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  1. #1

    Barney and Ben Getting It Done In 500 Words (More or Less Anyway)

    Barney and Ben Getting It Done In 500 Words (Less or More Anyway)

    A collaboration with former COTM winner, Barney.


    Some male fans will tell you “All In” means being seven inches deep; some will tell you nine. There are the delusional tellers that say ten to twelve. They inflate. Truth? It means seeing Dusty’s kid challenge for 10 lbs. of gold. I’m erected to a stellar fifteen inches at the thought. How light 10 pounds must feel over the shoulder of these weight lifters! Yet, what a dead-lift the burden to be NWA champ must be on the spirit!

    And Cody carries the blessing of being Dusty’s son on his left shoulder and the burden on his right.

    In Cody's father's day, the traveling champion kept the town entertained for an hour, as the local sweetheart sweated in his sleeper, never dropping his arm a 3rd time.

    ***Dusty drops the arm once. Harley’s mindful of his own expression while he applies the hold. He’s grimacing at the camera. He’s taking a hard shit, while Dusty seems out. The referee’s slow at grabbing the arm and lifting it up. Then, Dusty drops his arm again. He’s dreaming. Harley’s grinding his teeth. The referee lifts Dusty’s hand a third time and that flabb stays up. The old days!

    Yet the old days are gone. We’re going to a place Dusty wanted to go with the NWA, Chicago. Cody’s challenging for the 10 lbs. and a burden as heavy as his father’s ass and spirit. Spirit ass sweat is baptizing Cody. When he looks up to heaven and sees the old man, what will he pray?

    Even Saint Peter would step aside (much like Dustin in this legacy piece) to let Cody walk that aisle into heaven the day after All In. Cody’ll look at Dusty. Dusty’ll look at Cody. Cody will raise the 10 lbs. of gold, declaring, “Look Dad, I made it! And without makeup!”

    But, yeah, I hear you: the old days are gone. But too, another saying: everything that’s old becomes new again.

    Can you imagine if Dusty couldn’t die? Can you imagine if the rule was, until you find a way to make yourself new again, you will keep aging. But, the day you make yourself new, you become young and relevant again?

    You can bet the Headlock Ranch Dusty woulda become new again.

    Well, there is *one* older than Dusty, still living, who can become new again, can become young again. That *one* has too long been on shoulders that don’t deserve it, around waists that cannot hold it up. That *one* is that 10 lbs. of gold--the NWA championship.

    The NWA title needs someone worthy of holding it up. The NWA title needs someone who will carry it, like a champ, around the world and back to Twitter again.

    The NWA title needs the legacy son of Dusty Rhodes, Cody.

    My buddy, the Mystic, has been sitting on a Cody Rhodes/CF Underworld series for about six months. He is now in the summer before he writes his dissertation and goes on the job market. He is in the summer where he will discover if all the works pays off, if he will become somebody in the world he set out to explore, or if all the excitement and hype will be for nothing.

    And my buddy, Mystic, knows one thing that Cody had better know: if you want the taste of heaven in your mouth, it starts with licking the fire-burnt flames of hell.

    Folks like us, tongues fire-burnt from sports entertainment hell, need to see someone who is All In.

    Folks who grew up on pro wrestling, but can’t quite get back to childhood, need to see someone who’s All In.

    Folks who need this know that Cody Rhodes holds the key to the door that unlocks a felt sense some of us haven’t felt in twenty years.

    But the key hasn’t been placed, the lock hasn’t been broken, and the door is not open.

    But with the flames of hell ever at our backs, old school wrestling fans are All In to see the swinging open of that door.

    Ten thousand of us, at least.
    Last edited by Benjamin Button; 05-19-2018 at 01:38 PM.

  2. #2
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    May 2018
    Loved this column, your first paragraph has to be one of the most titilating I've read in any article on any site.

    More seriously I love how simply you have laid out how perfect it would be for Cody to take the NWA Title. I actually cannot think of a better person to hold the title in all of wrestling given who Cody is and his own history in the medium.

