Cody vs The Bloodline: What's Best for Business

For a week, the IWC collectively lost its mind as WWE gave everyone the impression that they were pulling Cody Rhodes out of his main event spot at Wrestlemania. Fans who have waited, at this point, for well over a year to see Cody finish his story were outraged that The Rock had seemingly inserted himself into the main event picture, based solely on what he believed would be "best for business".

Yes, you read that right, and those of us who remember the days of The Authority running both shows and the rise of one Daniel Bryan will undoubtedly remember that phrase, and everything it meant. It was a classic heel line that ventured perhaps a bit too far into reality, as WWE tried to tell us (both in storyline and in real life) that they knew what was best for us, and fans' wishes be damned, we were going to get what they wanted us to have.

Most wrestling stories inevitably get retold, whether they're simple stories ("Can the champion and their challenger work together as a team prior to their big match?!"), somewhat more in-depth but following a specific pattern ("Face challenger has to endure a gauntlet of challenges before they can challenge the heel champion"), or even what I think we're about to see with Cody and the Bloodline ("The people's hero taking on the corrupt regime"). It's been 10 years since we saw Daniel Bryan fight against The Authority and eventually triumph at Wrestlemania, and the time seems right to re-run that story with some new players.

One roadblock that WWE will run into if they plan to go this route is timing. Daniel Bryan's rise into the position of a revered hero took place over a series of years, with a seemingly unending struggle against those in power playing out over months. As of this writing, we're less than two months away from Wrestlemania XL, meaning that there is a limited amount of time to tell a story detailed enough to hook fans, but nuanced enough to hold interest in the build to the event. Fortunately, WWE has done such a good job of building The Bloodline over the past several years that most of the groundwork is already laid out for them. All they have to do is avoid fumbling the story and they could have another magical event set up for Philly.

But let's get to Wrestlemania itself. No matter what plays out over the next month a half, I can't see The Bloodline just stepping aside and allowing Cody to take away what they feel would be the "best" main event. Especially with The Rock holding the position and power that he now does, I fully expect that to play into the storyline. The easiest, and most effective, solution that I can come up with? It's one that echoes the Wrestlemania XXX story, as mentioned earlier - a test for the challenger to overcome. Back in New Orleans, it required Bryan to fight his way past Triple H before enduring a triple threat match to claim his place at the top of the company. This time? I think what they need to do is set up a tag match: Cody and a partner against Roman and The Rock, to determine whether Cody or Rock challenge Reigns in the main event of Night 2.

If I'm booking this, I absolutely do not put it as the main event of Night 1. I put it as the opener of Night 2 - this way, it creates even more of an underdog story for Cody, as he has to work twice in one night to overcome the obstacles put in his way. Besides, either the Women's Championship or the World Heavyweight Championship deserves to be featured on Night 1. But I digress (insert Taz caricature). Who's going to team up with Cody for this match? At first glance, there are any number of names that you could pull for it: Jey Uso, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn. The list goes on - anyone who's been screwed over by The Bloodline, anyone who would love to see Roman finally knocked off his pedestal, could conceivably fill that spot. The problem lies with The Rock's power. Again, if I'm booking this, The Rock would do everything in his considerable power to deny Cody a partner. In fact, I would have him make the stipulation that anyone who dared to team up with Cody for the match would never wrestle in WWE again. Let's face it - yes, the wrestlers would want to oppose Roman - but who would essentially throw their career away to defy him?

I'll be honest - my initial thought for this spot would be... well, not really a stand up guy. In fact, you might even say... he's kind of a scumbag:


There's history between Cody and MJF, particularly in AEW. MJF cost Cody his chance to hold the AEW World Championship, which led to a bitter feud between the two of them. Cody endured hellacious matches, lashings, and adversity to eventually prevail in their match, which happened in 2020. Since then? They haven't crossed paths. MJF has notably mellowed out somewhat since that feud, and you could easily see him playing to his recent face sensibilities by showing up to try to atone for his sins in AEW. But the only that it makes sense is if MJF is, in actuality, still an AEW talent at the time. That provides a reason why he wouldn't care about The Rock's rules - they don't actually apply to him! You could easily create a situation where the rest of the Board sees a one-time appearance from MJF as a situation worth extending a one-match contract, and with Vince gone (hopefully forever) from WWE, it opens a door (that some people enjoy, others not so much) for something like this to happen.

All that being said, there's a reason I mentioned it as my initial choice, and not as my final one - because I think there are too many hurdles in the way. Actually getting a deal done to make it happen would likely be even harder than the one that had to be put together to bring CM Punk back to WWE, and there's a decidedly non-zero chance that Tony Khan would want one of his highest-profile stars to appear on his main competition's biggest show of the year (even though, if done right, it could boost both companies' stock). There's also a conversation that could easily be made about a potential MJF debut being overshadowed in this kind of instance, which I think is absolutely logical. Plus, there would always be the storyline wrinkle of MJF "never" being allowed to wrestle in WWE again. But... if not MJF, and not anyone else in WWE, then... who?

I think the best choice, in all honesty, would be for this guy to get to work Dustin off his boots:


(Please excuse that awful pun preceding the picture. I'm not sorry for it, but I acknowledge that it was awful.)

Dustin Rhodes has made no secret of the fact that he's planning on retiring sooner rather than later. His appearances on AEW television of late have been sporadic at best, and he's mostly been filling in as a replacement when outside circumstances dictate more than being involved in any storyline. Back at Double or Nothing in 2019, Dustin was openly speaking as if his match against Cody would be his last, and they put on a classic that breathed new life into Dustin's career. How fitting would it be for his last match to be one that gives his family one last chance to finish his story?

Would it be the most exciting pick ever? No, of course not. It would get a pop, though arguably smaller than other people might get. Dustin's best days are behind him. But he's shown that he can still tell a story in the ring as effectively as most other people out there, and the story is truly the most important thing revolving around Cody and The Bloodline at this point. Imagine this: after Cody and Dustin win the match, The Bloodline restrain Cody and just absolutely destroy Dustin, forcing Cody to watch as he's left a huddled mess. (This would also be an amazing time for WWE to relax their blood embargo, as I think it would add a considerable amount to the emotional impact.)

With Dustin's career winding down, this would be a great way for him to finish his own story, and the best part is that he could do it as simply Dustin Rhodes, as opposed to being Goldust one last time. I admit that I'd be thoroughly entertained if Dustin came out first as Goldust, and then we got a one-night-only return of Stardust, but I don't think that's necessary at this point. I could also see Tony Khan being much more willing to let Dustin make an appearance and support his family as opposed to someone like MJF.

That's my take on the whole thing. What do you all think? Who would you want to see team with Cody to take on The Bloodline?

The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Cageside Seats readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cageside Seats editors or staff.