When The Miz entered the ring last night to showboat over a fallen Rey Mysterio, few thought it would be the intercontinental champion himself that ended up the victim of an attack.
However, Cody Rhodes showed the world that he is full of surprises, nailing The Miz with Cross Rhodes and cementing his position as the top contender for the title this Sunday at Night of Champions.
Having held that title twice to date, not to mention the WWE tag-team title (once) and world tag-team title (three times), Rhodes is no stranger to the concept of being a champion.
While this match might not have the star power of a CM Punk-John Cena showdown or the added drama of unfair stipulations, as in the case of Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio, it does have two young superstars clawing for any piece of the WWE pie that they can get their hands on.
Until he won the intercontinental title in July, The Miz had seemingly lost his place. Gone were the days of main-eventing pay-per-views, now replaced with often being on the midcard or sometimes even lower.
Rhodes, by contrast, seemed more interested in his own vanity or removing the masks of others to ever be considered a serious contender for any title.
But as last night demonstrated, Rhodes and, in the larger picture, the WWE are still capable of keeping fans on their toes.
Having Rhodes and The Miz meet up in the ring is a very important move for the company. And the way that the feud plays out could also be very important.
For one, it could offer one of the competitors the opportunity to begin a face turn.
As he is embroiled in a somewhat crazy “I need to pull off masks” gimmick at the moment, it seems unlikely that Rhodes will be the one making that turn.
So that leaves The Miz, a man that has spent a vast majority of his career attempting to make people hate him and at most points succeeding in that task.
But would the Miz be a viable face for the company?
Popular opinion seems to point to an affirmative answer to that question. The Miz is still young, he is experienced and he has the charisma to pull off any role. Even one that the company sorely lacks: a top-level face to compete on the level of Cena and Sheamus.
This angle works for Rhodes, as well, fetching him more credibility by going toe to toe with one of the top guys in the company, proving that he is capable of doing far more than the midcard storylines to which he has been relegated for his entire career.
In the broadest terms, this match has the potential to be a breakout performance for both men.
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