WWE Night of Champions saw Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes retain his title against Ted Dibiase. The end came when Ted took the protective mask off Cody and attempted to use it against him. Cody ducked the attack, rolled Ted up, and thanks to a handful of trunks, pinned the challenger.
The match was hard fought, an old school type of contest. A classic give-and-go, with true technical execution on the part of both men. This is the reason why these two men are among the best and brightest that WWE has to offer.
Problem is, they lost the crowd.
It was not their fault, as Rhodes and Dibiase did their part. The fault lies with the booking itself.
Cody has been presented as a major heel on SmackDown, as every week he insults the crowd with the paper bag gimmick. Lamenting his imagined hideous appearance and pointing out what he deems to be the faults of everyone in attendance, Rhodes consistently gets heat every time he opens his mouth.
Taking Ted Dibiase under his wing, Rhodes attempted to help his former Legacy teammate in order to understand his own shortcomings and help him to overcome them. When Cody turned on Ted, it did not come as a huge surprise, and Rhodes was once again established as a prime time heel in the company.
But perhaps it was done because Cody needed an opponent for Night of Champions.
There’s nothing wrong with that; guys turn all the time, for one reason or another. But my issue with it is the fact that Ted was given virtually no time to baby out. Suddenly, this title match was made, and while it made sense because of their history, the fans didn’t quite know what to do with it.
There was no reason for them to back Ted, no reason for them to want him to win. So, even though they were given a great match, it made little difference.
Then there’s the fact that it was a New York crowd, and that tells you all you need to know. They don’t exactly have a lot of patience for a match of this nature. No disrespect to Cody and Ted, but big charisma and intense drama has not played a factor in their rivalry.
So, what have we learned from Cody’s successful title defense?
For me, this win does nothing but affirm my personal view that this kid is headed for something big.
He has never looked better in his WWE career than he does right now, and this match, along with his recent win over Randy Orton on RAW last week, is just more evidence of that.
Cody’s good. He can flat out work and has the potential to have an epic match with anyone in the WWE locker room.
He’s young, and he has all the talent, and skill, to become one of the best workers the company has ever seen.
To be honest, I didn't care much for his character upon his entrance into the company. His stint in Legacy was good, as he began to grow as a performer, but it still was not quite there for me.
Now, however? This kid is in his element.
The tortured soul of a man whose inner self-image has been scarred due to a long-healed physical injury has been magic for Cody, as he has finally carved his own niche with fans.
So, what’s left for Cody? What else does he need to get over that hump and become true World Championship material?
Time. For me, that’s all that is needed. Time, and the right push. Will it come? I hope so.