'Warehouse 13': WWE Star Cody Rhodes Eyes Joanne Kelly, Almost Wrestles Eddie McClintock

Today's cuppa: Irish breakfast tea

Here's the full text of my syndicated feature on this week's "Warehouse 13" (with Lycra, not Spandex) ...

Warehouse_13_Cody_Rhodes.jpgOn Oct. 1, "Friday Night Smackdown" sets up its pro-wrestling ring on Syfy, but before that, one of the WWE Superstar wrestlers takes an acting turn on Syfy's Tuesday hit "Warehouse 13."


In an episode airing Aug. 24, Cody Rhodes guest stars as Kurt Smoller, the former captain of the football team at Secret Service agent Myka Bering's (Joanne Kelly) high school. Little does he know that Myka has grown up to be half of a team - with fellow Secret Service agent Pete Lattimer (Eddie McClintock) - that chases down mysterious artifacts that have a strange and often dramatic effect on those around them.


"Kurt is the quintessential cool guy from high school, the jock," Rhodes says. "He is the quarterback of the high-school football team. He was in the eye of every girl.


"But it's cool, because it's not black and white. With Kurt Smoller, it's really more of an area of gray. It wasn't just, 'I'm the cool kid. I can't talk to the Myka Berings of the world,' because Myka Bering was his tutor in algebra.


"So he's not the sharpest tool in the shed, but I like that."


Myka runs into Kurt at her high-school reunion, and although she winds up under the influence of an artifact, sparks fly.


Kurt's a little surprised to see his old tutor, now all grown up.


"All grown up," Rhodes says, "meaning a complete bombshell in an unbelievable blue dress? Kurt Smoller's high-school experience isn't all that different from Cody Rhodes', even in the experience of seeing someone you thought was cool and a great conversationalist turn into such a total lovely package - I know the feeling.


"It came as a complete shock for him."


As for his own experience, Rhodes reveals that he used to enjoy talking to the girl who sat next to him in creative writing.


"Without realizing it," he says, "I always had a smile when I walked into the class. She was a year younger than me. I was a senior; she was a junior."


Then, says Rhodes, about six months ago he was at a gas station in his hometown of Marietta , Ga. , and there she was, on her way to see a theatrical performance.


"She was all done up in her absolute best attire," Rhodes says, "in a very beautiful black Warehouse13_EddieMcClintock_JoanneKelly.jpgdress. Honestly, I was taken aback and a little bit speechless. It was quite impressive."


Although Rhodes admits that he acted the perfect gentleman in Georgia , the same might not be able to be said on "Warehouse 13."


"At this high-school reunion," Rhodes says, "I don't know how to word this, but the prospects are pretty thin. Kurt was hanging out with his guy friends. Upon seeing Myka, he doesn't even realize it's Myka Bering and coordinates a very bad attempt at trying to get her attention. He finds out it's Myka Bering as the conversation ensues."


Fans of the show might wonder what Pete's reaction is to all this, since he's usually very protective of his partner. Well, that has a lot to do with the effect of the artifact, which is better revealed in the episode.


But, Rhodes did have something in common with McClintock other than a regard for Joanne Kelly.


"The actual Pete/Kurt interaction was fun to shoot," Rhodes says, "because both of us were amateur wrestlers. He was in the Midwest , where the competition was just phenomenal. He gave me a shirt from his old high-school team. I still wear that around."


As to whether he and McClintock reminisced about wearing their wrestling singlets, Rhodes says, "Somebody said something about, 'Isn't it weird that guys enjoy Spandex?' We were both quick to jump in and say, 'It's not Spandex; it's Lycra,' which is no different, and it makes it no better, but at least we said something."


But was there wrestling?


"It almost got to some wrestling," Rhodes says. "A door was slammed in Kurt Smoller's face, and had it not been slammed, we might actually have got a good old six-minute amateur wrestling match."


All that is left, then, is the question of a kiss (with Kelly, not McClintock).


"I wanted to have the utmost respect going into their world," Rhodes says, "and the potential that there might have been a kiss between myself and Joanne Kelly. I have all the respect in the world for her, because she handled me with kid gloves.


"I was very nervous, more nervous than I've been for something in a long time.


"The best way I can put it - she took charge. She took the reins. You know those episodes of television that are a little uncomfortable and a little awkward, but you can't turn away?


"There's a lot of that feeling."