Cody Rhodes has reflected on his emotional and bloody match back at Double Or Nothing 2019 and says despite critical acclaim it wasn’t his favourite bout in AEW.
Rhodes sent shockwaves throughout the wrestling industry when he, his wife Brandi, and AEW President Tony Khan simultaneously released statements confirming that the Rhodes were leaving AEW.
As well as appearing on-screen for the company, The American Nightmare held an Executive Vice President position with Brandi Rhodes acting as the company’s Chief Brand Officer.
Speaking exclusively with Inside The Ropes’ own Kenny McIntosh back in 2021, Cody Rhodes looked back to the beginning of his AEW career and his landmark debut match in the company where he faced his older brother, Dustin Rhodes. According to the three-time TNT Champion, he knew something special was happening in the arena that night:
“I knew when I was in the arena, and in the moment, that something very special was happening. Our generation really takes it for granted when we say, ‘We got them’ because, nine times out of ten, when we say it, we don’t got them.”
“That was one where I was like, ‘Oh, we really do.’ It’s so special that I share that connection with the audience, with my brother who, for the most part, all of the match, I kept thinking about, ‘He’s bleeding too much.’ And it wasn’t a matter of like, ‘Gosh, that’s cool. It’s wrestling, there’s blood.’ I was very concerned.”
“‘Well, we have X amount left, I don’t want him to pass out or be hurt,’ and a lot of what you see in the later part of the match is actually me coddling him via violence, which can only happen in wrestling.”
The match received critical acclaim, receiving five stars from the Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer. Despite that, and the reception from fans, Cody Rhodes revealed that the match is not his favourite that he has competed in during his time in AEW:
“Where it ranks for me, it probably will disappoint a lot of people. It’s probably the most important match in my AEW career, but it is not my favourite match that I’ve had with the company. Maybe that’s just because it was so real that it’s raw. It’s almost a beautiful thing, but it’s like you don’t want to revisit it. I’ve never watched it back.”
“I was speaking to a free agent this morning who was talking about that match being something that had made this person interested in us, and the power of the match isn’t lost on me. I know what it did for the company. I know what it did for me and Dustin, and for the fans, but I’d say top five, for me.”
As far as Rhodes’ favourite match then:
“I think my favourite match is Fyter Fest against Darby [Allin] for the very first time, because there was a lot that went into that match behind the scenes. There was a lot of faith placed in me to introduce him, and I love that people now today go back and talk about how they knew Darby, but they didn’t.”
“Darby had a wonderful run on the US independent scene, but that was his first main stage appearance and, looking at him now, I’m just so proud.”
“He has a real connection with younger members of the audience and I feel like, in a small way, I was part of that. So that’s something I’m very, very proud of. I wanted to debut somebody correctly because I’d seen so many debuts done poorly and that was just a big responsibility. So that’s probably my favourite one.”
With AEW now in his rearview mirror, reports are indicating that Cody Rhodes is in line for a huge return to WWE with the sports entertainment giant said to have major plans for him.
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