Supernatural: The Rise and Reconciliation of the Rhodes Brothers
The symbolism was not lost on anyone at All Elite Wrestling’s inaugural pay-per-view event, “Double or Nothing”, held on May 25, 2019, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. When Cody and Brandi Rhodes made their entrance, they passed a rather familiar looking medieval throne. Brandi reached under the ring apron and retrieved a sledge hammer. She handed it over to her husband, Cody, who returned up the metal ramp to the throne, swung that hammer like the Mighty Thor, and shattered the old concrete relic into pieces.
“Bring it down!” screamed Brandi.
The sold-out crowd roared in support of Cody and Brandi Rhodes, raging against the machine.
Cody’s entrance theme kicked on again, with the spoken vocal intro, more apropos than ever: “Wrestling has more than one royal family.”
The match had a big fight feel, but it felt so damn personal, too, as if two brothers went out back to the woodshed to talk things out with their fists.
Dustin Rhodes made his entrance, half his face covered in make-up reminiscent of Star Wars’ villain Darth Maul, the other half bare, save for the markings of time. The previous night, at the press conference held at Starrcast at Caesars Palace, Dustin played mind games in a ploy to get under Cody’s skin. It was Dustin who appeared to be a bit on edge though. Cody had his “Double or Nothing” match on his mind, but as EVP, he also had to concentrate on being one member of the brain trust behind the scenes who made sure “Double or Nothing” went off without a hitch. On the other hand, Dustin Rhodes was like a man in solitary confinement, left alone with his thoughts.
In the weeks leading up to the match, Cody had stated: “This notion of brother versus brother, of Natural versus Nightmare, it’s all very marketable, it’s all very romantic, albeit not very accurate. This match is generation versus generation. When that animal can’t go anymore, and it knows it’s going to die, and it wants to die…you pull from the hip, you roll your fingers on the steel of the chamber, and you blow it away.”
Did Cody’s words strike a chord with Dustin? Were they eating away at him? Was Dustin worried this might be his last ride?
AEW commentator Jim Ross acknowledged that Cody was a 2x former Georgia State high school champion.
Ross’ partner in the broadcast booth, Alex Marvez, added, “189 lb. division, Jim, and Dustin was there to see him win.”
“This is a match thirty-three years in the making. Why thirty-three? Because that’s how old Cody is,” commented AEW play-by-play broadcaster Excalibur.
Cody was wearing a weight belt that read: “Attitude Killer”. It was about as subtle as a sledge hammer to the nose, but Cody was sending a message—whatever it takes, by any means necessary—things were about to change.
As Dustin neared the ring, J.R. remarked, “That’s a mighty long walk for a 50 year old man looking to gain respect within his own family.”
As the match proceeded, it became clear that the elder Rhodes brother was fighting for respect, but he may have been battling—and exorcising—some type of personal doubts or regrets, that he picked up like a hitchhiker somewhere along the way on his 31-year journey in the wrestling business.
After being whipped into an exposed turnbuckle corner, Dustin Rhodes was busted wide-open, blood flowing like water from a faucet. The longer the match went on, the more blood was spilled on the canvass, but if you looked into the eyes of both men, there appeared to be catharsis in their pain. The past, the regrets, the demons, they were all being released. Cody and Dustin Rhodes were putting it behind them. Time marches on, and it was time for the brothers to move on.
“The bleeding only stops when there’s no more left to lose, and we could see it pushed to this point, unless one of these two men puts an end to this match,” added Excalibur.
Ultimately, every match comes to an end, and while Cody may have defeated Dustin Rhodes, “The Natural” proved he wasn’t ready to die. He didn’t want to die. The fire to compete and the passion within his soul and very DNA for pro wrestling weren’t going to be extinguished anytime soon. While Dustin Rhodes’ legacy is intact, it’s clear there are more chapters left for him to write in his storied career. Quite simply: Dustin Rhodes has more to do.
With Cody firing the first salvo in what is shaping up to be a wrestling war, who better to have your back than your own flesh and blood. So it’s only natural that Dustin Rhodes saddle up next to his younger brother Cody, as AEW embarks on its mission to make history and disrupt the industry, one match at a time.
See the 5-Star Match Between Cody and Dustin Rhodes for yourself—order the replay today! Available in the United States via BleacherReportLive.com, all major cable & satellite providers, in the United Kingdom @ITVWrestling – ITVBoxOffice.com, and internationally through www.FITE.TV.
Cody and Dustin Rhodes will be facing the Young Bucks, Nick and Matt Jackson, at AEW’s “Fight For The Fallen”, Saturday, July 13th, 2019, at Daily’s Place Amphitheater, in Jacksonville, Florida. Stay tuned to www.AllEliteWrestling.com for full details.