Cody Rhodes made his second debut in the WWE at WrestleMania 38, but his first appearance in the WWE came 16 years earlier alongside his father.
The American Nightmare is the son of the legendary Dusty Rhodes, with the pair appearing on camera numerous times together over the years.
Dusty was incredibly important to the debut of Cody, with the American Dream being a key reason for his son’s debut in the WWE back in 2007.
Cody Rhodes debuted on Raw alongside “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes
The first time fans saw Cody Rhodes on TV (aside from his induction speech at the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006) was alongside his father, Dusty Rhodes, in a backstage segment on WWE Monday Night Raw.
He made his debut in the WWE on the July 2nd, 2007 episode of Monday Night Raw. The youngest Rhodes’ was introduced to a number of WWE Superstars backstage, including the legendary “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan.
Duggan was introduced as a former opponent of Rhodes, Cody shook his hands as the pair reminisced of the matches between the two legends.
However, they were soon interrupted by Randy Orton, who was firmly in the midst of his iconic “Legend Killer” gimmick that saw his destroy many WWE legends, including The Undertaker and Ric Flair.
Orton quickly introduced himself to the young Rhodes, proclaiming that, how Randy became better than his father (WWE Hall of Famer “Cowboy” Bob Orton), Cody would too become better than “The American Dream”.
When called out on being disrespectful to the elder Rhodes, he proceeded to slap Dusty across the face, proclaiming “How’s that for disrespectful!?”. (It was, in fact, very disrespectful.)
Dusty then held back young Cody from attacking Orton, before the segment ended with the video fading to black, with an angry looking Rhodes family the last thing the audience saw.
His first match on Raw was against Randy Orton, who he’d later partner with in Legacy
A week after this altercation, Cody returned the favour with a slap of his own to Orton’s face.
This set up a match between the two multi-generation stars, which was Cody Rhodes’ debut match in the WWE.
Cody was just 22 at the time of his debut, making him one of the youngest WWE wrestlers ever.
He was joined by Dusty at ringside, who had been building a rivalry with Orton over the last few weeks on Raw.
Cody’s debut ended in defeat, as he was defeated by former world champion in a short match that introduced the audience the young star.
Orton dominated the majority of the match, directing most of his attention to Dusty at ringside, not really taking the 22-year-old superstar too seriously.
Cody did manage to land some punches and a missile drop kick on Orton, but failed to really get any real offence on the Legend Killer before being taken out with an RKO.
Orton even tried to attack Dusty after the match, but the American Dream fought him off alongside his son.
This set up a bout at The Great American Bash 2007, where Orton battled Dusty in a Texas Bullrope match in a match to end the incredible career of the WWE Hall of Famer.
This was the American Dream’s last match on the WWE main roster, although his final match ever saw him team with Cody and his other son in a blockbuster six-man tag team match.