Cody Rhodes once again successfully defended the AEW TNT Championship Wednesday against Scorpio Sky. This story is getting old.
The AEW TNT Championship’s value has gone through the roof, not because of Cody, but the story surrounding it. People are now tuning in to see who beats Cody. After winning the title in May with a victory over Lance Archer, Cody has defended the title against Jungle Boy, Marq Quen, Ricky Starks, Jake Hager, Sonny Kiss, Eddie Kingston, and Warhorse. All of these wrestlers are very, very talented in their own right and could have easily been a great TNT Champion.
Nonetheless, Cody still reigns. There are several reasons one could speculate as to why he is still TNT Champion. It could be this is a great way to give some of the more popular Indie stars an opportunity to maybe get an AEW deal. Maybe Cody is treating this like a tryout. Another reason could be Cody might feel the TNT Championship needs so much push that when he’s finally beat, that person is going to be so over with the belt the story writes itself when it comes to storylines.
It could also be because Cody cannot compete for the AEW World Heavyweight Championship, the AEW TNT Championship has become his pseudo AEW World Heavyweight Championship. I’m inclined to believe the latter. The TNT Championship, like the AEW World Heavyweight Championship, needed a face that people knew. He is the rock, and the TNT Championship is Excalibur (Not the commentator, but you get it…). It’s about having the right person pull the sword from the stone and reign, so to speak.
But he’s run out of viable options. Enter Brodie Lee, leader of The Dark Order.
The Villains do win sometimes
The AEW Championship started off in the hands of a Heel: Chris Jericho. The story was set for a strong babyface to take the title, which ended up being Jon Moxley. In the story Cody is telling, the hero is unstoppable yet is being haunted by a great evil. Lee, representing that haunting deep state of fear in the world of AEW needs to certify himself as the ultimate evil. A Cody loss on Aug. 22 will certify Lee as a legitimate heel and, as in the words of Undertaker, “…an interesting dragon to chase.” A Lee win next weekend not only saves the legitimacy of the TNT Championship, but keeps Cody away from being accused of holding the title because he’s an AEW Exec. In addition, dropping the belt helps him avoid that “go away heat”.
Is Cody winning getting boring? Yes. Does Brodie Lee winning makes sense? Yes. Does a Cody win bury the TNT Championship? Yes. It would take months to reset the story surrounding that title to make it relevant again. I doubt if AEW fans would want to wait. Cody, it’s time to drop the belt.