"The Cody Rhodes vs. Goldust Rivalry: A Family Feud for the Ages"

"The Cody Rhodes vs. Goldust Rivalry: A Family Feud for the Ages"

The Cody Rhodes vs. Goldust Rivalry: A Family Feud for the Ages

In the grand tapestry of professional wrestling, brotherhood bonds have been forged, tested, and tragically shattered. One such rivalry that captivated and disappointed audiences in equal measure was the clash between Cody Rhodes and his older brother, Dustin Rhodes, better known by their WWE personas – Cody Rhodes and Goldust.

Their story, though brief within WWE, transcended the typical sibling rivalry narrative. It explored themes of identity, frustration, and the complex dynamics of family legacy. While the execution fell short of its potential, the underlying emotional core and the undeniable talent of the brothers themselves make it a feud worth revisiting.

From Legacy to Rivalry: Seeds of Discontent

Cody Rhodes (then known as Cody Runnels) entered WWE in 2006, initially finding success alongside Randy Orton and Ted DiBiase as part of the "Legacy" faction. Dustin, meanwhile, was a veteran with a flamboyant, often bizarre character – Goldust. Their paths crossed occasionally, with a tense elimination encounter at the 2009 Royal Rumble foreshadowing future conflict.

Years passed, with both men carving their own paths. In 2013, Goldust made a surprise return to WWE, reigniting speculation of a potential tag team with his brother. This materialized, and the "Rhodes Brothers" surprised audiences with their charisma and in-ring chemistry. They even captured the WWE Tag Team Championship, a career highlight for both.

However, cracks began to show. WWE creative placed Cody as the weaker half of the duo, constantly losing matches. This frustration manifested within the storyline, with Cody questioning his direction and yearning to break free from his brother's shadow.

The Birth of Stardust: A Descent into Madness

WWE's answer was "Stardust," a bizarre, space-themed alter ego for Cody. The character, while visually striking, felt derivative of Goldust and did little to elevate Cody. The frustration on both sides – real and kayfabe – became palpable.

Goldust, seeing his brother lost in the character, attempted to bring Cody back. This led to the crux of the feud: a "brother vs. brother" narrative. Goldust, desperate to save his sibling, challenged Stardust to a match at Fastlane 2015.

A Disappointing Climax: Unfulfilled Potential

The match itself was a disappointment. The story leading up to it promised an emotional catharsis, but the execution felt flat. Dusty Rhodes, their father and a legendary wrestler himself, appeared at ringside, adding an emotional layer. However, the win via a roll-up for Goldust seemed underwhelming.

More concerning was the aftermath. Backstage, a vicious attack by Stardust on Goldust solidified the villainous turn. Cody, fully embracing the Stardust persona, declared his family dead to him. This dark turn felt unnecessary and overshadowed the potential for a more nuanced exploration of their brotherly bond.

Beyond WWE: A Brighter Future for the Rhodes Brothers

Following their WWE departures, both Cody and Dustin (now competing as "The Natural" Dustin Rhodes) found greater success elsewhere. Notably, they reunited in All Elite Wrestling (AEW) in 2019. There, they finally delivered the epic brother vs. brother match fans craved. Their "Lights Out" Unsanctioned Match at Double or Nothing 2019 was a brutal, emotional rollercoaster, widely considered a modern classic.

This encounter showcased the true potential of their rivalry, one that WWE never fully realized. It served as a testament to their talent and the deep bond they share, a bond that transcended the confines of a scripted storyline.

A Legacy of What Could Have Been

The Cody Rhodes vs. Goldust rivalry remains a curious footnote in WWE history. It had all the ingredients for a compelling feud – a complex family dynamic, talented performers, and a built-in emotional connection. However, the creative direction ultimately went astray, leaving a sense of unfulfilled potential.

Despite the shortcomings, the rivalry offered a glimpse into the complex world of professional wrestling. It showcased the delicate balance between entertainment and genuine human connection, a balance that, when achieved, can elevate wrestling to an art form. More importantly, it highlighted the enduring bond between two brothers, a bond that resonated with audiences and continues to thrive outside the confines of WWE.

Back to blog