AEW: Why Cody Rhodes is the Most Intriguing Man in Wrestling

Cody Rhodes, AEW (Photo by Paras Griffin#SPORT/Getty Images)
Cody Rhodes, AEW (Photo by Paras Griffin#SPORT/Getty Images) /

Since AEW‘s inception nearly 3 years ago, Cody Rhodes has played a key role in the company as one of its original roster members. With all the recent talent acquisitions, it feels like many of the AEW originals have been forgotten about or decreased in importance on the roster. Despite this, Cody Rhodes has remained in a prominent position on AEW television, which can be attributed to his intrigue around his on-screen persona.

When AEW Dynamite began, Cody Rhodes was beloved by fans of the company. They knew him as one of the executive vice presidents of this new wrestling startup as well as a great pro wrestler based on his work in the WWE, Ring of Honor, and NJPW.

Cody excelled in the ring but especially on the microphone as his promos drew people into emotionally investing in him as a character in his chase for the AEW Championship. He feuded with Chris Jericho for the world title for the first few months of Dynamite before losing the belt and vowing to never challenge for it again.

Following that loss and a feud with MJF, the love for Cody Rhodes slowly started to fade as he began to leave and return from AEW on a regular basis. His interests outside of wrestling seemingly took priority as he became a host on Go Big Show on TBS as well as started a reality show about his life. Fans transitioned their support from him to new signings and emerging stars in AEW, leaving Cody Rhodes on the outside looking in as the company’s top babyface.

It seemed like AEW fans grew tired of their once beloved Cody Rhodes leaving and coming back to TV and inserting himself into storylines with people that many had no interest in seeing. The anti-Cody Rhodes sentiment in AEW continued to grow stronger throughout 2021 to the point where the fans completely turned on him and started to embrace him as a heel regularly.

Fast forward to today and one of the biggest ongoing storylines in AEW is the character of Cody Rhodes and the question that gets asked nearly every week: “when is he finally gonna turn heel?”. The reality is, Cody is already a heel on the fact that he is going against the fans’ desire for him “turning heel” to the point where if he ever actually does turn, they would start cheering him again. Cody has embraced the fans’ resentment of him and has made himself so compelling every time he is on TV now just to see how people will react to him and how he will react to the people.

The delusional character that still sees himself as a good guy repeatedly telling fans he will never turn heel has only made the resentment towards him grow stronger. In becoming a master of manipulating the audience, Cody Rhodes has risen back to the top of AEW in terms of interest and intrigue by fans because you never know what he will do or say on a weekly basis.

dark. Next. Serena Deeb is in the midst of a career-defining run

Nobody in AEW has had a character development over the three years of its existence quite like Cody Rhodes. A man who started as the company hero, propelling Dynamite into what it is today, has become one of the most hated in the eyes of fans for his actions since then. Regardless of fan sentiment, the intrigue behind Cody Rhodes is higher than it ever has been before as he continues to do things his way whether you like it or not.