Cody Rhodes has opened up about leaving AEW, saying he didn’t want to be a “gatekeeper wrestler” and that leaving AEW for WWE was the best thing for the whole wrestling business.
After weeks of rumours and speculation following his shock departure from AEW – the company he helped found – at WrestleMania 38 Cody Rhodes was revealed to be Seth Rollins’ mystery opponent on ‘The Grandest Stage Of Them All’. Rhodes would go on to defeat Rollins in a barnstormer of a match that saw both men put it all on the line.
Rhodes said that, while in AEW, he had locked himself out of the main title picture because he didn’t want to be a “gatekeeper wrestler”.
“I locked myself out of that because I didn’t want to upset fans…and they still got p*ssed. F*ck, sorry. I locked myself out of the main title picture. I told myself, I didn’t want to be a gatekeeper wrestler. I didn’t want to be, ‘New debut, Cody program, new debut, Cody program.’ I didn’t want to be that.”
Cody Rhodes went on to speak about beginning to think about signing with WWE around the time of the Royal Rumble, and came to the conclusion that it was something that might be best for the whole business and would “free up real estate”.
Around that time, I thought, ‘What would it be? It would be different.’ It would probably be what’s best for the whole business to do this. I think it’s best for everything to do this and free up real estate. They hired 15 guys with what was available at the time, that’s good.”
Cody Rhodes also discussed when he first got the notion to return to WWE, saying he had one particular record he wanted to protect.
H/T to Fightful for the above transcription.