Fact: Cody Rhodes is the WWE breakout star of 2011

Sure, you expected me to hail CM Punk with that accolade. But the more I see of the heelified Cody Rhodes, the more I think this is brilliant characterisation and brilliant work from him.

The segment with Mick Foley and Booker T in the ring was painful to watch (a dreidl spinnaroonie? Really?), but as soon as Rhodes’s music hit and he declared war on “lowly announcers”, it all picked up.

The way he growled, “You LIE, announcer!” and encouraged more heat from the crowd was exemplary. Totally looking forward to seeing what he does next – even if it is feuding with Booker.

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One Response to Fact: Cody Rhodes is the WWE breakout star of 2011

  1. Mike says:

    Cody Rhodes as WWE’s breakout star of the year? Interesting! There’s been quite a few outstanding candidates this year, and unsurprisingly (for me, at least), most have come from the opportunities in ring and on the microphone which have been afforded to them on the WWE’s blue brand.

    Cody’s metamorphosis into a top-tier heel has been nothing short of amazing. The “Dashing” and “Damaged” gimmicks were exceptional in that they got him over as a mean-spirited, dangerous heel while at the same time allowing for some physical comedy and being funny and engaging. His latest incarnation appears to be more serious in direction and looks to be aimed at pushing him straight into main event picture. It would be thoroughly deserved.

    There’s Dolph Ziggler. He was being built up solidly on Smackdown, did an amazing job engaging and bickering with the fans on NXT, was switched to RAW where he briefly lost momentum (in Samson-esque fashion), but is now right up there again as one of the consistent go-to guys on RAW. Dolph is one of those guys who elevates people he works with, he bumps and sells like a fiend and makes his opponents look like a million dollars. He’s had some great matches in the past twelve months – in fact, I can’t recall him having a bad one – and I’m hoping he gets the chance to feud at the top level with the likes of CM Punk shortly.

    Wade Barrett’s been upwardly mobile as well. He’s managed to shake off the trappings of NEXUS and CORRE and now he’s swaggering around on Smackdown like he owns the place as a smirking, eloquent heel that makes the ladies swoon. His feud with Randy Orton should be a step towards even bigger things.

    And then of course, you have Mark Henry. At the start of the year this guy was tag teaming with DBD against Ted Dibiase and Tyson Kidd on Superstars, and being ridiculed and written off as pretty much a peripheral figure (it didn’t help when all we really saw of him for a while were cameo appearances like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSvDKIc0ekw). Just so I don’t sound too much like a hypocrite, I’ll admit it – I was nonplussed and skeptical about Henry’s push when it started myself.

    But how wrong can you be? Seriously?

    Henry’s unstoppable charge into the world title picture may have come as a surprise, but by God he’s earned it. He’s been steadily built up as a credible champion over the last six months and his matches with Sheamus, Big Show, Kane and Orton were combined with flawlessly blunt, intimidating (and honest!) promo work and some of the WWE’s most spectacular spots of the year (tearing the door off a steel cage, smashing Sheamus through the ringside barrier, launching a sound technician into the stratosphere, the collapsing ring etc).

    As far as I’m concerned, he’s proved his doubters wrong. He’s the top monster heel in the WWE, a deserving world champion, and he’s my pick for breakout star of the year.

    Here’s a question though – where are all the breakout fan favourites? And please, whatever you do, don’t mention Ryder!

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