Inches away from the Money in the Bank briefcase hanging high above the ring, Cody Rhodes looked to validate his six year career in the WWE. A career that featured minimal success, and sub-par accolades to show for his time in the industry.
Out of nowhere Rhodes was attacked by his longtime friend and tag team partner, Damien Sandow, who tossed Rhodes back down to the canvas and secured the career changing briefcase for himself. The bell rang moments later, announcing Damien Sandow as the winner of the match, guaranteeing him a World Heavyweight Championship title shot at any time in the next year.
Rhodes looked up in confusion and betrayal as he saw the briefcase that could have validated his career, He saw the man that took it all way, but he also saw at the top of that ladder, the person he would have to beat to get it all back.
The reason for putting the contract on Sandow became crystal clear after Money in the Bank. The contract will not only propel Sandow to the top of the World Heavyweight title picture, but will also serve as a launching mechanism for Cody Rhodes as a baby face while he feuds with Sandow over the briefcase, and the opportunity that should have been his.
Examining the match at Money in the Bank, Rhodes didn’t enter the event as the crowd favorite, it was only after some very breath taking spots, including Rhodes planting Antonio Cesaro on a steel ladder that fans began to chant Cody’s name throughout the arena. By the time Rhodes survived a three on one onslaught by The Shield to try one last grab at the briefcase, everyone in the arena seemed to be a Cody Rhodes fan.
As for the storyline, it can play out in so many interesting ways, benefiting both Sandow, and Rhodes. The three ways I see this angle playing out are one, Sandow and Cody Rhodes battle at SummerSlam for the Money in the Bank briefcase and Sandow retains the contract, causing the two to battle throughout the summer and prompt a championship match between them, once Sandow decides to cash in.
Two, Rhodes and Sandown battle at SummerSlam, and Sandow loses the contract to Cody Rhodes, allowing him to cash in the contract on Alberto Del Rio, and be a baby face champion. That angle would also setup a rematch between Rhodes ands Sandow later down the line. And three, after months of battling for the Money in the Bank briefcase, Sandow wins the contract back and injures Rhodes as part of a storyline, forcing him to take a break from television and then challenge Sandow for the title, once Sandow cashes in the briefcase.
A report by wresltinginc.com suggests that WWE is considering furthering the storyline with a match at Summerslam between Rhodes and Sandow. It is also reported that if the match is added to the card, the Money in the Bank briefcase will be up for grabs.
No matter what way this storyline pans out between these former friends, this angle certainly seems like a victory for the WWE, who has spent the last couple months searching for what superstars to push for the future of the company. With superstars like CM Punk, John Cena, Triple H, and The Rock heading into to their final years in the industry, are fans ready to see Cody Rhodes as a legitimate fan favorite? After Money in the Bank, and a brewing rivalry, all signs point to yes!