    Will it spur something greater in independent wrestling? Who knows? Indy wrestling is certainly having a moment in the sun right now and is probably more popular now than it has been at any point since ECW folded. Hell, even in Australia our indy scene is making more waves into the media than it ever has before.

    I just hope there is a way i can watch it on TV.

  3. #3
    Senior Member 205 Clive's Avatar
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    May 2018
    I have to say in all of this; poor Nick Aldis. I mean, credit to him (and all currently involves in NWA's resurgence), but I really think it makes a lot of sense for Cody to win the NWA Worlds Title. And not just because his dad is synonymous with it.

    Although I don't religiously watch NJPW, ROH, et al, I've got a crystal clear image in my head of what Cody is.

    Imagine there is an elite (no pun intended) underground. A seedy underbelly of USA that is gaining traction and notoriety. His reach is far and wide, and all consuming. And with this visual, I imagine if USA had a monarchy, the ruler of which is Cody. One that grabs the reigns of authority to become the King. Well for me Cody comes across as the pseudo King of America.

    I'm getting my metaphors all mixed up here, but Cody is arguably the King of the independent scene. Or King of the Territories. Once upon a time, the 10lbs of Gold was the king of the territories. So because of that, and because the NWA is attempting to revive itself, it makes perfect sense for Cody to dust off that particular throne.

    Good collaborative piece, guys.

  4. #4
    LOP's part time glass ceiling DynamiteBillington's Avatar
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    May 2018
    Would love to see the NWA revive itself and give us a genuine alternative to WWE. IMO, one of the worst things TNA did was separate itself from the title which had such prestige - although I suspect they would still have screwed it up eventually!

    Cody could be a great NWA champ, but he can't do it all alone. There has to be a supporting cast, and if the likes of ROH & NJPW come together to provide that supporting cast, maybe it could happen.

    FACT or FICTION: The Future of Smackdown
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  5. #5
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    Loved this, dudes. The issues with the NWA title have been felt for so long now, pretty much since TNA dropped out of using it it's been (feels like it has been, whatever) in the doldrums. The last time I remember it being really hot was the Seven Levels of Hate stuff between Cabana and Pearce - of course, NWA themselves screwed themselves a bit on that by not letting the final match of the series be for the championship - but since then it's struggled a bit for relevancy, I feel. I mean, Rob Conway held it for 500 days, I guess it's always going to struggle under that burden.

    Maybe Cody, granted a bit of artistic license as well, is a good choice for champion. He'll at least get some high calibre opponents, so that should help him.

  6. #6
    The Brain
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    May 2018
    Barney, climbing up out of the 12 graves!! Not a speck of dirt on his suit, I'd wager.

    This is a hell of a combination, and a hell of a punch packed into a short piece. It's strange, the match itself has already become an afterthought before it happened. All people are thinking about is Cody as the NWA Championship, which is absolutely what should happen here. People have mentioned TNA but the title bore it's share of indignities in that place as well. The last time the NWA title meant something to me is when Barry Windham was blazing a trail through 1993 with it. But 25 years later (my god), we are on the verge of something again, if we're lucky.

    Or rather, we're on the verge of people finally knowing something that has been true for a long time.

  7. #7
    Beautiful Fandom Mystic's Avatar
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    May 2018
    I want to say a thank you to everyone who read and fed. Big props to the Seven Levels mention. Folks will see when the belt last meant something to me in the next piece.

    So suit up, my friends.

    The next piece is on its way soon enough.

  8. #8
    Nick Aldis...

    Before we wrote columns my brother and I delivered papers...We was just kids. Ah, the memories.

    I walked the weight of the Wilson Daily Times and its smell of rubber bands and print down the meat section of Food Lion when the bushy, dirty mouthed beard of the manager said, “Get that goddamn shit outta here! They aint fuckin’ sellin! I told them motherfuckers I don’t want that goddamn, motherfucking shit anymore!”

    Calm in adversity from the kinda class act that curses out the paperboy, I replied, “well, the rack is in the back of the store behind the meat. Maybe, you could try moving the rack to the front of the store where people will see it.” He did. The next day the papers sold out.

