American Nightmare: The Best Of Cody Rhodes DVD Review – WWE

American Nightmare The Best Of Cody Rhodes
Image Source: Amazon

Title: American Nightmare: The Best Of Cody Rhodes
Producer: WWE
Running Time: 268 Minutes
Certificate: 15
Number Of Discs: 2
Studio: Fremantle Home Entertainment
Released: February 20 2023

(Thanks to Fetch Publicity for arranging this review.)

This is our DVD review for American Nightmare: The Best Of Cody Rhodes. And it’s the latest DVD review for our site. So, let’s see what we think of American Nightmare: The Best Of Cody Rhodes!

Description Of American Nightmare: The Best Of Cody Rhodes

Cody Rhodes has enjoyed one of the more unusual careers in WWE history. His early days started off with him as a young blue-chipper looking for his “spot”. That would come from a heel turn and a role in what would become the Legacy faction. Though that didn’t elevate him to headline status, his various personas – Dashing Cody Rhodes was my favourite – made him stand out. And in the early 2010s, it seemed like he was one push away from breaking the glass ceiling. But the big opportunity never came, and his career hit rock bottom when he portrayed Stardust for close to two years.

Eventually, Cody betted on himself and departed WWE, hoping to become a bigger star outside the company than within. And he succeeded: Cody became a legit star, and he played a vital role in the formation of AEW. So much so that it seemed AEW would be his permanent home. But in early 2022, Cody shocked the world when he returned to WWE at WrestleMania 38. And now with WrestleMania 39 approaching, he’s poised to headline the biggest show of the year. He may even end Roman Reigns’ generation-defining reign as Undisputed Universal Champion. From undesirable to undeniable, indeed.

American Nightmare: The Best Of Cody Rhodes – Disc One

This DVD tells Cody’s story (at least within WWE) by allowing us to relive some of his greatest and most famous matches. His debut outing against longtime associate Randy Orton from 2007 is respectable for someone appearing on worldwide television for the first time. Meanwhile, the Night Of Champions 2008 tag bout is more of an angle to align a newly heel Cody with Ted DiBiase. (Though it is cool to see Hardcore Holly on a WWE DVD in 2023!) From there we see Rhodes headline his first PPV, as he and DiBiase battle DX inside Hell In A Cell. I feel this match is overrated, but it’s undoubtedly a career milestone for the future American Nightmare.

Another big moment comes as Cody has his first WrestleMania match against DiBiase and Orton. That would eventually lead to his first Mania win over Rey Mysterio one year later. Now, his Intercontinental Title wins surprisingly aren’t here. But we do get his memorable Street Fight with Orton from SmackDown in November 2011. This was surprisingly brutal for the era, and it sees Rhodes relinquishing his Phantom Of The Opera-esque mask. The year 2012 didn’t offer much for Cody after his IC run ended, but he did get another crack at Rey Mysterio. His match with him from August 31 2012 is a forgotten gem from a dull time for the blue brand.

Shattered Dreams

Cody pretty much drifted until he suddenly turned babyface and fought Orton in a great Raw match. That would begin a story culminating in Rhodes and Goldust defeating The Shield in an amazing tag bout from Battleground 2013. With Dusty Rhodes at ringside, it’s one of Cody’s proudest moments. A rematch eight days later sees the Rhodes win tag team gold when Cody pins … Roman Reigns. Foreshadowing, perhaps? But Cody would ironically have shattered dreams as his career would change when he became … Stardust.

We see Stardust debut alongside Goldust against RybAxel (again, a Ryback DVD cameo in 2023 is strange). Then, it’s the Dusts colliding at Fast Lane 2015. This match isn’t very good, and it’s a far cry from their bloodbath at AEW Double Or Nothing 2019. But it would have been tolerable, had the Stardust character been going anywhere. Sadly, it wasn’t, and worse was to come when Dusty tragically passed away in June 2015. Understandably, Cody took some time away from the ring in the aftermath.

Undesirable To Undeniable

When he returned, though, he was still Stardust, which made no sense. He did have a fun storyline with Stephen Amell, which included a forgotten SummerSlam 2015 tag bout. It’s here on the DVD, as Stardust and King Barrett battle Neville and Amell himself. But by May 2016, with his career going nowhere, Cody asked for and received his release. Cue him spending the next six years undergoing a transformation that took him from being undesirable to undeniable.

All of which made his WrestleMania 38 return the biggest moment yet in his career. As this DVD demonstrates, he and Seth Rollins stole the show on night one of Mania with a classic match. Their superb Backlash rematch isn’t here, but their unforgettable Hell In A Cell clash is. Rhodes had just torn his pectoral muscle completely off the bone, yet still wrestled against Rollins. The drama is sky-high, and Cody’s win is as emotional as they come. But could he top this when he faces Roman Reigns in SoFi Stadium on April 2 2023? We’ll have to wait and see.

Summary Of American Nightmare: The Best Of Cody Rhodes

This DVD shows how underrated Cody’s WWE body of work is. Yes, he’s much better in 2023 than in, say, 2010. But he’s quietly responsible for plenty of memorable matches and moments from his original WWE run. The action here is very enjoyable, with most matches offering a ton of action or some notable quirks. And of course, it ends on a high note with his tremendous battles against Rollins. As we wait for Cody to achieve true greatness at WrestleMania 39, this is a great way to prepare.

Overall Rating: 8/10 – Very Good