As someone who swore off WWE in late February, my ingestion of wrestling content has been few and far between. I haven’t taken the plunge to be a regular New Japan watcher and ROH and Impact are both hard for me to get without stooping to dubious means. It’s fine for the most part as I’m super busy with a couple of non-writing creative projects at the moment. I’ve kept up with the Young Bucks’ “Being the Elite” show and the Cody Rhodes “Road to Double or Nothing” videos. Also, I have a general idea of what is going on in WWE (I’m all for Firefly Fun House and are they the Raid Warriors yet?) by way of dirt sheets and Twitter.
But, as J.R. used to say… it feels like “business is about to pick up” as AEW’s “Double or Nothing” event draws closer. I felt that build get even more intense when Cody’s “Nightmare Family” channel dropped a bonus episode of “Road to Double or Nothing” on April 20th.
What we see is Dustin “Goldust” Rhodes packing up the “Goldust” paint and gear and confirming himself as Cody’s opponent on May 25th in Las Vegas. Talk about a big development. I’ve always wanted to see a true battle of the Rhodes brothers without the “dust” trappings. Now, not only is this tale going to be told by someone other than Vince McMahon, we’re getting some of the best promo work of Cody’s career out of it. I mean check out the complete fire promo on the follwoing week’s edition of “Road to Double or Nothing” in rebuttal to Dustin.
Cody vs. Dustin is now one of my most anticipated matches on what is gradually turning out to be a stacked card. I think what did it for me is the straight-forward story that Cody and Dustin are telling. Somehow WWE has recently managed to mess up and convolute even the most basic of stories so I’m comforted that if this is the last time we see a Cody vs. Dustin match – they’re finally doing it on their terms. We’ve still got a few weeks until Double or Nothing so I’m curious to see how this story will continue to escalate as we get closer to showtime.
Furthermore, just five minutes after his WWE contract expired on May 1st, Dean Ambrose (now known as his pre-WWE name of Jon Moxley) re-branded the WWE Twitter account (which used to say something like “they made me get one of these – enjoy” and then he never Tweeted) and dropped this:
— Jon Moxley (@JonMoxley) May 1, 2019
Despite the over-the-top metaphor of Moxley breaking out of the “asylum” and getting chased by “big dogs”, I’m genuinely interested to see what Moxley is up to. Obviously, many speculate he’s AEW bound, but that well-produced hype video is a great re-launch no matter where he decides to go be a “professional.wrestler.” If anything, Moxley serves as another example that there can be life in the pro wrestling business outside of WWE.
With so many talented performers on the WWE roster seemingly fed up and deciding that the money WWE is offering isn’t worth it, the coming months and years should be very, very interesting. I just hope talent like Luke Harper, Sasha Banks, and the Revival aren’t forced to sit out long periods of time due to WWE’s increasing paranoia. Examples like Cody Rhodes and Jon Moxley show that sometimes the talent themselves are much better at branding themselves instead of relying on a massive corporate entity to do so.