Tuesday 1 May 2012

The Two Time Champion

So they took the Intercontinental championship off of Cody Rhodes at WrestleMania just so that they could say Big Show has held every currently active title in WWE? Does that strike anybody else as an incredibly frivolous reason for switching a title, even by WWE’s standards?
It's doubly annoying because Rhodes had done so well establishing himself as a rising force in WWE. In truth the IC title didn’t mean that much because he hadn't defended it particularly often but that Rhodes had held onto it in an age when long title reigns are not the done thing. Having a long reign helped him set himself apart in place of entertaining title defences which, as good as Rhodes is, have been few and far between.

Cody Rhodes had been the champion for 236 days when he lost the belt on April 1st at WrestleMania XXVIII. That was the longest reign since Shelton Benjamin's 244 day run from October 19th 2004 to June 20th 2005. Such things may not be a big deal in WWE these days but even if the announcers aren't instructed to bang on about lengths of title reigns fans will still notice when one happens. That long run was beginning to set Cody apart in an age where too many title reigns are measured in weeks rather than months.

Cody looks very happy to have regained the Intercontinental title, doesn't he?
Cody is now a two time champion, but so what? WWE will continue to have him defend it sporadically at best and are unlikely to have him enjoy another long run as champion. They should have kept the title on him and contained their disinterest in the belt. The best thing they could have done would have been to give Rhodes an epic run. Even when he dropped the belt he was still months away from coming close to achieving that, but he was closer than he is now.

Had ‘The Dashing One’ enjoyed a long title reign his eventual loss of the title could have been used as a means of elevating a young baby face prospect. That would have given Cody's career a talking point (longest Intercontinental championship reign in however long) and created some buzz around the babyface selected to topple him.
I have no doubt Rhodes will continue to climb the WWE ladder. He’s already one of the promotion’s most reliable stars and brightest prospects and if he can avoid injury he’ll only keep improving. The best thing for him right now would be a feud with another mid-card wrestler that elevates the Intercontinental championship and allows Cody to show he can deliver solid matches. It's a shame what could have been something special for him was squandered in favour of having Big Show win every title there is to win but sadly that’s WWE all over.

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