When Cody Rhodes left the WWE in 2016 to embark on an odyssey throughout the world of pro wrestling outside the WWE Universe, one thing was glaringly apparent in his first few bookings. His iconic last name – one he shares with his father Dusty Rhodes and brother Dustin Rhodes (Goldust) – was nowhere to be seen. Naturally, anti-WWE fans took it as a sign that the WWE had a trademark on the Rhodes last name and was preventing Cody from using the name outside of the WWE. During a Q & A on Twitter last night, Cody clarified that it wasn’t the case at all – the lack of “Rhodes” was entirely his choice.
I can use it whenever. I will not be using it any time in the foreseeable future though…whether that’s w/roh, WWE, njpw, anywhere…
I prefer just Cody. https://t.co/aVIcsENR5I
— Cody Rhodes (@CodyRhodes) September 28, 2018
Funny enough, this isn’t even the first time Cody has had this issue arise and each time he’s shot down the rumors and reports of WWE blocking the use of the name that his father had made a legend long before Dusty’s stint with the WWF in the 1980’s. But fans with anti-WWE agendas have ignored his words before and continue to push the narrative that Cody is another victim of the WWE “being petty” with its former Superstars. Cody addressed this back in June of this year, when another fan redirected the outrage not only at WWE blocking Cody’s use of the last name, but that somehow Velveteen Dream was a knock against Cody’s father, “The American Dream”. Cody shot down both conspiracy theories immediately.
A) Nobody is keeping me from using my last name. There’s no evil plot.
B) he could call himself “blue eyed velveteen American dream soul jr” and I wouldn’t be offended. He’s very talented and not hurting anybody.
Besides, we Rhodes always make a comeback. We endure. https://t.co/9mkapKT7cG
— Cody Rhodes (@CodyRhodes) June 27, 2018
While he’s free and clear to use the name at present, there were definitely issues previously, as in early 2017, he mentioned to Sports Illustrated in an interview that ” I don’t mind that WWE took away my last name. Deep down, in my bones, I definitely want it back – and I have plans to get it back – but there is something to being Cody. The longer I don’t have a last name, the more I’m OK with it. That’s not to say WWE is holding it ransom.” He went on to specify that it was simply an IP issue that could easily be solved. “It’s literally an intellectual property law that easily can be remedied, but there is something about being Cody that I don’t mind. There is something to not always reminding people of a show they’ve already seen, but instead embracing the one right in front of him. I am Cody, and I can promise you that the future is going to be even better than the past.”
Later that summer, as a guest on Jerry Lawler’s Dinner With The King podcast, he even stated that the lack of Rhodes in his moniker was more because he just hadn’t asked the WWE to waive the IP so he could use it. “It’s a very simple matter of, if I want to ask for my last name, if I want to ask for Cody Rhodes back to perform under it — I perform under it at non-televised events, it’s not secret to the fans that’s my last name — but when it comes to television, that’s WWE’s intellectual propert,” he said. “And I am wholeheartedly sure that if I were to ask them to go by Rhodes, they would have no problem.”
By November of last year, it seemed he was on the road to using it outright, but he clarified one thing in an interview with WSVN-TV (seen above) he mentioned that “people are super confused all the time like ‘that’s not your real name.’ It is literally my legal name, like my ID. My name hasn’t been Cody Runnels since I was seventeen.” Considering Cody joined the WWE in 2006 at the age of 21, he’d been Cody Rhodes for four years before he even laced up with WWE’s developmental in Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW).
In the meantime, Cody Rhodes will continue to be a part of Bullet Club, performing with Ring of Honor, NJPW and anyone else he feels like it. And for the foreseeable future, he’ll be travelling the world doing something his father did 40 years earlier – defending the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.
#AndNew NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion
— NWA (@nwa) September 2, 2018