Many wrestling fans expected Cody Rhodes to successfully defend his Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania 28. That didn’t happen.
Many fans thought that once Rhodes won the title back at Extreme Rules, he’d have another lengthy run with the strap. That didn’t happen.
Many fans thought that Rhodes dropped the Intercontinental title so that he could win the Money in the Bank match and be catapulted into the main event. That didn’t happen, either.
A lot of things that we thought would happen for Rhodes by now haven’t, which has resulted in a plenty of questions from WWE fans, including myself.
We’ve said things like this: “Rhodes is getting buried lately. He must have backstage heat.”
Or this: “I’m so sick of the WWE not using Cody Rhodes right. What the hell is wrong with them?”
No need to fret, though.
Cody Rhodes will be a world champion one day, and I say that for one simple reason: He’s only 27 years old.
Fans, including myself, tend to overreact when Rhodes isn’t being pushed or misses a week of TV. Heck, I even wrote an article suggesting that he was getting lost in the shuffle, which I still think he is.
But here’s the thing—not everyone can be at the top of the WWE at once, and Rhodes still has years upon years to get there.
Right now, guys like Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler are rising to the top of the industry. But it wasn’t that long ago that Ziggler was jobbing to Brodus Clay on pay-per-view and Bryan was losing just about every match he had while holding the Money in the Bank briefcase.
Those fans that were patient, however, have been rewarded. Bryan’s now one of the biggest stars in the WWE, while Ziggler is getting there as Mr. Money in the Bank.
I have no doubt that Rhodes will get there one day, too. We just have to be patient.
After all, not many superstars have won a world title by age 27.
Triple H didn’t do it, CM Punk didn’t do it, Sheamus didn’t do it, The Miz didn’t do it, and a number of other WWE superstars didn’t win their first World title until they were at least 28 years old or even into their 30s.
Rhodes has already had a lengthy career that’s lasted longer than most do, as he debuted in the WWE way back in 2007 at the ripe age of 22.
Since then, he’s made drastic improvements in every area, from character development to mic work to in-ring skills. Nowadays, many fans out there (myself included) consider him to be one of the best all-around performers in the WWE today.
He’s got it all, and being that he’s still three years away from 30, he’s only going to get better.
That’s a scary thought, but yes, what we’ve seen from Rhodes the last five years is just the tip of the iceberg. Barring something unforeseen happening, he figures to stick around the WWE for another five, 10 or perhaps even 15 years as one of the faces of the company.
Just because he’s not where Bryan or Ziggler is right now, that doesn’t mean he won’t be there in a year or six months. That doesn’t even mean he won’t be there in one month.
Patience is the key here.
Rhodes has all the time in the world to fix his smallest problems, improve upon his strengths and develop into an even more complete star than he already is.
Should that happen (and every indication is that it will), Rhodes won’t be an afterthought or lost in the shuffle down the road.
He’ll be a world champion.
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!