Missed Opportunities: Cody Rhodes

by Jimmo (@jimmosangle)

 

I’m not sure why I like Cody Rhodes so much, but this must have some bearing on why I feel bad for him in his current situation. Don’t get me wrong, he’s on TV every week and as the ‘experts’ keep pointing out: you can’t be too bad off if they (WWE) are using you on TV every week (see Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre for proof of this theory).

 

Just over a year ago Cody Rhodes started to feud with long time Rhodes Scholars partner Damien Sandow after the latter “betrayed” him (in a match that was every man for themselves) to become the Mr Money In The Bank winner. This feud interested me. It had history. It was given TV time each week to develop; at that point in 2013 there didn’t seem to be too many instances of mid-card feuds developing over any amount of time. Unfortunately, it was never given the lengthy time that it needed and deserved. It gave both guys something to do but could’ve benefited by having a couple of months to play out and elevate both guys (look where both guys are in the current WWE climate).

 

Then, conveniently, as Cody was due to get married, he was [kayfabe] fired after speaking up against The Authority (also, after being dispatched by Randy Orton in a match). On the back of this, he gave an emotional speech highlighting the beef between the McMahons and Rhodes’ over the years. This really interested me as it was something personal and, maybe even, something that could lead to Cody coming back and being elevated. At a time when WWE were (and still are) thin for main event babyfaces, would it have hurt to use this long running feud and history as a catalyst to elevate and ‘make’ a new star?

 

Goldust – Cody’s brother Dustin – would be brought into the mix to win back both of their jobs in a losing effort. Despite the loss, there seemed to be something extremely popular in the Rhodes’ fight against The Authority.

 

Cody and Goldust would win their jobs back AND the Tag Team Championship as part of a very popular period for the two. With Daniel Bryan and Big Show fighting Triple H and company, it seemed that the Rhodes brothers would be a nice addition to the side of right, and a great chance to use Cody’s new found popularity to get him to that next level.

 

Unfortunately, WWE squeezed every last drop of potential and enjoyment out of the Rhodes brothers tag team to the point where their championship reign came to an unsurprisingly who-gives-a-f*ck end at the hands of the New Age Outlaws. Ouch. Cody and Goldust would go onto become just another tag team in the division that they made interesting again, winning some and losing more. This could’ve been a catalyst for a much talked about feud, and match, between the two that could have had a pleasing conclusion at Wrestlemania XXX. This, unfortunately, didn’t happen.

 

Instead, the slump continued. All the way until Cody would admit to Goldust that he (Goldust) should find a better tag team partner as he (Cody) was letting the side down. It seemed that Cody was in fact turning heel (slowly) by selecting below-par partners for Goldust. The culmination of this storyline was that Cody would become ‘Stardust’; a Goldust-esque character in a PG era. As of now, there has been a lot of talk about cosmic keys and a heel turn to, hopefully, bring some life back into the brothers Rhodes.

 

Unfortunately (again), the two missed opportunities to their story may be for good. I fear that even if they do eventually get to a Cody versus Goldust situation, it will never be as good, or as hot, as it could’ve been earlier this year. And, as a result, Cody hasn’t had that feud, that Wrestlemania moment, and that level of popularity that will propel him to the main event scene. He built popularity after the Sandow break-up, showed emotion throughout the firing and rehiring period, and had a ready made feud to elevate him, or at least a good-to-really-good shot to.

 

Obviously, with the never-ending world that is the WWE, there will always be another opportunity to do so at another time. I just feel that they (WWE) really missed the boat here.

 

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