Stars in Progress: Who Went Up & Down This Week


Cody Rhodes
One Battled Step Up

I honestly thought the 10-man battle royal was a way for WWE to pull a quick swerve on free television and take the belt off of Rhodes.  It would also be a way to protect Cody's recent progress and give him an easy out from the loss.  They didn't and Cody couldn't look any better right now. 

His opening exchange with Triple H on Raw Monday, the win in the battle royal to retain his IC title, his inclusion in the Otunga group (I'll get to that later in this column) and his involvement in the closing minutes of Smackdown – it's been a productive week for Cody.  They also made sure to protect him in his match with Sheamus as well by having Christian run in and causing the DQ. 

Cody has completely bought into his gimmick.  He's comfortable with it and it shows.  He doesn't force his promos and with the type of character he tries to portray on the mic, that's not an easy task.  His delivery and timing were impeccable on Raw during his verbal exchange with the new COO and he drew the crowd into it and made them care.

His involvement with this new Otunga group could be beneficial as long as he doesn't get overshadowed by the likes of Christian and Ziggler. And by the way, his seems-to-be-inevitable program with Booker T could go from one extreme of great to one extreme of horrible for me.  Orton to Booker?  Doesn't have a great ring to it for Cody's sake, but we'll see how they handle it and I'll reserve judgment until then.

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