Editor's note: Sebastian Perez-Navarro is currently a senior at Eastwood High School and intends to study journalism and broadcasting in college this fall. He hopes to spend his first two years at UTEP for his basics before transferring to another school to study broadcast journalism. He has served as the athletics play-by-play broadcaster for Eastwood's Film and Broadcast program over his high school tenure. As he prepares for his fall internship with 600 ESPN El Paso, Sebastian wrote an opinion article on Cody Rhodes. 

By: Sebastian Perez-Navarro


On the May 10th edition of Friday Night Smackdown, the blue brands general manager Nick Aldis called current WWE Undisputed Champion Cody Rhodes down to the ring. This is a man whom Aldis shares history with, as Rhodes beat the now GM in the Main Event of the “All In” Pay-Per-View, also known as the event that put indie wrestling and “The American Nightmare” on the map. 

After writing the lead for the next chapter in his story by defeating "The Phenomenal” AJ Styles at Backlash, Rhodes was informed by Aldis on his next opponent. 

In a shocker, the WWE deemed the current United States Champion Logan Paul as the No. 1 contender for Rhodes' championship, relighting a WWE versus US Champion feud not seen since Seth Rollins Faced John Cena in a Title for Title match at Summerslam 2015. 


Yet so early on into Rhodes reign, is it smart to pit "The American Nightmare" against the polemic social media influencer? 

The Maverick's Wrestling Journey

Logan Paul first entered the promotion in the build to Wrestlemania 37, where he served as the then conspiracy-obsessed Sami Zayn’s celebrity guest in his feud against Kevin Owens. 


One year later, Paul saw himself wrestling at the show of the immortals alongside two-time WWE Champion and former main eventer, The Miz.

But it’s at the beginning of Paul’s wrestling journey that the WWE found themselves backed into a corner.

Upon winning his Wrestlemania 38 Tag Team match against WWE Hall of Famer “Rey Mysterio” and now certified brat Dominik Mysterio, Logan Paul was hit by a skull crushing finale delivered non courteously by The Miz, which set up the two’s match for Summerslam later that year.


Yet, the mistake that the promotion made during the build was assigning Paul as the feuds babyface. 

Despite Paul's personal growth— one that saw him fight Floyd Mayweather and start a hydration drink company—many outsiders still saw him as the immature internet personality that produced nonsensical content and someone that once published a video of a deceased body to a child dominated demographic. 

No matter what the WWE did, wrestling fans always viewed Paul as a bad guy, and in 2023, the promotion stopped putting a bandaid on a bleeding dynamic. In the lead up to Wrestlemania 39, “The Maverick” turned heel in his feud against Seth “Freaking” Rollins, embodying the person that wrestling fans saw him as, the guy that’s easy to boo. 

After being handed a proper deck of cards, Paul has taken the wrestling world by storm.

From attaining 26.5 million views on Youtube video because of a royal rumble spot, to beating Hall of Famer Rey Mysterio with a brass knuckle sucker punch for the WWE United States Championship, Logan Paul has truly lived up to his nickname. 



The right time for champion versus champion? 

Let no doubt arise that Rhodes hasn’t faced adversity— but there’s already a million different articles and videos on Cody's Story. 

But is this the right time for the two to clash?

Rhodes is hot with the crowd, but are two belts really the way to go after winning the very championship that The American Nightmare has dedicated his career to?

Rhodes made it evident upon speaking to Paul that he was not interested in a match for only one belt. In the live interaction, Cody highlighted his way into becoming a Grand Slam Champion, “Fact is if I was to win that United States Championship, that would make me a WWE Grand Slam Champion."

Hours after Smackdown, Rhodes uploaded a post on X with the simple message  “2 belts”.

One day later, Rhodes quoted WWE’s advertisement of his upcoming match against Paul with the statement “For All The Gold”.

So if it were to be a title for title match at WWE’s Queen & King of The Ring PLE at The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where does that leave the validity of the titles?

For Paul, a program with the face of the company only increases his superstar status, yet the issue isn’t on Paul’s side as no matter the finish, Paul simply grows his status in the company. The troubling burden is placed on The American Nightmare’s shoulders, as carrying two titles, or simply beating another champion this early on in his reign makes him more susceptible to the fans turning their back on Rhodes as they’ve done in the past to previous fan favorites. 

Sebastian’s Take 

Despite becoming susceptible to verbal destruction from The Rock, I'd classify myself as a Cody Crybaby, so when it came to the possibility of Rhodes holding both titles I personally thought it was a great time to pull the trigger, but since Paul is obsessed with being the living embodiment of a “Maverick”—which in his words is someone who goes left when everyone else goes right—  he just had to change my story. 

Congrats Logan, you’re a heel in wrestling and in real life too. 

Paul has been advertised as the “prize fighter” who only takes on the very best at the most prestigious events, yet because of his villainous personality Paul shut down Cody’s aspiration of a double title match on the May 17th edition of Smackdown, telling the audience, “Cody Rhodes has not done anything to deserve a shot at my United States Championship."

I guess Paul hasn’t been paying much attention into what’s going on with the company he works for, but what else can you expect from a guy who lost a boxing match because of a two point deduction?

Time to wake up, Paul.

Rhodes has been the embodiment of THE guy. Wherever Rhodes goes he holds the WWE universe at the palm of his hands, never failing to garner an interaction, whether it’d be a mass “WOAAAAAH!!!” during his entrance, or staying late after the show to provide autographs. 

Despite what many like to conclude, a reign that sees Rhodes holding both the US Championship alongside the Undisputed WWE Championship does not decrease the importance of either title because Rhodes has never failed to carry the weight that comes with being the face of the company.

Look back to 2022, where Rhodes endured a gruesome 24 Minute “Hell In a Cell” match against Seth Rollins with a broken pectoral muscle. Or, look to as recently as this year, where Rhodes agreed to be the best man to a groom named Anthony. If you don’t know who Anthony is, well neither did Rhodes. 


So when Rhodes proclaimed in the build to Wrestlemania 40 “I pretend to be the champion because the champion isn’t here”, you better believe those words hold value earned through action. 


We’ll have to wait to see Cody Rhodes become a Grand Slam Champion, but rest well assured that The American Nightmare will do everything in his power to make the WWE Undisputed Championship the grandest prize in all of Combat Sports.  

Rhodes, sorry that you won’t be able to carry two belts around your waist.

But if it helps… the author of this article is a Cody Crybaby until the end. 

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