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Why Cody Rhodes is one of the most important people in wrestling right now

Mike Chin
812   //    07 Jan 2019, 21:31 IST

Cody Rhodes is important as a wrestler, but even more so as a businessman.
Cody Rhodes is important as a wrestler, but even more so as a businessman.

When it comes to the most important figures in wrestling, we can oversimplify to two major categories—the on-air performers and the best business people. For the performers, main event level and high talent performers like John Cena, AJ Styles, and Daniel Bryan leap to mind for WWE. On the business end there are obvious picks like the McMahons and Triple H, but also individuals who wield significant influence despite not necessarily being household names, like Kevin Dunn.

On-air performers can include commentators, managers, authority figures, and referees, but discussions of the most important figures tend to ultimately boil down to the wrestlers themselves. From that perspective, Cody Rhodes is on the short list of the most important figures from outside WWE for his work with New Japan, Ring of Honor, and small promotions, besides what promises to be a plum spot with the new organization he has co-founded All Elite Wrestling.

It’s that founding role and position as presumably the new company’s top creative mind that positions Rhodes as one of the most important and most intriguing figures in wrestling from a business perspective. He’s poised to become the most prominent non-WWE business person since Jeff Jarrett in his heyday with Impact Wrestling. To Rhodes’s credit, he launches his project with significantly less baggage politically speaking in the wrestling world, and with no indication of the issues that plagued Jarrett.

Perhaps most importantly of all, Rhodes has a vision. He is one of the few talents to leave WWE and undeniably emerge the better for that choice as he has called his own shots and worked around the world. Moreover, in promoting All In, Rhodes demonstrated a keen insight into what hardcore fans want and had the buzz and business savvy to sell out a major arena before announcing a single match—not to mention that the show actually delivered with a show well received by just about everyone. As All Elite Wrestling prepares to roll out in full force, Rhodes stands out as one of the most important men in wrestling, whose importance may only grow in the months ahead.