Exclusive: Fuego Del Sol Comments On How Cody Rhodes’ Exit Affected AEW

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Cody Rhodes’ AEW exit had a significant impact on those stars left behind.

In February 2022, Cody Rhodes shocked the wrestling world when he announced that he had left AEW — the company he had helped to create. As well as being a regular presence on television, Rhodes had been an incredibly influential figure behind the scenes, working as Executive Vice President.

As AEW grew, Rhodes became something of a go-between for a number of young talents as they tried to get their ideas in front of Tony Khan. While Rhodes was also influential in the signing of a number of performers, such as Ricky Starks, Fuego Del Sol, and more.

After becoming a fan-favourite during the ‘pandemic era’ and beyond, Fuego Del Sol was signed to a full contract by AEW, but come 2023 found his opportunities on television limited. This eventually led the star to leave the company in June.

Speaking in an exclusive new interview with Nick Hausman for Inside The Ropes, Fuego Del Sol opened up about his time in AEW, and how Cody Rhodes’ departure affected his own run and the AEW locker room as a whole.

Fuego admitted that he struggled for opportunities after Rhodes left the company because the American Nightmare had been a strong advocate for him, and worked as a middleman between him and AEW management.

When asked whether others had suffered in a similar way, Fuego revealed that they did before breaking down how hard it can be for a talent lower down the card to get featured on Dynamite, Rampage, and now Collision.

“Absolutely. Absolutely. I think, I mean be dumb not to say that there’s a totem pole in AEW right? Like I say this all the time. You have to get Moxley on the show. You have to get the elite on the show, you have to get MJF on the show, you have to get Chris Jericho on the show.

Then you have a whole other set of champions that you have to get on the show. If those people aren’t feuding with each other, it’s hard for some of our champions to find TV time, because they have certain people at the top that people are tuning in to watch. They’re the stars. They’re the guys. So, you realise that and so you hope to sneak into there and at least get an opportunity to wrestle someone on the top of the totem pole to show that you have the talent.

You look at someone like Dante Martin. Dante Martin was a lower man on the card, The Elite needed a match one week, it was a six man tag, Dante gets in there, The Elite does everything in their power to make him look great. He shows out, he hits all his spots, and boom, now Tony Khan is like, ‘Hey, we got to use this guy more, we got to use him more.’

So taking advantage of the opportunities you have. But when you’re lower on that totem pole, you never know, when you’re gonna get that opportunity. It’s week to week guessing game, sitting by the board sitting by the card hoping to get called and like, ‘Hey man, am I gonna get the rest of one of these top guys on the totem pole? So I can get my opportunity to try to show out shine breakthrough?'”

What Is Cody Rhodes’ Relationship With The Young Bucks Really Like?

Since Cody Rhodes left AEW, much has been made of his relationship — or potentially lack of– with the Young Bucks and Kenny Omega. However, at the premiere of the new WWE documentary on his return to the company, the man himself shed some light on the situation.

Rhodes said in an interview that he and the Bucks are “bonded for life” and still speak fairly regularly despite being on opposite sides of wrestling’s great divide.

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