As noted over the weekend, Cody Rhodes requested and was granted his release from the WWE.
In an official statement released following his WWE departure, Cody Rhodes revealed that he had been pleading with WWE creative over the last several months to ditch the Stardust character and allow him to go back to being Cody Rhodes. Back in March, Rhodes began teasing the end of the Stardust character and the return of Cody Rhodes, and according to Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio, the plan in WWE as of before WrestleMania 32 was to indeed drop the Stardust character and have Rhodes return to being Cody. The character drop was supposed to take place either around WrestleMania 32 or the night after.
For whatever reason, Vince McMahon and Triple H, mainly Vince McMahon, ultimately decided the character drop was not going to happen, and that Rhodes would remain Stardust. It has been rumored that McMahon as well as Executive Producer Kevin Dunn were huge fans of the Stardust gimmick as they felt that they considered Rhodes “Too Southern” for their tastes.
Meltzer went on to explain that despite Rhodes being released from WWE, officials are forcing Rhodes to observe to the remainder of his deal, which limits his current pro wrestling options as Rhodes is seen as a low-carder on the main roster. Meltzer added the split between WWE and Rhodes was not peaceful, and WWE is “kind of putting the screws to [Rhodes]” by forcing him to ride out the rest of his contract.