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A Rhodes Brothers 'Mania Match: the American Dream
Few feuds in wrestling are as personal, or as memorable, as those rivalries pitting two brothers against each other. Matches between kayfabe brothers like The Undertaker and Kane, or Christian and Edge, were instant classics and will be viewed by new generations of wrestling fans for years to come. Matches between real-life brothers, however, have a special kind of mystique. The knowledge that these two men grew up together, had childhood fights together, and know each other's deepest secrets adds an extra layer of intrigue to an already compelling match. Fans still talk about the bouts between Bret and Owen Hart, and no conversation about wrestling brothers is complete without mention of the contributions of Matt and Jeff Hardy. However, there is one match that the WWE has been teasing for years, a match that fans are dying to see, a match that many predicted would have happened last year: Goldust vs. Cody Rhodes. Since Goldust was a surprise entrant in the 2013 Royal Rumble and made a beeline for Cody as soon as he entered the match, it was assumed that this would be the beginning of the long-awaited feud. The speculation only intensified when Cody, very pleased with himself, eliminated Goldust from the Rumble. Since January, however, Goldust has failed to reappear on WWE television, and the showdown between the Rhodes brothers at the Rumble has not been mentioned. With the final WrestleMania card not yet finalized, and three episodes of Raw remaining before the Show of Shows, WWE still has time to book and promote a match that promises to be highly entertaining.
Though both men are sons of Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes, Cody has stated in interviews that there was a period of time, particularly when Dustin was working under his Goldust gimmick, where the two of them didn't speak at all. Dustin's falling out and subsequent alienation from Dusty detrimentally impacted young Cody; not only was he seperated from his brother, but he was not allowed to watch the WWE's product. Instead, he was encouraged to watch WCW, the company his father was working for at the time. Cody states that while he feels he and Dustin are "very alike," he regrets that the two were not closer in the mid-90's. "I would have loved to have been there, I would have loved to have seen him put the paint on," he says. "I had to watch it like every other fan."
The Rhodes brothers both possess a fluidity in their offense and their in-ring style that would ensure a technically sound match between the two, and the vast difference in their gimmicks would be the icing on the cake. For years, Goldust was the master of mindgames, pushing the envelope with provocative promos and slightly disturbing segments. Even in the PG era, Goldust could quickly get inside Cody's head, possibly easier than with any of his previous opponents, due to their familial bond. While Cody is younger and in better shape, in recent years Goldust has appeared to be in peak physical condition, especially compared to when he was in his prime. In light of an upcoming match, it would be interesting to see how Cody responds to Goldust's mindgames. Though he is no longer working under his "un-dashing" gimmick, during that time period Cody proved that he too could act strange and disturbed. After all, here is a man who used to distribute paper bags so that fans at ringside may cover their faces, an act born of Cody's own insecurity at his perceived ugliness. His promos were dark and ominous, delivered in a monotonous, emotionless voice, and peppered with deliberate vocal squeaks. Cody's segments, though not as ground-breaking or sexually suggestive as Goldust's, were reminiscent of the Bizarre One. If Cody were to remain a heel during the build-up to this match, one would have to believe that in order to combat Goldust's psychological warfare, Cody would have to revert to the same tactics he used on his opponents during his "un-dashing" phase. No matter the outcome, a very fitting and haunting end to the match would be Cody attempting to place a paper bag over Goldust's head. Something like this would surely be replayed over and over as one of Cody's defining WrestleMania moments, and would add some more fire to the rivalry.
This match had been on the minds of fans long before Dustin appeared on Smackdown to defend his friend Booker T from Cody's disrespect in December 2011. Many assumed that the altercation between the two would be the catalyst to the coveted 'Mania match, but it never came to pass. A month after WrestleMania, Goldust confirmed his release from the WWE. When asked on Twitter why the match with Cody never occured, Goldust replied, "ask Vince." He never elaborated, and fans were left to speculate as to why Vince apparently didn't green-light the bout.
With WrestleMania 29 approaching fast, and with Cody Rhodes currently floundering without a compelling storyline, it is time to revisit the concept of a match with Goldust, and set the wheels in motion for it to come to fruition. After stating a few months ago that he and Damien Sandow had amicably severed the team of Rhodes Scholars, fans have seen the two of them tagging together again, this time engaging in a war of words with the New Age Outlaws. While the Outlaws are veterans and are in phenomenal shape, not only does Cody not belong in tag team wrestling, but the rivalry itself holds little water. A match against Goldust would be one that would essentially promote itself. No lengthy, contrived storyline would be necessary here. With their match against the Outlaws on Raw interrupted by Brock Lesnar, perhaps it would be best for this rivalry to be scrapped altogether. Sandow can continue to support Cody, and would be able to be in his corner at WrestleMania if the match against Goldust were to occur. For his part, Dustin may ask his old friend Booker T to have his back. There are so many possibilities for this match, but the bottom line is that it would draw a crowd, it would be interesting and enjoyable, and it's what the fans have been begging to see for a long time.
It has been four years since two brothers battled at WrestleMania, when Jeff and Matt Hardy stole the show in an Extreme Rules match that saw Matt winning by delivering the Twist of Fate to Jeff onto a chair. WrestleMania 10 featured the Hart brothers competing against each other in a memorable, classic match. As star-studded as WrestleMania 29 is shaping up to be, a match between Dustin "Goldust" Rhodes and Cody Rhodes would be fun and satisfying. Would Dusty make an appearance to watch his sons compete against each other? Would he be content doing commentary, or would he insert himself in the match? If he did, who would he assist? Would the past personal issues between Dusty and Goldust rear their heads, or has the hatchet truly been buried? With the amount of variables that would be present in a match like this, it is truly mind-boggling why it has not yet occured. After the Rumble faceoff, the stage has been set. Whether the fans will be treated to this first-rate match is ultimately up to the WWE, but the WWE Universe has been quite vocal about their desire to see it happen. And if it does, it will increase the likelihood that "you will never forget the name of Rhodes."
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