And as much as fans may not want to hear it, the answer is very simple, it was the right call and exactly what AEW should have done.
First, Cody Rhodes is an extremely talented, well-rounded performer that is worthy of holding any title. And at 36 years old he just so happens to be in the prime of his career.
And while Sammy Guevara is widely considered to be a big part of the future of the promotion, his run as TNT Champion wasn’t exactly lighting the wrestling world on fire.
In fact, has any TNT titleholder to date given us anything close to the title reign that Rhodes did in his initial run? The answer is an emphatic no.
Then you have the fact that over the past couple of months the AEW crowds have turned on Cody.
During the promotions first few months, Rhodes was always near the top of the list when it came to biggest pops when his music hit.
But at some point, the love affair between Cody and the fans started to wane, and over time the boos grew and grew in number, to the point where the boos simply overwhelm any scattered applause.
The goal of any wrestler, face or heel, is to elicit huge responses from the fans. And Cody is currently producing something around an 80/20 split in crowd reaction. That isn’t something that any pro wrestler wants.
So what is the one thing that would infuriate an AEW crowd that has mostly already had enough of Cody Rhodes to a near fever pitch? Putting the TNT Title back on Cody of course.
And once Cody is the most heavily booed man in AEW not named MJF, think about how over whatever young star that takes the TNT Title away from Cody will be. And as much as everyone loves Sammy Guevara, this is something that Sammy just wasn’t capable of doing.
AEW didn’t bury Sammy by having him lose the TNT Title. Losing to a star of Cody’s magnitude should never be looked at as a burial. Sammy is already over. By putting the TNT back on Cody it allows Cody to turn another up and comer into a star when the time is right.
As much as it may enrage fans that the TNT Title can’t seem to escape the shadow of Cody Rhodes there is a reason that Cody may be tied to this title for as long as he wrestles in AEW.
Cody Rhodes winning the TNT Title for the third time was the right call but a call that could have been avoided years ago.
Let’s go back to the Full Gear pay-per-view that took place on November 9th, 2019, when Cody Rhodes wrestled Chris Jericho for the AEW World Title.
Before the match, Cody vowed in an emotionally charged promo that if he did not successfully win the AEW World Title that night that he would never challenge for it again.
This was a huge misstep by the promotion’s booking in trying to add more drama to a match than was needed. The showdown between Rhodes and Jericho would have been memorable because of MJF’s heel turn that cost Cody the match with or without that unneeded stipulation.
But the stipulation was laid out, Cody lost the match, and now Cody is stuck in a limbo of his own making. Rhodes is a main event talent who has virtually taken himself out of the main event scene due to a stipulation that was never needed due to a poor booking decision.
And that decision has had far-reaching implications for the likes of Sammy Guevara, Jungle Boy, Ricky Starks, Powerhouse Hobbs, Scorpio Sky, Ethan Page, Dante Martin, Orange Cassidy, and countless others that would be in line for the huge bump that being the TNT Champion would provide them if Cody Rhodes was able to be where he belongs, in the AEW Title scene.
But as they say, it is what it is. And because of this, Cody Rhodes will be in the TNT Title scene and holding the TNT Title whenever it is deemed that the title needs to be elevated a bit.
And this relationship between Cody Rhodes and the TNT Title is something that fans of AEW better get used to for the foreseeable future.