SAN JOSE, Calif. – The Texas Bull Rope Match was made famous by WWE Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes, and for the first few minutes of his encounter with Randy Orton, “The American Dream” showed why. But in the end, The Great American Bash was a nightmare for Rhodes, as Randy Orton beat the legend at his own game in the first Texas Bull Rope Match in WWE since 2004’s Bash.

The rules of the match were simple. Both men were attached to opposite ends of a 14-foot bull rope, meaning neither man could escape very far away from his opponent. The first man to score a pinfall or submission would win, and the bull rope and cowbell attached to the rope were legal.

Before the bout, Orton looked leery of attaching himself to the end of the bull rope, and seemingly rightfully so; the match is a Rhodes specialty, and one that Orton has never been in. And in the opening minutes, “The American Dream” did what he does best, dishing out some Texas-style clubberin’ to his third-generation adversary.

Soon enough, however, Orton found a prescription for his fever: more cowbell. Orton seized and used the bull rope’s attached weapon to clobber Rhodes in his heavily taped knee, exploiting a possible weakness in the Hall of Famer.

Rhodes nearly made a comeback, even nailing Orton with his signature “Flip Flop ‘n Fly” elbow sequence, but it was once again the cowbell that was his undoing. With a mighty wallop, Orton brought the seven-pound bell crashing down across the Hall of Famer’s skull, and that was enough to gain him the winning pinfall.

But Orton wasn’t done once the bout was over. Prior to the match, the third-generation Superstar reminded our fans of how he “ended Shawn Michaels’ career,” and he tried to do the same to the “Dream.” Fortunately, Rhodes’ son Cody ran into the ring, throwing himself between his legendary father and Orton’s attempt at a vicious kick to the head.

Surprisingly, Orton showed some respect to his elder in an interview with immediately after the match.

“A year or so ago, I would’ve said I had no respect for Dusty Rhodes. But I can say now that I respect him, because he went out and faced Randy Orton. He proved to me that the old-timers…they got balls. But when it comes down to it, I’m younger, I’m better, and I did what I said I would do: beat another Legend and add another notch in my belt.”

But with that said, the third-generation Superstar also had a warning for the second generation of the Rhodes family.

Cody Rhodes…I have a father too, and I would’ve done the same thing if my father was getting beat on. But you’re new in this business; I have seven years and a long list of people I’ve dethroned and destroyed. You can’t compare yourself to anyone in this industry. I gave you a freebie tonight, but you get no more. Next time, there will be no mercy.”

Dusty Rhodes is one of the biggest legends in sports-entertainment history, and he gave it a valiant effort in his signature match against an opponent half his age. But at The Great American Bash, it was Randy Orton who knew the way to San Jose.

Check out Orton's Skull t-shirt...