It seemed safe to assume that the story was going to see Goldust paired up with a string of random partners and still losing, leading Cody to the conclusion that it was 'The Bizarre One' that was the weak link on the team. That would, of course, culminate with a Cody heel turn.
|The enigmatic Stardust.|
Instead of the split we've had a surprise gimmick change. After seeing Goldust lose to RybAxel alongside Sin Cara one week and R-Truth the next Cody revealed he'd found the perfect partner to help end the losing streak. The partner ended up being him. Wearing a gold and black bodysuit. And face paint. And red contact lenses. And going under the name Stardust.
The character has so far only made one appearance in a short victory over Ryback and Curtis Axel. It's too early to judge how popular it can become and how enjoyable the pairing of the dusts can be. But it's not too early to say this is a step backwards for Cody Rhodes.
The problem is being in a tag team. The Goldust and Cody combo proved very popular last year and their tag championship reign elevated both them and the belts. It was a position that Cody could stay in pretty much indefinitely until a decision was made to give him a crack at being a meaningful singles babyface. The quick wit, comedy timing and willingness to send himself up that he routinely demonstrates on The JBL and Cole Show and in media interviews make it clear Cody can cut it as a top flight solo act. I don't think his in-ring skills are in question at this point. Basically he was perfectly placed for a slow rise to the top.
Which makes it odd that WWE have taken away his ability to demonstrate these abilities. Instead of using his quick wit and general affability to his advantage he has to go out of his way to act like an eccentric Goldust knock-off. I’m not claiming it’s a career killer or anything (very few things in WWE are) but it is a step backwards for somebody who seemed to be on the cusp of taking a step forwards.
On the plus side there’s clearly going to be more to the story. Cody won’t be playing Stardust indefinitely. Perhaps Goldust will be the one to turn heel after getting jealous of his brother stealing his shtick. Perhaps Cody will end up going heel after all when they lose a title match. Perhaps they’ll just continue tagging for a few months and then randomly split as so many teams in WWE tend. A split will happen sooner or later and when it comes I hope WWE have something good ready for Cody. He’s one of the many talented wrestlers they should be doing a lot more with.