Goldust and Cody Rhodes are going to implode, WWE fans just don't know when it's going to happen.
That's the beauty of this imminent feud. WWE is toying with the audience's expectations, resulting in a story that will be powered by suspense and a climax that will feel explosive when it finally arrives.
The Rhodes brothers have been a tag team since last fall, creating some of the year's best memories as allies. The crowd now waits for them to turn on each other. That's just the WWE way.
Wrestling's brothers all eventually fight, from the Funks to the Briscoes, from the Hardys to the Harts.
A match many expected to happen at WrestleMania 30 is indeed on its way. PWInsider, via Wrestling Inc, has confirmed that WWE is planning a feud between Rhodes and Goldust, in what would be "a short program between the two."
Rather than hurry through the story of their split and risk having their rivalry fall flat, WWE has wisely created intermittent tension between them, inching the narrative along.
A hurried pace hurt The Prime Time Players' breakup. When Titus O'Neil attacked Darren Young and ended the team, it resulted in only minimal drama.
That's because there were no hints of this happening beforehand. O'Neil kept his frustrations to himself. One day, he just went at a man he treated like a brother.
While it was certainly shocking, it lacked emotional power.
WWE is going more the "Alfred Hitchcock's ticking bomb" route this time around. The famed director talks in the following video how alerting the audience to a coming explosion creates suspense rather than just surprise.
This is what WWE has done with Rhodes and Goldust. The bomb is ticking. We wait each week to see when it will go off.
On the April 21 Raw, the Rhodes boys lost to The Usos. Rhodes suffered the decisive pin after a superkick rocked him. When Goldust tried to comfort him, he pushed him away.
Backstage, Rhodes blew by Tom Phillips, too upset to do an interview.
Fans must have been thinking, "Oh here we go." The first big crack between them was forming.
The next week's Raw saw Rhodes shove his brother after a loss again, this time after Alberto Del Rio defeated him. Rather than follow these incidents with the brothers all-out attacking each other, WWE has stretched this story out.
Rhodes and Goldust continue to shrug off these moments as outbursts to be ignored. Their bond stays sufficiently strong, at least for now.
The narrative has even carried over to Twitter.
Brotherhood isn't perfect, but it's permanent #RAW— Cody Rhodes (@CodyRhodesWWE) May 6, 2014
The brothers' flashes of infighting continue on TV, though. On Monday's Raw, Goldust accidentally cost Rhodes in his match against Ryback. "The Bizarre One" mixed it up with Curtis Axel outside the ring and when the two foes smashed into the ring post, it caused Rhodes to slip.
Ryback was right there to catch him and finish him off.
The brothers didn't take long to put that moment behind them. On Main Event the next night, they were hugging after Goldust defeated Axel.
WWE isn't having this story make a straight line from united to hands on throats. Instead, it's continually pulling the brothers back together, teasing the audience along the way.
As a result, it's harder to predict just when their dissolution will occur.
Fans know it's coming, but it's going to sneak up on them. When Rhodes finally snaps, when he horrifies the crowd by pummeling his older brother, it won't be the empty moment that O'Neil's attack on Young was.
WWE has devoted more time to the buildup this time. It has been heavy-handed with its foreshadowing and allowed the anticipation for the end of "The Brotherhood" to grow properly.
The patience is going to pay off.
Rhodes vs. Goldust is going to be one of 2014's most thrilling feuds. Making fans wait has been smart, having them first smell the smoke before they see the fire.