Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes def. Ted DiBiase

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September 18, 2011

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Ted DiBiase hid under a paper bag among members of the WWE Universe and literally got the jump on Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes on SmackDown, but at Night of Champions, Rhodes saved face by using his protective mask as a weapon to retain his title. (PHOTOS)

In a back-and-forth match-up that saw its share of both mat mastery as well as good old fashioned fisticuffs, DiBiase scored several near falls on his former championship tag team partner, coming within a second of winning the historic title once held by the likes of Randy Savage, Shawn Michaels, Triple H, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, The Rock and a litany of WWE Hall of Famers.

Rhodes used his WWE-approved protective mask as a weapon throughout the match. Eventually, DiBiase could stand no more of Rhodes’ tactics and tore the mask from the champion’s face. The challenger then could have used the evened playing field to take his time and win his first WWE singles title, but an incensed DiBiase instead immediately attempted to strike Rhodes with his own face guard, allowing the unmasked son of The American Dream to use a roll-up and score a quick win over the son of The Million Dollar Man.

After the dissolution of The Legacy, its leader Randy Orton went on to win the World Heavyweight Championship and Cody Rhodes cemented his place in history by winning the Intercontinental Championship. While Orton and Rhodes were enjoying life in the fast lane, DiBiase’s singles career seemed to be stuck in neutral. This year, Rhodes proclaimed that he would be the one to motivate his former World Tag Team Championship co-holder back to winning ways, but the masked man’s methods were nothing out of Knute Rockne’s playbook. For weeks, DiBiase suffered public humiliation such as being abased by the Intercontinental Champion, having paper bags put over his head and even enduring beatings meant for Rhodes from both Randy Orton and The Personification of Domination, Ezekiel Jackson.

While DiBiase didn’t beat Rhodes at Night of Champions, the third-generation Superstar put Rhodes on notice that he may not have a long Intercontinental Title reign in the bag.

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