This is how I would describe the respective careers of Ted Dibiase and Cody Rhodes.
Let's start at Wrestlemania last year:
Rhodes & Dibiase lose against Orton in a triple threat match in the second contest of the match.
Dibiase had been touted as a future main eventer with talk of a stable with his brother and Joe Hennig (Michael McGillicutty) called 'The Fortunate Sons' occuring, which fell through after Brett Dibiase had to have knee surgery.
Rhodes, having been punted out of action, to add insult to (kayfabe) injury, is almost unceremoniously thrown onto Smackdown, the B show without a story or anything planned (his theme said it all. Ted got the Legacy theme. Cody went back to his jobber theme, even though it sounds cool).
Dibiase got some air time, which started to decrease and decrease after every single week, with WWE noticing that Dibiase was getting absolutely no heat whatsoever. To find a solution to the situation, WWE firstly give him a watered down version of his father's gimmick but they then give him Maryse as a valet and of course, their chemistry is zero, zilch and none.
Rhodes for a time was confined to superstars despite winning against Morrison on his Smackdown debut (debut of his 'beautiful disaster' signiture move) and was then put onto NXT, the C show, but this is where things would change.
His promo work began to shine and he started to get some more time which morphed him into 'Dashing' Cody Rhodes, a new gimmick which Cody would play to perfection. The spine of this gimmick was the hilariously entertaining 'grooming tips' segment as well as entertaining matches and promos on both Smackdown and NXT. He also got a cameo appearance on hit show Warehouse 13.
The tides were beginning to turn.
Autumn and Winter:
Rhodes continued his rise while Dibiase continued his decline. However, all that resulted was a tag title reign for Rhodes and a US title match for Dibiase, but it was the fan reactions that showed the different. Dibiase was getting absolutely no heat whatsoever. You could hear the tumbleweed during Dibiase's entrance. The only time he got a lot of heat, or any heat for that matter was when he sang. Conversely, Rhodes' heat level continued to grow, and grow.
Now we get to 2011:
Rhodes has been in a number 1 contender's match for the World title and is now feuding with Rey Mysterio which seems set to take place at Wrestlemania 27 (Rhodes is also showing another dimension to his gimmick, reminiscent of "American Psycho" in his character). There is also the possibility he could be I.C. champ either at Wrestlemania or as early as next week or the week after considering Kofi's apparent injury (which serves the double purpose of making Del Rio look credible and getting the title off him A.S.A.P)
Dibiase on the other hand has been resigned to dark matches for the US title (which will never change hands in a dark match), not winning for a long time and being resigned to getting dumped by his rookie for a better version of his gimmick in Del Rio and now doesn't even seem set to appear at Wrestlemania! His best shot is in the MITB ladder match and even that's not set in stone with the amount of talents WWE have and seem to prefer.
So after reading this, and looking at their current position, I would find it challenging for anyone to disagree with me despite your own preferences. So we go back to the motto of this thread. What a difference a year makes.
Btw, this thread is also on the Smackdown section. But I know some people would either not go on Smackdown or Raw so I've posted to both to be safe.