"I'm "Dashing" Cody Rhodes, bringing you one step closer...to dashing." - Cody Rhodes
Cody Runnels (born June 30, 1985) is an American professional wrestler better known by his ring name Cody Rhodes (or Stardust) working for WWE. He is the half-brother of fellow WWE veteran Dustin "Goldust" Rhodes and the son of WWE Hall of Famer "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes. Rhodes is a two-time Intercontinental Champion, three-time World Tag Team Champion (once with Hardcore Holly and twice with Ted DiBiase Jr), and three-time and current WWE Tag Team Champion (twice with his brother Goldust and once with Drew McIntyre).That Other Wiki has a rundown on his life and career.
Affably Evil: He wanted everyone to look as good as he did, the only thing stopping him from being a good guy, was being a heel, and his narcissism.
Rey Mysterio, which started when Rey accidentally broke his nose when performing the 619, and caused Cody to turn slightly insane.
Randy Orton; the two have not seen eye to eye since the break up of Legacy.
Triple H; by default in Legacy because that was who Orton was feuding with. Has become a torn in his side when he was fired after not winning a match against Orton and then basically going after the Rhodes family.
Booker T; who he thought was past his prime and should just retire (Booker was an announcer at the time of the feud)
The Big Show; Started when he began mocking Big Shows poor WrestleMania record,note it wasn't good and this lead to their WrestleMania match for the IC title in which Show won (oops).
Wade Barrett credits Cody for having created the "Bad News" gimmick while hamming it up in the locker room about how Wade was so much older than him and how he remembered watching Barrett wrestle in the late '80s as a character who liked to give bad news to people, even doing the "I'M AFRAID I'VE GOT SOME BAD NEWS..." lines. The story eventually got to Vince McMahon himself who thought that it was hysterical and demanded that it become an actual gimmick, to the delight of everyone.
Ax-Crazy: It doesn't always show, but Cody does have a tendency of going completely off the deep end when he loses his temper - even as a Face.
Bash Brothers: In 2013, he teams up with his older brother Goldust. The following year, he would almost become his older brother, adopting a similar gold-and-black jumpsuit and facepaint and renaming himself "Stardust".
Blood Is the New Black: That time Randy Orton cracked him over the head with the ring bell and busted him open legit. The resulting crimson mask was probably the first time in a while that a WWE match made a slight blip on the Muta scale.
Breakup Breakout: In regards to Legacy, he has faired much better than Ted DiBiase, who in 2013 left the company. After the split Cody became Dashing, while Ted was given his father's gimmick, which didn't help him much. He then teamed with Cody again, only grow tired of Cody's abuse, (this was when Cody was in his disfigurement gimmick) turned face, and it looked like he would avert this, sadly, injuries in the middle of a push halted all this and he ended up leaving WWE after a year of not being used.
Bridal Carry: To Summer Rae, whom he got behind when she climbed the apron to distract his brother Goldust during his match with Fandango, so she would not get her. While thankful, Summer immediately started acting like she did not like it when Fandango got jealous.
Combat Pragmatist: Cody's a slimy bastard, but he's a cunning slimy bastard. Like the time he proceeded to knock The Big Show silly after stunning him, then handcuffing him to the ropes.
Confusion Fu: His Stardust moveset features virtually none of the moves that he employed in his repertoire as Cody Rhodes. Even though it's been all but acknowledged on-screen that Stardust is (or at least once was) Cody. This may be intentional, as opponents who have come to expect Cody to do certain things in the ring have now been thrown completely off by Stardust's unique offense.
Cody's moveset includes several moves picked up from his former partners, such as Hardcore Holly's Alabama Slam.
His dropdown uppercut is a move picked up from his brother, Goldust.
His stomps and knee drops on downed opponents look decidedly Ortonesque.
He's used his old tag partner Ted DiBiase's following lariat. Where the guy runs the ropes and Cody immediately follows right behind them with a clothesline.
Cody even picks up moves from his former rivals; the Corkscrew Sunset Flip out of the corner was a staple of Booker T during his prime WWE years. He's also been using the Harley Race high knee that was a Triple H signature move.
With his psychotic character turn, his entrance music has become slower and creepier. It's really just a lower instrumental of his theme song, except it keeps the "WHOOOOOAH", and makes it lower. And creepy.
After his mask removal, he got yet another Dark Reprise. The remix is less creepy but more aggressive, with the original lyrics close to being restored ("No one knows and no one cares" however was changed to "I don't know and I don't give a damn").
Despair Event Horizon: A recent losing streak with his brother and partner Goldust seems to have pushed him over this, as he's now quit wrestling and stands in the back wearing a suit as he recruits all manner of different people other than himself to help Goldust win a match.
