Cody Rhodes (Cody Runnels) posted an interesting tweet regarding the Rhodes name. As noted before, WWE owns the “Cody Rhodes” trademark. He is using the Rhodes name on the independent scene but it’s unclear what agreement he may or may not have with WWE. He is only using his first name on merchandise with Pro Wrestling Tees.
I own Rhodes
He was with me for my first breath and I was with him for his last
There's no piece of paper on Earth that takes my name away
— Cody Rhodes (@CodyRhodes) July 15, 2016
As of today, the USPTO still lists WWE as the trademark owner for good and services pertaining to “Entertainment services, namely, performing in wrestling exhibitions and live performances by a professional wrestler and entertainer; providing wrestling news and information via a global computer network.”