New details are being revealed about Cody Rhodes’ AEW departure.
Rhodes, a former AEW Executive Vice President who helped launch the company, left the company earlier this year as it was revealed on February 15 that he and wife Brandi Rhodes left the promotion due to being unable to come to terms on a new contract. Rhodes then made a big return to WWE at WrestleMania 38, defeating Seth Rollins in his first match for the promotion since May 2016.
In an update, a new report from Fightful Select notes that Warner Bros. Discovery officials made several attempts to try and get Rhodes to stay with AEW.
Rhodes had developed a good rapport with several in WarnerMedia at the time due to his work with AEW, the Rhodes To The Top reality show, and the Go Big Show.
Rhodes’ WWE contract reportedly wasn’t official until a few weeks before WrestleMania 38, even though WWE officials considered it to be a foregone conclusion. As a result, there were inquiries made within the network to gauge Rhodes’ interest in staying at AEW, following the Warner Bros. Discovery merger, and those inquiries were completely separate of AEW.
The people who reached out to Rhodes included Sam Linskey, the Associate General Manager and Senior Vice President of Scripted Original Programming for TNT, TBS and TruTV.
It was also said that due to Rhodes’ connections across multiple WB shows, he and Brandi were also contacted to possibly participate in the Upfronts back in mid-May. There’s no word on if this was tied to AEW, the other shows, or a combination, but Rhodes was already with WWE by the time the Upfronts were held on May 18.
It was noted that there was no ill will between either side, and Rhodes told those who asked that it was “time to leave the territory,” in reference to AEW.
WBD officials said they would have loved it if Rhodes stayed with AEW, but it was not a deal-breaker for their relationship with AEW. It was also noted that WBD officials have been happy with AEW as of late, particularly with their ratings in September.
Rhodes has been on the shelf since suffering a torn right pectoral tendon while training for his win over Rollins at WWE Hell In a Cell on June 5. It was reported that Rhodes would likely be out of action for around 9 months, which could put him back in the storylines around the time of WrestleMania 39 Season in early 2023.
Stay tuned to WrestlingHeadlines.com for more.