Until the 6/16/14 edition of WWE Raw, where he, or should we say "Star Dust", partners with Goldust and finally picks up a win over Ryb Axel.
Distracted by My Own Sexy: During his "Dashing" gimmick, he always stopped to take a look at himself in the mirror, and his entrance involved him stopping at the top of the ramp and looking into a digital mirror, which had a camera behind it so his real image was shown in the minitron.
Divergent Character Evolution: Randy Orton, Ted DiBiase Jr. and Cody Rhodes started very similar: Mr. Fanservice that have well-rounded wrestling styles, were third-generation Superstars and part of a Wrestling Family, and all wear Underwear of Power. However, Randy's gimmick isn't anything like his father's, is a massive Draco in Leather Pants and has become a seven-time world champion. Ted is an exact Legacy Character copy of his father, floundering in the lower mid-card and getting into feuds with Cody's brother (Goldust). Cody is the smallest and quickest, goofiest, has gone as far away from his father (but not his brother) as possible, and is doing quite well for himself on Smack Down, and now that he's adopted his new psychotic heel character, he's become the Intercontinental Champion and is likely poised for a run at the World Championship following the end of his IC title run and Mark Henry's run with the World belt.
The Dog Bites Back: DiBiase got tired to being treated like crap by Cody and beat the crap out of him, and nearly took his IC title from him.
Early-Bird Cameo: Under his real name of Cody Runnels, seconded Dusty for his induction into the WCW Hall of Fame at WCW Slamboree 95, May 21, 1995.note WCW fired Dustin on March 23rd for blading in the "King of the Road" Match at WCW Uncensored 95 on March 19th.
Also, one of Cody's 'bag attendants' from his masked period was none other than Damien Sandow. Granted, he was sans beard at the time, so it would have been very hard to tell.
So, Randy Orton can concuss you, your father, and your best friend, but it's all good in the end and you're willing to join with his new group. Worse still was Orton's treatment of DiBiase and Rhodes in Legacy, which consisted of being outright abusive at times and STILL attacking their family members and such. They did eventually get tired of it...which somehow was a Heel-Face Turnfor RandyOrton.
It was supposed to be the other way around, but fans decided that they hated Ted and Cody more and made Randy the de facto good guy for kicking their asses. The writers ran with it.
Except now that Cody's had time to stew over it, he's come back for Orton's blood.
The Eighties: Strongly evoked by his entrance theme, "Smoke and Mirrors", until it got altered in 2011.
Everything's Better with Spinning: Cross Rhodes, as mentioned below, along with Beautiful Disaster(springboard kick to the opponent's head. The latter involves spinning, because he usually runs into the corner/towards the ropes, away from the opponent, before spinning 180 to hit the opponent.
Evil Laugh: Whenever he had done a promo during his masked disfigured period.
He claimed in a shoot the "undashing" character was supposed to be an expy of Mister Sinister, but Big Show called him Cody Von Doom. Marvel has caught on to the comparison and interviewed him. Interview can be found here
And his unmasked gimmick is in many ways a tweaked version of Orton's "Legend Killer" gimmick.
Face-Heel Turn: Turned on Bob Holly to team with Ted DiBiase, who had said he had a mystery partner at Night of Champions 08, and won the tag team belts with DiBiase.
Mind Screw: Because he was revealed as DiBiase's secret partner in the same match where he teamed with Holly only to turn on him, he technically defeated and was defeated by himself.
The Fighting Narcissist: Became obsessed with how he looked after NXT, his dashing outfit came complete with a mirror that he could use to look at himself. His und-ashing gimmick did not stop either, even though he thought he was not grotesque in appearance he was just as narcissistic.
Finishing Move: Cross Rhodes, a rolling cutter. During his debut and subsequent heel turn he used a snap DDT, later christened the "Silver Spoon DDT".
Game-Breaking Injury: Although not a serious injury, his broken nose that he suffered in 2011, which made him miss the Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber, and his shoulder/back injury in November 2012.
His gimmick, outfit, music, and wrestling style is a throwback to the eighties.
Even his "Dashing" grooming tip vignettes are a throwback to the 80s era, when they used to be a component of establishing a character outside the ring (i.e. Mr. Perfect being "perfect" at every sport). Nowadays, vignettes are primarily used for debuting wrestlers before they make their first appearance.
In Hell in the Cell 2011, Cody dumped the current Intercontinental championship belt in favor of the classic white Intercontinental championship.
Groin Attack: The Big Show hit a spear on a leaping Cody at WrestleMania 28 that was a slight botch in timing. Show was aiming for Cody's abdomen but his shoulder hit a little bit lower. Ouch!
