Cody Rhodes must feel like he is on top of the world.
At this weekend’s WWE Royal Rumble 2013 in Phoenix, Rhodes has the chance to win tag team gold when he and Damien Sandow—Team Rhodes Scholars—face Team Hell No for the World Tag Team Championship. It is not an unfamiliar position for Rhodes, as he has held tag team titles four times before.
In an interview with the Phoenix Sun Times’ Benjamin Leatherman, the 27-year-old son of wrestling legend Dusty Rhodes says neither he nor Sandow thinks of themselves as a true tag team. But they do have a chemistry that has made them successful on the tag team scene:
I'll watch one of our segments and he just makes me laugh at how he grasps at certain things, how he’ll be talking while you’re talking but what he is saying is rather funny. I think he told me this past Monday “Good form” on an absolutely horrible, horrible high-class joke but it made the joke funny because he said, “Good form.” He’s brilliant; he's one of the better guys on the mic in years.
The match between Team Hell No (Kane and Daniel Bryan) and Team Rhodes Scholars pits four men who have been at the front of the recent resurgence of interest in tag team wrestling. In the interview, Rhodes winces at the idea that tag team wrestling is in a renewal because to him, it always has been a vital part of the industry.
But he admits there are some teams that he would like to see get their props:
I think Damien and I stick out like sore thumbs because we’re very good at what we do. But we also have guys like The Usos. That’s a true tag team, they’re brothers, and I keep wondering when are they going to give themselves the kick in the ass to show us all what they can do because I know for a fact they're extremely talented.
Rhodes also cites Justin Gabriel and Tyson Kidd as forces in the tag team field. Kidd currently is rehabbing from a serious knee injury, but Rhodes calls Kidd “an absolute assassin in the ring.”
Aside from his tag team success, Rhodes also is an accomplished singles wrestler. He is a two-time Intercontinental champion, and many wrestling pundits have pegged him as a future WWE or World Heavyweight champion.
One of the gimmicks he had as a singles wrestler was being fussy about his appearance. He went by the name “Dashing Cody Rhodes” until his nose was legitimately broken in a match with Rey Mysterio.
At that point, Rhodes began wearing a clear protective mask to the ring, and his character became broodier.
The appearance gimmick appeared again late last year when Rhodes returned from head and shoulder injuries sporting a mustache. In the interview, Rhodes said his hairy lip has netted him grief from the audience and his fellow Superstars, but he cannot do anything about it because the mustache angle has taken on a life of its own:
I cannot shave it, because now it's to the point of...I came back after 25 days from two very serious injuries. I had the foolish thought in my mind that I thought the crowd was going to maybe even react to me in a positive manner from this Rocky-like montage I had put together to get back, but instead they chanted “Cody's mustache.” So at this point I just am angry enough at everybody enough to continue to keep it.
The mustache apparently will be getting the ultimate vote of confidence from WWE’s marketing department. Rhodes says in the interview that he has been shown two mock-ups of t-shirts featuring it.
He adds in the interview, “At least I get the money from that t-shirt.”
Follow Bill Atkinson on Twitter at @BAtkinson1963.