By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
NEWTON: Bet on yourself
cody rhodes
On Sunday, April 7 Georgia native Cody Rhodes won the Undisputed WWE championship at Wrestlemania 40. | Photo via WWE.

Congratulations are in order for Georgia’s own Cody Rhodes for becoming the Undisputed WWE Champion last weekend at Wrestlemania 40.

In what was one of the greatest professional wrestling events of all time, Rhodes solidified himself as a top guy in WWE for the rest of his career, as he defeated the now-former champion Roman Reigns, ending his historic 1,316 day reign. For reference, Reigns’ reign as champion is 4th all time in the company’s history and the longest in the modern era.

But what intrigues me the most about Cody Rhodes is his story, and the things he had to do to achieve the level of success he had always dreamed of. 

In fact, the whole mantra of his title chase was “Finish the story.” This came from his own goal of becoming the first in the Rhodes’ lineage to become WWE Champion, something his late father “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes and his brother Dustin Rhodes a.k.a Goldust never did.

Cody would begin his WWE career in 2010 where he settled in as a mid-card wrestler – not the worst, but not the best. He won several sets of tag team championships as well as a few Intercontinental championships, but he never even came close to reaching the big one.

The WWE decided to change his character in 2014 to “Stardust,” a clone version of his aforementioned brother Goldust. This character change caused him to flunk down the card, to the point where he decided to ask for his release from the WWE.

In a statement, Cody shared this about his spot on the card at the time.

“My goal in pro-wrestling has always been to win the WWE Championship (the one accolade in the game my Father never obtained, and for a decade I tried to convince both Vince [McMahon] and HHH [Paul “Triple H” Levesque, chief content officer of WWE] that I could be their star-player, their varsity quarterback if you ill, but it seems we have reached the point where neither saw that in me,” Cody wrote.

So Cody decided to do something that would set him apart from others in the business. He bet on himself.

Cody would go on to wrestle on the independent circuit and travel to different promotions such as Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling to hone his craft and build his own character – one that wasn’t manufactured or recycled, but one that he created himself.

In 2019, Cody and several others in the business decided to take things up one step further and start the now second-largest wrestling promotion in the world, AEW – the first true alternative to WWE since WCW in the ‘90s.

Built on being an alternative in pro wrestling, Cody was at the forefront of the revolution, becoming a key figure both on and off screen. It was a pivotal moment when Cody cut the now famous promo where he declared himself from being “undesirable” to “undeniable.”

How did he manage to do that just years after his WWE release? He bet on himself.

In 2022, Cody was faced with a decision, as his contract was set to expire in January. While many expected him to return to AEW and to continue to be at the forefront of the new alternative, he decided to walk away.

He has told many in interviews that the reason he left AEW was due to a “personal issue” but that he enjoyed his time with AEW and that he was grateful for it.

Cody then sought out to make his next big wave in the industry, and that is to return to where it all started. 

At Wrestlemania 38 in 2022, Cody returned to WWE and set out with one goal in mind – Finish the story and become WWE champion.

It took him some time to reach that point, with many ups and downs, but Wrestlemania 40 was his culmination, and the reward for his hard work and his commitment for doing the one thing he’s done his whole career.

Betting on himself.

If there's one thing that Cody has taught me, it’s that when you put in the work, betting on yourself cashes in almost every time.

Something that you want to do? Put in the work and bet on yourself. Unhappy with your current situation? Put in the work and bet on yourself.  Want to be the best version of yourself? Put in the work, but most importantly, bet on yourself.

Betting on myself is what I have used to get to where I am at today, and I will continue to do so in the future. After all, who better to bet on you than you?

Evan Newton is the news editor of The Covington News. He can be reached at