At Odds with Wrestling Extra Credit: Rhodes to the Top Finale.

The last episode of Rhodes to the Top. Ever? For season one? That information is not yet known, but there will at least be a break after this one.

In episode 6, Brandi is training to return to the ring. There’s some post pregnancy jokes. Brandi gets in the ring with QT and is trying to knock off the ring rust. Cody wants Brandi to come back as a face, working up from the bottom. But Brandi wants to be full heel bitch.

In the main story, Cody is confronted with the fans’ attitudes. He is booed despite seeing himself as a face. Even worse, he is in the middle of a huge feud against Malachai Black, an evil heel, but Black is cheered. What’s a Rhodes to do?

I feel the Rhodes are so busy being the Rhodes they can’t see outside of that. Brandi can’t be a heel manager, or second, to her face husband. Both should be heel or both faces. Also, what heel actions did she do? She came out to support her husband, and flipped off his heel opponent. Brandi is equating bitch with being a bad guy, and while those two things can overlap they are not one and the same.

Meanwhile, Cody is confused over his recent fan reactions and very much does not want to turn heel and drive into the skid. I don’t think Cody knows how to not be a wrestler, and the fans don’t see him as anything else. Let’s take Malachai for example. A regular dude who worked hard and earned a spot in the two biggest wrestling companies in America. He has a geeky wife and they share their true lives on social media. Gothic art, Naruto, and a bunch of cats. He seems genuine, has a life outside of wrestling, but worked hard to get what he has. He has been released, he has had set backs, so there is a narrative to cheer.

Cody though has been Cody Rhodes all his life. Who is Cody Runnels? His wife is in the business. He is one of AEW’s EVPs. He has a training school. He guests in shows and movies as a wrestler. There is no turning it off. There is also no risk. Son of a wrestler, not a plumber. Cody is released from WWE and makes more money. Has Cody ever wondered if he could pay next month’s bills? His name alone allows him to make a living. Does he read books? Does he play video games? Who is the individual for me to get behind?

Rhodes to the Top? How long is the journey to the top? No one is invested in the journey to the penthouse when you’re already born inside of a deluxe apartment in the sky-hi-hi. The hot wife, huge house, face all over TBS and TNT don’t inspire underdog support. If Cody wants to find a way to be cheered he needs to stop looking into cosplaying super heroes and start looking back at the common man, if you will.

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