In terms of professional wrestling history, Cody Rhodes has accomplished almost everything a performer could hope to in their career. He's held gold all over the world, with 16 different title belts held over 23 different reigns, wrestled at nine different WrestleManias, and even helped to launch WWE's first true competitor in 20 years in AEW, even if he, intentionally or not, created an artificial ceiling that capped his career in the upper-midcard there.
And yet, when discussing his career in an interview with Keyshawn, JWill, & Max on ESPN Radio, Rhodes noted that he isn't satisfied with where he is in professional wrestling just yet, as he has a burning desire to surpass the accomplishments of his father, the “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes.
“A big secret there is when it comes to second or third-generation wrestlers, this trickles down to any athlete where your parent came before you and did something great. The thing you don't always say is, ‘I want to honor them,' but also, you want to be better than they were,” Cody Rhodes said via Fightful. “Not in a negative way. You want to take it a step further. For me, winning the Royal Rumble. My dad passed away in 2015, it's so unique that he's not able to see it, but I feel like he's still here with me. To be able to do some things that he never touched. Dusty did everything. To be able to win the Royal Rumble, to go to WrestleMania, and be the main event of the biggest thing in wrestling, I'm blessed and lucky, but I'm still on the hunt. You mentioned SummerSlam, [on Monday] in Buffalo (at WWE Raw), I'm hopefully going to get to talk about what I'm going to do at SummerSlam, but I'm still on the hunt to find my own legacy. That's the tricky thing when you're in these families. You want to look at everybody and say, ‘they were different, they did this. He was different and did this.' That's my way of honoring them. Trying to be different from both dad and my brother. That's certainly a struggle because they laid out a great path.”
Though Rhodes will never be able to truly know whether or not his father is proud of his in-ring accomplishments, as he passed away before he even went independent and started AEW, his brother Dustin is incredibly proud of everything the “American Nightmare” has accomplished and it's safe to assume the “American Dream” would feel the very same way.
— Dustin Rhodes (@dustinrhodes) April 2, 2023
Jim Cornette celebrates Cody Rhodes' match at Money in the Bank.
Discussing Cody Rhodes and his recent string of matches in the WWE Universe, wrestling historian, manager du jour, and noted Matt Hardy hater Jim Cornette and his partner Brian Last got on the subject of Money in the Bank and the match that was arguably the most controversial on the card, the “American Nightmare” versus “Dirty” Dominik Mysterio.
While some straight up didn't like the match, either for how it came together, the clear talent disparity between the two performers, or for the lack of development that came out of it, Cornette actually really enjoyed it, feeling as though the bout delivered on exactly what it was supposed to do.
“Cody got a huge ovation [in London], he’s the biggest babyface in the wrestling business now. And that just also shows you how quick things can turn around. He was a babyface in AEW, and the fans were booing him. And now he’s the biggest babyface in the biggest [wrestling] company in the world… It’s the same guy, but it’s the presentation. You know, it’s the same product, but you’re getting a negative reaction because of the way you’re marketing it in one place, and it’s selling like gangbusters in the other place,” Cornette said via EWrestling News.
“This was a perfect booking decision because Cody is a top guy. Dominik is not a main event level singles guy, but he’s got such heat for being an annoying Dominik. So, to put them together, this is perfect, and Cody didn’t need to have the main event at Starrcade ’86 with Dominik. He made it plausible.”
Is Cornette correct? Did Rhodes help to elevate Mysterio and make him look like an even bigger babyface in the process? In a vacuum, the answer to that question is a definitive yes, but considering Rhodes' actual issues lie with Brock Lesnar, fans will have to tune in to see exactly how his Money in the Bank match fits into the larger narrative being told.