Why Dave Meltzer Says Cody Rhodes Is WWE's Biggest Babyface Since Austin/Rock Era

Since finishing the story and winning the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship, Cody Rhodes has further solidified himself as the new man atop WWE's hierarchy, thanks to successful title defenses over AJ Styles at Backlash and Logan Paul at King and Queen of the Ring. But while it doesn't take a genius to see that Rhodes has taken off as WWE's top star, the question still remains just how big of a star he is compared to top WWE talent from the past.


According to Dave Meltzer, Rhodes compares quite well. On Sunday's "Wrestling Observer Radio," Meltzer revealed that Rhodes' drawing numbers were bigger than that of John Cena's during Cena's run as WWE's top babyface in the mid-2000s to early-2010s. As such, this would make Rhodes the most successful top star WWE has had since the Attitude Era, where the promotion was built around "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and Rhodes' rival, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

While some will still debate whether Rhodes is a bigger star or not than Cena, there is no question he's become a proven success at the box office so far in 2024. WrestleMania 40, which saw Rhodes headline both nights of the "Showcase of the Immortals," drew the highest gate in the history of the event. The momentum kept going for Backlash, where the event, headlined by Rhodes vs. Styles, would also set records for WWE's biggest gate ever for an event in France.


Rhodes will look to keep the momentum going as he heads into WWE Clash at the Castle, likely facing Styles in a rematch. The "Phenomenal" one got a measure of revenge against Rhodes Friday on "SmackDown," suckering the Universal Champion in with a fake retirement speech before laying out Rhodes with a vicious attack.