Cody Rhodes should not go after AEW’s TNT Championship again.
Cody Rhodes made his return on Wednesday Nights during AEW Dynamite, and while that may help the company get an edge over the rating battle with WWE NXT, a TNT title opportunity for the American Nightmare may have the opposite effect.
Cody Rhodes was the inaugural TNT champion on 23rd of May this year at Double or Nothing. He did double duty as the TNT Champion and Executive Vice President of the company. It was his sheer talent to give people an opportunity that helped him and others rise to the occasion. He defended his title against Jungle Boy, Mark Quen, Rick Starks, Jake Hager and others during his time as the owner of the gold before losing it to The Dark Order leader Brodie Lee during 22nd August episode of AEW Dynamite.
In an attempt to validate his loss, he took a leave of absence from weekly programming but did return a month later to attack Brodie Lee’s faction. Cody’s return after 4 weeks may look like a quick return, but the fans are involved in the ongoing storyline as is evident from the ratings. AEW has been vocal about its impact in the age groups, and they wouldn’t want to lose the lead. The presentation has changed since The American Nightmare left a month ago. The fans love this new look which is why a close rating issue has changed, and AEW won by a long margin.
It is a given that this new persona of the former champion is in line with his upcoming character because The American Nightmare returned wearing all black (including his hair) and entered the ring. John Silver’s failed attempt to stop him allowed us to see Cody’s newfound aggression and style. This new look by Cody Rhodes may be a representation that he is ready to embrace his dark side because he returned in black attire, and we may get the first glance of it on this week’s episode of AEW Dynamite.
The fans were elated at his return but as he returned after the current TNT Champion Brodie Lee’s match with Orange Cassidy speculations are running high that he may be next in line to challenge the current champion. It does sound like a thrilling idea on paper, but given the current state of the promotion, it wouldn’t be ‘Best For Business.’
AEW came into being with the idea that everyone gets an opportunity and putting him right back into the title picture doesn’t help that. Cody didn’t receive his fair share of opportunities in WWE. The superstar proved his calibre outside of WWE, and it gave hopes and dreams to a lot of superstars that wanted to wrestle but without being in the time consuming, and rigorous schedule of the wrestling juggernaut. It is one of the reasons why Tony Schiavone and even Kenny Omega didn’t sign up with them after their contracts expired in a different promotion.
We have seen how Chris Jericho reinvented his character from the ‘List of Jericho’ to ‘Lexicon of Le Champion,’ and a lot of other superstars have seen great opportunity in the company. Miro is a talented superstar, as is Luke Harper and we can see how they flair in the ropes and on the mic, but they never got the opportunity under Vince’s direction because the brass ring was not accessible to all. If he invests himself in the title picture now, not only will he take away the opportunity from credible superstars but also make the storyline mundane.
It would be awesome if he takes on The Dark Order and fights the group before making his way back into the title picture. It would not only help others get an opportunity but also create a storyline that the fans will invest in before he becomes the top face of the company. Cody Rhodes debuted in a new avatar, and as stated in the article, it could be a new way to showcase a new dimension to his character, which will be a value add. If he puts himself in the title storyline, then it will take away opportunities from deserving superstars. It is the same mistake that WWE has made over and over, which is why the WWE Universe has shown disinterest in the product, which is evident in the ratings.
We have seen the bright side or the babyface aspect of Cody’s character, but it is about time that the fans witness the opposite because he can deliver, and that will be ‘Best For Business.’