by Daniel Johnson
I was just watching a Cody Rhodes/Stardust backstage segment with Goldust from WWE Monday Night Raw and it got me thinking. Cody could have been propelled into the main event at least twice because he had enough of a reaction from the crowd and generated enough interest.
First, when Rhodes had the Dr. Doom gimmick with his injured face. There have been plenty of main eventers who came in with cartoonish gimmicks that had strong emotions at there core. Then later on they would be infused with more realistic elements to give them something to really connect with audiences. One notable example would be The Undertaker who went from “Hulkamania will Rest in Peace” to a man who felt betrayed by his longtime friend Paul Bearer only to rise up to greater heights than he ever knew before.
Cody’s disfigured character looked very comic book inspired on the surface, but underneath it all Rhodes played a man who knew disappointment and had hate in his heart. This allowed him to shine on the microphone in a way he never quite has before or since. With strong emotions tied to the character from the start Cody could have gradually shed the gimmick until the main event brought more of his true life persona out.
The second time Rhodes could have had a straight shot to the main event is when he teamed with Damien Sandow. The two had a ton going for them: Chemistry, loud crowd reactions and even a swell name in Team Rhodes Scholars. In fact, Rhodes/Sandow had so much momentum at the time either one of them could have been pushed into the main event after the inevitable split and feud. Yet, WWE’s bungling of that was so bad that I can barely remember the feud at all.
Now Cody teams with big bro after he has becoming Stardust. It’s not a bad spot as the Goldust gimmick really appeals to kids from what I’ve seen live (odd enough given it’s origins). However, it is a tag gimmick and WWE has only ever really pushed singles stars to the main event. So unless they split for whatever reason, Cody will just keep babbling about the cosmic key and facing Rybaxel (like he did again on Monday). Heck since WWE Wreslemania XXX alone, Cody and Goldust have already faced the tag team of Ryback and Curtis Axel a whopping 24 times. Meanwhile Cody is not getting any younger.
Contrast Cody with his current promo style to his disfigured era and there is no question during which period he looked more like a main eventer.
In the future there is at least one more fairly obvious chance for Cody to be catapulted into the main event. That would come from Cody breaking off from Goldust, reverting to a face without make-up and cutting a pipe bomb style promo about how he is not Stardust anymore. This would best work if Cody was given about six more months in the Stardust character so it doesn’t feel like directionless, speedy booking.
Cody has been pretty fortunate as far as injuries go so far in his career only notably suffering a minor neck injury and a more serious shoulder injury. These injuries have not noticeably impacted his in-ring performance, but injuries have a way of taking their toll even on the most physically gifted performers.
At 29 years-old and in good health Cody could have several years where he could linger in the midcard and still have a strong run in the main event later on. However, in WWE it is surprising how quickly many turns into several and several turns into few.
Categories: Smooth Runs