Cody Rhodes Looks Back On Stardust Gimmick, Says WWE Pitched Mask That Was Never Used

It is well-documented that Cody Rhodes' frustrations with WWE's creative department led to his exit from the company in 2016, and a large part of those frustrations stemmed from WWE wanting him to portray the Stardust gimmick. Nearly seven years after getting rid of the gimmick, and walking out on WWE, Rhodes has admitted that he could have done more to make the character work rather than complaining about it.


"There are plenty of people to blame when it comes to Stardust," Rhodes said on a recent "Dale Jr. Download" podcast. "But as I have gotten older, the more and more of the blame I put on myself. Because it's one thing to stand up for yourself two years in — when it's bottled up and ready to blow versus had I fought this battle six months in. Had I come to work every week and said, 'This doesn't work for me,' while [also] being a professional and being part of the process ..." 

Rhodes admittedly hates the "trust the process" line but is beginning to understand why he could have "worked harder" to change his fortunes around. At this point in his career, Rhodes has realized that pro wrestling is a superficial business that requires the wrestlers to be in the best possible shape. 


"The biggest thing — and I know this is going to sound silly — to turn your fortunes around in sports entertainment and wrestling space is to get in the best shape of your career," Rhodes stressed.

Cody Rhodes Reveals Idea For Stardust Mask

"It's still a vanity business. You're still out there, half-naked, and oiled up, and the guys behind this operation ... they still have a love for bodybuilding," Cody Rhodes continued. "They're in great shape and in tailor-made custom suits when they come to work. That's one of the first things I tell people because it your their mindset too, 'Get in the best possible shape.'"


Reflecting further on his run as Stardust, Rhodes admits that being in pristine physical shape a decade ago would have forced Vince McMahon and others to take notice and afforded him more creative freedom. He reiterated that his biggest mistake was allowing the negativity to fester rather than making positive changes to his life. 

"Had I gotten in the best possible shape of my career and said, 'Hey, I'm telling you I want to be Cody Rhodes and not Stardust, let me get new gear and present that to you. Let me have this all done up.' Instead of doing that, I just bottled ... I let it swell. I didn't do the things [I needed to]. Also, I thought if I did them, they'd still not [believe in me]. But that's not the case," Rhodes said. 


Rhodes believes if Stardust had 8 percent body fat and a six-pack, WWE creative would have gone, "What are we doing?" and given the second-generation wrestler a better shot at succeeding. In conclusion, Rhodes revealed WWE wanted him to wear more than just a face paint to portray Stardust. 

"There was an actual mask that was pitched," he revealed. "This was an area where I spoke up. I put it on and [it] looked like a classic condom blowing up. It looked so bad." Upon rejecting the idea of sporting a mask, Rhodes shaved his head to try and resemble his brother, Dustin Rhodes. "I'm glad the mask never saw the light of day," he concluded.