Cody Rhodes has been ranked the third best wrestler of 2020 in the first-ever ITR 50 as announced in the latest issue of Inside The Ropes Magazine.
Rhodes, quite frankly, has had a stacked year despite only competing for one promotion: AEW. The leader of the Nightmare Family renewed his feud with former friend MJF to start off the year, delivering some memorable moments like the 10 lashings segment. Cody would defeat MJF’s bodyguard Wardlow in a superb Steel Cage match that established the bigger man as a star in only his debut match before falling to MJF at Revolution after being hit with an illegal punch aided by Friedman’s Dynamite Diamond Ring.
‘The American Nightmare’ would then become the first-ever AEW TNT Champion, competing in a tournament to crown the title’s inaugural champion. Rhodes would first defeat old rivals Shawn Spears and Darby Allin in the first and second rounds before overcoming the odds to hand Lance Archer his very loss in the promotion and capture the belt. Cody would be a fighting champion, defending against various upstarts such as Jungle Boy, Eddie Kingston and Warhorse before ceding the belt in quite possibly the most shocking match of the year.
‘The Exalted One’ Brodie Lee utterly demolished Cody and became the second-ever TNT Champion in just over three minutes.
Rhodes would return five weeks later with jet black hair and an equally dark new side to himself, allowing for a fairer contest against the Dark Order leader where he’d ultimately regain the title in an unexpectedly brilliant Dog Collar match. The TNT champion would barely scrape by two challenges from Orange Cassidy before once again losing the title, this time to the outlandish Darby Allin. Cody wouldn’t have a chance at a rematch, however, before Team Taz set their sights on himself, Darby and the newly-debuting Sting to close out the year.
Inside The Ropes Magazine writer Liam Wyatt outlined Cody’s consistently high quality as a performer alongside a wide variance of storylines to justify his #3 spot:
“From his blood feud with MJF to his workrate-based TNT Title open challenge, Cody has covered all the bases during Dynamite’s inaugural year. No wrestler on the planet has matched his output in terms of variety & quality in 2020.”
Issue 4 of Inside The Ropes Magazine, which features the ITR 50 in full, is available for both digital and physical purchase online worldwide as well as in the United States, Canada, Australia and Ireland through select retailers.