Saturday 2 June 2012


I’d like to see WWE give Cody Rhodes the big push he has deserved for a long time now.

The former ‘Dashing One’ has been touted as a “hot prospect” for a number of years now and the longer it goes on the more ridiculous it seems. Rhodes has had long enough on the WWE roster make it to the top but he hasn’t. That’s no fault of his own, it’s the fault of the booking team and their stop-start style of pushing him.

His recent encounter with the Intercontinental championship is the perfect example of WWE treating him poorly. When Cody beat Ezekiel Jackson for the gold last August it seemed that it was the start of a big singles push for him. Sadly said push didn’t materialise. While he did begin to get featured more regularly during his time as IC champion it can’t really be said that he was the recipient of a genuine promotion. It was more a case of WWE having no choice but to feature him because they were so light on marketable stars.

The Intercontinental title reign could have been used to highlight Rhodes’ wrestling ability and make him stand out as an in-ring competitor by having him wrestle lengthy matches against a variety of opponents and being booked to win the majority of his outings. That’s how to build a star. While the beginning of his reign did see him defend the gold on pay-per-view (most notably in an enjoyable encounter with John Morrison at Hell in a Cell) his supercard appearances became non-title affairs for several months on the trot and he rarely defended the belt on television.

In short it was a wasted chance, one that WWE could have used to elevate Rhodes and the mid-card strap. That he lost it to the lumbering Big Show at WrestleMania so that ‘The World’s Largest Athlete’ could have the distinction of being the only man to have held every active championship was a joke. Who cares if Show’s won every title? He’s useless no matter what achievements are lumped on him!

Cody Rhodes is ready to headline

Cody regaining the gold at Extreme Rules (albeit in a ridiculous fashion that did not aid his credibility rating) was a promising sign: it looked as though WWE had realised the error of their ways and decided to give Rhodes the reign he deserved. Sadly they failed us again as Cody entered into a tedious feud with Santino Marella over whose title meant more (answer: Cody’s does because there are more great Intercontinental title matches in history than there are United States ones) then dropped the belt to Christian in an unannounced bout at Over The Limit.

Rhodes deserved a meaningful run as the Intercontinental kingpin. He got it in terms of length but not in terms of quality. Nobody can look back on his first time with the iconic belt and say that he had a title reign stuffed with classic matches. The idea about saying that about his second reign is a joke. But it’s what we should be saying. That’s what the Intercontinental title should be for.

Perhaps the current situation is a blessing in disguise. Cody has now had a lengthy run as a mid-card champion (no matter how disappointing) which is traditionally a precursor to a promotion to the main event in WWE. The mid-card gold is safe in the hands of Christian, who is extremely skilled at making his opponents look good.

There are several options for moving Cody up to the top of the card. The first is to pit him against the company’s premier babyface, John Cena. Considering the recent storyline feud between Cena and General Manager John Laurinaitis that seems unlikely to happen at this point. That’s probably a good thing anyway: Cena is a burden to any opponents significantly lower on the pecking order than him and never goes out of his way to get anyone over. Rhodes would have to work hard to get a good match or feud from ‘The Leader of the CeNation’ and would likely have little to show for it afterwards.

A face turn could be an option as Rhodes has played the bad guy for so long. The trouble there is that he’s very good in the role and there aren’t that many heel opponents for him to work with. He could potentially work some interesting matches with the likes of Daniel Bryan, Alberto Del Rio, Miz and Chris Jericho but he’d be better served staying a bad guy for the time being.

The direction I’d like to see WWE take is to stick Rhodes into a feud with WWE champion CM Punk. That would give ‘The Straight Edge Superstar’ an opponent who can keep up with him in the ring and give the former Intercontinental champion a chance to shine and show what he can do in a big match environment with an opponent who won’t go out of his way to scupper his chances of success. A Rhodes v Punk feud would produce some very entertaining matches and likely some solid promos too. Above all it would be fresh and would be a way of creating a new headline star.

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