Heel-Face Turn: Got cheated out of the World Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank briefcase by his former best friend, Damien Sandow. The following night on RAW, Rhodes attacked Sandow after Sandow lost to Christian.
Heel Realization: Later explained his furious anger against Sandow as not being about just getting outwitted in a match, but about having this as a result of Sandow's smugness.
Attacking Randy Orton with his mask for a second time didn't end too well.
Then the following Monday, he insults Triple H, which ends up with him defending his Intercontinental Title in a 10-Man Battle Royal.
He started making fun of The Big Show's less then perfect WrestleMania record, i.e that he lost more than he won. Big Show was not happy, had a talk with Teddy Long about a match with Cody at WrestleMania for the Intercontinental Title. He got it. Whoops. This off course didn't stop him from bullying Big Show on a weekly basis up till WrestleMania, where Big Show was the victorious one and won the Intercontinental Championship. Double whoops.
Oh, geez, if he had just kept his mouth shut at Over The Limit, he'd still have his title. Christian won a Battle Royal where the winner had the right to challenge for either the IC or US Title that night. Christian won and immediately appeared to choose Santino Marella, the US Champion. But Cody just 'had' to go mouthing off to Eve Torres about how the match wouldn't have been close if Christian had chosen him. Unfortunately, Christian overheard the conversation, changed his mind, and then beat Cody for the IC Championship.
Cody trying to unmask either Sin Cara or Rey Mysterio, has cost him some matches as he's been to focused on the unmasking than the actual match.
In story, there was a very good reason for Rey Mysterio injuring him, as Cody had been fiddling with Rey's knee brace in order to do more damage, shifting its position for the inevitable 619.
I Am Not Dashing: After getting his nose broken accidentally by Rey Mysterio kneebrace, he didn't think he was this anymore. Which leads to our next two points...
Informed Attractiveness: While he's said to be the best looking wrestler on WWE's roster, there's stiff competition from Randy Orton, John Cena and John Morrison for that title. He beat all three of them in a poll by the Divas to see who the best looking Superstar was.
Of course Cody's extreme ego could justify why he seems to make such a big deal when there is no noticeable change in his looks. Because knowing how he likes to be a picture of perfection, it's very likely that something in his looks has changed, but it's so minor only he would notice.
Leitmotif/Recurring Riff: All of his songs since the breakup of Legacy have started with almost identical vocalizations of "WHOOOOA-OOOH..." to the point where it's now associated almost exclusively with him.
Light Is Not Good: Ever since unmasking, Cody's taken to dressing in mostly white ring gear.
Malevolent Masked Man: Played with. The effect was sort of lost since the mask was clear, but the malevolence was there in spades.
Not in the Face!: Almost a catchphrase for him during his "Dashing" gimmick. In fact, after taking a hit in the face during his match at Survivor Series 2010 he freaked out and jumped out of the ring, to look in a mirror and make sure that his face was still dashing.
In September 2013, he was fired in-universe so that he could take some time off and enjoy the married life.
The Bus Came Back: Returned to the WWE after he and Goldust defeated The Shield at WWE Battleground on October 6. They would capture the WWE Tag Team belts from Rollins and Reigns on the October 14th episode of RAW.
Pyrrhic Victory: He lucked into a victory at Extreme Rules, winning back his Intercontinental Title. Only problem was...The Big Show was all sorts of pissed after the match and chokeslammed him through TWO tables.
Real Life Writes the Plot: The 'firing' angle that led to his and Goldust's return and subsequent WWE Tag Title reign started as a way to write Cody off TV temporarily so he could get married.
Red Baron: "Dashing" Cody Rhodes, early in his career. JBL has taken to calling him "the son of a son of a plumber," referencing his father's gimmick.
Sanity Slippage: Oh yeah. So, so much after he broke his nose, and he considered himself not dashing any more, he went off the deep end.
Ship Tease: Had one with Kaitlyn, who was the only one in the company, besides Sandow, that weren't mocking him for his moustache. This was alter dropped for unknown reasons.
Shut Up, Hannibal!: Raw 12/10/12, the night of his return from a brief injury. After he and Damien Sandow win a tag team four-way to earn the chance to face Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara in a #1 contender tables match over the tag titles, The Miz gets them on his "Miz TV" talk show segment for the sole purpose of mocking Rhodes' mustache, making Ho Yay jokes, and trying to break up Rhodes Scholars by lecturing Cody on not standing out and saying Sandow said it — the same way John Cena successfully did to Miz himself and R-Truth over a year ago. After calming Sandow down from his outrage, Cody comes right back at Miz and gives him a piece of his own medicine by openly referencing his Badass Decay before ending the interview then and there.
