At its core, regardless of whether you keep the E out of it or not, wrestling is a form of entertainment. Just like sports, just like movies, just like Broadway theatre, people watch because they want to enjoy themselves and maybe even laugh or cry a little. This weekend in Australia, Joey Ryan and Cody Rhodes took that entertainment quality up a notch when they engaged in quite the unique competition over New Japan Pro Wrestling‘s IWGP United States Championship.
Having been booked to appear at World Series Wrestling‘s “International Assault: The Elite Takeover” months ago, both Ryan and Rhodes were forced to pull out of their matches due to injuries. Joey Ryan tore his pectoral muscle and will require surgery, keeping him out of commission for some time. Cody Rhodes’ knee injury was less serious and while he’ll need surgery as well, he plans on competing at Ring of Honor‘s Final Battle and NJPW’s WrestleKingdom before having the procedure done in January.
So with both guys essentially on the shelf, what was WSW to do? This was going to be Cody Rhodes’ debut with the company and Joey Ryan was set to defend his tag team titles alongside Concrete Davidson as the Concrete Dongs.
As it would turn out, one of those problems would be solved by Flip Gordon, who stepped in for Ryan, only to lose the titles to the brand new Villain Enterprises team of Marty Scurll and Brody King. Both Cody Rhodes and Joey Ryan still made the trip to Australia however, taking part in meet-and-greets. But that wasn’t the extent of their performances as the two wrestlers engaged in three matches for the IWGP US title currently held by Rhodes. But they weren’t exactly wrestling matches. In fact, it was more akin to when Matt Hardy and MVP had their rivalry, competing in one-on-one, beer drinking, football throwing, arm wrestling, boxing, a pizza eating contest and seeing who could do the most push-ups.
Ryan and Rhodes met in the center of the WSW ring on three of the four show days, taking part in first, a staring contest, a thumb wrestling match and finally, a friendly game of Rochambeau, which they hilariously called “Dwayne, Paper, Scissors.”
The series, which Cody Rhodes won in a clean sweep, was everything you could have wished for and more from these two guys. Joey Ryan got to do his spots with the lollipop and dick-flipping a ref, Rhodes used the power of Brandi for a distraction, and most importantly, fans were into every second of it. That’s because they were there to have fun and got to see two guys who injury forced off the card, still in the ring, still putting on a show.
And at its heart, that’s the best part about wrestling.
Cody Rhodes defends the IWGP US Title vs. Joey Ryan in a Staring Contest at World Series Wrestling in Melbourne, Australia (FULL VIDEO): https://t.co/XjiWfNN24A
— Joey Ryan (@JoeyRyanOnline) November 24, 2018
Welp, I’m 0 for 2. Tonight at @WSWWrestlingAUS in Perth, @CodyRhodes beat me in a 2 out of 3 falls Dwayne, paper, scissors match to retain the IWGP US Title. There’s always tomorrow night in Sydney. pic.twitter.com/Jm1L9QWXQw
— Joey Ryan (@JoeyRyanOnline) November 25, 2018
— Joey Ryan (@JoeyRyanOnline) November 26, 2018