This is the first post from my new co-blogger (and long-time daughter), Tori.
When I was a little girl my daddy loved the WWE. He would watch it all the time and he had all the video games and the t-shirts, so I loved it too. His favorite was always Undertaker. I know all about Undertaker now of course. I had his poster on my wall as a child; I even have an Undertaker teddy bear on my bed. Then, Undertaker brought another wrestler into my life: his brother Kane. Nowadays Kane is the extremely large, half naked, bald man who teams with the Big Show, but when I was a kid he was the menacing, stringy haired, evil masked brother of Undertaker. I remember staring at my television screen in horror as superstars stole Kane's mask from the locker room. I remember the towel he wore on his head until he got it back. I remember him losing to Triple H and taking his mask off. Then his career went on. He wasn't the prettiest wrestler out there, but he got one of the prettiest divas, then he lost her to my favorite wrestler Edge, crashed their wedding, Edge stole his father and tied him to a wheelchair and so on. Everyone seemed to forget about the mask AND the reason he wore it. Supposedly he had been so badly scarred by a fire set by the Undertaker he couldn't show his face, but then he did.
Eight years go by. Enter Cody Rhodes, son of "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes, brother of Golddust. He could have gone in any direction with his WWE career he wanted to. He chose to focus on his looks. He became known as "The Dashing Cody Rhodes" and had video segments on Smackdown sharing his beauty tips for being dashing. His titan-tron featured mirrors and his perfect white teeth. Then it happened. He was in a match with Rey Mysterio when Mysterio, who's had surgery on his knee five times, hit Cody Rhodes in the nose with his knee brace. Cody Rhodes then disappeared to have facial reconstructive surgery. The show's outraged announcer Michael Cole went on and on about how terrible it was and the shame Rey Mysterio should feel (Is it just me or does Michael seem to have a bit of a crush on Cody?) until Cody returned. Suddenly his titan-tron was a mess of newspaper articles about his accident. He started being referred to as "The Formerly Dashing Cody Rhodes". The beauty segments stopped. Then he came out to the ring for the first time since the accident and I saw what was coming; he was wearing a large black cloth over his head and pushing cameras away. "Don't look at me!" he screamed at them. He climbed in the ring and let the cloth fall, revealing a mask.
Now this wasn't just any mask. It wasn't a red and black mask like Kane's. It wasn't star embroidered like CM Punk's. It was a clear, plastic mask with eye holes and a good inch of space around his nose. Everyone gasped. He covered his face with one hand while speaking into a microphone about how ugly he looked. Michael Cole jumped in with him talking about how "disfigured" he was. I laughed. I thought out loud, as I usually do, "That mask is clear." and my mother looked up from her computer. "Yeah?" she said sounding a little confused. I explained to her all about the accident and the knee brace he had taken to the face. I told her how he had called himself dashing and now he called himself disfigured.
My mother had never seen Cody Rhodes. She is NOT a WWE fan, but I went searching for a picture to show her. She looked at it and then the T.V. and she laughed too. Months passed; Cody's gimmick spread to insulting other people's looks and making them wear plastic bags on their heads. I was watching Smackdown last night when they began talking about him again. "I had a long conversation with Cody's doctor yesterday" one of the announcers was saying. He explained that Cody didn't have to wear his mask anymore unless he was competing, but he still wore it everywhere. "Wouldn't you?" Michael Cole asked. He began his usual routine of comments about Cody's ugliness. They zoomed in on him again, showing his mask. I laughed again, because I know something that no one else in the WWE universe seem to have realized: Cody Rhodes hasn't changed a bit.
Week after week since he first came back from his surgery I find myself yelling at my T.V. "I CAN SEE YOUR FACE CODY! YOU LOOK JUST LIKE YOU ALWAYS DID! That mask is CLEAR!!" He can't hear me of course, nor can his millions of fans, but I have to wonder: Why they haven't noticed for themselves that the "Formerly Dashing" Cody Rhodes is just the Dashing Cody Rhodes with a see through mask on?