On 4 January 2019, at Wrestle Kingdom 13, Cody Rhodes lost the IWGP United States Championship against Juice Robinson after 96 days of reign; the following month he left the federation. Rhodes is the son of WWE Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes and the half-brother of AEW wrestler Dustin Runnels.
After an amateur wrestling career that resulted in him becoming a two-time Georgia state champion, he followed his father and older brother's footsteps into the professional ranks and joined WWE in 2006, initially being assigned to the company's developmental territory Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW).
After becoming a Triple Crown Champion in OVW, he was promoted to WWE's main roster in 2007 and remained there for nine years, performing under his real name and later as Stardust. During his time with WWE, 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 an interview with Bleacher Report Live, he talked about the famous Carole Baskin's story: “Brandi was told as well. Here was why we were told this. We were debating, do we go to Big Cat Sanctuary [Carole Baskins’ sanctuary] or do we go to our other place.
And the individual was like, ‘Well, you don’t want to go to the former because…’ And that’s where we heard it for the first time”.