Cody Rhodes nearly didn’t join AEW when it first began in 2018, the Young Bucks have revealed. The former AEW Tag Team Champions were two of the founding members of All Elite Wrestling, alongside fellow Bullet Club team mates Kenny Omega & Cody Rhodes.
Whilst the group seemed like a package deal, one of the group wasn’t sure if he would stick with his friends and move to AEW.
In their book “Killing the Business”, one of the best wrestling books currently available, Nick and Matt Jackson discuss the formation of AEW, and how Cody Rhodes was deciding between staying with Ring of Honor, helping form All Elite Wrestling or moving back to WWE, who he left in 2016.
In the end, Cody Rhodes and the Young Bucks all stuck together to help form AEW, but Cody Rhodes came very close to leaving his friends for his own self interest. The Young Bucks also mentioned how Cody was the one of the group that they were on a less friendly, more professional terms with.
Cody Rhodes leaving AEW
“Next was Cody Rhodes, who we’d recently bonded with working on the All In show. Between planning for the show and our future, we were all stressed-out messes.”
“Cody, whom I knew the least of everyone else in the group, shared that his ROH deal was also up around the same time as ours and agreed that whatever we did we’d be more powerful as a unit.”
He was a bit more sceptical than everyone else, seemingly changing his mind every day about what he was going to do next. One day he was staying with ROH, while the next he was considering a WWE return. Then, we’d get a message out of the blue saying he was coming with us no matter what.”
“This upcoming change was difficult to deal with for everyone. I’d seen the work Cody had done since his WWE departure, and I knew that whatever he touched turned to gold. He was a hype man, and one of the best promoters I’d ever worked with. He was the wildcard, the one missing piece to the puzzle.”
“Most fans expected we would be announcing we were signing with WWE. Others held on to hope of us running another show in the future. Whatever we were doing, we were “sticking together,” according to Cody’s post–All In speech. In mid-October, we were finally convinced Cody was coming with us, although he would flip-flop a few more times until finally telling Joe and Greg he, too, would be leaving“
Young Bucks joining WWE
The Young Bucks also revealed how they had many conversations with Triple H prior to helping to form AEW.
It is unknown exactly how much money Triple H offered the Young Bucks, but it was suspected to be in the millions of dollars per year for The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega (then IWGP Heavyweight Champion).
The Bucks were offered $500,000 “guaranteed” money by WWE to sign in 2018 in the first meeting, and were since offered “4 or 5” more contract by the company. It is expected that they were offered $1.5 million to $2 million per year by the company, which they turned down for Tony Khan and AEW instead.
Did Cody Rhodes and the Young Bucks make the right call in signing for AEW? Let us know in the comments or click below to keep reading.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.