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Euthanasia (or How Do You Express Your Love?): Cody and Dustin Set To Lock Horns At “DoN”

“Do you see? Do you see?” - Francis Dolarhyde “Red Dragon”

Peruse each episode of “The Road to Double or Nothing” video series in the Nightmare Family YouTube account, keep that quote in mind, and see if you can answer Francis Dolarhyde's question for yourself.

Because it's been there all along, hidden in plain sight, and yet it came as an utter surprise to the wrestling world when AEW announced that Dustin Rhodes would be his brother's opponent come May 25th at “DoN” in Las Vegas.

From blurred faces to bleeped names, from color schemes to outright avoiding the topic when it has popped up; the entire series has seeded the idea of just who Cody would square off with from day one, and on April 20th, it all paid off with Episode 13.

The history of the Rhodes family is well documented to even the most casual of wrestling fans.  It's wrapped up in legacy, in the dust of expectations both met and failed, as well as shaped by time and distance.  The gaps in age, the presence (or lack thereof) of that father figure, and his giant shadow within the industry, all of these things are forces, ones beyond the control of Dustin or Cody, that have contoured each of their lives.

Yet now, as grown men with a combined 40-plus years experience inside the squared circle (30 of which belongs to Dustin to be fair), they are finally both men in control of their own paths.  Paths that will now converge once more, but rather than as a joyous family reunion, this convergence has rapidly taken on a darker tone...shades of red and black rather than gold.

“[Cody] wants to put me out to pasture or something...”

The above were Dustin's words from Ep13 when talking about his brother, and it was only the beginning of a 5 minute deep dive into the heart and soul of the elder Rhodes sibling.  Despite the insistence of loving his little brother, Dustin does not hide his thoughts nor feelings on the subject of their respective upbringings.  The silver spoon in Cody's mouth, the inexplicable rift betwixt the pair, referring to Cody as an egotistical son of a bitch...

Strike that; not just egotistical, rather Dustin paints a picture of an egotistical AND ungrateful little brother who CHOOSES to believe his big brother was never there. He chooses to think Dustin was absent for amateur wrestling meets, that he wasn't there for Cody during his {REDACTED} days, and in addition to those claims, Dustin states that “Never, not one time has [Cody] said thanks man...”

Dustin frames Cody as a boy essentially walking in his brother's footsteps, just as Dustin initially did with their father until “...I left the nest, I left the Dustin Rhodes name to do something way before it's time...that shocked the world”.  And while Cody's “shock the world” path clearly started with the forfeiture of their last name, and has continued on through the birth and operations of All Elite Wrestling, Dustin posits that May 25 will finally be the reckoning between the brothers, “One last ride” he says, but throws out “...or is it?” before the camera fades out...

On the other side of this sibling coin, in his April 28th response to Dustin, Cody too insists upon love for his brother, and looks to the biblical tale of the Prodigal son to elaborate on the nature of he and Dustin's relationship.  Cody claims to know which brother he is in that parable, and that he is okay with that now.   But the narrative twists from there as Cody, presumably in refute to Dustin's claims, states “I'm not here to kill Dustin Rhodes, I'm here to kill the Attitude Era”. 

Full Stop: yes he said “kill the Attitude Era”.

Now many pundits would claim that a piece of Dustin's past was the first dip into those historical wrestling waters. A history that faded out nearly 20 years ago, yet one that many desperately cling to as the zenith of the industry. Cody claims this “DoN” bout is nothing more than putting the final bullet into the decaying, wasted corpse of that era and, it would seem, his brother represents that small window of time in wrestling's storied past.

“When that animal can't go any knows it's going to die, and it wants to die, you don't just leave it, cause you love it...”

Those too are Cody's paraphrased words, and one could suppose that he means it in reference to the aforementioned era and its place in wrestling lore, yet he chooses to close his retort to Dustin with “Like I said, I love my brother”.  So where does Cody stand truly?  Is this a mercy killing of his brother's wrestling career, truly making it “One Last Ride” as Dustin speculates in his piece? Or does the idea that this has nothing to do with family dynamics and the history in the blood , and more to do with the era Dustin represents hold water? can be both; the roots of this conflict run entirely too deep to separate how entangled the history of the family is with the history of the wrestling ring.  The Rhodes name is just as much at the heart of wrestling as any other, and it is the effect of wrestling on the family structure that has birthed this match on May 25th at “DoN”.

Is it a lesson, coming from a place of love, to be once more handed down from one generation to the next? Or is this euthanasia, a love fueled mercy killing to put the (wrestling) past finally into the grave? And, arguably the most important question of all, is if that night in Las Vegas, NV will be something that finally brings the brothers Rhodes together, makes them complete, or will it be the thing that finally tears them asunder beyond repair?

One final question, separate from the family ties and history and drama, is of Cody's focus.  Is he truly, pardon the pun, all in on this match or, with everything involved in getting All Elite Wrestling off the ground, is his mind elsewhere?  The duties on Cody's lap as Executive Vice President are innumerable, so it isn't unfathomable that his focus is in a hundred different places. Dustin, on the other hand, has just this one thing to focus on, one task to channel his energies towards, one single person to prepare for as Memorial Day weekend draws near.  That could all make as much of a difference as the experiences both in-ring and in-life...

With tickets long sold out, the only way to find out now is to watch it unfold on PPV on Saturday night, May 25th when “Double or Nothing” broadcasts live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV!!


Pre-Show: The Buy In - Sat, May 25th, 2019 - 7e / 4p Streaming For Free

Double Or Nothing Sat, May 25th, 2019 - 8e / 5p Live On PPV

United States - , all major cable & satellite providers

United Kingdom -

Internationally - http://www.FITE.TV


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