It looks like the struggle is real for Cody Rhodes since leaving WWE. Despite competing in PWG’s Battle of Los Angeles over the weekend, in addition to wrestling Kurt Angle for Northeast Wrestling, and branching out into television roles with an upcoming spot on the new season of Arrow, Rhodes will have to do it without the name that has made his family famous worldwide.
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer confirmed that WWE is blocking Cody from using the Rhodes name on television. Cody’s late father was born Virgil Runnels, but made his name as “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes. When Dusty came to WWE in the late 80s, he still owned the name. However, when Cody Runnels came to WWE, they gave him the name Cody Rhodes in order to build off the legacy of his father. Therefore, the name “Cody Rhodes” is technically a WWE creation.
Meltzer went into detail on Monday’s Wrestling Observer Radio:
“To me it’s like, they may have the legal right. But it feels so unfair to me that he’s not going to be able to use the name Cody Rhodes on television, because they own the name. And I just feel like, they did not create Dusty Rhodes. Now, granted, Cody Rhodes only used that name in WWE. He never used it anywhere else. And usually, if you’re going to have the rights to use your name, like CM Punk, going forward, you know, it’s because you had prior usage before going there. And you know, he never worked for anyone but WWE. So he had no prior usage. But it’s like, the frickin’ Rhodes name goes back 50 years in this business. And he’s a member of that family. And WWE did not create Dusty Rhodes. They did not come up with the name Dusty Rhodes. By the time he got there, Dusty Rhodes was one of the three biggest attractions in the country, before he got there in the first place. I guess they’ll work things — he’s trying to work things out with them over that. I had seen stuff where he had tweeted that, I wasn’t completely familiar if that was exactly the case. But that’s exactly the case. If he’s in ROH on television or TNA on television, he cannot be Cody Rhodes.”
Personally, I’m a bit torn on the matter. On the one hand, I just want WWE to be cool about this for once and let the man use his father’s name. On the other hand, they have to protect their IP or they open a precedent that others can use to sue for their names. That said, I think he will be absolutely fine as Cody Runnels. He’s his own man, and I love that he’s diligent about either sinking or swimming on his own merits. He loved, respected, and admired his father, but he also seems intent on being his own man. And I respect the hell out of that. I really do wish the best for Cody, because he’s got loads of talent as a performer.
But what do you think about WWE refusing to allow Cody Rhodes to keep that name? Sound off in the comments!
And for more WWE news, find out why CM Punk is accusing Vince McMahon of funding a lawsuit against him!