Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes def. Booker T

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December 18, 2011

Two attacks and an injury at the hands of Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes were not enough to keep Booker T from stepping into the squared circle at WWE TLC. Although the former WCW and World Heavyweight Champion proved that even hurt, he can still compete with WWE’s finest, the injured Booker couldn’t best his nefarious enemy. (PHOTOS)

Throughout his storied career, Booker T has clashed with the likes of The Rock, Triple H, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Scott Steiner and Sting, and with brother Stevie Ray, he was one half of the legendary tag team, Harlem Heat. Rhodes’ attacks on the five-time WCW Champion throughout the evening were brutal in nature but only brought out the drive and competitive spirit that brought Booker T success throughout the 1990s and early 2000s.

After the first attack, there was a question about the bout even taking place. When Booker T shook off the assault and began to make his way to the ring for the match, Rhode struck again. Once more, the bout was called off due to Booker’s condition. Thus, the Intercontinental Champion almost seemed shell-shocked when the former WCW Tag Team Champion made his way to the ring ready for a fight later in the night.

The WWE Universe would have understood if Booker T did not compete, but the determined five-time WCW Champion gave Rhodes one of the toughest challenges of his career. Standing toe-to-toe with his opponent, and shifting momentum back and forth, Booker T kept the young Intercontinental Champion in a constant state of adjusting his strategy. The Booker T who fans remember from days past showed up at the 1st Mariner Arena, but the effects of Rhodes' attacks would soon become evident. As Cody applied pressure to his opponent's head and neck, the SmackDown commentator began to feel the effects. After the legend missed two scissor kicks, the Intercontinental Champion countered with two Beautiful Disasters to Booker's head to capture the victory.

This particular contest was interesting in nature as the young Intercontinental Champion had a chance to prove his clout against a veritable WWE Legend. Despite the 20-year age difference of the competitors, the only real advantage Rhodes possessed was the one he manufactured through his underhanded tactics. At first, it seemed Booker could endure and overcome his predicament. But as the match continued, it was evident that Booker’s condition was worsening. Finally, Rhodes’ strategy paid off and he was able to secure the victory and retain the title.

The rivalry between the SmackDown announcer and the son of WWE Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes has been brewing for quite some time. When Rhodes was accompanied to the ring by paper bag-toting individuals, they always made sure Booker T had a sack to put over his head. After the baggers went away and Rhodes dropped his protective mask, tossing water in the face of the former World Heavyweight Champion was enough for him to come out of retirement and teach Rhodes some respect.

For a Superstar who literally changed the face of the Intercontinental Title to be associated with the like of “Macho Man” Randy Savage and Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, it seemed fitting that Rhodes became obsessed with battling Booker T, one of the most prominent former WCW Champions still in WWE. While Rhodes’ win at WWE TLC is questionable, it is still a victory.

Needless to say, had Booker T been at 100 percent at WWE TLC, Rhodes would have had an even more competitive match and may have handily lost the coveted Intercontinental Title. Now that the champion’s strategy led to victory, it remains to be seen if the WWE Universe has seen the last of Booker T inside the squared circle.

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