During his time with WWE, Cody Rhodes became a two-time Intercontinental Champion and was a prolific tag team wrestler, winning six tag team championships (three World Tag Team Championships and three WWE Tag Team Championships) with four separate tag team partners.
Rhodes left WWE after requesting his release in May 2016. Following his departure from WWE, Rhodes began wrestling on the independent circuit, also making several appearances in Total Nonstop Action (TNA). In the time frame spanning from early 2016 to early 2017, he competed at WWE's WrestleMania, Ring of Honor (ROH)'s Final Battle and the New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) Wrestle Kingdom events as well as appearing for TNA at Bound for Glory.
In September 2017, Rhodes wrestled in ROH, where he became a one-time ROH World Champion, one-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion (due to ROH's partnership with the National Wrestling Alliance), one-time IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion and a one-time ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Champion (with The Young Bucks)—at one point holding the NWA World, IWGP U.S., and ROH Six-Man titles simultaneously.
In a long interview with 106.7 The Fan, Rhodes explained why they decided to debut AEW on TNT in Washington, DC: “We had a really strong presence in terms of, in this era, you’re able to track a lot of data. And I know that might sound like, ‘Whoa.
That’s the nerdiest answer ever.’ But you’re able to track a lot of data and see where, okay, where did the most views come from for BR Live and things of that nature? And when I say we’ve got these artists who are running this, and these inmates who are running the asylum, one of the best things that we’ve done – myself, Matt, Nick and Kenny – as EVPs with AEW, one of the best things we’ve done is said, ‘Okay, we don’t know how to do this, so let’s hire somebody who does.’ I’ll give you an example.
Rafael Morffi, who came from WWE and was there with me as our market rep, that’s the individual who can look all across the board, and who can strategically place us in the best market and service every market that we possibly can, and reflect that data that’s been reflected, and appease that, and all that math and all that science.
We’ve built a really great team around us, and short answer, I’m a huge fan of American history. I’m the American frickin’ nightmare."