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Smackdown: Cody Rhodes gets to play with the big boys (and Rey Mysterio)

When Ted DiBiase Jr. and Cody Rhodes were first put together with Randy Orton to form Legacy, the popular opinion (and one that I shared) was that when it came time for the inevitable breakup of the group, DiBiase was going to become a superstar, while Rhodes was destined to be a solid mid-carder.

At this point, however, it is Rhodes who is higher on the card and is the more compelling character of the two.

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On Friday night's Smackdown, Rhodes appeared in three segments and wrestled in the main event, teaming with Jack Swagger against world champion Rey Mysterio and The Big Show.

I'm still not sure I like the "dashing" nickname, but Rhodes is playing the character well and he carries himself like a star in the ring. I loved the backstage segment in which he held up a comb like it was a microphone and interviewed himself in the bathroom mirror.

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In all fairness to Raw's DiBiase, it's definitely easier to move up the card on Smackdown, where you don't have to compete with the likes of John Cena, Randy Orton, Edge, Chris Jericho and others at the top, but Rhodes still deserves credit for making the most of his opportunity.

At least DiBiase does have one perk that Rhodes doesn't: he gets to work with Maryse.

Other thoughts on Friday's show:

Six of the eight slots have been filled for the Smackdown Money in the Bank ladder match at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view on July 18: Rhodes, The Big Show, Christian, Matt Hardy, Kane and Kofi Kingston. I have read where CM Punk and Drew McIntyre were originally supposed to be the other two participants, but Punk is out for four-to-eight weeks after undergoing surgery on his arm and McIntyre was written out of the story line because his work visa expired. Since McIntyre's issues have been resolved, I wouldn't be surprised if he still ended up in the match. Dolph Ziggler and MVP also are candidates. Unlike the Raw MITB match that is evenly divided (four babyfaces, four heels), the Smackdown match right now is babyface-heavy (although Kane hates everybody these days). …

"The Peep Show" segment with Christian and Hardy was strong. I liked the shoot aspect to the dialogue, as they both talked about being under-appreciated by WWE management and not being the "chosen ones." I've never really been impressed with Hardy's delivery on the mic but this was one of his better performances. …

I liked the angle with Serena being caught on video drinking alcohol in a bar and I'm interested to see where it leads, but I don't get why Kane would so easily accept that as proof that the Straight Edge Society had nothing to do with the attack on The Undertaker. …

The action was good in the main event, and the finish – Swagger again was disqualified for refusing to release the ankle lock, this time on Mysterio – solidified the idea that Swagger is a dangerous threat to the world title. …

The Kingston-Ziggler match was solid but I was shocked that Ziggler didn't win this non-title match with the Intercontinental champion to set up a title bout. One of these days Ziggler is going to be a champion. I'm really surprised that it hasn't happened yet. …

Vickie Guerrero wasn't very pleased with Ziggler losing, so that could be the end of them as a couple. I hope not. …

The Big Show said during his promo that no one wants Swagger to be world champion again. That's not true. Let's see, there's me, Jack Swagger's daddy, and, well, I'm sure a whole lot of other people. …

The Kelly Kelly-Michelle McCool match (won by KK) was entertaining for what it was, thanks in part to the stuff going on outside the ring with Tiffany and Layla. …

Before facing MVP, Chavo Guerrero said that after he wins the match, he deserves an Intercontinental title shot. MVP burst out laughing – as did I and probably everyone else in the "WWE Universe" who was watching. Of course MVP won clean in about two minutes. …

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Matt Striker's best line of the night occurred when he was discussing how good-looking Rhodes is: "He makes those 'Twilight' kids look like Sir Oliver Humperdink." I'm such a mark for Striker's references that only the old-school fans get. …

I got a kick out of the "This Week in WWE History" segment, which featured Lex Luger body-slamming then-WWF champion Yokozuna on the U.S.S. Intrepid on July 4, 1993. As the video package showed, Luger subsequently embarked on a cross-country bus tour known as "The Lex Express," as WWE attempted to turn Luger into a Hulk Hogan-like babyface leading up to his match against Yokozuna for the championship at SummerSlam. The voiceover during the piece said that Luger was successful against Yokozuna, and the video showed Luger celebrating in the ring and balloons falling from the ceiling. In reality, Luger only won that match by count-out, and he never did capture the title. The "Lex Express" was a colossal flop.

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