Sunday 15 December 2013

That Wrestling Podcast Episode 27

At the start of the year Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow were working together as The Rhodes Scholars. At the time it seemed inevitable that they would be the pairing to take the tag straps from Team Hell No boys Daniel Bryan and Kane. There were no realistic alternatives and they were too entertaining to not get a reign.
That didn’t happen of course.
This is a team that deserved a title reign
Instead Rhodes and Sandow mounted an unsuccessful title challenge at Royal Rumble, got split up and put back together in a matter of weeks, and then spent months killing time in completely forgettable and not especially good matches. It was Shield members Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns who were selected as the men to dethrone Team Hell No, having progressed throughout the spring from being six man specialists alongside Dean Ambrose to men who could contribute to shows in more conventional ways.
In the long run it made a little more sense. Rollins and Reigns benefited not only from being the men to take the belts from THN but also from holding them for so long. It’s unlikely they’d have got them as soon as they did had The Rhodes Scholars had them after WrestleMania. And the aimlessness of Rhodes’ and Sandow’s careers throughout the first half of the year can be overlooked with hindsight because such a good job was done with them at Money in the Bank.
But even there I can’t simply heap glowing praise on WWE. The feud between former best friends Sandow and Rhodes should have continued for longer than the month it did. The story was there to be told and WWE, for unfathomable reasons, decided to cut it short.
For Rhodes it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. He got sucked into the company’s lead angle opposite Triple H and Stephanie McMahon and got a belated run with the tag straps alongside his brother Goldust. Since being paired with ‘The Bizarre One’ Cody has had a string of fiery, captivating matches that have reinvigorated the tag championships.
All Sandow wants is some consistency, is that too much to ask?
‘The Intellectual Saviour’ hasn’t fared as well. The sudden ending of his programme against his former best pal left him drifting for weeks. The failed cash-in attempt he made on ‘Superman’ Cena could have been the start of something interesting for him. He cut promos hinting that it would be, saying that his goal in life was to destroy Cena. Needless to say that’s not happened. It was never likely to. But the fact that Sandow’s done nothing to advance this stated plan feels like a wasted opportunity.
It’s interesting how much has changed for the two most prominent WWE teams since the start of 2013. Neither are together anymore, but one of the four is a current tag champ. His partner has fallen and risen from grace numerous times, and currently seems on the cusp of another rise. Kane has gone from being an unstoppable monster to a modern day interpretation of Pat Patterson and Gerald Brisco’s stooge role. Meanwhile Daniel Bryan has left the other three, and the rest of the roster, behind him and become the most popular man in the company.

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