Slightly lost in the shuffle of a fun episode of Raw was the first appearance of Stardust since the death of his father, Dusty Rhodes, last month.
It was teased ahead of time, but when the clock hit 10:30PM Eastern time, part of me was scared that he'd be bumped due to the preceding (and awesome) United States championship and Divas division segments that ran from the 9PM slot forward.
But Cody got his few minutes, and he made the most of them. Love or hate the Stardust gimmick - or any of the characters Rhodes has played in still young career - the guy goes all in with them. The highlight of last night's, of course, was the brief tribute to The American Dream..."the view never changes"...but you can't say that he's not practicing what he preaches when he tells us to "embrace the strange".
Out in the ring, in front of what was a hometown Atlanta crowd for he and his father, Cody never broke character. The tease that he might ended with a swift kick to Neville's mid-section, which is when we knew that, real-life sympathy be damned, Stardust was still a heel and Rhodes was going to play it that way.
The show must go on.
Post-show, always a strength of Cody's - if for no other reason than that's where he gets the most time to cut loose and try out new things, something his dad probably encouraged - we can see why it was important for him to stay a villain. His employer is still working a big celebrity angle with the star of The CW's Arrow.
attn: @amellywood #RAW pic.twitter.com/55010Wf3pU— Stardust (@StardustWWE) July 14, 2015
This could be a fun little story, a change-of-pace segment for SummerSlam...but it could also be a strategic partnership for WWE with Warner Brothers and their DC Comics division's growing television and movie superhero business.
Your daddy would be proud.