Announcing as such on February 15, Cody Rhodes’ departure from All Elite Wrestling came as a huge shock. ‘The American Nightmare’ was a driving factor behind the organisation, both from a talent perspective and a management perspective. Without Rhodes leaving WWE when he did, there may have never been an AEW to begin with.
He resurfaced in the sports entertainment giant on night one of WrestleMania 38, defeating Seth ‘Freakin’ Rollins. A further two matches between the rivals encompassed WrestleMania Backlash and Hell in a Cell, the latter of which marked Rhodes’ most recent encounter before he took time off to nurse a torn pectoral tendon.
CM Punk Didn’t Make Cody Rhodes Leave AEW
Replying to a fan on Twitter, Cody Rhodes has explained that it wasn’t CM Punk that led to him departing the Tony Khan-helmed promotion, nor did it have anything to do with Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks, the other AEW EVPs. Instead, it was merely a personal decision to move on:
“I didn’t leave because of the Bucks/Kenny. I’m forever bonded to those men over what we created and I remain very proud of it, and I didn’t leave because of/or have issues with Punk. We got along. Not money, not booking, just a personal issue and my wanting to go for the big one.”
I didn’t leave because of the Bucks/Kenny. I’m forever bonded to those men over what we created and I remain very proud of it, and I didn’t leave because of/or have issues with Punk. We got along. Not money, not booking, just a personal issue and my wanting to go for the big one.
— Cody Rhodes (@CodyRhodes) October 29, 2022
CM Punk has notably taken issue with Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks, leading to the infamous incident from the AEW All Out media scrum. All involved were subsequently suspended. Omega and the Bucks appear to be nearing a return to AEW programming, whereas it’s expected Punk won’t be coming back at all.
Currently out injured, Cody Rhodes is said to be ahead of his recovery schedule, though there’s still no timeline for his return to WWE. A Royal Rumble comeback appears to be the current favourite location amongst fans.