What has happened to Cody Rhodes?
It wasn't all that long ago that the second-generation superstar was making a lot of noise in the WWE. He feuded with the likes of Rey Mysterio and Big Show, had a lengthy Intercontinental Championship reign and formed one very entertaining tag team with Damien Sandow.
But now, you could make a case that Rhodes is lower on the WWE totem pole than he has been at any point over the last several years.
Once a top priority and one of the company's clear-cut up-and-coming stars, Rhodes has gone from a superstar with a really bright future to a superstar who's future isn't very clear anymore.
Here are seven ways Cody Rhodes continues to be overlooked.
Generally speaking, Cody Rhodes doesn't get nearly enough TV time these days.
When he was a member of Legacy or in the midst of his long Intercontinental title reign, Rhodes had a consistent presence on Raw and/or SmackDown. Nowadays, though, he's lucky to get seven or eight minutes of TV time per week.
More importantly, Rhodes' mic time has gone down significantly over the last couple of years. Once someone who cut promos on a regular basis, he's now someone who only cuts a short promo here and there.
The WWE is wasting Rhodes' talents by not using him as much as possible in both talking and wrestling roles.
Obviously, Rhodes isn't going to dominate the company's top storylines just yet, especially at WrestleMania time. But with five hours of TV time between Raw and SmackDown, you would think that he would get more quality exposure than he does.
And that's the key, too. Rhodes can get all the exposure he wants, but if it's not good exposure, then it ultimately means nothing.
Rhodes often finds himself getting poorly used TV time, while unentertaining stars like Brodus Clay and Tensai are actually spotlighted with theirs.
What made Cody Rhodes stick out for the first several years of his career was his great character development.
He first made a splash on the main roster as a member of the all-second-generation-star stable Legacy before transitioning to his memorable Dashing character and then his unforgettable "Undashing" masked character.
Whenever WWE stars struggle, it's often because they simply don't have a gimmick or can't adjust their gimmicks with the times.
Rhodes never had that problem. Until now.
While his character as part of Team Rhodes Scholars was entertaining, it was Damien Sandow who had the clear gimmick of the duo. Having a hideous mustache is not necessarily a gimmick, and Rhodes really didn't portray any particular character as part of the team, only thinking that he was better and smarter than everyone else.
Since Team Rhodes Scholars has split up, it's back to a generic gimmick for Rhodes, too. He's no longer "dashing" or crazy. He's just a really talented guy without much of a character.
Until the creative team can find a character fit for Rhodes, odds are that he'll continue to be overlooked.
It's difficult for any superstar to achieve much when he doesn't have a real feud for such a long time, and that's exactly what's happened with Cody Rhodes.
Since his feud with Big Show ended last year, he really hasn't participated in any rivalries of note, especially as a singles competitor.
Just try to name one major singles rival that Rhodes has had since his Intercontinental Championship feud with Big Show came to an end in 2012. Hard to do, huh?
Rhodes has really only "feuded" with Christian in singles competition since then, and even in tag team action with Damien Sandow, Team Rhodes Scholars haven't really feuded all that much.
They've had an on-and-off rivalry with Team Hell No, but Kane and Daniel Bryan's involvement in an angle with The Shield overshadowed it. Of course, the Hell No/Rhodes Scholars rivalry was a lopsided one that saw Rhodes and Sandow lose title matches on multiple occasions anyway.
With Rhodes failing to have any really memorable feuds over the last year and not picking up any notable wins in those feuds either, he's taken a substantial plunge down the card.
Last year at this time, he had a decent ongoing feud with Big Show that resulted in a WrestleMania match. This year, he might not even get on the card.
There have a number of opportunities for the creative team to do something special with Cody Rhodes, but most of those opportunities have been missed.
Take, for example, Rhodes' involvement with his half-brother Goldust during this year's Royal Rumble match. The WWE could have easily used the excitement surrounding Goldust's return and his interaction with Rhodes to build up a major feud between the two, especially when you consider that this rivalry has been teased several times in the past.
Instead, Goldust's Royal Rumble appearance was a one-off thing, and nothing substantial ever really came out of it.
Similarly, the WWE could have easily capitalized on the initial buzz surrounding Rhodes' absolutely ridiculous mustache, but once again, the company failed to do much of note with it beyond making a T-shirt celebrating it.
These are just a couple examples of the WWE dropping the ball on Rhodes, but there are so many others: Not giving Rhodes the Money in the Bank briefcase, failing to give Team Rhodes Scholars a tag team title run, etc.
For whatever reason, the creative team just doesn't seem to know how it wants to use Rhodes, and that's a damn shame, because the guy is so talented.
The WWE has elevated a boatload of superstars over the last year or so, but Cody Rhodes isn't one of them.
Creative has pushed plenty of guys, especially heels, while Rhodes has sort of just gotten lost in the shuffle. Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, The Shield, Antonio Cesaro, Kane, Daniel Bryan, Big Show, Alberto Del Rio and many others have all seen their stocks increase significantly recently.
But Rhodes? Well, we can't exactly say that about him.
Although it wasn't very long ago that we were talking about Rhodes as someone who was poised to jump up to the main-event scene, he has been passed up in favor of guys who had once been in the same spot as him or weren't even on the main roster a year ago.
The WWE always tends to be heel-heavy, and just look at all the heels that are bigger priorities than Rhodes is these days: Swagger, Ziggler, The Shield, Cesaro, Big Show and even his former tag team partner Damien Sandow.
With only a limited number of pushes to go around, Rhodes has surprisingly been surpassed by guys we didn't really expect to leapfrog him, at least not so soon.
Most of us can agree that Team Rhodes Scholars was ended way too soon.
The entertaining duo had never really been given a chance to make a big impact in the tag team division or the WWE as a whole, but just like that, the group was split up just a few weeks ago.
The decision to have Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow go their separate ways was reportedly a direct result of Vince McMahon wanting to push Sandow as a singles star.
So, what does that mean for Rhodes then? Probably nothing good.
It's clear that Sandow is viewed by McMahon as the star of the duo, which is ultimately just further proof that Rhodes continues to be overlooked. It appears that his future wasn't even really taken into consideration when Team Rhodes Scholars split up.
As crazy as that may sound, it seems as if the end of Team Rhodes Scholars happened so Sandow could eventually succeed while Rhodes simply went to the back burner.
The WWE has a plethora of lower-card superstars that it could feed to its top stars whenever it wants to do so.
Perhaps that's why it was so baffling to see, of all people, Cody Rhodes serve as the jobber to the stars on two straight Raw episodes after this year's Royal Rumble.
On the post-Rumble edition of Raw, Rhodes jobbed to John Cena in about two minutes. The very next week, he did the exact same to Alberto Del Rio.
Of all of the WWE's questionable booking over the past several months, that was perhaps the prime example of creative failing to properly utilize its superstars.
Why job out Rhodes there, especially when he was trying to make a mark for himself as a singles star after a lengthy run in a tag team? It's beyond my comprehension.
Rhodes is a super-talented guy who's widely viewed as a potential future main-eventer, and this is how he's booked? As Randy Orton might say, that's stupid.
Then again, it's not really all that surprising. It's just another example of Rhodes being overlooked.
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!