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Cody Rhodes

Cody Rhodes, January 2007
Ring name(s) Cody Rhodes[1]
Cody Runnels[1]
Billed height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)[2]
Billed weight 223 lb (101 kg)[2]
Born June 30, 1985 (1985-06-30) (age 24)[3]
Marietta, Georgia[1]
Billed from Charlotte, North Carolina[2]
Trained by Dusty Rhodes[1]
Al Snow[1]
Bruno Sassi[1]
Ray Lloyd[1]
Debut June 2006[1]

Cody Runnels[1][3] (born June 30, 1985)[3] is an American professional wrestler, better known by his ring name Cody Rhodes. Runnels is currently signed by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) where he wrestles on its Raw brand. He is a former three-time World Tag Team Champion, having won the championship once with Hardcore Holly and twice with Ted DiBiase.

Runnels started his professional wrestling career in 2006, using his real name, wrestling for Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW). While situated at OVW, he won various championships, both in tag team and singles competition, including the OVW Heavyweight Championship. He made his WWE television debut on July 16, 2007, under the ring name Cody Rhodes. In December 2007, Rhodes captured his first title with the company, the World Tag Team Championship with Hardcore Holly, and the two held it for six months.

Rhodes formed a secret alliance with Ted DiBiase during 2008. In the course of a match held on June 29 he turned on Holly by switching sides to join DiBiase, with whom he became World Tag Team champion. The new champions dropped their titles in August, only to win them back a week later. Rhodes and DiBiase were joined by Manu shortly afterwards, forming a faction of multi-generation wrestlers, although this alliance was to be short-lived. In January 2009, Rhodes and DiBiase formed a new alliance, The Legacy, with Randy Orton.

Contents

Amateur wrestling career

Runnels had a successful high school wrestling career, attending Lassiter High School in Marietta, Georgia.[3] He placed sixth in the 171 lb (78 kg) division as a sophomore.[4] 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.[4] Runnels had planned to wrestle collegiately at Pennsylvania State University, but decided to become a professional wrestler instead.[5] During his time in high school, Runnels also acted as a referee in his father's Turnbuckle Championship Wrestling promotion.[6] After graduating from high school, Runnels attended an acting school.[7]

Professional wrestling career

Ohio Valley Wrestling

Using his real name, Runnels began wrestling in Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) in June 2006.[3] Runnels formed a tag team with Shawn Spears in mid-August 2006 and they quickly became embroiled in a scripted rivalry with The Untouchables over the OVW Southern Tag Team Championship.[8][9] They first captured the championship from The Untouchables on October 18.[3] In November 2006, Runnels and Spears defeated The Untouchables in a tag team match, and won the services of Cherry, The Untouchables' manager.[10] Cherry accompanied Spears and Runnels to ringside, and soon Spears began to fall in love with her, which began interfering with their matches.[11][12] On November 29, the OVW Southern Tag Team Championship was vacated after a match between The Untouchables and Runnels and Spears ended in a draw.[13] The following week, a rematch between the two teams was held for the vacant championship.[13] During this match Cherry turned on Spears and Runnels, rejoining The Untouchables and helping them regain the OVW Southern Tag Team Championship.[13][14] Two weeks later, on December 20, Runnels and Spears defeated Deuce 'n Domino in a Street Fight to win the championship for the second time.[15] Shortly afterwards, Runnels and Spears became involved in a scripted rivalry with each other, after Spears became jealous of Runnels' success as a singles wrestler.[3] This rift started when Runnels won the OVW Heavyweight Championship from Paul Burchill at a house show on February 17, 2007, only to lose it back to Burchill the next day.[3][16] Spears went on to win the OVW Television Championship in response.[3] On April 11, the duo lost the Southern Tag Team Championship to the team of Justin LaRouche and Charles Evans.[3] Runnels went on to defeat his now heated rival on July 6, to become the new OVW Television Champion.[3][17] Exactly one week later, however, Runnels lost the championship back to Spears.[18]

World Wrestling Entertainment

Debut and teaming with Hardcore Holly (2007–2008)