Many fans, as well as JBL and Damien Sandow, felt Cody was this after losing out on MITB, and that it doesn't justify Cody's actions against Sandow. This notion wouldn't ring so hollow on Sandow's part if he hadn't constantly been touting their bonds of friendship, claiming to be intellectual and professional equals and each man promising not to stop the other from achieving success on their own. Sandow really didn't help his stance by offering Cody to be "Keeper of the Case" for Sandow, essentially defining Sandow's view of their friendship in which Cody is his lackey rather than his equal.
The premise of the feud itself is definitely sound. The disconnect seems to be in the execution, as WWE jumped the gun by having the commentators rush to declare Sandow a traitor immediately after he pushed Cody off the ladder and Cody try to take Sandow's head off the next night on Rawbefore having the promo confrontation where Sandow showed his true colors on the lesser-watched Smackdown. Had they had the promo done on Raw and then had Cody and the face announcers fully regard him as a traitor afterward, it's very likely this trope wouldn't even be discussed here.
Seems to have been cleared up when Cody finally explained himself under tough scrutiny. His anger at getting cost the briefcase wasn't all that severe, but it was enough to get him to look at Sandow competitively, at which point he could no longer ignore what a Smug Snake he's been hanging out with all this time.
Stepford Smiler: Don't let the grin he flashes fool you - this guy's not all there in the head.
Technicolor Eyes: Stardust's eyes are red with some yellow along the iris. Ups the odd factor.
Took a Level in Badass: In frightening fashion. Cody was largely played as a joke since becoming "Dashing" ... That is, until he attacked Rey Mysterio, knocked him into his mirror (the stage screen) and tore his mask off. Yes, Cody Rhodes, the same one who played Butt Monkey for Legacy, who threw a tantrum when you hurt his face and who gave you tips on how to be "dashing", beat the hell out of one of the top faces in the WWE.
Becoming Stardust, complete with an entirely new moveset. He's yet to lose a match in the new persona.
Unnecessary Roughness: Most heels will end a beatdown with their finisher. Cody ended the one he gave to Rey by raking his face across metal grating, throwing him headfirst into a wall, and then yanking his mask off.
Also ended up on the wrong end of this via Randy Orton, the poster boy for Unnecessary Roughness. A Falls Count Anywhere match during their brief feud saw Randy Orton blasting Rhodes across the face with a ring bell, busting him open the hard way and turning his face (ironically) into a crimson mask.
Villainous Breakdown: Underwent one after Rey Mysterio Jr. broke his nose. Being an egomaniac who considered himself the picture of perfection, this resulted in him losing his mind and turning into a psychotic heel. Had one again after Edge basically ignored him.
Villainous Friendship: Type 1 with Damien Sandow. The two legitimately enjoyed one another's company and considered the other their best friend. Then, Money In The Bank 2013 happened.
Villain Team-Up: First with Ted DiBiase in 08,$ some time later the two teamed up with Randy Orton to form Legacy. He then teamed with Drew McIntyre in '10 to create "The Dashing Ones." Unfortunately, right after they established their tag team moniker, they split up. Then he teamed up with Damien Sandow, who claimed that Rhodes was the only Superstar he could have an intelligent conversation with, which is hilarious when you consider who Cody's father is. They were officially the "Rhodes Scholars". After teaming up for a couple months, they mutually decided to focus on their singles careers while remaining best friends, going on to resume their team-up a month later while continuing to support each other's solo careers. But then…
Damien Sandow seemingly double crossed him to get his hands on the Money in the Bank briefcase. Was confirmed after Cody assaulted Sandow after his match the following night on Raw and Sandow would go on to try to hash things out with him on Smackdown by…asking Cody to become "Protector of the Case".
Finally got his revenge on Sandow by tossing Sandow's briefcase into the Gulf of Mexico on the July 26, 2013 episode of Smack Down.
Cody in fact used this as his reasoning when explaining his actions on Raw. While he admits he would've done the same to Sandow if the positions were reversed, Damien's actions allowed Cody to see him as a competitor and not a friend, able to comprehend what an asshole Sandow is, something Cody was naive to as his best friend.
Wrestling Family: The son of "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes & half-brother to Dustin "Goldust" Runnels. And Dustin/Goldust was married to former diva/manager and one-time WWE Hardcore ChampionTerri Runnels, which made her Cody's half-sister-in-law. Also, his new wife Brandi has appeared on WWE programming before as Eden Stiles, and recently signed back with NXT as an in-ring competitor.
You Have Failed Me: Cody puled this on Ted DiBiase after losing to Randy Orton. Cody looks at him in disappointment and nails him with the Cross Rhodes.