Ted and Cody yield role reversal for Rhodes and DiBiase families
The apple – sour or not – doesn’t fall far from the tree. This much is apparent in the brewing contention between rotten-to-the-core Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes and rival Ted DiBiase, two multi-generational Superstars whose fathers shared just as much enmity as their respective offspring.
There’s been a role reversal in which family name is cheered or jeered by the WWE Universe. “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes’ spiteful son is loathed by crowds while WWE fans have come to embrace third-generation Superstar Ted DiBiase, despite the passed down privilege of “The Million Dollar Man.”
Roughly 20 years ago, the lovable common man, Dusty Rhodes, famously clashed with the smug, haughty Million Dollar Man in countless squared circle encounters. After two decades, the young men who learned from their dads are in the midst of a struggle for respect, the Intercontinental Title and the foothold necessary to establish their own legacies.
“My father and Dusty Rhodes go back a long way,” Ted DiBiase said. “They had heated, heated battles that turned out to be some classics for WWE fans, but it was personal for those guys. Even though our fathers may have hated each other, Cody and I had a special bond because we grew up in the business. When I came to SmackDown, I wondered if we could continue our business relationship.
He continued, “I think maybe Cody saw my potential and was worried about being outshined. It turns out that Cody just wanted to just use me and humiliate me, and that’s exactly what he did. Now, like my father and Dusty Rhodes, it’s very personal for us.”The combatants’ issue has escalated substantially since Ted got assaulted and paper-bagged by the masked Superstar. Rhodes’ actions may not earn the adoration of the WWE Universe – unlike his Hall of Fame father – but he contends that he’s merely outcompeted and outclassed an unworthy challenger to the Intercontinental Title.
“People loved to hate The Million Dollar Man and loved to love The American Dream,” described Cody Rhodes. “They were very much at the primes and peaks of their careers when they met. In this case, there is a vast difference, a Grand Canyon of space between my talent and little Teddy, Jr.’s. I would consider him nothing more than an extra on SmackDown.”
According to the face-guarded miscreant, his aversion to his ex-Legacy cohort stems from well past the first punch – or first brown bag – connected with the son of The Million Dollar Man. It began in adolescence, before there were aspirations of titles or nights of champions when they stood no higher than the hips of their Hall of Fame-bound dads.
“My distaste for Ted probably does date back to those days where we were little knee-high children running around in the locker room, trying to see who could win the race down the hallway,” Rhodes reflected. “It always seemed like Ted was in first place but obviously if you watched Night of Champions, you see he is in last place now.”
Cody may be fully content with his actions and feel justified, but what does Dusty, who still feels the support of WWE fans with every appearance, think about the current representation of the Rhodes namesake?
“Dusty Rhodes is happy as long as the Rhodes name is carrying around such prestige as the Intercontinental Championship,” Cody claimed, “a title that big old Dusty Rhodes never held.”
By contrast, the younger Ted DiBiase, for all his privilege, has fought tooth and nail in an attempt to find success in the squared circle. In doing so, his efforts have garnered the support of WWE fans, who have rallied behind DiBiase despite his lineage – something he’s learned that even all of his dad’s money could not buy.
“My father’s offered me a lot – even the Million Dollar Championship,” DiBiase said, “but I’m tired of taking hand-me-downs. I’ve had an epiphany and the world needs to understand that I’m not my father, The Million Dollar Man. I don’t want to be known for having money and cars. Let Alberto Del Rio do that.”
He concluded, “That’s really not me and soon to come, you’ll find out who Ted DiBiase Jr. really is.”