Top 5 Reasons Cody Rhodes Should NOT Return to WWE
With the recent news that Cody Runnels PKA Cody Rhodes, is the newest member of NJPW mega stable The Bullet Club, many hardcore wrestling fans, and those of us in media that cover it, are already speculating on how this will blaze his path BACK to the WWE. But in the immortal words of Stone Cold Steve Austin I say “Nuh-uh”! Since Cody Rhodes left the WWE he has been hopping the globe, and wrestling in some of the best matches I’ve seen this year. In this modern era of professional wrestling or sports entertainment, an entertainer of Cody Rhodes caliber and work ethic can make the same amount of money in the indies as in the WWE. Some would argue even more, and I am one of those someones. So I hope the newly dubbed #AmericanNightmare reads the fine writings of the Scrum Sports, and checks out my top five reasons to not return to the WWE. At least not for any time soon.
5. Let Us Forget Stardust
Stardust should not have worked. Period. The fact that anyone even liked that gimmick for a small amount of time, is a testament to Cody Rhodes talent. It has been a long time since I’ve seen a wrestler commit to a character so fully. But lets be honest, that was a stupid gimmick. The reason the Goldust persona took off the way it did was largely for the same reason. Dustin Runnels aka Goldust, also fully committed to his character, but unlike Stardust, Goldust was considered risque, and slightly dangerous, or scary due to the subvert sexual tones and androgynous nature of the character. In the 90’s to have a wrestler like that on TV was shocking, and water cooler conversation. Not only shocking, but it was OK to mock that character, for wearing wigs, and being androgynous. None of those things are eye-brow raising anymore though. On top of that, it’s socially unacceptable to make fun of a man who wants to wear womens clothes. Definitely not a large corporation like the WWE. I can see the picketing lines, and outraged media outlets now. Over the years the Goldust character has had to morph and change with the times. We wrestling fans rolled with it, because it was now our long time beloved Goldust. So what did that leave Cody Rhodes to play with? A carbon copy version of his brothers character, without any of the risque persona to get said character over. All Cody could do was completely ham it up. Cat hissing, and talking about crazy space metaphors. Maybe it would have worked in the 70’s or 80’s when David Bowie was still a major part of the pop culture lexicon, but in the 2010’s it fell flat pretty quickly. For the WWE creative to even pitch this, and then for which ever one of the McMahon’s to green light it, shows a major disconnect with reality. On top of all that, after Cody Rhodes played his part, and towed the line for the company, they still would not put the persona to bed when he expressed displeasure in doing it. Was the Stardust merchandise moving with the kids like that? Because I don’t ever remember seeing one adult wrestling fan in any Stardust shirts. Cody Rhodes needs to spend as much time away from the WWE, to shed our memories of him as Stardust. Let us get back used to seeing that handsome mug for many more years, and forget all about the cat hissing and face paint.
4. WWE Is To Crowded
The WWE is bursting at the seams right now. Much like in 2002 when WWE purchased WCW, there is a bit of a vacuum in the American wrestling scene. TNA, arguably the WWE’s only true chance at competition, has had an extremely rough couple of years. With so many financial worries, and near sales of the company and possible closures, many of their core stable has all fled for greener pastures. WWE ended up signing some of the best talent TNA had built into stars. The current WWE World Champion AJ Styles proves that. So with TNA in another state of rebuilding, and while RoH is enjoyable for hardcore wrestling fans, your casual fans don’t have any other outlets here in America. I know some of you are saying right now, but what about Lucha Underground? I’ll get to that in a little bit later. WWE has soaked up all the good talent in America and Canada, and is working on getting it’s hands even more into the global wrestling scene. Already the WWE is technically split into three rosters with the NXT, Smack Down, and RAW brands, and yet many of their good talent has to fight for screen time. Where would Cody Rhodes fit into this right now, or any time soon? Do we think he left, just to work and come back to the mid card range? Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure any wrestler would be happy to say they worked for the WWE in any capacity, but only if they never had before. For someone like Cody Rhodes who’s been there and done it, worked multiple characters, traveled, and paid his dues, would you wanna come back, and be right where you were when you left? Absolutely not. Cody Rhodes should come back as a battle hardened warrior. A true threat to anyone in the company, who’s getting a major title push. With the hungry talent the WWE has now, who deserve pushes currently, and the future legends they have in the wings in NXT, the title scene should be booked out for the next 3-5 years! No room for a Cody Rhodes talent in the current WWE scene and it’s foreseeable future.
