Cody Rhodes continues to toy with the emotions of wrestling fans around the world.
Cody Rhodes definitely took something out of Eric Bischoff’s playbook in his current gimmick today. Controversy creates cash in every sense of the word, and that’s not merely an alliterative quote. Cody is embracing every bit of that quote each and every week on AEW Dynamite and Rampage.
It can be argued that Cody has been over-pushed and overexposed. However, he is actually hogging and harming the mid-card division, where he does not belong because he is not allowed to get another world title shot and thereby barred himself from the main event scene.
It is understandable that Cody barred himself from the main event scene to hinder abuse of power. However, instead of hindering it, the abuse of power has now been transferred to the mid-card division, where rising stars need to be made and elevated. Even though he wins consistently, Cody gets title shots for the TNT Title by simply asking Tony Khan for it, as he did in his title match demand to Sammy Guevara. Fans are rightfully upset about this and want Cody to turn heel as a result of this abuse of power.
However, that would be too easy. Cody clearly has the fans in the palm of his hands. This isn’t go-away heat. This isn’t heel heat. This is not a John Cena or Roman Reigns situation, in which WWE booked them as babyface regardless of their polarizing fan reactions. This is an unprecedented Cody Rhodes situation, in which AEW is booking Cody as a babyface who acts oblivious to the fans’ reactions but is actually cognizant of what the fans want. Should Cody take the easy way out and turn heel or should he challenge himself by remaining babyface?
Instead of organically taking the shortcut and turning heel like any other superstar, the following will expound on why Cody should challenge himself by remaining babyface, which will make fans weep in the short term but lead to him winning them back in the long term.
The AEW fanbase really wants Cody Rhodes to turn heel. Here’s why Cody should remain babyface to make the fans weep now but win them back later.
Cody Rhodes would be an amazing heel because he knows how to work the crowd quite proficiently. However, he does not necessarily need a heel turn because he is already the American Nightmare. The American Nightmare is not supposed to listen to the crowd and allow them to dictate his character development. The American Nightmare is supposed to freely dictate his own character development and only care about his own success. However, when man concerns himself with only his success, the result is corruption.
Indeed, the abuse of power is what fans worry about when it comes to Cody Rhodes. He can use his preferential treatment to lead him towards a plethora of title opportunities and TV time. Our Raphael Garcia expounded on this quite effectively. However, Cody can find a way to achieve a booking equilibrium if he uses his abuse of power for the greater good in the long term, rather than for his own selfish ways in the short term. All he has to do is nix the stipulation regarding him never getting a world title shot.
Cody Rhodes has already been built as a main event player and does not need to hog the mid-card division anymore. He is a big shark swimming in a small pond and needs to get rid of the dam that is hindering his transition into the ocean. His recent TNT title victory severely hurt the momentum of Sammy Guevara, one of the pillars of AEW. The same cannot be done to superstars like Darby Allin, MJF, and Jungle Boy. Cody will make the fans weep in his third TNT title run but he will win the fans back once he transitions to the main event scene, where he performs best.
Consequently, Cody Rhodes should challenge himself by remaining babyface, making fans weep in the short term, and win them back in the long term.