Friday 25 March 2011

Rhodes to WrestleMania

Up until January this year, the career of Cody Rhodes had been largely unremarkable. Despite a high profile feud with DX, teaming with Randy Orton, and subsequently feuding with him, Cody had done nothing to get himself over with fans. At the start of January he was just another guy that would come out and cut the same heel promo as everyone else. He just had a catchier theme song to do it to.

Despite this he was handpicked by Rey Mysterio to be his opponent at WrestleMania. Rey, who was permitted to pick his next opponent because the creative team had no idea what to do with him once his feud with Alberto Del Rio concluded in December, apparently saw something in Cody Rhodes that most fans couldn’t.

It turns out Rey was right.

In the past three months Cody has had more character progression than at any other time since his television debut in July 2007, and shown more personality and natural ability for talking too. Since January he’s given the most clear, intelligible promos of his career, neatly explaining his problems whilst getting the desired reaction from the audience at the same time. Nobody would have predicted that six months ago.

His ring work has always been solid enough, and Mysterio rarely enters a duff performance, so things look promising for their eventual match at WrestleMania. Hopefully they’ll get enough time to have an enjoyable match, with a finish that keeps Cody looking competitive regardless of whether he wins or loses. The biggest concern is that the creative team won’t have anything in place to keep Cody progressing once WrestleMania’s been and gone. If he ends up sliding back into the quagmire of obscurity he was wallowing in at the end of last year then the entire feud with Mysterio will have ultimately been for nothing. That would be a real shame, as it’s highlighted just how good Rhodes can be when he has something worthwhile to do.

Ideally, Cody should move on to a singles feud with another established star whom he can have solid matches and promo segments with. The two top candidates for this are Edge and Christian. Both men are generous when it comes to selling and putting over opponents, and are in a position on the roster to provide Cody with a feud people care about. After that, again in an ideal world, I’d like to see him have a program with a guy like Kofi Kingston, not only so that he can have a reign as Intercontinental champion but also so that management can see if he’s capable of working in a feud with someone less over than himself. I believe that in a few months time he will be, as long as he keeps getting used as he has been recently.

The Rey and Cody feud shows that two wrestlers (or “Superstars”) can have an entertaining, engaging rivalry if things are allowed to progress naturally. I would imagine that both Mysterio and Rhodes have had a significant amount of input into this program, mainly because it’s come about as a result of the supposed creative team having nothing for Rey to do. If I’m right then let’s hope more wrestlers are allowed similar opportunities in the future. We’ve seen that it can not only help younger talents to understand how to get themselves over, but also produce some entertaining television too.


  1. Good breakdown of Cody here. Depending on timing... I think his first chance at something classic could be later this year, assuming "creative" keep him relevant, when his brother comes back from shoulder injury. If enough time for a build up to a SummerSlam match. If not then I would shelve it & do long drawn tease/program culminating in a brothr vs brother match at Wrestlemania 28. Goldust was just coming into form with Dibiase program (best Goldie has looked in ring in years) when the injury happened. This could have all the ingredients like Dusty, the father torn between the two. Or heck you could play Dusty heel like he's shown already & then use the disspaointed son angle. (this would be favorable for Vince since he loves to play off real life issues). this would also be a upper mid card match that would not require a title being used for the build.

  2. Thanks for commenting.

    A Cody v Goldust feud could work very nicely if they got the right amount of realism into it. Dusty would work very well in whatever role was asked of him, and they could possibly even get away with doing another swerve turn with him. It's a good match for SummerSlam or a B-level PPV I think.