Cody Rhodes is currently one of the biggest stars in the pro-wrestling industry. However, according to Chris Jericho, The American Nightmare was largely forgotten before AEW.
Fans were initially introduced to Rhodes in WWE, where he went from being in the Legacy stable to becoming Stardust. After his release, the second-generation star went to the Indies and made his way through NJPW and ROH, before starting up AEW alongside Tony Khan.
During his appearance on AEW Unrestricted, Chris Jericho claimed that Cody Rhodes was not a household name before starting up the promotion with Tony Khan and The Elite.
“Keep in mind, no-one really knew Cody at that point. He’d been gone for years; the last time we’d seen him, he was Stardust when he left [WWE.] And as much buzz as Kenny [Omega], and Matt and Nick Jackson had, they were still mostly just regional guys. They were worldwide stars, but when it comes to national TV in the States, they didn’t have any experience with that."
Jericho continued, pointing out that he was the bridge that shot the AEW EVPs.
"If I’m the bridge to get here, check me out, and then look at all these other guys that we have. Would the company have happened if I wasn’t there? Probably. But I don’t think it would have grown as quickly as it did, or maybe gotten off to such a huge start.” (H/T: InsideTheRopes)
According to a recent report, there was never a plan for Cody Rhodes to dethrone Roman Reigns under Vince McMahon. Could the star have made a mistake in jumping over to WWE?
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Konnan and Disco Inferno believe that Cody Rhodes' AEW departure has affected the promotion
Despite being an integral part of the formation of AEW, Rhodes shockingly parted ways with Tony Khan and quickly made his return to WWE at WrestleMania 38. The American Nightmare had a brief run with the promotion before unfortunately sustaining a pectoral injury that has put him out for months.
“He was a guy there that kind of knew how things work, and losing him it’s like you kind of lost a voice in the room of how things work. I definitely think it hurt them," Disco Inferno said. (02:07 onward).
Konnan then chimed in, reminding Disco that the backstage consensus on Cody Rhodes was not always positive.
“I think he pushed people he didn’t hold them back, but there were a lot of guys that commented to me that they felt he was very disingenuous," Konnan said. (2:38 onward).
Could Cody Rhodes still make his way back to AEW and pick up where he left off? Or will he wait out an eventual WWE Championship reign instead?