    Now, when I write in the third person I can make you the face on the cover of today’s news. I can give you the handsome face of Cody Rhodes and the bleach blonde hair. But I'm in a shit mood, so you're Nick Aldis, the face on yesterday’s paper in the back of the store.You’re the face nobody’s buying, the one hardly visible but when seen gets picked up, gets to hear them say “hmm”, and gets set back on the rack. You’re arguing with authority figures, staying void of personality, and doing that played out stuff champions on the front of newspapers on racks in the back of Food Lion do. Hence, you’re the champion of every promotion nobody ever watched.

    The rack in the back of the store, huh?

    I think I see what we’re doing here.

    Focusing on the back, like the Nick Aldis NWA? In the back of the pack when it comes to Indy promotions? Or like the NWA itself, not relevant for decades now but somehow still lingering in the back of the minds of wrestling fans who saw the glory days?

    What about when Christian Cage was NWA champion? What about when he faced Monty Brown? What about the energy between them and a double desire so great that I thought whoever lost the match would lose face?

    Maybe that was the paperboy trying to take the rack to the front of the store, only to see management walk it back to the back.

    But I’m off topic now.

    Let me backtrack.

    A little visual rhetoric from the “All the Way In NWA 10 lbs of Gold 22” video. Notice how Cody is forefront in the video image. Notice how he’s forefront in the wrestling world right now. That comes with problems later, of course, such as jealousy and backlash.

    And even though Nick Aldis is at the front of the video, notice how he’s at the back of the car. Is he packing? Unpacking? Coming or going?

    I’m not sure.

    I know what his words say. They say, “I don’t want any of this forward momentum. I don’t want any of Cody Rhodes.”

    But we don’t get that admission until the back of the video. There Aldis claims to want the front page, but his very words put him on the backburner, where the heat never goes over low-to-medium warm. He stumbles on his words, back peddles, trying to find a way to halt the Cody surge, a backstop.

    Perhaps he should look for a way to escape his destiny in the pro wrestling backlog.

    In that backlog, I think there might be a way, though it’d be full of irony and a real throwback.

    Here is the only hope I can fathom for the NWA champion.

    He needs to play back time and a look straight into the face of Mr. Rhodes.

    Not Cody,


    I hope here you’re not taken aback.

    But the only way I see Aldis surviving as NWA champion has nothing to do with the front.

    It has to do with the back.

    Nick Aldis should fall back,

    Back on his knees,

    To call upon the powers of being a heel NWA champion,

    And pray from the very start

    for a Dusty finish.
    Last edited by Benjamin Button; 05-27-2018 at 02:37 PM.

  9. #9
    Beautiful Fandom Mystic's Avatar
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    May 2018
    We will have to do another soon, as it seems these two men have struck a deal in London. I'm not mad that this awesome story is playing out as fast as the columns.

  10. #10
    The Brain
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    And we've a long way yet to go before September! Very excited to see what happens.

    Oh, Aldis. I never liked him much in TNA, and now is no exception. Being the guy Cody won the NWA title from is probably the best thing he can hope for at this point. It'll get him another footnote in the history books, if nothing else. The back of the store is where he belongs, and champion of every promotion nobody is watching is a hell of an indictment but it feels right nonetheless.

  11. #11
    The Challenge…

    Which matters more respect or the show of it? Take former NWA champion Harley Race. He’d probably button up a shirt short sleeve, collared shirt and show a man a proper challenge. But he’d be showing. Then, he’d turn around and put a bounty on the man’s head. Cody didn’t show Aldis respect when he did the “All in” press conference. I’m not sure the champ even knew about the match before Cody announced it!

    Even if one has bounced all over a girl in bed, already --ya know her face forward, tapping the headboard-- he can, after that, show respect to her dad and ask permission to take her out on a date. Now, when a suit and tie wearing Nick confronted Cody at the Ring of Honor, he looked more like a husband meeting the boyfriend his wife’s been fuckin’ but kept his composure. Nick held it together and took control. Well, anyway, he didn’t show up drunk and throwing cowboy boots on the table, for he suited up like a champion, understanding that he’d fuck her too if he was the boyfriend. He operated under the assumption everybody in that press conference and all ten thousand of us who got tickets for the show knew we sinned. He “showed” Cody some mercy, but in the end he became the dealer, the man of the house. Let me get in the third person and tell you,”not too shabby, Mr. Aldis.” You set the rules. You demanded it be Title for Title. Yeah, you're gonna fuck his wife worse!

