The son of The American Dream -Dusty Rhodes, Cody has grown up in a wrestling family. With nothing but wrestling in his sights he grew up surrounded by wrestlers. It was obvious that Cody would learn bit by bit little things from the business that he’d grow up to love and work in. Cody’s first glimpse of the wrestling world was when he was a referee in his dad’s company. It didn’t take Cody long to go from training in OVW in 2006 to cracking into the limelight making his debut on WWE’s prime show -Raw in 2007, in a backstage segment with Randy Orton, WWE’s elite. Randy had slapped Dusty, resulting in Cody slapping Orton the following week. The following week the two men squared off in the ring where Randy was victorious, however this match showed that Cody had potential to stay in WWE for a long while. Orton won in the following weeks match and punted Dusty in head ending Cody’s first storyline. Cody then formed his first tag team with Hardcore Holly when after several matches between the two, Cody had earned the respect of Holly, these two men went on to win the tag titles when they defeated Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch at Raw’s 15th anniversary. Cody then won the belts with Ted Dibiase at Night of Champions when he turned on Holly, revealing himself as Ted’s partner. They held the championships for the next year, losing it John Cena and Batista, but regained the belts the following week, and kept it for another 2 months. When Cody formed part of Legacy he was elevated to main event status when he entered a feud with Triple H, and the McMahon family. This feud in itsef served as a compliment to Cody, with WWE believing he could be successful in the feud. Dibiase and Rhodes then had a feud with DX, which resulted in a match at 3 PPV’s; a tag match, submissions count anywhere match and finally a Hell in a Cell match. After this Legacy started breaking apart when Rhodes and Dibiase caused Orton to be disqualified in several matches, and became even more transparent when Dibiase eliminated Orton from the 2010 eliminated chamber. This led to Cody’s first WrestleMania match, in a triple threat match where Orton won. Fast forward a few months and at September 2010 Cody and Drew McIntyre won the tag team championships. In 2011 we saw Cody get his nose legitimately broken in a match with Rey Mysterio, introducing his “disfigured” persona. Rhodes missed the Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber but returned with his clear mask to attack Rey, resulting in his second match at WrestleMania where he defeated Rey Mysterio, in what was a good match, however Rey would win their falls count anywhere match at Extreme Rules. We then saw the realignment of Rhodes/Dibiase, where they would defeat opponents and put paper bags on the opponents head. On the August 12th edition of SmackDown, Cody won the Intercontinental championship from Ezekial Jackson, and the following week later Cody attacked Ted breaking up their alliance once more. On Raw’s Supershow, September 12th, Cody defeated Randy Orton, with help from his mask, it’s interesting to note that Cody left his mask in the ring. Will that spell the end of the plastic mask?
Overall Cody has done a lot in his time with WWE, he has won the tag championships a number of times, main-evented, has competed in two WrestleMania matches and has defeated the best of WWE. Cody is Intercontinental champion at the moment, and I’m pretty sure Cody will get a main-event run; he has charisma, the moves and the background to make it. Cody will win the World Heavyweight; I think it’s only a matter of time before it happens.
Zack Ryder, we all know him and have an opinion on him; whether good or bad we still have thoughts on him. Zack Ryder has only recently become popular; however, much of the WWE Universe may not know that he has been in WWE for a long time. Ryder first made his debut in 2007 along with Curt Hawkins, and they were known as the Major brothers who competed on the ECW brand and only won their first match before being drafted to Friday Night SmackDown. The two Major brothers then started dressing like Edge, and in a match against Undertaker kept replacing the real Edge during several points in the match, which evidently helped Edge to defeat the Undertaker winning the World Heavyweight Championship, in doing so this turned them heel and they were later exposed to be working alongside Edge and his then lover, Vickie Guerrero. The group became known as the Rated-R Entourage. I think being aligned with Edge helped Ryder, and taught him valuable lessons such as how to cope with being in the big spotlight and especially on SmackDown’s main event. Once his storyline with Edge ended, both Curt Hawkins and him won the WWE Tag Team Championship from John Morrison/The Miz in a fatal four-way match which also featured Jesse/Festus and Finlay/Hornswoggle when Hawkins scored the pinfall over Jesse. In doing so, this meant that the tag team of Ryder and Hawkins became the youngest team to ever win the championships. In their first televised defense of the titles they lost to The Colons –Carlito and Primo. In 2009, Ryder was sent back to ECW thus splitting the team up. In his first ECW T.V appearance since being drafted back, Ryder now sported a totally different look than before –changing from long hair to short hair, tanned skin, sunglasses, a headband, half-trunks/half-tights with a cocky ‘Jersey Shore’ type attitude and using the terms, “Woo Woo Woo” and “You Know It” –this was the birth of the Long Island Iced Z Zack Ryder. Ryder did nothing too interesting on ECW other than a feud with Tommy Dreamer which resulted in Dreamer retiring, not through injury but because Dreamer had lost the match. Ryder then entered a half-feud with Evan Bourne, where Ryder tried impressing both Gail Kim and Alicia Fox, Fox tried helping Ryder win, however Gail stopped her resulting in a mix-tag team the next week on ECW, which Evan and Gail won. The following week a bounty was put on Zack by Aston Kutcher resulting in Alicia axe-kicking Ryder. Ryder was then given a chance to win the U.S Title in a fatal-four way but was unsuccessful; his next title opportunity was the WWE championship against my personal favourite –Sheamus. This match went down as the second shortest WWE championship match, lasting a loooooong 11 seconds. Zack’s next big thing was being the mentor of Titus O’Neil on NXT and unlucky for Zack, O’Neil was the first one to be eliminated. Ryder was not seen very often after this, only appearing on SuperStars, he did however win the Slammy award for most annoying catchphrase –that must count for something, right? Ryder started making appearances on Raw come June 2011, losing against Kofi, and making his face turn in Long Island defeating Primo. In July, Zack was then appointed assistant general manager to Teddy Long, thus allowing him more air time on SmackDown. The main reason Zack Ryder is so over with the WWE Universe is down to one thing and one thing only – Z! True Long Island Story. Zack started a YouTube channel and made weekly videos, that both showed his comical side and his annoyance over not being used correctly by WWE. So far I think there has been 30 episodes with another one being released this week and every week for that matter. His show has included both personal friends and family and also some WWE wrestlers and announcers such as his dad, The Big O, Dolph Ziggler, Scott Stanford and Melina. Zack also proclaims himself to be the Internet Championship as a result of how well the fans took to his show and replaced a kids toy belt with a $1,500 belt which I think is pretty damn cool; he has actually defended his Internet Championship on tour in Australia against Primo, and has appeared on Raw wearing the belt. I think Ryder has a solid move set, is showing more and more potential with more matches he gets, has the mic skills and is over with the WWE Universe, something that WWE have only started acknowledging. I believe with a few more years, the Internet Championship becoming an official belt, a U.S. title run, and more air time that Ryder could become a top star. He is one of my favourites and I think he has what it takes to become a main-eventer.
That’s it for this weeks Future Stars, please like this on Wrestling Rambles, follow me on twitter (@rwilson3694) and buy a Zack Ryder headband? Or alternatively, just give me your feedback on these two stars.