Cody Rhodes looks on as the referee admonishes William Regal during a bout in late 2007

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.[19] On July 9, Rhodes slapped Orton in return, and the following week, Rhodes faced Orton in his debut WWE match, but lost.[20][21] Rhodes appeared at The Great American Bash to prevent Orton from further attacking his father.[22] 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.[23]

Rhodes' next storyline was a rivalry with Daivari, after he pinned him on the July 30 episode of Raw, to keep his job.[24] 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.[25][26] 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.[27] The following week, Rhodes teamed up with Mickie James to defeat Daivari and Jillian Hall, ending their scripted rivalry.[28]

Three weeks later, he began a feud with Hardcore Holly and lost three consecutive matches to him.[29][30][31] 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.[32][33] 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.[34] 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.[35] 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.[36]

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.[37][38] The following week, Rhodes and Holly retained their title, in their first title defense, against Cade and Murdoch.[39] They also successfully defended the championships against the teams of Santino Marella and Carlito and Paul London and Brian Kendrick.[40][41] 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.[42]

The Legacy (2008–present)

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.[43][44] After holding the championship for just over a month, they dropped it to John Cena and Batista on the August 4 episode of Raw.[45] The following week, DiBiase and Rhodes used their rematch clause to regain the championship.[46][47] Rhodes and DiBiase were joined by Manu, the son of Afa Anoa'i, in September, forming a stable of multi-generational superstars.[48] On the October 27, 2008 episode of Raw, Rhodes and DiBiase lost the World Tag Team Championship to Kofi Kingston and CM Punk.[49]

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.[50] At Survivor Series, Rhodes, along with Orton, was a sole survivor, for Orton's team, in the annual Elimination match.[51] 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.[52][53] 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.[54][55]

The Legacy (from left to right); Rhodes, Randy Orton and Ted DiBiase

On January 12, Snuka and Manu gave Rhodes the chance to align with them to attack Orton, along with the returning Ted DiBiase, but Rhodes refused.[56] As they ambushed Orton, DiBiase instead joined with Orton and Rhodes to attack Snuka and Manu, and became a member of The Legacy.[56] As part of The Legacy, Rhodes entered the Royal Rumble match in order to help Orton win, and lasted until the final three, before being eliminated by Triple H.[57] Rhodes and DiBiase became involved in Orton's scripted rivalry with the McMahon family, helping him to attack Shane and Stephanie McMahon, and Stephanie's real-life husband, Triple H.[58][59] Rhodes was also elevated to main event status as a result of joining The Legacy, competing in handicap and six-man tag team matches against Orton's opponents and rivals.[60][61] On April 26, at Backlash, Rhodes, DiBiase, and Orton defeated Triple H, Batista, and Shane McMahon in a six-man tag team match, which, per the pre-match stipulation, resulted in Orton winning the WWE Championship.[62] Rhodes suffered a minor neck injury in June, but did not need any time off to recover.[63] Throughout mid-2009, Rhodes and DiBiase continued to compete against and attack Orton's rivals, especially Triple H.[64] This led to Triple H reforming D-Generation X (DX) with Shawn Michaels, and DX defeated Rhodes and DiBiase at SummerSlam.[65] Rhodes and DiBiase defeated DX at the following pay-per-view, Breaking Point in a submissions count anywhere match, but were defeated in a Hell in a Cell match at the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view in October, when Rhodes was pinned following a sledgehammer shot to the head.[66][67] To sell the injury, Rhodes was taken out of the arena on a stretcher following the match.[68]

Tension within The Legacy became apparent at the 2010 Royal Rumble, when Rhodes attempted to interfere in Orton's match for the WWE Championship. Rhodes was caught by the referee, resulting in a disqualification for Orton, who attacked Rhodes and DiBiase, who had tried to help Rhodes, after the match.[69] On the February 15 episode of Raw, Orton took on Sheamus in a non-title rematch, but was again disqualified after Rhodes and DiBiase interfered.[70] During the WWE Championship Elimination Chamber match at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view, Rhodes interfered, passing a lead pipe through the cage to DiBiase. DiBiase hit Orton with the pipe and eliminated him from the match.[71] The next night on Raw, Orton attacked Rhodes and DiBiase during a six-man tag team match, and they attacked Orton the following week in retaliation.[72][73]

