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Cody v. Dustin Rhodes at AEW’s Double or Nothing was pro wrestling at its best

In one of the most emotional moments in quite some time, two family members went to war against one another.

This past Saturday, a change was in the air. All Elite Wrestling made its grand debut inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. There were those who were interested to see how a few wrestlers would handle the pressure of doing something on their own. There were also those who dismissed the idea from the start, stating the “t-shirt company” wouldn’t produce when it mattered the most.

If you were the many that watched Double or Nothing, AEW blew the latter’s opinions into oblivion.

From top to bottom, Double or Nothing was a show that wrestling fans will remember for a long time. Right at the opening bell, AEW provided fans with a true alternative that hasn’t been seen in a while. Wrestlers from all different backgrounds showcased what they could do in front of a sold-out crowd. One match that stood out, however, was the battle between two members of the legendary Rhodes family.

Cody, one of the Executive Vice President’s of AEW, faced off against his half-brother Dustin, aka Goldust. For years, the two were attempting to get a good match between them made while in WWE. However, booking was never on their side. Fighting briefly when Cody was Stardust, the two couldn’t tell the proper story they wanted. Now, with more creative freedom, they hit a home run.

The match started with Cody “firing the first shot” at WWE, breaking a chair that looked like Triple H’s with a sledgehammer. Very symbolic, which also went with Cody’s quest to end the Attitude Era. The promo he produced leading up to the bout was simply incredible.

Once both Rhodes brothers entered the ring, the place erupted. Fans were into the bout just because of the significance of it. When the bell rang it was your typical affair of trying to one-up one another. Cody later exposed a turnbuckle and tripped Dustin into it, making things extremely interesting. Brandi, Cody’s wife, attacked Dustin and the referee kicked her out of the ringside area. DDP, a true family friend, took Brandi away to make it only between Dustin and Cody.

And then the ring was painted red.

Dustin was bleeding above his left eye, a signature of Dusty from all those years ago. That is when the match was kicked into overdrive. With Dustin’s face already red on one side from the paint he was wearing, you couldn’t tell what was what. At one point his face was unrecognizable. He still fought, however, and would never give up.

The match wasn’t a technical classic, but an emotional one. We were given a style of Dustin we haven’t seen in a long time, and the family dynamic worked. With each move he was put into, fans were on the edge of their seat. Once they exchanged finishing moves, everyone was then on their feet. Cody then put away his brother with the Cross Rhodes (they both hit a few).

With AEW, wins and losses do matter, and the story is meant to be told in the ring. Cody needed the win as a younger, full-time talent, but it did not damage Dustin at all. In fact, the loss turned the match into one of the most magical few moments a pro wrestling fan can ask for.

After the bout, Cody left but re-entered the ring. He said he needed his brother, and that he wants to team with him against The Young Bucks at Fight for the Fallen on July 13th. it was very reminiscent to a promo Dusty said to Dustin back in the day. Once again a full circle, emotional moment.

These two accomplished what they set out to do, and then some. When pro wrestling is great, the world is a better place. While they won’t be perfect all of the time, AEW knocked this one out of the park. Somewhere, Dusty is watching this match, and just like every fan that saw it, he’ll smile and thank his sons for a moment that will last a lifetime.

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Baseball Editor, Misc. Sports Editor. Covers all things combat sports (MMA, Pro Wrestling and Boxing). When he's not writing, Daniel hosts a podcast, The Main Event.
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