There are few things in the WWE that have caused me to tune in with excitement lately. But I do have to say that the recent events between Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow has become must see television in my household.
The fact two great performers are playing off of each other has made this the “must see” event of SummerSlam, along with Daniel Bryan.
Yes, you read that right. I did not add John Cena to that mix. Bryan is a far more superior performer in this scenario, which will make the current WWE champion look lost. I am hoping Cena will sell for Bryan the way he did for The Rock and for CM Punk.
Getting back to the reason for this column.
Rhodes and Sandow are a breath of fresh air and the Money in the Bank briefcase being thrown in the Gulf of Mexico last Friday night was icing on the cake. And if you noticed, all it has done is make Alberto Del Rio’s role in the company as the World Champion seek weak at best.
Think of this feud takes me back to a time when wrestling mattered. Not the title, but the wrestling, the build up, the vignette and the delivery. The days when Eddie Gilbert could cut a promo on the fly or Bobby Heenan could yell at the “humanoids” in the stands. It also reminds me of the pompous nature of wrestling as a whole and how great it is to be concerned with “getting even” more than getting the win.
If you have noticed, Rhodes is mad he was beaten for the briefcase by Sandow, not the fact Sandow has the briefcase. Two entirely different topics, but one great scenario (The Reeses of professional wrestling).
The best way I can put it is former tag team partners who become foes to exact revenge like Kevin Sullivan and Mike Graham, Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty, Lex Luger and Sting and Eddie Gilbert and Tommy Rich. I guess you could also insert Edge and Christian in there as well.
And with the staleness of the World Title division, this is a good thing for the WWE and wrestling in general.
This will be the best match of SummerSlam and deserves top billing, but it cannot be afforded it because of the hype of Bryan and “Super Cena.”
As a purist of wrestling, I have often said wrestlers need a good feud to define them and prove their greatness. Ric Flair needed Ricky Steamboat. Randy Savage needed Jerry Lawler before the WWF. Tully Blanchard needed Magnum TA. Jack Brisco needed Dory Funk, Jr, and so on.
The point I want to make is this feud has potential for greatness (I say that because this is the WWE and we all know there is a potential to mess this up) but it cannot be truly great until both wrestlers lace the boots up and get in the ring. If the build up is great and the match flops, then it is a waste of time.
Let’s hope that does not happen.