With the help of Fearless Nikki, Sophia Grace explodes on the scene with a very unique introduction to the WWE Universe.12/06/2016 - 23:30
The new SmackDown Women's Champion gets an uninvited guest at her title celebration in the form of The Irish Lass Kicker.12/06/2016 - 22:30
After a verbal altercation between Breezango and American Alpha earlier in the night, Chad Gable battles an insulted Tyler Breeze.12/06/2016 - 22:15
Days after their brutal Chairs Match at WWE TLC, The Lone Wolf once again squares off against Kalisto.12/06/2016 - 22:00
Excited about her new single "Hollywood," due out this January and featuring several female Superstars in her music video, Sophia Grace throws her support behind Fearless Nikki.12/06/2016 - 21:45
Zack Ryder & Mojo Rawley go head-to-head against Konnor & Viktor in a SmackDown LIVE tag team showdown.12/06/2016 - 21:45
See what happened on SmackDown LIVE after The Princess of Staten Island accused Natalya of being Nikki Bella's mysterious attacker at Survivor Series.12/06/2016 - 21:15
Beauty & The Man Beast look to reclaim the SmackDown Tag Team Championship from The New Wyatt Family in a WWE TLC rematch. Teaser: Beauty & The Man Beast look for another fairytale ending in SmackDown Tag Team rematch.12/06/2016 - 21:00
Following Ellsworth's betrayal of Dean Ambrose at WWE TLC, The Lunatic Fringe dishes out some payback on the chinless Superstar.12/06/2016 - 21:00
The Beast Incarnate cramps Kurt Angle's style in a backstage encounter with an admirer of The Olympic Hero.12/01/2016 - 10:45
WWE Top 10 takes you back to this week's SmackDown LIVE to revisit the show's most thrilling, physical and controversial moments.11/30/2016 - 12:30
The Wicked Witch of WWE doesn't just want to capture the SmackDown Women's Title in her Tables Match against Becky Lynch at WWE TLC, she wants to embarrass her beyond words.11/29/2016 - 23:30
Jason Jordan & Chad Gable take on The New Wyatt Family to see who will earn the right to face SmackDown Tag Team Champions Heath Slater and Rhyno at WWE TLC.11/29/2016 - 22:30
The Lunatic fringe does not wish to wait for WWE TLC to get his hands on "The Champ that Runs the Camp."11/29/2016 - 22:30
The Princess of Staten Island is more determined than ever to make Nikki Bella suffer in their No Disqualification Match at WWE TLC this Sunday.11/29/2016 - 22:15
Rhodes' mask part of a classic defensive strategy
Throughout my tenure here at WWE, I have always realized that injuries inflicted while in the heat of battle can in many cases sideline a Superstar for a period of time. However, there are some injuries suffered to where a Superstar can work through the pain via some sort of protection.
Take, for example, reigning Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes, who has worn a face guard to protect a broken nose since February, and has oftentimes used said item as a modus operandi in his matches (WATCH VIDEO).
This is not the first time that a WWE Superstar has gone the route of capitalizing on an injury by utilizing its means of protection. As a matter of fact, this method of aggression was a proven commodity in my eyes through the years.
Let’s take a look back and compare Cody Rhodes to other former Superstars who went this route in the 1980’s – and ironically, like Rhodes, are all second-generation talents.
Cowboy Bob Orton
Known as “Ace,” Orton had his left forearm broken in a 1985 match against Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka. Not one to miss any down time, Orton continued to wrestle with his left forearm protected by a cast. After considerable time passed, the thought was that his injury had mended.
However, Orton, citing “doctor’s orders, ” claimed that his arm had not properly healed. Yet it wasn’t uncommon to see the WWE Hall of Famer use the cast advantageously as he racked up victory after victory. In fact, during 2010’s Monday Night Raw Legends telecast, there was Orton, some 25 years later, still with his left forearm in a cast.
"Iron" Mike Sharpe
Calling himself “Canada’s Greatest Athlete,” the Hamilton, Ontario native came to the ring in the early 80’s wearing a leather band around his right forearm, where he repeatedly cited a nagging injury.
More often than not, though, Sharpe would seem to insert some sort of object in the armband, and used it to his advantage in gaining victories.
The man that the fans loved to call “wimp” wore that forearm band throughout his WWE ring career. Why, I wouldn't be at all surprised if I found out that he still wore it to this day.
Greg "The Hammer" Valentine
In 1988, Valentine asserted that he had sustained a shin injury, and began wearing a shin guard on his left leg to the ring. During a match, The Hammer would rotate the shin guard to where it covered his calf. Thus, whenever Valentine applied the figure four leg lock, the exertion of pressure was even worse on his helpless opponent. The WWE Hall of Famer wore it for quite some time, and even named it the “Heartbreaker.”
Fast forward to 2011, and it seems to me that Cody Rhodes has chosen the same route the aforementioned individuals took nearly three decades ago to garner his wins.
I’ve always thought that Cody was a student of the game. Using his mask to his advantage, however, shows me that he’s done his homework.