    In the end though, aren’t a you desperate man, Aldis? You’re not Race defending against Dusty; you’re Race defending against Flair. Cody’s smile means your end. What’s behind the curtain of your play of respect?

    Goddamnit, Ben. There is nothing I can say to top Cody as the boyfriend fuckin’ the champ’s wife. Aldis would stay with her, too, the now twice-fucked wife, and, each time he taps out on her, no doubt in under a minute, he’d make her say how much better he is than the lover she chose while married to him.

    Isn’t that really what Aldis is doing?

    “Lie to me,” he says, while trying to sound persuasive. “Tell me I matter. That I got a say in this.”

    In a casino, the guy on the floor with the crooked cards is still making money for the owner of the casino. And yet. Aldis almost convinced me, for a moment brief, that being the dealer in Cody’s “All In” casino gave him power to stand next to the owner of the show.

    Props to Nick. He looked commendable in the promo in London. I’m not sure how many NWA champions strove for commendable, but it felt like a win for NA.

    He demanded Cody bring something to the table. He would accept the challenge for “All In,” so long as Cody becomes the ROH champ.

    Again. You nailed it, Ben. Just as, it seems, Cody nailed the wife of NA?

    Nick would also make this poor wife tweet about how good he is. That would show the wife and her preferred lover. “See,” he’d say. “You all know he fucked my wife, but she posted a picture of us holding hands.”

    Oh, Nick.

    Don’t you get it?

    You held out on Cody, huh?

    And yet.

    Your punishment of Cody is that he go out and become ROH champ again.

    Dastardly, you are.

    Your punishment of Cody is that “All In”--his show--become more prestigious with two belts on the line.

    You drive a hard bargain, sir.

    Yes, Nicholas, you are the dealer

    But Cody owns the casino.

    You hustle the floor

    But the revenue runs upstream.

    Don’t me wrong, Nicky.

    Just because you didn’t make history doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of it. But your slyness--this new claim to fame--is that people might catch a glimpse of you in someone else’s shadow.

    “Look,” you say. “I’m the wrong man at the right time.

    See me,

    See me,

    See me!”

    Well, we do see you, buddy.

    Ten thousand of us will see you.

    And get this:

    Cody could lose the match and still win the show.

    You, however, have just made the pressure point boil hotter. There is more on the line now. And if you don’t win the match, if you don’t win the NWA and ROH titles, you win nothing.

    Already your back was against the wall. Maybe now you just made the wall knee-high and you are about to trip, quite publicly, over your own devices.
    Last edited by Benjamin Button; 05-29-2018 at 02:08 PM.

  12. #12
    The Brain
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    May 2018
    I wanted badly to watch that video, but watching another Magnus promo... I think my life may be too short for such things. What a spot on metaphor you've spun for the situation though. Aldis is attempting to show ownership of something he no longer has. He'll scratch and claw for relevance, but the truth is he's lucky Cody and the title didn't simply elope into the night without even consulting him.

  13. #13
    Beautiful Fandom Mystic's Avatar
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    May 2018
    The funniest part being that we did the 3rd edition in order to PRAISE Aldis (yes, that was us praising him). He wasn't awful, the fans were responsive, and, for a brief moment, I thought he had some control. But in the time it took to watch the promo and transition to writing the article, reality reared its head again.

    The pacing, the heat, the interest, it's there.

    A better man might make things better


    at the end of the day

    it's not about NA anyway,

    at all.

    I love the idea of the title eloping with Cody. It should burn the hand of NA everytime he tries to hold it.
    Last edited by Mystic; 05-30-2018 at 02:48 PM.

  14. #14
    Ya know the title fight is so well thing I hated about mania this past yr was the laziness in setting up the title fights...just ppl coming out and pointing at the sign...really liked the press conference and follow up challenge and like Barney said, Nick did ok.

