Cody and Dustin Rhodes didn't happen for the first time at AEW's Double or Nothing, but the first match between them was much less memorable. It happened in WWE and not at WrestleMania, but rather at a forgettable Fastlane pay-per-view.
Rhodes talked about his brother vs. brother match being shot down by WWE a number of times when he joined the Talk is Jericho podcast.
"Well, 2012 I think it was the first time I pitched it. I had the shoulder surgeries and I was the producer at this point and backstage and in the meetings and I pitched it in the meeting and Vince McMahon kind of scoffed at it and you go on and pitch it the next year and the next," said Rhodes. "There is a big age difference between Cody Rhodes and myself; there is 17 years so there's not a lot that him and I have in common. I was there for him in his wrestling high school days and he was growing up a little bit. I always look at it like this: when he was a baby, I put him on my shoulder when mom was busy in the kitchen to burp him. That split second I was his protector so I always felt like I am his big brother; I want to protect him, but Cody looked at me a little bit differently."
Dustin also admitted there were times when he would lose his temper in a tag match with Cody and scream at him afterwards.
"I apologize for that but once I talked to Cody about this WrestleMania match that we wanted to be done on a big stage because we really believed in it and we kept getting told no. We kept getting told no and that the match wasn't big enough," revealed Rhodes. "I kept getting that told to me more than I want to hear. I think it is wrong. I think definitely you can go on that big show; especially when you look at the seven hours show that they put on and that I watched this year. I was part of it the year before that it is like, why not? Why couldn't we be in here? There's no reason why when you get behind a story and just push it a little bit the interest would be there. I think that over the years the more we were told no year after year and when it finally came to head when the people that were ready for it.
"So, for our first match we weren't given a WrestleMania match we were given a match at WWE Fastlane, a first year pay per view and it was horrible. Neither one of us liked it but it was my fault because I chose a certain direction to go into that match and we went into that direction and it just did not click. It wasn't special. I think we were both upset because it wasn't WrestleMania, we were stuck on Fastlane, which sucked, and we weren't anywhere close to the main event. There was no story behind it, it was like, put them out there, have brother versus brother and see where it lays and it was horrible.
"So, years go by and you tell the story in this interview with me at the ranch and you tell Cody's interview and in eight minutes of promo built this whole story for us, which was amazing. People were ready for it. As I said, the stars aligned; people were into every single thing and it couldn't have been more perfect."
Dusty Rhodes was working in a backstage role for WWE when his sons squared off in that Fastlane match in 2013. Dustin was asked what his father thought about his sons facing off in a match.
"I heard a lot from a few in the back that they didn't like it, that it will never work. I'm thinking to myself that I have seen Owen Hart versus Bret Hart. I have watched The Hardy Boyz and I have seen that it can work if you put a little behind it and some substance and then it can organically grow because it is a brother versus brother. It is blood versus blood; it does attract a lot of arenas," stated Rhodes.
"Dad never really said anything. He wasn't against it. He wasn't necessarily for it. He was more reserved in his thoughts of this match and was behind whatever his sons wanted to do. I appreciate that but I heard it from so many of my peers that I learned from saying that it is not any good and that it won't work, which is so frustrating to hear that over and over. I think we proved everybody wrong. It worked. I will say this right now; I will never face my brother again, ever. I cannot top [Double or Nothing]. That is tops for me. I would never want to step in the ring against him ever again."
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Talk is Jericho with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.