It was around 11:10 pm, central standard time when I awoke from my usual slumber to prepare for yet another long night on the job. As usual, upon awakening, I allowed myself that ten minute window of laying in the dark plugging through the notifications on various social media sites on my cell phone before physically letting my feet touch the floor and beginning my evening. As I skimmed through twitter, I saw many friends had retweeted these 2 posts from Cody Rhodes and needless to say, I sat up much quicker than the Undertaker ever did upon reading them.
(1/2) The past ten years have been quite the trek, but as of earlier today I have asked for my release from @WWE
(2/2) I’ll speak further on the matter shortly. Thank you to all the pro-wrestling/sports entertainment fans worldwide. Thank you
My heart sank for a long couple of minutes. I know it was more of the sentiment I feel as a fan rather than any true surprise that WWE has once again sucked absolutely all they can out of a loyal and talented employee who has not seen a push in almost two years aside from a brief stint of working with “Green Arrow” actor Stephen Amell, which really, where else was there to go with it once the Summerslam match happened and they essentially wrapped that feud up?
Its easy to be on the outside looking in, making assumptions, but even the most uneducated wrestling fan isn’t off base for noticing that things just aren’t quite right with WWE and many of its mid-low card workers and that Cody Rhodes is one of many stars, (much like the recently released Damien Sandow) who had the potential to be dumped or demoted at any given moment. This situation is different though; instead of being discarded, Cody has chosen to leave and brave an impeding fork in the road which could take his blossoming career in any type of direction. Sure, finding work will not be a daunting task. Rhodes is one of the most solid guys in WWE and will be a welcomed addition to any roster. Potential match-ups with stars in various organizations has the IWC frothing at the mouth and wondering when the official release will happen and where Cody will continue on from there. Still, there is always more questions than answers in the industry, and plenty of them will be running u muck over the next few days. Is this a ruse? Are they simply discarding the Stardust character and the tweets are of a kayfabe nature? Will his wife Brandi be out the door right behind him? Will he be able to take the ball and run with it in another promotion? Will he ever be someone’s heavyweight champion? It seems like a scary situation to go into for any person, but to me, this decision personifies the person Cody Rhodes is. A risk taker. A torch bearer for individual respect and respect for the business. A man willing to leave a billion dollar company in order to resume a wrestling career elsewhere in the unknown when he could’ve simply continued accepting a paycheck for working 6-10 min matches that we can only see if we tune into one of the WWE’s “C-List” programs like “Main Event” or “Superstars”or attend a WWE live show .
We can speculate all day long on what the situation is. Some say “Cody is too small to be a Vince McMahon guy” and I too, believe this to be part of the McMahon reasoning for never giving Cody much to prosper with. But in the typical respect of “Rhodes” wrestling, like his polka dot clad father before him, he took the terrible ideas from the WWE writing staff and ran with it, getting them over every single time. A protective face mask. A wispy moustache. An odd being from “the fifth dimension”. Cody made everything he did work and made every WWE match he competed in one to marvel at. It seems to me WWE creative failed Cody more times than Cody ever failed them and still, somehow, Cody is the one left slighted. It is easy to see why one would prefer to venture out and see what else there is to offer when you are employed by a group so out of touch with what the fans want to see that they spend more time trying to market purple Stardust masks and matching puffy gloves then they do progressing any kind of story line or feud. To me, the fact that we are watching guys like Sandow, Barrett and now Rhodes leave is asinine. Why is there no longer a brand split with this much talent on the roster and NXT churning out superstars like an assembly line? WWE has bought up all the talent to ensure no one can comfortably compete, but it is essentially becoming no different then when Wal-Mart (or some other corporation) hires 100 part time employees, gives them less then they should be making and offers no incentive for them to want to stay with the company. In my opinion this is a complete and utter failure. You have two shows that were both producing well with a brand split, then WWE up and ends it, cutting TV time in half for some of these stars, and cutting off TV completely for others; relegating them to the bench until its time to put someone over on a house show or less important WWE program. It is an array of things, from this McMahon “little guy” stigma all the way down to the poor character development of worthy superstars that seems to be sinking the WWE careers of talented individuals long before their time.
It saddens me to see it end this way, from making me laugh with his debate over high school happenings with Xavier Woods on the “Talk Is Jericho” podcast, to his amazing Stardust promos, all the way down to the tears I shed watching the Rhodes family walk away with the tag team titles against “The Shield” a couple of years ago at “Battleground”, Cody Rhodes, much like his father, made me feel every emotion under the sun (so far) during his career. That is what signifies the greatest workers in this industry,..the way they are able to take any given script and make it their own. The way they grab every single eye in the audience and make themselves the focal point, even if but for a mere moment. Its the way they carry themselves in an out of the ring, with complete poise and respect for those around them. To me, this sums up not only who Cody Rhodes is as a person, but as a man. This is why saying goodbye and thank you to Cody is feeling slightly like watching a close friend you see every single day move away and on with their life. No matter what the reason is and regardless of the circumstance, this is one fan that will be keeping a close eye on this situation. Will WWE try and mend fences? When will Cody speak out? Here I am, 30 something minutes into typing this article and I have answered none of the questions I have, but i’m instead only developing more questions, while trying not to jump to any further conclusions.We all see it though, you don’t have to be a fool to look at the situation and know that something just isn’t quite right. Until we get these answers, may I simply say Thank you Cody…Thank you for your time, your hard work and your sacrifice. Hopefully you can take your work ethic & knowledge and make another promotion even better.