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When Rhodes debuted in the WWE, he was merely known as the son of WWE Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes and the brother of Goldust.
Trying to get out of the shadow of his family members, he immediately started a feud with Randy Orton, in defense of his father, whom was disrespected by the "Legend Killer."
He didn't really start showing much character until he turned heel nearly a year into his WWE career, turning on his then-Tag Team Championship partner Hardcore Holly, to form a team with Ted DiBiase, in what would become two-thirds of the Legacy stable.
Since then, the way he has handled the main-event talent in the company has been outstanding. The Hell in a Cell match against DX, the destruction of Legacy and the triple threat match at Wrestlemania XXVI were all defining moments of Rhodes' early WWE career.
The biggest thing that happened to Rhodes, was being drafted to Smackdown in 2010 and developed the new character, "Dashing" Cody Rhodes.
The cocky, self-absorbed, "dashing" one became a success and garnered a ton of heat for his "grooming tips" vignettes.
He was able to use a natural charisma and had (still has) the ability to keep the crowd on the tip of his fingers.
A "dashingly" great character fit and a change to what we expected from the "grandson of a plumber."