defeated. On July 18th Cody wrestled with a sprained ankle but he and girlfriend Jen England still picked up the victory over Mickie James and Nate Cavallera. After Smackdown, Cody was viciously attacked by Nate who then ran off stealing Jen.
The following Sunday at the Great American Bash it was hell on earth for Cody. A match was revealed where with Jen hanging above the ring in a cage Cody would fight Nate and the winner would gain access to Jen's contract. In the end Cody's attempts were in vain being defeated by Cavallera and losing not only the match but his fiancee. Nate forced Jen to tell Cody she never loved him and not to mention that the wedding was off. Cody was then transported to a nearby medical facility to stabilize his condition. This story has yet to end, many close to Cody say he's out for blood. He won't stop until he gets Jen back in his arms. Following the Great American Bash Cody was scheduled in a Non-Title Match up with the reigning United States Champion, MVP. Cody was victorious in the match giving him a shot at the U.S title the very next week on Smackdown. Cody took all his frustration out and was able to walk out with the win but...right after the match a suspended Nate Cavallera, snuck into the ring and attacked Cody with a wrench knocking him out and taking his title from him claiming he took everything from Cody, his fiancee and his title telling Cody he had nothing left. Cody was without Jen for weeks being forced to trump on without her, and eventually a week before the Summerslammiversary Pay-Per-View Cody attacked Nate after the show, stealing Jen back. Cody was then taken to prison with assualt charges pending but eventually they were cleared and he was bailed out by his cousin, Brendan Moretti.
That Sunday at the Pay-Per-View Cody not only defeated Nate to keep his United States title and regain Jen's contract but on that date he and Jen got married. They had a ceremony later in the night and everything was perfect including the fact that Cody had sent Nate to the hospital. It was a hellacious few months for Rhodes but it all turned out well in the end.
On the August 15th edition of Smackdown Cody Rhodes defeated MVP to become the United States Champion. A few weeks later at the SummerSlammiversary Pay-Per-View Cody retained the title in a match against Nate Cavallera. A week after that Cody was able to become a double champion regaining the World Tag Team titles with his partner Ted DiBiase Jr. (September 19).
WWE Champion and various feuds (2010–2011)
In the beginning of December 2009, Cody Rhodes announced that after months of staying faithful to Smackdown he would once more test the waters on Monday Night! He vacated both his United States title and his half of the WWE Tag Team Championships on the December 4th edition of Smackdown and made his Raw debut on December 7th teaming with John Cena only to be defeated by the Motor City Machine Guns.
At New Year's Revolution in the Raw Elimination Chamber Cody Rhodes defeated 5 other men to become the WWE Champion. After the match, his best friend John Cena came down to celebrate, only to turn on him. A month or so later, at the Royal Rumble Pay-Per-View it was set to be Cody vs. Cena but the match was changed to Triple H. During the match John Cena interferred but not on Hunter's behalf he helped Cody retain the title, thus revealing the swerve. The whole time both Cody and John were playing everyone and were still on the same page. The following night on Raw in a tag team match with John Cena vs. CM Punk and Kaval Cody was injured after an attack from his own brother, Goldust! Injury forced Cody to vacate the title, only to realize it wasn't as bad as anyone expected..Cody returned only a few weeks later and returned in his spot at the Triple Threat Match at WrestleMania that would now be CM Punk vs. Goldust vs. Cody for the now vacant WWE Title!
WWE Return (2021)
Cody Rhodes made his shocking return during the 2021 Royal Rumble match. He entered at number 26 and eliminated Sami Zayn before being eliminated by old mentor Randy Orton. He returned to SmackDown a few days later and was interrupted during his promo by Sami Zayn, who was looking to blame Cody for his failures. Sami would be a thorn in Cody's back for a number of weeks, going as far as confronting Cody's pregnant wife Brandi. Cody would later assault Sami backstage for confronting his face. A move that Sami would promise to sue Cody for in the future, beginning to create a case against Rhodes. During this time period, Cody is announced as one of the participants in The Miz's Inauguration Day tournament to crown a number one contender for The Miz's Universal Championship.
Cody faced his friend Darby Allin in the first round, picking up a hard earned victory. He was then delighted to learn that he would be meeting Sami Zayn in the second round of the tournament. He would proceed to defeat Zayn in order to advance to the semi-finals against The Velveteen Dream. In the Main Event of February's first SmackDown, Rhodes defeated Dream to advance to the finals of the tournament against Johnny Gargano, who Cody would have an encounter with on the same show. Both men confident in their ability to proceed to Super SmackDown to face The Miz.
