Cody made the best of a bad situation. Which is hardly surprising as the Stardust character was apparently his idea to begin with. He changed up his entrance and in-ring mannerisms, going out of his way to try and establish Stardust as a distinct entity. Even more impressively he switched up his move set, something WWE performers are generally not encouraged to do. These changes helped to establish Stardust and make the change easier to accept.
|What a good-looking man.|
It's only recently that the Stardust character has begun paying off for Rhodes and the writing team. It's been revealed that the change was part of a long term plan to play into the split of the Rhodes-cum-Dust brothers tandem. Stardust announced at Fast Lane that Cody is "dead", killed by his deadweight brother and unsupportive father. In a nice touch he referenced various stages of his career (being 'The Prince' and 'The Dashing One', being an Intercontinental champ, and being touted as the breakout star of The Legacy) and his former status as a hot prospect within WWE. As character development goes it was certainly attention grabbing.
Since the two (half) brothers officially split on the February 16 RAW further tweaks have been made to the Stardust character. He's been shown to be violent and unstable both in matches and backstage segments and moved from wearing a Goldust-esque bodysuit to full length tights (possibly because he wants to have those abs of his on display).
It seems likely that another Goldust versus Stardust is where this is all heading, although Stardust's recent interest in the Intercontinental title means it's unlikely to happen at WrestleMania. How that will play out is anybody's guess. The rumours that Goldy is ready to retire are as widespread as they've ever been so it seems reasonable to assume we'll see Goldust versus Stardust with a retirement stipulation for the former on the line. Given Stardust's recent sentiments we could see him challenge Goldust to face him with this stip and Goldust, wanting his brother back, agreeing on the proviso that if he can win the match the Stardust gimmick gets dropped.
That scenario would almost certainly play out with Goldust losing. It could be used to launch a big singles push for the Stardust character, unrepentant at having fractured his family and caused the retirement of his brother. Played right it could get him over big as a heel. Alternatively Stardust could win the match and, following a moment of clarity brought on by seeing how dejected 'The Bizarre One' was at the loss, ask for and receive reconciliation. That would allow Goldust to go out in the match he's apparently wanted for years and lead back to the reintroduction of the babyface Cody Rhodes character.
Knowing WWE we'll get a watered down version of one of these options. The Stardust saga so far has already been a departure from the writing team's usual unwillingness to commit to anything original, interesting, or forward thinking. It's too much to expect the story to reach its conclusion without the usual WWE disappointment seeping in.