  15. #15
    The Brain
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    May 2018
    Oh yeah, Aldis or not the whole set up trumps anything I've seen recently in the 'E. Doing "ok" is such a low bar to jump over, but Aldis isn't much of a jumper I guess.

    I love the idea of the title eloping with Cody. It should burn the hand of NA everytime he tries to hold it.
    The idea of the NWA title as the one ring, trying to get back to it's master now that he has risen again, has now occurred to me and I can't shake it. That title doesn't WANT to stay with Aldis, you can tell. (Sorry for the Tolkien reference Mystic, I know you're not a fan!).

  16. #16
    Beautiful Fandom Mystic's Avatar
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    May 2018
    Two of the students I mentored last year are massive LotR fans, so I watched the series with them. I enjoyed many aspects of it. (Sam should be relationship goals for all human beings.)

    I love this reverse narrative of the title being in pursuit. Does it know Cody is Cody? That he isn't Dusty? Is it drawn to what it knows not fully? Did it go underground all these years because it was waiting for this moment?

  17. #17
    The Brain
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    May 2018
    I love Sam, easily one of the best characters in the bunch!

    I think whether the title knows it's Cody or thinks it's Dusty, she won't be disappointed when she gets there.

  18. #18
    Do I shit in the woods? BEAR's Avatar
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    Barney, my old friend, my old partner. Its great to see you back.

    Nick Aldis by the way, is my absolute guilty pleasure, probably because I met him before he was a wrestler, when he was on a reboot of the TV show Gladiators as Oblivion, with my pal Barri (Mason Ryan) - plus, I bet you knew by mentioning a Brit youd get my attention

  19. #19
    People either love me, hate me, or they don't care CanadianCrippler's Avatar
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    Tavistock, Ontario
    Im actually really glad I decided to give this a read. For some reason the idea of 500 words felt very short and didn't appeal to me but after reading the opening sentence, you had my undivided attention to the end. I'm happy to see some contextual fan thoughts on Cody challenging for his father's former Championship. This is some remarkable work guys, I appreciate the awesome column.

    I've watched post WWE interviews of Cody recently and this came as no surprise in hindsight. He grew up idolizing the winged eagle WWF Championship and originally dreamed of winning that Championship particularly because his father didn't have it, but in some interview for a Toronto show called AMBY, he claims by the time he wanted out of his contract, he realized his dream was gone because that Championship had been replaced but his father's NWA Championship remajned intact. That tattoo on his chest he said symbolizes that he didn't give up on his dream, re reevaluated his life's goal and realized he would be more honored to compete and hold the NWA World Championship over any other title.

  20. #20
    Bear, that's what the gays call a hairy treasure. Seen it in a documentary! Man, love seeing you around. Takes me back to my youth of 2010. You are like a treasure chest emitting hair! I was impressed with Magnus some in that promo

    Canadian Crippler, I'm stoked you're down with this....As a former NWA champion once said, "It's only just begun, Wooo!"

    We're 500 words a little more or less, but what's it take a wrestler more to finish a man than one fuckin' heart punch. Less is more. That was a powerful 3 word sentence!

    Never heard that story of Cody tattooing his chest. Didn't know he really wanted that title so badly. A title design does accumalate meaning. I think the belt keeping that old design may be a reason it's lasted through all it's been through.
    Last edited by Benjamin Button; 06-02-2018 at 11:43 AM.

  21. #21
    Beautiful Fandom Mystic's Avatar
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    Bear, the barnacle understands your diffuculty with a friend like Nick. You want him to do well, but he never quite gets there. I once had a friend in NY. No matter how many times I told him, he never once suited up! Right? Why do we try?

    CC - hell of a story about Cody. He is taking advantage of lore, of symbolism, of history, but he is also his own man in his own era. The NWA title has lacked that COMBINATION for a long time.

    Ben - have you watched 1408?

  22. #22
    Yeah loved that movie. Why?

  23. #23
    Beautiful Fandom Mystic's Avatar
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    The song that keeps playing in that room: "We've only just begun.

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