Cody Rhodes has managed to reinvent himself as a brilliant worker and a top star in wrestling – putting on multiple five star performances over the past few years.
After leaving WWE and working on the independent scene for the a while, Cody Rhodes developed a less-than-impressive nickname. Fans coined the term “The Three Star General” for the former Intercontinental Champion, claiming that while he had good matches, he would never be able to reach the upper echelons – the four or five star match ratings.
This hampered him during his career in New Japan – no matter the opponent, be it Kazuchika Okada, Kenny Omega or Kota Ibushi, Cody could never achieve that one dream match – the famed five star rating. Yes, it was entirely down to one man (The Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer) but it was a nickname that people took seriously.
However, once AEW started he managed to forge a completely new perception of himself. Now viewed as a top star, a great worker and a potential face of the company, he had everything available to him to be a top star in wrestling. Some missteps along the curtailed this chance in AEW, but since jumping ship back over to WWE he seems likely to become a WWE Champion some time in the near future.
Cody Rhodes 5 Star Matches
Cody vs Dustin Rhodes – Double or Nothing 2019
The first five star math in AEW history came at their first every show. The long awaited Cody Rhodes vs Dustin Rhodes match was one of the most anticipated match on the show and the brothers had to deliver to help put AEW on the map.
Luckily they used every ounce of talent they had to put on a masterclass. It was a slowly built bloody encounter that showcased both men’s main event credentials. It even had some people call for a Dustin Rhodes AEW Championship run.
The bout featured a basic story in the match, but played to perfection. The emotion in this brother-vs-brother match, that was built up only by pre-taped videos the week before the bout, had the crowd almost in tears. The wrestlers too, when the fans at ringside began to chant for their father Dusty Rhodes before the bout. The WWE legend had passed away a few years prior.
Cody Rhodes won one of the bloodiest bouts in AEW history, much to the delight of the fans. He instantly became the top babyface in the company and seemed like he was being primed for a run with the AEW Championship. The match was his first five star match in his career and he started off AEW with a bang.
Cody Rhodes vs Sammy Guevara – AEW Dynamite: Beach Break ’22 (Ladder Match)
The first Undisputed Championship match in AEW gained a full five star rating from Dave Meltzer. Record breaking three time TNT Champion Cody Rhodes took on interim TNT Champion Sammy Guevara to decide who truly was the man to hold the coveted championship.
The pair faced off in a ladder match. It was the first singles ladder match in the company history, and they pulled out all the stops to make it the most memorable.
The spots in the match were ridiculous. If the delayed superplex off the top of a ladder wasn’t crazy enough, then Sammy Guevara’s cutter on Cody from one ladder to another, then watching the pair fall 15 feet onto the mat will surely make you think again.
This was also Cody Rhodes last match in AEW before he made his triumphant return to the WWE as a surprise opponent for Seth Rollins at Wrestlemania 38.
Cody Rhodes vs Seth Rollins – WWE Hell in a Cell 2022 (Hell in a Cell match)
Cody Rhodes came back to the WWE after 6 years away in 2022, returning as Seth Rollins surprise opponent during Wrestlemania that year. Not to rely too much on a spectacular entrance, the two men put on a fantastic match that just missed out on the five star rating. They did the same at the next pay per view (with Rhodes winning both matches) so the stage was set for a final Hell in a Cell match to once and for all earn that coveted match rating from Dave Meltzer.
They did just that, at Hell in a Cell 2022. Not only was the match fantastic, with Cody Rhodes again winning the third consecutive match between the two, but they worked through a horrific injury suffered by The American Nightmare prior to the match. He had no use of his right arm and his chest was black due to the torn pectoral muscle he suffered in preparation for the deadly bout
Any other man would have quit. And no other wrestle could have worked around a one armed man to put on an absolute classic. Luckily, Cody Rhodes and Seth Rollins combined perfectly for an epic five star match which wont be forgotten in the history of WWE. It was Cody’s crowning glory but the work of Seth Rollins cannot be underappreciated either. The match gained five stars from Meltzer but would be Cody’s last match for months, as he was forced to step away due to the injury he suffered.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.