WrestleMania 28: Why Cody Rhodes Must Defeat Big Show to Retain Title
Cody Rhodes had held the WWE Intercontinental Championship belt for more than 230 days, and that amazing run should continue at WrestleMania 28 with a win over Big Show. There's no reason for the rising star to drop the belt on Sunday.
The extended title reign has surpassed that of Randy Orton, who held the belt for 210 days during his earlier days with the company. By letting Rhodes maintain a constant presence in mid-card feuds, it shows the WWE has a lot of confidence in his future.
He's improved considerably in terms of in-ring skills, and also on the mic, since defeating Ezekiel Jackson on SmackDown last summer. If it weren't for a crowded main-event picture, he likely would have received a bigger push by now.
Unfortunately for him, his ascent coincided with Mark Henry's dominant stint as the World Heavyweight champion, which was immediately followed by the company finally giving Daniel Bryan his chance to shine.
That means Rhodes has been stuck in neutral on the card for awhile, but that's destined to change after WrestleMania. After fan favorites like The Rock, Undertaker, Triple H and Shawn Michaels depart, there will be more openings for others to emerge.
Who will emerge with the Intercontinental title?
Rhodes has definitely done enough to earn one of the pushes, but it won't be possible if he loses clean to Big Show on Sunday.
All of the momentum he would have built up over the past year would be halted in one night. And it's not like Big Show needs a strap to keep him relevant; he's just thrown around from storyline to storyline anyway.
The same can't be said for Rhodes. He doesn't have the long-lasting reputation of the seven-footer, so without a title around his waist, the chances of him getting lost in the shuffle increase dramatically. The creative team can't allow that to happen.
WrestleMania 2012 should be used to give younger superstars their big break. Rhodes has been waiting for his since joining the company five years ago. It's been a long journey, but he's finally in a position to make a leap toward the top.
Defeating the Big Show will keep him on track to accomplish exactly that.
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