Cody Rhodes vs. Damien Sandow
They were best friends. Tag Team partners. Intellectual equals. But that all ended at Money in the Bank, and now these two former compadres will clash in California.
The Road to SummerSlam
While tag team gold always remained just beyond their grasp, it would be hard to call Team Rhodes Scholars anything other than a success. Their lack of a championship is more due to the poor timing of making their push at a time when the once-in-a-lifetime pairing of Daniel Bryan and Kane were ruling over the division. The two seemed to bring out the best in one another, both in the ring and beyond.
It made sense that the two, who had come together as singles competitors, would decide to amicably go theirseparate ways to once again pursue individual excellence. It was also not a surprise when the two chums were occasionally drawn back together when the opportunity to partner presented itself.
Despite their protestations that it would not come between them, there was always some unease in the announcement that they would both compete in the ladder match for the blue briefcase at Money in the Bank. And when it became clear that it might just be Cody's night, the Intellectual Savior quickly hatched a scheme that would secure the case for himself, but at the expense of his friend's own fortunes.
Sandow attempted to extend an olive branch by naming Rhodes the "Protector of the Case", but for the Son of a Son of a Plumber, that was just the latest condescension in a long line of them. The Moustachioed One jettisoned Damien's contract into the Gulf of Mexico just as the so-called Duke of Decency had dashed their friendship on the rocks of personal gain.
His new leather case is not on the line, but with Rhodes promising that he will not allow Sandow to call himself World Heavyweight Champion (WHC) before him, these former allies will take their war to the ring.
What's at stake?
Any hope that brotherly love conquers all? That's probably already out the window.
It's odd that the case isn't on the line here, and sort of broadcasts that the issues between Rhodes and Sandow will continue into the fall. Both men have been making the most of the program and seem to be staying over with a wide cross-section of fans. This match is a chance to prove they can keep that momentum going on a very large stage.
Can the former Rhodes Scholars impress enough to ensure that one or both of them holds the Big Gold Belt in the near future?
We'll have all the news - up to and including any possible WHC title shot cash ins - as it happens, right here at Cageside Seats.