On June 17 at No Way Out, two Superstars will collide in the squared circle at vastly different points in their respective careers. One is reflective and transformed as he returns to his roots. The other will do anything in his relentless pursuit to carve out a lasting legacy and claim what he believes is rightfully his.
When Intercontinental Champion Christian defends his illustrious title against Cody Rhodes at No Way Out, only one Superstar can emerge as the victor. Only one can stand at the top of the WWE mountain. Only one can be champion. But will Rhodes topple the proud titleholder and begin his third reign? Or will Christian add another successful title defense to his already impressive resume?
Throughout a career full of incredible and improbable moments, Christian’s stunning return last month at WWE Over the Limit and his subsequent victory over then-titleholder Rhodes was one of his most exciting and inspirational victories. It wasn’t just because the perpetual underdog again defied the odds and rose to the challenge; it wasn’t just because he returned to the ring after missing most of 2012 with injury. It was because the WWE Universe saw that the Christian of old – the beloved, hilarious and estimable Captain Charisma – was back.
He confirmed as much on SmackDown on June 8, after his “Peep Show” special guest Rhodes reminded the WWE Universe that it was he who brought glory back to the title that was then “stolen” from him. Rhodes declared that Captain Charisma was experiencing a “midlife crisis” and accused him of pandering to the WWE Universe. That’s when Christian interrupted and took control of the situation. He explained that he came to a moment of clarity while reflecting on his best friend, WWE Hall of Famer Edge.
The night before WrestleMania XXVIII, Christian inducted The Rated-R Superstar into the Hall of Fame. During Edge’s speech, Christian had a realization that hit him like a ton of bricks: Competing in WWE is a privilege, a privilege that could be taken away at any moment. Christian declared that he didn’t want to be remembered as an “annoying, whining, sniveling” scoundrel, but as a proud, noble champion and a truly great Superstar. He wants to be – like his best friend – a WWE Hall of Famer.
Rhodes is also looking to reach those lofty heights, but the jealous former champion is hardnosed and merciless in his pursuit. He was able to successfully take back his title against Big Show at Extreme Rules. But can he do it again against an opponent as experienced, crafty and, now, positive-thinking as Christian?
What makes forecasting this match especially difficult is that both competitors can do it all. As two of WWE’s most well-rounded, athletic and versatile Superstars, Christian and Rhodes are each equally adept at high-flying moves and technical mat work. While their match at Over the Limit was exhilarating and their “Peep Show” exchange on SmackDown was riveting, their looming battle at No Way Out will take their rivalry – and possibly one of their careers – to another level.
Two of WWE’s best – Intercontinental Champion Christian and Cody Rhodes – lock horns with a renowned title on the line. No Way Out airs live on pay-per-view Sunday, June 17 from the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J., at 8 ET/5 PT.