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Cody Rhodes talks plans for the Stardust character, and how they led to his leaving WWE

Fans always wondered how committed Cody Rhodes was to the Stardust character, and if there was an endpoint for the character and his story (such as it was).

He spoke on that, and two instances where viewers were fantasy booking an end of the Stardust gimmick, in the second part of his interview with Ric Flair on Naitch’s podcast (thanks to Wrestling Inc for transcription).

One instance was his feud with Goldust (his half-brother, Dustin Runnels) that involved their father, Dusty. It was believed the Rhodes brothers wanted a WrestleMania match against each other, but that’s not the story Cody tells (in fact, he says they were never terribly close until Goldust’s latest return to WWE in 2013). And he takes the blame for what many panned as a lackluster match when the brothers did face one another:

It was never intended to be a WrestleMania match. Fastlane (2015) was it. I was in the ladder match in [WrestleMania 31] for the Intercontinental Championship. I had been informed as such. No, it was never meant to be beyond Fastlane. The way I look at it, Fastlane was a total dud. It was a total dud and people think, 'oh, well, the finish got screwed up'. The finish didn't get screwed up. The match just sucked and it's just one of those nights where I kick myself to this day about it.

The Stardust character was then supposed to be written off following his program with Stephen Amell... but not after their SummerSlam match. Per Cody, they were going to have a rematch at Hell in a Cell a couple months later where he’d lose and bring “himself” back. It was the nixing of that program which starting him thinking he’d leave the only company for which he’d ever wrestled:

Goldust is Dustin's character, so to be like a light version of him was probably a career nightmare and just terrible idea, perhaps, but the idea was when we got it was, 'okay, he doesn't have to be androgynous. He doesn't have to be Goldust. You can be a super villain!'

'Oh, okay, I'll be like Jim Carey [as] The Riddler and I'll find myself a superhero and then I had the match with Stephen Amell, who's on TV as a DC [character], he's the damn Green Arrow as an actual superhero.' So I was like, 'this is perfect!'

"And then, there was supposed to be another match. We had practices scheduled and we were going to be at Hell In A Cell and that match was supposed to be the end of Stardust. It was supposed to be, 'if Stardust loses to The Green Arrow, he'll return as Cody Rhodes'. And when that didn't happen, that was one of the first, the first, kind of kick in the balls for me because [Flair] said something to me on the bus and I don't know if [he remembers] it, but [he] mentioned that, I'm not going to say it because [he] said it to me, but basically [he] had said that I had outgrown the character. And I thought, 'well, there's kind of no end in sight and I don't want a fan, if somebody says, 'oh, that's Cody Rhodes' and they say, 'who?' because they know me as Stardust'. That would just break my heart, so that was part of my decision to peace out there at the end.

Cody does have another showdown with Amell scheduled, but he’ll once again be playing a character. At least he’s getting to introduce wrestling fans all over the world to Cody Rhodes again.

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