In recent weeks, there have been stories indicating that the reigning TNT Champion has been working as a free agent for AEW. The second-generation star's contract reportedly expired at the end of 2021.
During the latest episode of Sportskeeda Wrestling's Smack Talk, Mantell claimed that AEW was using Rhodes' contract situation bring more attention to the product. Since the current TNT Champion is one of AEW's pioneers, chances of him leaving the promotion are slim.
"I think it's just something to get eyes and thoughts on AEW. I don't think that, I mean, he's one of the founders of AEW, just Tony Khan coming along and having the money, putting behind it. But I think they're just working it for what they can get out of it and it will turn into an angle too," said Mantell.
While Mantell believes that Rhodes is yet to put pen to paper, he thinks the 36-year-old has come to a verbal agreement with Tony Khan. However, that also means he is currently working without an official contract.
"I think he has a contract and it maybe just a verbal contract with Tony Khan right now, there may not be a signed one, so that does mean that he's working without a contract," added Dutch Mantell.
Check out the latest edition of Smack Talk below:
Cody Rhodes will face Sammy Guevara at Beach Break
At next week's AEW Beach Break, Cody Rhodes will face Sammy Guevara in a Ladder Match. It will be a bout to unify the TNT Championship, with Guevara currently in possession of the interim TNT Championship.
A few weeks ago, Cody Rhodes defeated The Spanish God to become a three-time TNT Champion. At Battle Of The Belts, the newly crowned champion was set to defend the title against Guevara in a rematch.
However, Cody was forced to withdraw from the match due to not being medically cleared. Instead, Guevara went on to face Dustin Rhodes for the interim title, one that he would later successfully defend against Daniel Garcia as well.