Hamish Woodward

The Cody Rhodes Problem; How to make him AEW Champion – Part 2

AEW, Cody Rhodes, Dustin Rhodes

If you haven’t already, click here to view PART 1 of this post


MJF has defeated Hangman Page, 6 months into his reigns as AEW Champion after defeating Kenny Omega at Double or nothing. MJF has turned the Dark Order against Hangman, and the Pinnacle begin their domination of AEW.

This time, we look at Cody. Beginning after his feud with QT Marshall and the Factory, which I mentioned in the previous post, Cody will look to move on from this bang average feud against the Agogo club and try again to fight for championship gold, although this time it will be one he has yet to win, or even challenge for I believe, the AEW World Tag team Championship.

PART 2 – Something, Something Cody Rhodes

The Factory have been defeated. Cody defeats QT in their rematch, and after an incredibly overbooked finish, Cody hits the Cross Rhodes and wins the feud. The Factory go off and do their own thing, and Comoroto and Agogo maybe team up and become part of the AEW tag team division. All is well in AEW, as Kenny Omega’s reign as the Collector of title belts is still ongoing, and Hangman Page is still in the honeymoon phase of his friendship with the Dark Order.

Cody will have some time off after his feud with QT. His wife Brandi is due to give birth soon, so if we say 2 months off for paternity seems fair, and gives him a bit of breathing room in which the fans can start to miss him. He’s been spinning his wheels a bit since his TNT Title feuds with Darby and Brodie Lee, so I think a small break would do him the world of good.

He’ll return 2 months later to help his brother, Dustin, who’s being attacked by some villainous group. The Elite, who feature the tag team champions ‘The Young Bucks’ would attack Dustin Rhodes after a match he had versus the AEW Champion Kenny Omega. A non title bout which Kenny would of course win, as he is also the World Champion in TNT and AAA in Mexico. Cody would come out to aid his brother, with the Gunn Club (Austin and Colt), who are part of his Nightmare Family collective, to brawl with the Elite and drive them off. This would be the catalyst to reunite Cody with his brother, who last held tag team gold in the WWE in 2014, as their alter egos Goldust and Stardust. The duo did team in AEW briefly and sporadically, with Dustin focussing more on his team with QT Marshall before the betrayal.

The Nightmare Family would then commence in a feud with the Elite, but more on the undercard – Cody will not be challenging Kenny Omega for his title. Cody Rhodes is a man of integrity, and will not back down from his self-appointed stipulation just because someone beat up his brother. He will, though, tag with his brother to rise through the tag team ranks, to challenge the Young Bucks for revenge. The Young Bucks at this point have gone full cocky heels, wearing their fake Dior and awful clothes and general smug demeanour which now that they’re bad guys makes sense.

Cody and Dustin will have matches against other top tag teams – Death Triangle (what a match that would be, especially if it was against Fenix and PAC), FTR of the Pinnacle and Best Friends just to mention a few. Matches on Dynamite and Dark would catapult the brothers up the ranking ladder. This can lead to an AEW Tag Team Title match at All Out, a rematch from Fight for the Fallen 2019, but under wildly different circumstances. Cody’s absence from the Elite has been a sore thumb this entire time, and pointing this out in this feud would be an interesting dynamic, Cody having to choose between his friends, who he set up this company for, and his brother.

The match will certainly be a classic, Dustin still being at his best into his 50s, and I’m torn on the result of this match. A win for the Young Bucks is logical, and I would want the Best Friends to win the title down the line and it would be ideal if they beat the Bucks for it, but for this story to work, It’s best that Cody and Dustin, or the Brotherhood as they have been known, win the belts from their former friends. It will surely be an emotional affair with lots of references to the pairs father, the American Dream Dusty Rhodes.

The pair had one of the best AEW matches of all time, when they faced off at the first AEW Double or Nothing. We know they can both pull out classic matches and I expect their title reign, albeit short, will produce some top matches. I’d have the pair hold the title for maybe a month, 6 weeks top. They will lose the tag team titles to FTR, the main tag team in the Pinnacle, who are one of the best tag teams in the world and former tag team champions. This would occur on AEW Dynamite, which would be a shock as title changes on television have been a rare commodity in AEW. The last time the tag team titles changed hands on television was when Hangman Page and Kenny Omega won the titles, in a match on the ‘Jericho Cruise’ against SCU.

This will leave the Brotherhood stuck between a rock and a hard place; they have FTR and the rest of the Pinnacle gunning for their tag titles, and also the Elite trying to lure back Cody and the Young Bucks trying to regain their titles. The summer/autumn will be filled with matches pitting the three factions (Elite, Pinnacle and Nightmare Family) against each other, with exciting match ups such as Cody vs MJF, Dustin vs Wardlow, FTR vs the Good Brothers, even Kenny Omega vs Cody Rhodes (somewhere around here is where Kenny will lose his AEW World Title to Hangman Page, in a culmination of a nearly 3 year long story stretching back to the first AEW event.

This 3 Way faction feud will come to a head at a AEW event in the Autumn/Winter. A three way elimination match, similar to the Stadium Stampede was. A pretaped, cinematic style match which can blow off a huge feud going on for months, with the Pinnacle taking down the Elite and Nightmare Family, with the final three fittingly being the three head honchos of the groups – Omega, Cody Rhodes and MJF, MJF getting the winning pinfalls.

This win will catapult MJF into the title picture, giving him the momentum to eventually challenge and defeat Hangman Page for the AEW World title.

Cody will be distraught. He will feel down with himself, not believe in himself as much. He will look at his new baby girl, and think how he let her down, and couldn’t achieve things he always dreamed of, what he watched his father achieve as a child.

He starts to distance himself. He is absent from his group and rejects the help of his brother. He is rarely seen on Dynamite and when he is it’s brief. He seems happy, he tries his best but you can see the hurt behind his eyes. Cody Rhodes is a broken man, no longer concerned about titles, victory or defeat, he no longer cares for wrestling, or his family, or his promotion. He is a broken, bitter man with no self belief.

Will he find his redemption?

Find out in Part 3!

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