Cody Garrett Runnels (born June 30, 1985), better known by the ring name Cody Rhodes or simply Cody, is an American professional wrestler, who competes as Cody Rhodes or simply Cody.
He is the son of late WWE Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes and the half-brother of WWE wrestler Goldust. After an amateur wrestling career that, he followed his father and older brother's footsteps into the professional ranks.
Since leaving WWE, Runnels began wrestling in the international independent circuit and found success in numerous promotions. In the space of a year, he competed at WWE's WrestleMania, ROH's Final Battle and NJPW's Wrestle Kingdom events. In September 2017, Rhodes signed a multi-year deal with Ring of Honor, where he became a one-time ROH World Champion and a one-time ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Champion (with The Young Bucks). As part of a working relationship with New Japan Pro-Wrestling, Cody made appearances for the promotion and held the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship.
Early life[edit | edit source]
Runnels was born in Marietta, Georgia. He had a successful high school wrestling career, attending Lassiter High School. He placed sixth in the 171 lb (78 kg) division as a sophomore. As a junior, he won the Georgia state tournament at 189 lb (86 kg) in 2003, and repeated as champion his senior year. He had planned to wrestle collegiately at Pennsylvania State University, but decided to become a professional wrestler instead. During his time in high school, Runnels also acted as a referee in his father's Turnbuckle Championship Wrestling promotion. After graduating high school, Runnels attended an acting school.
Professional wrestling career[edit | edit source]
New Japan Pro Wrestling (2016–2019)[edit | edit source]
On December 10, 2016, Runnels, billed as "The American Nightmare" Cody, appeared at New Japan Pro Wrestling's World Tag League finals via video package, announcing himself as the newest member of the Bullet Club. On January 4, 2017, Cody defeated Juice Robinson in his debut match at Wrestle Kingdom 11 in Tokyo Dome. Cody's next NJPW match took place on May 3 at Wrestling Dontaku 2017, where he defeated David Finlay. After defeating Michael Elgin at Dominion 6.11 in Osaka-jo Hall on June 11, Cody challenged Kazuchika Okada to a match for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at the G1 Special in USA. The match took place on July 1 at G1 Special in USA in Long Beach, California and was won by Okada. On August 13, Cody and Bullet Club stablemate Hangman Page unsuccessfully challenged War Machine (Hanson and Raymond Rowe) for the IWGP Tag Team Championship.
He faced Kota Ibushi at Wrestle Kingdom 12 in a losing effort. Cody had teased Ibushi about his history with Kenny Omega during the Wrestle Kingdom match and went to attack Ibushi, but was stopped by an enraged Omega. The tension would come to a head at The New Beginning in Sapporo on January 28, after Omega lost the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship to Jay White, Hangman Page challenged White to a title match, but Omega stopped him and handed White his newly-won championship. More members of Bullet Club came to the ring, including Cody. Cody berated Omega for not letting Page have his moment to challenge White, leading to Omega inadvertently shoving down Matt Jackson. The remaining Bullet Club members decided to leave the ringside area to let Cody and Omega discuss their differences, but Cody instead turned on Omega and Page went to assist Cody to further attack Omega, until Kota Ibushi made the save. The two would continue fighting over the leadership of Bullet Club, and at Honor Rising: Japan on February 24, Cody and Bullet Club stablemate Marty Scurll lost to Omega and Ibushi. During this time, Cody tried to split the Bullet Club by making Page and Scurll on his side and triyng to make The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) on his side. Cody and Page would continue feuding with Omega and Ibushi, leading to a match at Sakura Genesis on April 1, where Cody and Page managed to win. Cody would then face Ibushi on May 3 at Wrestling Dontaku in a winning effort. On July 7 at G1 Special in San Francisco, Cody unsuccessfully challenged Omega for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, ending their feud over the leadership. On September 30 at Fighting Spirit Unleashed, Cody defeated Juice Robinson to win the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship. He lost the title back to Robinson on January 4, 2019 at Wrestle Kingdom 13 in Tokyo Dome.
Personal life[edit | edit source]
Runnels is of partial Cuban descent through his maternal grandfather. His father was WWE Hall of Famer, "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes, and his half-brother is WWE superstar Dustin Runnels, who is better known by his ring name Goldust. On March 31, 2007, Cody and Dustin inducted their father into the WWE Hall of Fame. He also has two sisters, Teil Gergel and Kristin Ditto, who is a former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader. He is the nephew of former professional wrestlers Jerry Sags and Fred Ottman, and the godson of Magnum T.A.
In September 2013, Runnels married Brandi Reed, who worked for WWE as a ring announcer under the name Eden Stiles.
Runnels is a fan of The Legend of Zelda video game series and incorporates its style in his wrestling gear; he has stated he replays A Link to the Past yearly. Runnels is also a comic book fan and has worn wrestling gear inspired by Archangel and Mister Sinister, characters from X-Men. He cites Omega Red and Cyclops as his favorite fictional characters, along with the Inhumans. He personally owns a game cabinet of the 1992 X-Men arcade game.
In wrestling[edit | edit source]
- Finishing moves
- As Cody Rhodes
- American Nightmare (Modified figure-four leglock)
- Cross Rhodes (Rolling cutter)
- Disaster kick (Springboard roundhouse kick)
- Din's Fire (Modified Vertebreaker)
- As Cody Rhodes
- Signature moves
- As Cody Rhodes
- Alabama Slam (Double leg slam)
- Bulldog, sometimes from the second rope
- Crossbody, sometimes from the top rope
- Dropping down and uppercutting the opponent, as a back body drop counter
- Inverted suplex slam
- Knee drop
- Moonsault onto a standing opponent
- Multiple kick variations
- Drop, sometimes while springboarding
- Football to the midsection of an opponent holding onto the ropes and in a wheelbarrow hold
- Muscle buster
- Russian legsweep
- As Cody Rhodes
- Brandi Rhodes
- Wrestlers managed
- Brandi Rhodes
- "The American Nightmare"
- Entrance themes
- "Kingdom" by Downstait (August 19, 2016 – January 4, 2019)
- "Shot'Em" by [Q]Brick (NJPW) (Used as a Member of Bullet Club)
Championships and accomplishments[edit | edit source]
- National Wrestling Alliance
- NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- New Japan Pro-Wrestling
- Ring of Honor