In July 2009, Rhodes became one of the faces of the Gillette "Be a Superstar" advertising campaign, along with Chris Jericho and John Cena. "Be a Superstar" was a four-month long interactive campaign, which featured the wrestlers in numerous videos promoting Gillette Fusion products. In August 2009, Rhodes, along with DiBiase, The Big Show and The Great Khali appeared on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien. On May 26, 2010 it was announced that Rhodes would guest star in an episode of Warehouse 13 as "Kurt Smoller", a love interest of character Myka Bering. The episode aired in August 2010.
Runnels is the son of Dusty Rhodes as well as the half-brother of former WWE superstar Dustin Rhodes, who is better known by his ring name "Goldust". He also has a sister, Kristin Ditto, who is a former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader. On March 31, 2007, alongside Dustin, he inducted their father into the WWE Hall of Fame. He is also the nephew of professional wrestlers, Jerry Sags and Fred Ottman, and the godson of Magnum T.A.
His boots featured a Triforce symbol from the The Legend of Zelda series of video games of which he is a fan; he has stated he replays A Link to the Past yearly. Runnels is also a comic book fan and has worn wrestling gear inspired by Archangel, a character from X-Men. He cites Omega Red and Cyclops as his favorite fictional characters, along with the Inhumans.
Rhodes is of partial Cuban descent through his maternal grandfather. His father was WWE Hall of Famer "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes and his half-brother is Dustin Runnels, who is better known by his ring names Goldust and Dustin Rhodes. On March 31, 2007, Cody and Dustin inducted their father into the WWE Hall of Fame. He also has two sisters, Teil Gergel and Kristin Ditto, who is a former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader. He is the nephew of former professional wrestlers Jerry Sags and Fred Ottman, as well as the godson of Magnum T.A.
In September 2013, Rhodes married fellow professional wrestler Brandi Reed. In December 2020, Cody and Brandi announced that they were expecting their first child.
Rhodes is a fan of The Legend of Zelda video game series, incorporates its style in his wrestling gear and has stated he replays A Link to the Past yearly. Rhodes is also a comic book fan and has worn wrestling gear inspired by Archangel and Mister Sinister, characters from X-Men. He has cited Omega Red and Cyclops as his favorite fictional characters along with the Inhumans and he personally owns a game cabinet of the 1992 X-Men arcade game.
Rhodes with Frankie Kazarian started American Rebel Cigars.
- Finishing moves
- Cross Rhodes (Rolling cutter) – 2009–present
- Silver Spoon DDT (Flowing DDT) – 2007–2009
- Signature moves
- Bulldog, sometimes from the second rope
- Crossbody, sometimes from the top rope
- Crossface chickenwing
- Double leg slam – adopted from Hardcore Holly
- Dropping down and uppercutting the opponent, as a back body drop counter – adopted from his brother
- Hammerlock / Chinlock combination
- Inverted suplex slam
- Knee drop
- Knee lift, sometimes while springboarding
- Multiple kick variations
- Beautiful Disaster (Springboard roundhouse)
- Drop, sometimes from the top rope
- Football to the midsection of an opponent holding onto the ropes and in a wheelbarrow hold – adopted from Hardcore Holly
- Neckbreaker slam
- Russian legsweep
- Swinging vertical suplex – adopted from his brother
- "The American Nightmare"
- "The Grandson of a Plumber"
- "The Essence of Mustachioed Magnificence"
- "The Prince of Precision"
- "Prince Wrestling"
- Entrance themes
- "Out To Kill" by Billy Lincoln (July 2007–June 2008)
- "Priceless" by Jim Johnston (June 2008–January 2009; Used while teaming with Ted DiBiase)
- "Priceless (remix)" by Jim Johnston (January 2009–May 2009; Used while teaming with Ted DiBiase)
- "It's a New Day" by Adelitas Way (June 2009–March 2010; Used while a part of The Legacy)
- "Smoke & Mirrors" by TV/TV (July 2010 – 2011; used during his "Dashing" gimmick)
- "Only One Can Judge" by Jim Johnston (March 18, 2011 - November 4, 2011; used under his "Disfigured" gimmick)
- "Smoke & Mirrors (Remix)" by TV/TV & Jim Johnston (November 14, 2011 – 2014)
- Gold and Smoke by Jim Johnston (October 21, 2013 – 2014; Used while teaming with Goldust)
- "Written in the Stars" by Jim Johnston (2015-2016)
- "Kingdom" by Downstait (August 19, 2016 – present)