AEW News

Cody Rhodes Discusses The Infamous Dark Order ‘Phantom Punches’

Cody Rhodes

Cody Rhodes has discussed what he calls “a valley” in the progression of AEW when one of Dark Order’s creepers threw some phantom punches on Dynamite.

The first-ever TNT Champion spoke with Inside The Ropes’ very own Kenny McIntosh for issue 11 of Inside The Ropes Magazine, when he discussed the faux-pas, saying that was the moment he believes Tony Khan really took control of what was presented AEW’s flagship show week to week.

Rhodes explained:

I think a piece of information that’s kind of vital that people may not know—it doesn’t change it—but Dustin had got busted open by one of the members of the Dark Order, and it’s pretty likely that that member of the Dark Order was an extra local talent who was very terrified after doing it, and then I think proceeded to, quote, “take care of Dustin.” You know, he’s always bleeding and people are always worried about him. When it comes to TV wrestling, that’s unacceptable.

That was definitely a big faux pas on all our part, that stuff . . . you can’t fly. A lot of people when they wrestle me on Dynamite find out first-hand. I watched Peter Avalon’s eyes light up when he realised, “Oh, my God, this guy’s stiff, this guy is stiff.” It’s not even a matter of being stiff, it’s HD television. That’s how I was brought up in the business—it’s not ballet!

But yeah, I guess almost the positive was we had been on just up, up, up, up, going upwards, upwards, upwards, and that was a nice valley that we hit, a low, and Tony did take a more active interest. I don’t know if that was going to be the blasting point, he was already starting to slowly take . . . He did it right. He really let us open up and lead and in a way, now, he’s slowly took the reins over time after having watched different styles of wrestling, what he likes, the wrestlers he likes.

Cody Rhodes then discussed the influence the late Brodie Lee had over The Dark Order when he joined AEW in March 2020. As ‘The Exalted One’ Lee took charge of the group and changed their fortunes, so much so that Rhodes says he doesn’t even know if there would be a Dark Order today without Mr. Brodie Lee’s influence.

Yeah, but that was not a good segment. And it’s a credit to Brodie Lee that he came in and revived the Dark Order. I mean, really revived the Dark Order. I don’t know if I’d even be saying the words “Dark Order” today if it wasn’t for Brodie. And that was a ways after that, it was some time. But yeah, you can’t screw up on television. Especially, you can’t screw up on television if you’re such a brash company. I went out there and smashed the throne. Like, we’re telling you how great we are, how fresh we are, so we have to be that and that was a case where maybe the players involved weren’t ready, at the time.

Cody Rhodes recently took part in a media call ahead of AEW Homecoming where he discussed Bray Wyatt’s WWE release as well as his thought on a possible UK tour.

To read the full interview with Cody Rhodes then you can order issue 11 here or subscribe to get great wrestling interviews, features, and a whole lot more delivered to your door or available to download every single month.