3. Complete the List
Upon Cody Rhodes departure from the WWE, he tweeted his dream list of opponents. Now while I don’t know exactly how many people he has crossed off of this list, I do know that he has not crossed everyone off it. I would think he wants to meet most of his opponents in matches that mean something. Wrestling for a title, or in the finals of a tourney. Facing off against his dream opponents in the most meaningful matches and stories they can create. To do that will take time. Cody may find himself wrestling in multiple different companies, and factions, in order to finish his list. Hopefully he wants at the very least a one year run in each of the well known and respected companies around the globe, to make these matches and feuds memorable. Also Cody Rhodes owes it to himself. It’s hard being a wrestler. The life style seems grueling and demanding. For those that love it, and have the ability to make it to the top, they should pursue every dream they have for themselves in the business. Cody Rhodes spent the large majority of his time in the business in the WWE. Some of the people on his list, will either never sign, or it would be a long time coming, for them to be in the WWE. For Cody to have these matches that he wants, he’s going to need to spend time away from the large over dominating WWE. Get out there and face people he’s never squared off against. Perform styles, and matches he’s never done before. I hope he stays away from the WWE at the very least until he completes this list. I think it will make Cody a stronger wrestler. An even better story teller in the ring. An overall more confidant and domineering presence in the industry as a whole.
2. Wrestling is Changing
As I stated earlier, Cody Rhodes has spent all of his wrestling career in the WWE, before his departure. The WWE while it’s been slowly changing, and trying to update it’s self, is still very rigid in some of it’s thinking. It’s also a corporation, and some decisions have to go through many hands before an answer is given. While the buck still seems to start and stop with Vince, it still has to go through a lot of hands before it can be enacted. Not only that, but the WWE style can be rather dated as well. The WWE might still put on the biggest, loudest, and brightest show in town, but it does not put on the most interesting, or most entertaining show all the time. Matt Hardy has broken new ground, with the weird off location matches and skits. Yes they are weird, and head scratching at times, but they are certainly interesting and entertaining. The reason Matt Hardy was able to show his Broken Brilliance, was because he forced their hand. By taking his character to the internet, and pushing the limits of what wrestling is today, Matt was able to reinvent himself in the most amazing way. Cody Rhodes has the opportunity to do something similar with his career. Make your persona away from the wrestling industry. Become more than just a wrestler, but become a pop culture character. The WWE looks to do that with their stars, but only by means that they can control. By being a free agent for awhile this allows Cody to try out some more fringe ideas. Allows him to stretch the borders of what a wrestler, and his character is. Lucha Underground has also broken the mold on what a wrestling show is. While jarring at first to watch, for a long time wrestling fan like me, over time I’ve become a big fan of Lucha Underground’s shooting style. I’ve always heard people compare wrestling to a soap opera for men, but LU takes it to a new realm. With actual seasons, that have starting and ending points, LU has blurred the lines more than ever between the superstars as wrestlers and actors. Someone like Cody Rhodes would kill in an environment like that. A charismatic, good looking wrestler, who can also stay in character and deliver his lines with believability, could easily work a wrestling program like that into future TV and movie roles. Cody should stay out learning, and experimenting with all these new trends, to see where he can work them into his ever changing brand.
1. About That Name
I understand business is business. I understand the WWE wanting to protect it’s intellectual property. Some stuff though is just mean spirited, and in poor taste. To not allow Cody Rhodes to wrestle under his fathers creative surname is despicable. Just in case you accidentally clicked this link, and kept reading cause you thought I write nice (thank you). Or maybe your a casual wrestling fan, and don’t know all the long back story, let me fill you in on a few things. Cody Rhodes is the son of wrestling legend Dusty Rhodes. Dusty Rhodes career stretches back to before there was even a WWE, or a WWF. Before his passing Dusty played an integral part, in the growth of the wrestling business as a whole. From in the ring as a top notch performer, and as well as behind the scenes, as an innovative booker, and event creator. To not allow Cody Rhodes to use his fathers name, his very own birthright, is not something that should be forgotten. Ever. WWE should be very ashamed of themselves for that, and Cody should always remember the type of company the WWE is. I enjoy the WWE as much as anyone else, and the Rhodes name situation isn’t anything for me to protest about. But if I were Cody Rhodes, I would fight this battle tooth and nail. I’ve seen some superstars get canned for legitimate reasons, and end up making long term enemies out of the WWE over nothing. Then you have situations like this, where the company is just being ugly, and bull headed. As if allowing Cody Rhodes to use his fathers well earned moniker is going to hurt any of their business. For his last 2 years and change in the WWE, he wasn’t even wrestling under the Rhodes name, so why is this a problem now? It makes the WWE come across as really petty, and Cody should never forget that. The same company that uses his fathers name in an annual competition, disrespects his lineage, by refusing him usage of his name? I’m not saying Cody should be having twitter rants like our president elect. I actually appreciate the fact he’s taken the high road and being a grown up about it. But this is an offense that should not be forgotten any time soon. I’ll be honest, I know it’s just gonna be a matter of time before Cody Rhodes makes some kind of return to the WWE. But when he does, make sure the name Cody Rhodes is worth millions. So that way he can charge them heavily in order to be able to use it again.
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