Cody Rhodes has left AEW. After helping found the company in 2019 as executive vice president and regular on-air talent for the promotion, many fans assumed the beloved wrestler would remain loyal through thick and thin. And he did for a while, but a growing form of division between Rhodes, his partner Brandi and All Elite Wrestling founder Tony Khan led to their departure. To call it a shock would be an understatement.
All parties released detailed statements earlier this week confirming the rumors, making it clear that the split was amicable, and wish each other continued success. Who knows if any of this is the truth, but one thing is clear – Cody Rhodes leaving AEW is huge, and where he goes will be just as consequential. He could return to New Japan Pro Wrestling or become a regular on the independent circuit again, now with a much broader profile that will likely see him win titles and lead main events like never before.
But one rumor stands out above all else, and it’s a potential return to WWE, the same company Rhodes left so many years ago because he wasn’t treated with the respect he deserved. . He spent years wading through the midcard, rarely receiving a push as he was forced to saddle gimmicks that never effectively utilized his full potential. I can understand why he decided to leave and found AEW, a place where talent could be taken seriously and realize that being a professional wrestler doesn’t stop at WWE anymore. It’s far from an unbeatable high, and more like another place on a career filled with highlights.
I admit WWE has seen better days. The Attitude and Ruthless Aggression eras saw the growth of countless global megastars like Stone Cold, The Rock, John Cena, Batista, and many more. While recent times have allowed names like Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins to become legends in their own right, it would be foolish to compare it to a time when many wrestlers were household names that even your parents could freely refer to.
Now, the promotion relies on part-timers like Brock Lesnar while continually hitting on legends like The Undertaker and Bill Goldberg to sell network subscriptions and PPV tickets. It’s a clear lack of creativity and a sign of WWE’s failure to recognize and nurture new talent. Even fan favorites like AJ Styles, Sami Zayn and Shinsuke Nakamura are ruined due to poor booking and lack of care from management, leaving them to simmer in mediocrity when they could. much more. It sucks, and I’m surprised that Cody Rhodes is returning to an environment he’s sworn to leave behind.
That being said, it’s a very exciting proposition. I imagine Vince McMahon is acutely aware of the popularity of Cody Rhodes and the growing relevance of AEW. They’re a real contender now, and one of their founding fathers jumping into a rival promotion would draw all eyes on them. I have money on him for his debut before or at WrestleMania where he will become a real main event superstar, perhaps inserted into existing feuds or rivalries where he could even take advantage of life circumstances real to express warmth or sympathy in equal measure. I’d love to see him as a heel, but he could easily become a Babyface character given his popularity and natural ability to win over fans. It is a modern legend.
Cody Rhodes is likely aware that a return to AEW isn’t on the cards, and with the company attracting a growing level of big-name talent, he’s no longer needed as a figurehead to steer things in the right direction. Her baby has grown so it has naturally faded into the background as other stars emerge and take center stage. Coming back to WWE almost seems like a no-brainer when we look at it that way. He’s a man with a newly acquired level of circumstance and respect, now having the presence of a superstar who can host major PPVs and draw crowds from AEW, NJPW and even further afield.
Since the fall of WCW, the wrestling landscape has felt smaller and smaller with each passing year. NJPW continued to be a huge success in its home country, while smaller promotions like Impact Wrestling and Ring of Honor attracted a large amount of up-and-coming talent, none of whom could ever dream of hitting the big time. WWE. Then AEW came along and shattered the illusion that McMahon’s house was untouchable. That’s no longer the case, as a group of indie superstars got together and saw that they and this craft deserved so much better. Cody Rhodes was a fundamental part of this movement, so going back to the country that once almost forced him out will forever change the way we look at things.
His return to WWE could make wrestling as a whole more ambitious, blurring the lines between kayfabe and reality in a way only a few athletes have done in the past. This is CM Punk taking the title at Money in the Bank and leaving the corporate level of seriousness behind, and since I’m a fan, I can’t wait to see it unfold. Bring on WrestleMania, things got interesting.
Next: To Make A Good BioShock Movie, It Can’t Really Be BioShock
Gay couple Cam and Dom will always be in the peloton, despite Russia’s homophobic censorship laws.
About the Author