Cody Rhodes’ Top Five Moments in All Elite Wrestling

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

The wrestling world was buzzing Tuesday when it came across social media that Cody Rhodes would not be returning to All Elite Wrestling.

The reactions ranged across the entire spectrum of human emotion.  Many were heartbroken, some found it comical, and yet others refused to believe it, claiming it was nothing but a work by AEW.

However, both AEW and Cody Rhodes both issued statements about Rhodes’ departure from the company and it is looking more and more like one of the founders of All Elite Wrestling is indeed moving on.

Where Cody Rhodes ends up and what he does next is an answer we will find out for certain over the next few weeks.  And wherever that journey leads him, we should all wish him the best.

When AEW was established it was billed as an alternative.  A place where wrestlers that were unhappy could go to work and love their jobs again.

And it has been successful in that regard.  However, not every talent desires the same thing.  And on Tuesday, Cody Rhodes announced to the world that AEW was no longer satisfying his wants and he had deemed that it was time to move on.

And there is nothing wrong with that.

The beautiful thing about today’s pro wrestling landscape is that there are options.  And Cody is well within his rights to exercise that option and make whatever decision he sees fit to make himself and his family happy.

But we would be kidding ourselves if we didn’t admit that Cody Rhodes’ has done some of his best work over the past three years and has created a legacy in early AEW lore.

Cody has contributed so much behind the scenes but it is his work in the ring that will be remembered most by the majority of wrestling fans.

Let’s take a look at Cody Rhodes’ top five in-ring moments at AEW.

5) Taking ten lashings from MJF

This was a brutal segment in what was one of the best feuds from a storytelling perspective in the company’s short history.

The MJF versus Cody story had so many layers and was so well constructed, with both men playing their parts to perfection.  Rhodes was the top babyface in the company and MJF was quickly on his way to being Rhodes’ equal as a heel.

This was some of Cody’s best work in AEW.  From his fiery promos to putting his body through more than what was needed just to add one more layer to a story, this was vintage Cody Rhodes.

It was a segment that showed what Rhodes was willing to go through to right a wrong and really started to launch the early version of MJF to the one we see now.

4) First ever AEW cage match with Wardlow

Even after taking the ten lashes from MJF, Cody still had one task to accomplish before he would get his match with Friedman, and that was he had to defeat Wardlow in AEW’s first-ever steel cage match.

The match itself was an above-average steel cage match.  Blood was spilled and Cody looked like he had bitten off more than he could chew with the upstart Wardlow.

But what made this match so special were two things.

One, the moonsault that Cody did off the top of the cage to finish off Wardlow and score the pinfall was absolutely breathtaking.

Second, it was the final step that Rhodes had to take to get his hands on MJF and cap off what had been the best storytelling in the promotion up to that point.  And to put the exclamation point on this match with a high-risk move like that etches this match forever in the Cody Rhodes highlight reel.

3) Ladder match with Sammy Guevara for the TNT Title

Maybe this one has sentimental value because it is looking like this may be the last Cody Rhodes match in AEW, but the ladder match Cody had with Sammy Guevara was special.

And it was special for more reasons than it possibly being Cody’s last time in an AEW ring.

Ladder matches have been done to death.  It is hard to find things that you have not seen in matches of this type, yet Rhodes and Guevara had a number of spots that were unique.

It was also special because the first-ever match on AEW Dynamite featured Cody and Sammy Guevara, which Cody would go on to win.  So for Cody to most likely finish his time in AEW by putting over Sammy in such spectacular fashion earns this match a place on the list.

2) Feud with Brodie Lee

To get the full range of Cody’s brilliance in this feud you really need to include both his TNT Title matches with the late Brodie Lee.

The first match was a squash match in Brodie Lee’s favor as Cody was heading off of television for a while to film the Go Big Show.

A champion dropping a title to a challenger on his way off of television isn’t anything new.  But the way Rhodes put Brodie Lee over in a squash match was something we don’t normally see.

Rhodes showed his humility in putting over a deserving talent in the biggest way possible, losing the very definition of a squash match to the leader of the Dark Order.

Fast forward to their rematch in what would be Brodie Lee’s final match before his untimely passing, and the two men put on a highly entertaining match in what was some of Brodie Lee’s best work of his career.

And a part of the success that Brodie was able to attain in AEW should be directly contributed to Cody Rhodes.

1) Brother vs Brother match versus Dustin Rhodes

If there was ever a match in which a wrestler displayed a full gamut of emotions, this was it.  The Rhodes brothers would go to war in a match in which blood, sweat, and tears were all spilled.

The psychology of the two brothers doing battle and telling a story with their fists and throwing everything they had at each other was a thing of beauty.

And the aftermath of Cody telling Dustin that he needed him and their epic hug after was some of the most gripping stuff we had seen in a while.

This match would set the standard for the in-ring product and storytelling for AEW moving forward.

Next. Cody Rhodes to WWE would shake the professional wrestling landscape. dark

And that impact is more than enough to make it the most memorable Cody Rhodes moment in All Elite Wrestling.