One of the best parts about Cody Rhodes is the fact he's willing to play around with his character. And whichever character he is portraying, he goes all in. With so many gimmicks under his belt, what better than to rank them from last to first?
Let's get to it!
7) Legacy Cody Rhodes
The Legacy was Randy's Orton group consisting of men who had family in the business and included Ted DiBiasi and Cody Rhodes most of the time. While Legacy gave Cody a lot of main event time alongside Orton, Cody was playing a rather generic faction heel here. His job was to protect Randy Orton, who was the star of Legacy, and it leaned heavily on run ins and beat downs. While he got time to show case his in ring work, Legacy Cody Rhodes was a rather generic character.
6) Heel Cody Rhodes
While this wasn't a gimmick, Cody's work as a generic heel was often rather forgettable. This would include his pre-legacy time with Ted DiBiasi and his post masked Cody Rhodes. While he did hold the intercontinental title during some of this time, his feuds were rather generic. He feuded with Big Show as the Intercontinental Championship and lost it to Show at WrestleMania 28. All in all, while not bad, Cody's solo generic heel work has not been the best that he's done.
5) Dashing Cody Rhodes
This was Cody's first foray into a solo gimmick. Dashing Cody Rhodes was an arrogant narcissist who was super concerned about his looks above anything else. Cody even had a mirror on the LED screen that he'd admire himself during before matches. But the best part about Dashing Cody Rhodes? The grooming tips. These videos were perfect heat seekers to solidify him as the narcissist. I've included one below for all of you to watch if you too want to look Dashing. While low on the list, Dashing Cody Rhodes was quite fun. He just seemed to get better which is why this is ranked lower.
4) The Rhodes Scholar
Later on in his career, Cody teamed with then Intellectual Savior of the Masses Damien Sandow to form the Rhodes Scholars. They were a great heel tag team that was excellent at trolling the crowd. Sometimes Sandow would tell the crowd a story, but sometimes, Cody would cut him off because "they don't deserved a story."
But what really put Cody over the top here was the inclusion of his epic mustache. Man, fans loved that mustache, or at least loved to mock it. The worse part about the Rhodes Scholars was that they dissolved too soon and never won the tag team championships. If Damien Sandow wanted to ditch Macho Mandow and work on freeing Cody Rhodes from Stardust so they can team up again, I'd be all for it.
Stardust is the prime example of Cody Rhodes giving in completely to his new characters. While it started as a means for him and his brother Goldust to get back on track in the tag team division, Rhodes could not handle his new persona and soon lost himself to him. His voice changed. His mannerisms changed. It was to the point that fans chanting "Cody" became like nails on a cosmic chalk board to him. It became so bad, that his brother Goldust had to step in and try to save his brother from the persona that was over taking him. Unfortunately Goldust fell short.
What's also unfortunate is that WWE has not given Stardust time to succeed, which is why I don't have him higher on the list. While his time on TV is feuding with R-Truth, at least he's keeping the story alive on twitter. If you tweet to Stardust and call him Cody, you're liable to be blocked. If you tweet to Cody (yes there's two different twitter accounts) and ask him about Stardust, he'll tell you he's not Stardust. This story could have had some legs.
The Stardust promo below at 2:50 is really strong.
2) Brotherhood Cody
When Cody Rhodes was about to go off to get married, WWE was amidst the heaviest part of their Authority angle. They needed to give him time off so they worked that into the story. As punishment for speaking out against the Authority, Rhodes had to put his career on the line in a match against Randy Orton, which Cody did not win. That lead to my favorite Cody Rhodes promo to date as he leaves the arena for the last time. His brother Goldust would soon find himself in the same boat as Cody. However, both men were able to eventually get a shot against the dominant Shield to get their jobs back, which they did. They went on to win the tags titles from the Shield. While the team of the Brotherhood soon fizzled, I loved the passion of Cody during this time and still think it's some of his best work.
I've posted my favorite Rhodes promo below. No word if the man interviewing later told him that he made more money than him.
1) Masked Cody Rhodes
While working as Dashing Cody Rhodes, he suffered a broken nose during a match with Rey Mysterio. Being so obsessed with his looks, this broke Cody's psyche. He donned a mask and started talking in a low, disturbed voice. Soon he started handing out paper bags to the audience because their ugliness disturbed him. Rhodes' portrayal of the masked man was a stark contrast to his Dashing persona, making it such an enjoyable character change.
My favorite part of this gimmick was Cody's love of comic books was evident in his display of this character. In fact, I usually refer to the Masked Cody as "Dr. Doom Cody Rhodes." During his entrance, which was just a darker rework of the Dashing Cody "Smoke and Mirrors" song, news paper clipping would pass on the LED screen behind him carrying news of his disfigurement. And at WrestleMania, when he wrestled Rey Mysterio, Rey wore a Captain America outfit, making me think I'm watching a Dr. Doom vs. Captain America match. If wrestling is comic books come to life, the masked Cody Rhodes is one of the prime examples. This story of a narcissist losing his mind due to perceived tragedy and becoming the villain could be right out of the pages of so many comic book stories.
It was also under this persona where Cody won his first single's title and also brought back the white Intercontinental Title.
It is evident the Cody has switched his characters a lot over his years in WWE, which is one of my favorite parts about him. Hopefully, one day he'll find that character that takes him to at least a brief run at the top.
This is just my list, and what's the internet good for if it's not debating lists? So have at it.