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Even after Hardcore Holly beat him three times in a row, Cody Rhodes refused to scamper off with his tail between his legs. Instead, the young upstart chomped down even harder onto his goal of earning Holly's respect. It was that dogged determination that finally won the Hardcore veteran's grudging admiration in the end.
And now, Rhodes' persistence has finally paid off. He and his reluctant partner prevailed in a Triple Threat Tag Team Match against The Highlanders and Paul London & Brian Kendrick to win the right to face World Tag Team Champions Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch this Sunday at Survivor Series. (Exclusive: Watch the match)
Despite their impressive performance, Holly & Rhodes' working relationship remains lukewarm at best. With such a tenuous bond, can the pair possibly hope to capture World Tag Team gold?
"When you compete with someone in singles [competition] like Holly and I have, you learn things about one another, weaknesses and strengths," said Rhodes. "Knowing those about each other makes a good tag team."
Holly, never one to mince words, doesn't see the forecast as quite so sunny.
"Cody's got a lot more to prove for me to believe that he's a good tag team partner," barked the former World Tag Team Champion.
However, while Holly remains skeptical, he admits he hasn't lost all hope. "I think we can pull it off," he said. "But as far as Cody winning it with somebody else, I don't think he can do it. He needs my help."
Holly emphasizes that Rhodes could use more ring time, but the Hardcore veteran says he's willing to show his young partner the ropes and feels hopeful about their future as a team.
"He's still green and learning a lot," explains Holly. "But I'm going to teach him, toughen him up and show him how to go out there and kick some ass."