Cody Rhodes vs. Dominik Mysterio should benefit both men


For the last few months, WWE has kept Cody Rhodes occupied with Brock Lesnar. So far, the two have split their pair of in-ring meetings at Backlash and the most recent sportswashing Saudi show, and the rubber match (with a stipulation) will likely happen at SummerSlam.

Until then, Rhodes needs an opponent, and the company believes it has found a good one in Dominik Mysterio.

WWE began this mini-feud last week when Mysterio chastised “The American Nightmare” for “being a bad father” before slapping him and scampering out of the ring. This week, Rhodes responded by challenging Mysterio to a match at Money in the Bank. Rhea Ripley accepted on “Dom Dom’s” behalf and Mysterio got another cheap shot in on Rhodes before leaving with the Women’s World Champion.

Could a Cody Rhodes vs. Dominik Mysterio match help both men? It won’t hurt Rhodes, but it could reveal what WWE has in Mysterio.

On paper, Mysterio vs. Rhodes won’t excite many fans, but that shouldn’t denote a lack of intrigue. Besides being a fresh matchup, putting Mysterio out there against a babyface of Rhodes’ stature gives the promotion an opportunity to see if the 26-year-old has top-heel potential.

Mysterio generates molten lava levels of heat every week — the man can barely speak without hearing loud boos — but given how it dissipates once his matches start, it’s fair to wonder if he can sustain this level of animosity. The fans enjoy playing along with Mysterio as an annoying pest and giving him grief, but will they have that same fervor for him when WWE asks them to take him seriously as a main event-level antagonist?

A good showing against one of the company’s top babyfaces should provide a decent answer to that question. If Mysterio puts in a solid outing alongside Rhodes, the fans could start viewing him as a more credible threat, which will need to happen if WWE wants to evolve his character past the “guy who cowers behind Rhea Ripley” phase.

As for Rhodes, this is just a quick detour before returning to “Suplex City”. He’s coming off a loss to Lesnar at the propaganda show, though WWE heavily protected him in defeat, so this program with the young Judgment Day member allows him to get a definitive win before refocusing on “The Beast Incarnate”.

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With Money in the Bank a little more than two weeks away, WWE has plenty of time to build this match up. It has already laid a solid foundation with the Mysterio hit-and-run attacks, and we at least know that Rhodes will pour his soul into selling this match to the masses. That should make it easier for Mysterio to do his part, and if he can, this should be a productive storyline for everyone involved.