This isn’t the first time that we have heard the name Shaq in the pro-wrestling world. Shaq has shown up a few times on WWE over the years. Now it seems Shaq is interested in getting involved again, this time in AEW.
It recently sent shockwaves through All Elite Wrestling when Jade Cargill debuted on Dynamite teasing the arrival of NBA Legend and Hall of Famer, Shaq. Jade interrupted Cody Rhodes promo after losing his TNT Championship calling him out for “lying to the AEW fans.” Jade threatened Cody better watch what Cody says before he wakes the sleeping giant. That sleeping giant just happening to be Shaq.
Now that Cody Rhodes is no longer the TNT Champion, he is free to new feuds and possibilities coming off a fantastic year. Could one of those possibly rivals be Shaquille O’Neal? It’s almost surreal to even consider this as an option. Although, if that is the route AEW is going, Cody Rhodes is no stranger to fighting giants during his career. Back in the WWE, Cody had a lengthy feud with The Big Show over the Intercontinental Championship.
Cody showed that he was clever enough to take down a giant against The Big Show and showed his heart and determination to beat a giant against Lance Archer. If Cody wants to lay claim to the “Giant Slayer” nickname, he has a rightful claim to the name. However, Shaq is a giant like Cody has never fought before. Jade has the right to call Shaq the true giant as Shaq stands taller than anybody Cody’s ever faced.
Cody has shown himself to be one of the best in the business today. Since being granted his release from the WWE in 2016, Cody has shined. In the past four years, Cody has proven himself as a great wrestler and a worthy champion winning the likes of the IWGP United States Championship, NWA World Championship, and most recently the TNT Championship. Shaq maybe like no other that has crossed in Cody’s path, but so is Cody Rhodes in Shaq’s path.
Cody did his duty as the TNT Champion, giving the championship notability as the inaugural champion. Now that the TNT Championship is in the worthy and safe hands of Darby Allin, Cody should not get another shot for it. This is time for Cody to truly be able to shine in All Elite Wrestling. He has been shown as the wholesome/fan’s own leader of the company since the start. Is it time for Cody to change things up a bit?
While his former Bullet Club brethren Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks threaten to join the dark side, Cody needs to shine as bright as his bleach blonde hair. With Brandi by his side to counter Jade Cargill, this odd sounding feud maybe money to see unfold. The crucial part is to allow this story to tell itself and not force it on the AEW fans. It has been mentioned that Brandi and Jade’s altercation on AEW felt forced and used too much “code-switching.”
This can be easily fixed by allowing the members of this feud to allow it to naturally flow. It is easy to try and overdo things when it comes to a major star like Shaquille O’Neal. Although, if the AEW tries to raise the bar to keep up with Shaq, they are going to come up short in the end. The best way to treat this story is with a calm demeanor and let it tell itself. AEW struck gold when it comes to pure raw emotion during Eddie Kingston and Jon Moxley’s recent feud.
Raw emotion, like ruthless aggression, is what this industry needs the most. This business needs to feel alive once again with a gritty feud that walks the line between real and scripted. This feud has the opportunity to shock everyone if it is pulled off correctly. Where it would be easiest to create a huge scripted storyline, this is where Cody and Shaq need to call their shots as they go along. Create the end goal and allow the story to take them there and not vice-versa.
If Shaq is on his way to All Elite Wrestling, they can’t allow this opportunity to be a waste of time. This is a major chance for AEW to show how they are different from the competition. Makes this feud feel as real and personal as possible. It doesn’t matter if Shaq is in talks to have a match with Cody or have somebody take off his business, Shaq is a big name that will bring in eyes from all around to this company. Take this opportunity and cash in on it big time.