For AEW fans, I’m going to guess that very few (if any of us) miss Cody and Brandi Rhodes in the slightest.
For a majority of the Cody Rhodes run in AEW, I had the general feeling of ”I wish that this was better”. A lot of his promos were odd and confusing. His matches were decent at times and puzzling at other times. Don’t even get me started about Brandi because her value to AEW was so minimal that I can’t even quantify it honestly.
WWE hater to WWE Star
Everyone remembers back when Cody took a sledgehammer and “destroyed a throne” at the AEW Double or Nothing PPV three years ago. At that time, the All Elite Wrestling fans were behind him. The specifically anti-WWE faction of that fan base were salivating about his public shot at Triple H. He also had a really good singles match with his brother Dustin that night. Things seemed like they were going well for Cody Rhodes in AEW.
Fast forward three years. Cody and Brandi are both gone from AEW. Cody is having big matches in the WWE and being featured as a main event player. He went from being an EVP in AEW with his wife riding his coat tails all the way, to being at the top of the card for the biggest wrestling promotion in the world. I still don’t understand exactly how that happened or even how he pulled it all off.
I don’t watch WWE programming at all besides an occasional highlight. Still, it’s easy to see things on social media or hear podcast content about Cody’s initial success with his return to the WWE. It’s fascinating, especially given that he was basically floundering in AEW for the last year or so. Is this stark contrast in how he was used there versus his newfound success in WWE because of Tony Khan’s poor booking? It’s hard to not draw that conclusion or assign at least partial blame to Tony.
AEW EVP Group
It’s impossible to know all the ins and outs of the EVP situation with AEW. Kenny Omega, the Young Bucks and Cody Rhodes were the original team. Obviously, they all had influence over the presentation of the AEW product and sway over decisions that Tony Khan ultimately made. There were rumors that Cody was kind of the odd man out in this group. It seemed like there was a correlation between that strained EVP relationship and Cody’s AEW on-screen role.
It’s curious also because Cody had been featured on other Turner Network programming. He had his own documentary-style “Rhodes to the Top” show too. On the surface he seemed like a performer that was somewhat of a crossover celebrity. He was someone that Tony Khan and the Turner Networks believed in. Then, in a short amount of time, it all kind of deteriorated and Cody was gone.
Will someone replace Cody as a new EVP? My guess is not for a while. There are rumors of additional AEW programming on one of the Turner channels that might replace the ”Rhodes to the Top” stuff. Does anyone even want to be an EVP after how things turned out with Cody? We shall see.
Who Likes Brandi Rhodes?
Is there anyone out there that is actually a fan of Brandi Rhodes? I ask because I’ve literally never seen someone admit this or talk about it. I’m sure someone online will say that they are a Brandi Rhodes fan. However, that’s a near equivalent to the amount of Panda Bears that exist in the world. You rarely would ever seen one in person but there are some left out there somewhere.
Will she show up in WWE? My gut says that the chances of Brandi being allowed back on WWE TV are slim to none. The people in charge know that she brings nothing to the table and Cody is doing just fine without her by his side as a character. Cody also doesn’t need his dog featured on WWE programming either. Whereas AEW seemingly let Cody do whatever he wanted to do until near the end of his tenure.
AEW is Fine Without Cody
AEW hasn’t missed Cody much at all either. Some of it might have been the fit or the overall direction that things were going in. As soon as big names like CM Punk and Bryan Danielson came in, Cody kind of faded into the background. He seemed preoccupied with TV show appearances outside of AEW. His passion for pro wrestling also was questionable at the time. He looked like his body was in pain.
And yet, when he finally cut the cord with Tony Khan, he magically seemed improved physically. He was suddenly ready to win the WWE Championship for his Dad or whatever. I wouldn’t have predicted this kind of instant success for Cody once he jumped ship. It seems like more of a “feather in the cap” type of thing for Vince McMahon to sign one of the former AEW EVP’s and give him a big push.
CM Punk becoming AEW World Champion was a better direction for the company to go in. Much better than anything that Cody Rhodes could have done in a similar position. Punk unfortunately being injured was not predictable but it was still the right move at the time. Cody wasn’t connecting with the live audiences as much. In fact, he was getting treated as a heel and receiving boos.
If Cody would have stayed, his only real option to regain some momentum was to turn completely heel and he refused to do that apparently. He even mentioned in promos that he would not turn heel which was very odd. Whatever the case may be, good luck to Cody and congratulations on making so much money for yourself and your family.
As always, feel free to chat about AEW or the WWE in our General Discussion here.