Cody Rhodes was one of the most consistent talents in the WWE. Whatever was handed to him, he made sure to give it his all so that the fans can be invested in the character. Rhodes achieved mid-level success while competing for the company, winning both the Intercontinental and Tag Team Championship.
While there were many times that Rhodes was seemingly going to shatter the glass ceiling that was oddly above him, somehow WWE continued to have him chained without an opportunity to be set free. When Rhodes asked for, and was granted, his release in May of this year, he sought to reignite his passion for the business. Since then, he has become the hottest freelance professional wrestler in the market, having scheduled dates in TNA, ROH, PWG, EVOLVE, and a host of other independent promotions.
This weekend, he had the opportunity to compete against Sonjay Dutt for the Global Force Wrestling’s NEX*GEN Championship – the company’s secondary title – at WrestleCade’s Showcase of Champions event in Winston-Salem, NC. Rhodes defeated Dutt, and won his first championship since leaving WWE.
While Rhodes’ win is still only for a midcard championship, and it seems to simply be a lateral move, this championship win means much more to him. Not merely due to representing the GFW brand with this win, but due to finally having an opportunity to have fun again doing what he loves.
Since leaving WWE, Rhodes has competed for the TNA Heavyweight Championship, a chance to win PWG’s Best of Los Angeles tournament, as well as be booked in a high-profile match at Ring of Honor’s Final Battle event in December against Jay Lethal.Perhaps the greatest opportunity Rhodes has had since his departure was competing against Kurt Angle for the WCPW promotion. In the first match, Rhodes was able to emerge victorious. However, Angle was able to get revenge in their second bout.