Cody Rhodes has offered an update on his absence from AEW, confirming that he and wife Brandi are currently isolating with family who have tested positive for COVID-19.
On the January 7th episode of AEW Rampage, just 24-hours ahead of Battle of the Belts it was announced that Cody Rhodes had not been medically cleared to appear at the event. No further details were given, only that his planned TNT Championship match with Sammy Guevara was now off.
Posting on his Instagram stories, Cody Rhodes has now offered an update on his family’s situation. You can find the full statement below.
“I appreciate everybody reaching out. Brandi and I are in isolation with family that have unfortunately tested positive for COVID. It’s been a scary time dealing with such a strong virus and the complications that can come with it. We are doing all we can to nurse and protect the family during this time. I will remain in quarantine as long as needed. Every day is more encouraging. Thank you immensely for your support and respect of our privacy. Thank you to AEW for understanding and allowing me to be where I am needed today, and for still allowing the TNT Title to be represented. I look forward to being back soon. All the love in the world!”
With Cody out of action, his place will be taken by his brother Dustin Rhodes in AEW’s first-ever Interim TNT Championship match.
Dustin Rhodes has challenged for the title before, coming up short against the late Brodie Lee back in 2020.
AEW Battle of the Belts will be the first-ever AEW quarterly TNT special and will take place at Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte, NC. The name is a throwback to a show of the same name hosted by the NWA and the CWF (Championship Wrestling from Florida).
AEW made their debut on TBS on January 5th, with Dynamite moving from its traditional slot on TNT. As part of the deal, it was also announced that AEW would be running four ‘super-card specials’ each year.
At the time of writing, only two other matches have been announced for the show. The first bout will see Britt Baker defend her AEW Women’s World Championship against Riho, while Ricky Starks will meet Matt Sydal, with the FTW Title on the line.