Once Cody Rhodes' run with Damien Sandow is over, he can focus on his true calling: future WWE champion.
Despite his famous family, the former Intercontinental champion has the look, the talent and the drive to create a legacy his father and half-brother never could.
As the son of a WWE Hall of Famer, it would be easy for Rhodes to get lost in his famous father’s shadow.
"The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes was once one of the biggest draws in professional wrestling. Crowds lined up not only to see him wrestle but listen to him talk. He was one of the all-time greats on the microphone.
Cody's half-brother, Dustin Rhodes, was equally good in the ring.
Better known as Goldust, he captured 11 championships in WWE. As The Bizarre One, he came to represent what the Attitude Era was about: pushing boundaries and creating a new and edgier product.
While The American Dream captured three NWA World titles in his career, neither he nor Goldust ever won the WWE championship.
The youngest Rhodes will do just that.
He has the good looks and build WWE loves. But what does this have to do with his wrestling?
As much as fans want WWE to be first and foremost about wrestling, this isn’t true. Like any other business, the goal is to make money.
The WWE corporate website states they have sponsorships with many companies: Burger King, Mattel, Pepsi and Proctor & Gamble, to name a few. This doesn’t take in to account recent deals with Fruity Pebbles and Irish Spring.
Rhodes has that athletic good look that translates well on television. Wider exposure to the mainstream for him translates to more of his merchandise sold and more revenue for the WWE.
This will happen for Rhodes. But what makes his situation unique is he has the talent to back up whatever push he may receive.
His solid amateur wrestling background gives him legitimacy in the ring. As a junior in high school, he won the Georgia state tournament for his weight class and went on to successfully defend that title the next year.
Behind that talent is also drive.
On ESPN.com, his father said:
"Being a state champion, he had a great drive. And people might look at him and say how he plays quarterback because he's the coach's son, but I've had nothing to do with this. Sometimes I wonder why Peyton Manning and Eli are so good if they're the coach's son. But I just think it's because these kids all have a drive."
In the same article, Rhodes himself states success in the ring has to do with how well one can “play the game.”
And he plays that game well. He’s already won four tag team titles and two Intercontinental titles. Two of those six reigns lasted over six months each.
With Team Rhodes Scholars, he is poised to win a fifth tag team championship.
With all he has wrapped up inside him, he has the best chance to cement his family’s legacy by winning the WWE championship somewhere down the line.
All he has to do is keep playing the game.
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