Cross Rhodes No More
Last week I posed the question; 'Where have all the good guys gone?'. I complained and complained about the lack of quality faces in the middle of the card, and gave three options for creating a new hero to cheer. The first option that I put forward was the possibility of turning a current heel face, although it was stunted by a lack of real options. Well, as I sat on the balcony of this apartment in Zagreb, drunk as a chump, it struck me. It definitely struck me a hell of a lot later than most other people, but I was certainly struck. There is a very good option waiting to turn, which would not only invigorate the face side of things and provide fresh matches and feuds, but could also give a new lease of life to a criminally ignored and abandoned Divas division. This man is Cody Rhodes.
Alberto Del Rio turned to the light side late last year, and in my opinion it has been a total success. I was skeptical in the first place about whether it would work, but he has ended up being possibly the only main event good guy whose character isn't a turd. His turn came when he essentially defended the honour of his long time ring announcer and best friend, Ricardo Rodriguez. The turn of Cody Rhodes would come about in a fairly similar way, only instead of his best friend he will defend the honour of Kaitlyn, thus revealing her secret admirer. They have had many little flirtations in the past, and this would be the culmination of their burgeoning relationship. I'm not a huge fan of love stories in wrestling, but every now and then one comes along that can really work for everyone involved, and this is just that relationship. They have the right chemistry and credibility for it. All the characters that would be involved in the story line are in perfect place for when the trigger is pulled, and what comes flying out of the chamber could potentially be the defining rivalry of a generation. Without delving too far into fantasy booking, this is done in a very simple way.
AJ Lee is the number one contender to Kaitlyn's Divas Championship. In the weeks building up to the match, Dolph Ziggler and Big E Langston frequently intimidate Kaitlyn in the hope of throwing her off her game. The match comes around and against all the odds, Kaitlyn pulls off the victory. After the match, she is surrounded by the trio and bad times look to be on her horizon when all of a sudden, Cody Rhodes comes to her rescue. Face turn, boom. Over the next few weeks he solidifies his now good intentions, Smackdown has its big feud for the summer, and Dolph has his first real feud as Champion. Cody Rhodes v Dolph Ziggler is a fresh match up that looks great on paper, the symmetry of it all is just too perfect. For years, there have been two heels above all the young heels that people have been clamouring to break the ceiling and have a deserved run at the top. These are Dolph Ziggler and Cody Rhodes. To have them break through at similar times would be a great story for WWE to tell, and provide compelling television over the summer months. The rivalry seems almost old school in a sense as well. These aren't overblown larger than life guys who have just stepped out of the gym, they are two wrestlers who would want to prove who is better, who is more deserving of the strap. They have the potential to create a rivalry of Steamboat and Flair proportions.
This could also do absolute wonders for the Divas division. As it stands, the Divas division is a complete joke. By my count, there are 12 active Divas, and 5 of these act as valets. That leaves 7 Divas to wrestle, and this includes Aksana and Alicia freakin' Fox. It needs serious repair. The obvious spin off from a Cody Rhodes/Dolph Ziggler rivalry is Kaitlyn/AJ Lee. The seeds for this have been sown for so long, it really has the potential to be an all time great rivalry in Womens wrestling. What was the last genuinely great Divas rivalry? Michelle McCool/Mickie James? Trish and Mickie? That is a long, long time ago. Way too long, in this day and age.
Kaitlyn and AJ have the back story, the characters and the in ring ability to redefine female wrestling on the biggest stage. Contrary to popular belief, female wrestling is doing really well at the moment. Sure, in WWE and TNA the women are treated as aesthetic objects mostly and the booking of their respective divisions is a joke, but outside of those two companies it is strong, and there is a whole bunch of talent just waiting to be seen. People like Rachel Summerlyn and Portia Perez are really changing the way females are seen in wrestling, and it can only be for the better. Its high time that WWE started to treat their female division seriously. AJ and Kaitlyn should be the catalyst.
But this isn't about the Divas division or the state of female wrestling, this is about the potential of a face Cody Rhodes and the difference it can make to a stagnant product. I fully believe, after much deliberation, that Cody Rhodes can and will work fantastically as a good guy, despite how great a bad guy he has been. His look and size are better suited to being the good guy for a start. In a similar respect to Del Rio, he just looks like the kinda guy that a major company can market. His face can be on the posters, he has the potential to be a good role model for WWE's young audience. There's just something very film star about him, with or without the glorious moustache. His move set is always suited to being a face. As much as I like the Cross Rhodes finisher, utilising something like the Disaster Kick more adds a surprise element to his finisher, which is pretty important in this day and age.
As a character, a face turn because of love almost makes too much sense for Cody. With the exception of being a douche to the Big Show, the vast majority of his heel characteristics have been born out of personality issues with himself, as opposed to just being an evil chap. His initial heel turn was money based, and since then he has battled the paranoia of vanity, deep seated bi polar when it came to his aesthetic, a desire to be accepted and a need to get out of his father's shadow. I truly believe that Cody Rhodes as a character is a good man in need of personal rehabilitation, which a new found love in Kaitlyn would provide.
When Cody Rhodes first started on WWE television as a good guy, he was incredibly vanilla. After his subsequent heel turn siding with Ted DiBiase, he was still incredibly vanilla. He joined Legacy, and was widely regarded the third wheel of the trio, and was still vanilla.
Since the demise of Legacy, arguably no individual on the entire roster has improved character wise as much as Cody Rhodes. A return to the light side after fighting his demons for the last few years is the perfect culmination of this. The fact that turning him could (and should) lead to the great male and female rivalries of the next generation, rehabilitate an entire division and freshen things up as well, is too good an opportunity to miss.
What do you think? Could Cody Rhodes break out as a face? Would you be interested in seeing a summer long Cody Rhodes and Dolph Ziggler feud? Can the Divas be rehabilitated? Why is it so hot here? Oh so many questions. Drop a comment in the lonely comment section below to discuss further, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or find me on the twitter with the name @pingvinorkestra. I'm off to Maksimir Park in Zagreb, to watch the sun go down and get solidly drunk. Tata!