3 WWE Match Decisions That Shaped Cody Rhodes’ Success Story

cody rhodes

Cody Rhodes has emerged from the ashes of an enhancement talent to rise above the global juggernaut, WWE as its flagship star after a two-year-long journey since his return to the company after six years of rejuvenation and career resurgence in the outside world.

Ever since The American Nightmare came back to WWE at WrestleMania 38, he has been positioned to become the next face of the company with the belief cemented at WrestleMania 40 two years later when he dethroned Roman Reigns to win the Undisputed WWE Championship and ended his historic 1,316 days as the undefeated champion. Now, he is set to defend his title against Logan Paul at the upcoming WWE King and Queen of the Ring PLE.

However, the journey to ‘Finish The Story’ was a turbulent road of ups and downs with certain decisions taken by WWE that did not seem in the favor of Cody Rhodes at the time, but ultimately proved to be right in boasting his presence as the face of this generation in WWE. Here are 3 WWE match decisions that ultimately shaped the career of Cody Rhodes in his second run:

1. WWE allowing Cody Rhodes to compete with a broken shoulder

Cody Rhodes’ return to WWE was met with a thunderous response in a match against Seth “Freakin” Rollins at WrestleMania 38. Their rivalry continued over the next few months with their third and final encounter set to take place inside Hell in a Cell at the name-sake WWE PLE. However, just before the match, Rhodes tore his pectoral muscle completely off the bone during his training session.

Despite the severity of the injury, WWE allowed Rhodes to go forward with the gruesome bout inside the demonic structure. Moreover, Rhodes’ disfigured skin color was evident as he removed his robe before the match. While it was a tough battle that Rhodes had to fight with literally one arm, he displayed heart and resilience and put up one of the greatest in-ring performances against The Visionary Seth Rollins making him one of the top-tier and main-event caliber stars that fans eagerly awaited while being out with the injury.

2. Cody Rhodes’ failure to dethrone Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 39

After Cody Rhodes emerged victorious in the 2023 Royal Rumble match and earned the right to face Roman Reigns in the main event of WrestleMania 39, many had anticipated that the time to finish his story was indeed upon them. Moreover, as per previous reports, Rhodes was in fact slated to dethrone the Tribal Chief in Hollywood and win the championship.

However, another report stated that at the behest of Paul Heyman and Roman Reigns who had a bigger vision for themselves, The Bloodline, and possibly Cody as well, WWE chose to have Reigns beat Rhodes at WrestleMania 39. This ultimately proved to be the right decision as the storyline was built to another magnitude with the inclusion of The Rock, Cody winning the Royal Rumble again and being part of one of the greatest WrestleMania main events of all time to win the championship and taking his legacy even further to unprecedented heights.

3. WWE going with a different World Heavyweight Champion

After Cody Rhodes’ failure to win the Undisputed WWE Championship at WrestleMania 39, WWE CCO Triple H introduced the World Heavyweight Championship for RAW as a counterpart to SmackDown’s World Title. As soon as the title was unveiled, speculation went rapid that WWE would choose to put the belt on Rhodes in the aftermath of WrestleMania.

While Rhodes even participated in the tournament for the new championship, WWE booked him to lose in the first round and the title was ultimately won by Seth Rollins at WWE Night of Champions 2023. As for Cody Rhodes, WWE chose to instead put him in a rivalry with Brock Lesnar that established his worth as a top in-ring competitor with this feud being an integral part of his road back toward the top of the mountain.

Do you think WWE made the right decision in booking Cody Rhodes’ aforementioned WWE matches? Did the decision ultimately contribute to his success further? Sound off in the comments!