ViRTUE's RAGE: From the Vault
Submitted by Virtue on 12/16/2017 at 12:11 PM

December 16, 2017

Twitter: @NoDQ_Virtue

From the Vault

I have not posted a “From the Vault” in quite some time. After watching Cody Rhodes lose the ROH title to Dalton Castle last night, it reminded me what I wrote about Cody back in early January of this year. He is a superstar, and WWE severely dropped the ball with him. He is every bit as good as the likes of an AJ Styles, Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, and Finn Balor. Hell, Cody is probably even better than some of those talents. So here we go with a brief recap on my early 2017 thoughts on the American Nightmare. By the way, the blonde hair and “color” was a nice touch last night from Cody. Pops would have been proud. To show how poorly WWE booked Cody the last few years, here are the PWI 500 rankings for him: 2015 (not ranked), 2016 (#111), 2017 (#33). Sure, the PWI 500 is kayfabe, but this clearly shows how WWE misused Cody the past couple of years because he jumps to the indy scene and immediately gets back into the top 40.

If WWE would have properly utilized Cody Rhodes, he should currently be on SmackDown Live feuding with AJ Styles for the WWE Championship. He's far above ROH and the indys. Far above...

From January 10, 2017

Sorry for making everyone wait to read about my thoughts on Cody Rhodes, but now it is finally time to talk about the American Nightmare. I sure hope this is something he is often called going forward. A beautiful, dark play off his father Dusty Rhodes’ nickname, the American Dream! Looking back at New Japan Pro Wrestling the last couple of years, 2015 was the year of AJ Styles, and 2016 was the year of Kenny Omega, both guys from North America. Obviously, NJPW has their home country talent like Okada, Tanahashi, Naito, etc. that are always going to remain at or near the top of the card; however, I absolutely love how NJPW utilizes talented Western wrestlers and makes them a big deal. This not only helps their company and the home country talent get over more globally, but it also gives shine to the Western wrestlers upon their departure back to North America and definitely helps to get them work(Styles, Gallows, Anderson, Jericho, Young Bucks, Owen Hart).

Although Cody Rhodes has already worked for WWE and has working relationships with EVOLVE, Ring of Honor, TNA, and Global Force Wrestling, could 2017 now be the year he explodes into the upper echelon of the wrestling World? If he does indeed have a nice run in NJPW, I believe a year from now, WWE will be scrambling to try and sign him back to the company. Look, whether you want to believe me or not, that is fine; however, my gut feeling says that Cody can be a major draw if utilized properly. Shame on you WWE! Not only does he have great wrestling ability, but he also has the genetics, mic skills, and charisma. There is no question that he has all the main tools it takes to reach the top level. In a previous column, I have referred to Cody as an underappreciated wrestler. As of this column, I still stick to that categorization. However, I really do hope that within the next year I can shed that label and consider Cody as one of the top Main Event Superstars in the wrestling industry.

Whether Cody Rhodes ends up being an integral part of New Japan’s Bullet Club, Ring of Honor’s Bullet Club, or if he ends up being on his own, the bottom line is he is basically all over the World right now with the various promotions he is currently working with. I would not be surprised if he gets the Young Bucks’ treatment and earns more money by working for various promotions than WWE would pay him with one locked down contract. I now find it very intriguing with the current sabbatical of Kenny Omega from NJPW. Is he going to jump to WWE like Styles and Nakamura did last year, or is he letting Cody have his shine in NJPW? Then when we all least expect it, Omega returns to NJPW and a feud against Cody is born. Either way, I will be paying very close attention to whatever Cody Rhodes has to offer the wrestling industry, both in the Far East and in the West. The American Nightmare is coming for you! Sweet dreams…

So there you have it folks. Cody Rhodes has had one hell of a 2017, appearing in and winning multiple championships for various wrestling promotions. He also claimed to have made 7 figures since his WWE departure. Whether this is true or not, he definitely earned big money and it seems that Cody is doing well in his future endeavors. Like I mentioned nearly a year ago, at some point, WWE should be scrambling to bring the American Nightmare back…

Twitter: @NoDQ_Virtue

PPV Grades for 2017
NXT TakeOver: San Antonio = B++
WWE Royal Rumble = B
WWE Elimination Chamber = B
WWE FastLane = C++
NXT TakeOver: Orlando = B++
WWE WrestleMania 33 = B+
WWE Payback = B
NXT TakeOver Chicago = A-
WWE Backlash = B-
WWE Extreme Rules = B
WWE Money in the Bank = B-
WWE Great Balls of Fire = A-
WWE Battleground = C
NXT TakeOver Brooklyn III = A-
WWE SummerSlam = C++
WWE No Mercy = B+
WWE Hell in a Cell = B+
NXT TakeOver War Games = B++
WWE Survivor Series = C++

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