Other media

In July 2009, Rhodes became one of the faces of the Gillette "Be a Superstar" advertising campaign, along with Chris Jericho and John Cena.[74][75] "Be a Superstar" was a four-month long interactive campaign, which features the wrestlers in numerous videos promoting Gillette Fusion products.[74] In August 2009, Rhodes, along with DiBiase, The Big Show and The Great Khali appeared on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien.[76]

Personal life

Runnels is the son of Dusty Rhodes as well as the half-brother of fellow 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.[77] On March 31, 2007 at the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony Runnels and Dustin, inducted their father, Dusty, into the Hall of Fame.[78][2] He is also the nephew of professional wrestlers, Jerry Sags and Fred Ottman, and the godson of Magnum T.A., another wrestler.[1][3]

Runnels has worn wrestling gear that is half polka dots and half gold, which is a tribute to his father, Dusty, and his half-brother Dustin, respectively. Additionally, his boots feature a Triforce symbol from the The Legend of Zelda series of video games, as Runnels is a big fan of the games, and has admitted to re-playing A Link to the Past yearly.[7][79] Runnels is also a big comic book fan, and used to wear wrestling gear inspired by Archangel, a character from X-Men.[80] He cites Omega Red and Cyclops as his favorite fictional characters, along with the Inhumans.[80]

In wrestling

Championships and accomplishments

Rhodes as World Tag Team Champion with DiBiase

Amateur wrestling

  • Georgia State Tournament
    • Sixth at 171 pounds (78 kg) weight class (2002)[3]
    • Champion at 189 pounds (86 kg) weight class (2003)[3]
    • Champion at 189 pounds (86 kg) weight class (2004)[3]

Professional wrestling

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Cody Rhodes Profile". Online World Of Wrestling. http://www.onlineworldofwrestling.com/profiles/c/cody-rhodes.html. Retrieved 2007-10-18. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Cody Rhodes Bio". World Wrestling Entertainment. http://www.wwe.com/superstars/raw/codyrhodes/bio/. Retrieved 2007-10-18. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Elliott, Brian. "Cody Rhodes". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/Bios/rhodes_cody.html. Retrieved 2009-06-23. 
  4. ^ a b "Lassiter High School Wrestling Wall of Fame". Lassiter High School. Archived from the original on 2007-10-06. http://web.archive.org/web/20071006132626/http://lassiterwrestling.com/_wsn/page6.html. Retrieved 2007-10-29. 
  5. ^ Matsumoto, Jon (2009-06-25). "WWE: Ted DiBiase, Cody Rhodes, Randy Orton wrestle at HP Pavilion Monday". San Jose Mercury News. http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_12672125?IADID=Search-www.mercurynews.com-www.mercurynews.com&nclick_check=1. Retrieved 2009-07-06. 
  6. ^ Baines, Tim (2009-08-07). "Rhodes bringing real Legacy to Calgary". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/2009/08/07/10393826.html. Retrieved 2009-08-08. 
  7. ^ a b Robinson, Jon (2009-04-13). "Cody Rhodes: Link to the Past". ESPN. http://sports.espn.go.com/videogames/news/story?id=4064815. Retrieved 2009-04-15. 
  8. ^ "August 19, 2006–Ohio Valley Wrestling in Hillview, Indiana before 100 fans". Online World of Wrestling. 2006-08-19. http://www.onlineworldofwrestling.com/results/ovw/_2006/. Retrieved 2009-06-23. 
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  10. ^ a b "Ohio Valley Wrestling - November 08, 2006". Online World Of Wrestling. 2006-11-08. http://www.onlineworldofwrestling.com/results/ovw/_2006/. Retrieved 2008-03-17. 
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