The most recent episode of The Wrestling Inc. Daily podcast featured AEW EVP Cody Rhodes’ media call ahead of Full Gear. One of the biggest news stories involving Rhodes was him securing the trademark for his ring name “Cody Rhodes”. While he does have the trademark, he said on the media call that he will not be using it in pro wrestling.
“When I get the opportunity with the live crowd, to send them home, I always assume it’s confidential, which is the silliest thing ever when you’re talking to a live crowd with cameras everywhere. I’m very happy about being ‘Cody Rhodes’ again,” Rhodes expressed. “The details of it all aren’t important other than it was a very positive, no hard feelings on either side type scenario. I will say though it’s not something I probably will use in the wrestling space.
“I’ve gotten very used to ‘The American Nightmare Cody’. I like how Justin Roberts says it. I just like it. I’ve liked it for some time. Where I’m most excited about ‘Cody Rhodes’ being available again is when he comes to third-party ventures and things like ‘Go-Big Show’ that I just took part in, the show that I was part of coming to TBS and other projects like that only because in our wrestling bubble that we’re all in, we’re all a family, all of us. Everyone kind of knows the saga of Cody Rhodes.
“When you dip your toes into different waters and other worlds, they may not understand, and they don’t need that pre-existing equity or baggage. So it’ll be nice to finally tell them what they can credit on the screen and where the SAG credits can go and things of that nature. It was a very special day. I’m happy it worked out, and I’m very thankful for everybody who was involved.”
Rhodes also discussed his Full Gear match against Darby Allin for the TNT Championship. Rhodes praised Allin for the hard work he has put in that has made him a leader by example. He also discussed the stylistic match-up between himself and Allin.
“I had a conversation with Jim Ross yesterday about Darby,” Rhodes revealed. “Who is Darby going to be in the future for AEW? Where does he play and how it’s a tough draw for him to be in there with me when I’m still on the climb up on this roller coaster. This run I’ve gone on is genuinely unexpected, and I can’t apologize for my own hard work. I’m very excited about it. It’s what I’ve dreamed of my whole life, but this is a very different Darby. This is Darby who now has experience with Jon Moxley. This is a Darby who is not bewildered by the big lights of this anymore.
“Darby is one of the most dedicated wrestlers at AEW. He doesn’t party. He doesn’t politic. He consistently thinks of his own brand and how his brand can lean in to the AEW brand. He is a loner, but I don’t think he realizes he’s also a leader because of how he leads by example. When this match was brought up to me, it’s already a vastly different match because I’m dealing with a different Darby, and you’re dealing with a different me. I gained 14 real pounds during my hiatus, and I’m continuing the bulking cycle through Full Gear all the way to Revolution.
“So Darby’s now in there with a full-fledged heavyweight, and Darby, the longer this goes, the more in his favor this match will be because he’s got the lighter body weight, the lighter body fat composition, but I think you’re hot dog is not going to get cold for this match. Darby has not been able to beat me on three occasions. I don’t think this will be any different. I don’t mean to undersell my own match. I’m not looking past Darby, but I think there were other challengers that could have stepped up, and if Darby is the one, if he’s not going to bend the knee again, I’ll stand corrected on that. I’m very proud of Darby. I said on air last night, I solely recruited him when no one else wanted him. So I’m glad to have him in this match. I’m not looking past him at all.”
Rhodes was asked about the future of the TNT Championship going forward. However, Rhodes went on a small tangent discussing AEW World Champion Jon Moxley being ranked number one on the PWI 500. He admitted that he was mad that he was not ranked number one revealing he had a big presentation planned if he was number one.
“We really have to deliver on Saturday in terms of the TNT Title because again, it goes back to the piece of cake example, 20 years, people have been precondition that other singles titles are somehow less than another title,” Rhodes pointed out. “We don’t have any positioning of our titles other than what the fans dictate. Now, we can do our best to present you Jon Moxley as the world champion, the best wrestler in the world [and] PWI’s number one, which I was genuinely super pissed about.
“I thought this year was my year. I don’t want to get on a tangent, but I had this big plan to do a centerfold deal where it reveals, and they do pyro. I was ready, and PWI keeps that list so close to the chest, but if you ever meet a wrestler who tells you they don’t care about the PWI 500, you haven’t met a successful wrestler. Believe me. We all care. I’m gunning for number one. I didn’t get it this year.
Rhodes has spoken on the importance of the TNT Title to him, and he did so again on the media call. He said that the title is “THE belt” right now and hopes that future title holders will treat it as such.
“That random, weird tangent aside, my favorite moment of the night is when I walk from my office to the ‘go position’ and I have the title on because it is such a beautiful physical belt,” Rhodes remarked. “It is such a beautiful physical belt and nothing feels more like wrestling than having that around my waist. It’s perfect, and I think there’s a number of people, if I wasn’t carrying the TNT Title, who could carry that title because it really is, at this moment, THE belt. It is THE belt.
“It is THE championship as Jim Ross has dubbed it. I could see someone, if it wasn’t me, like PAC, someone like Darby Allin of course, someone like Scorpio Sky, Hangman Adam Page [or] Jon Moxley himself. I mean, there’s no single division better than what AEW has hands down in terms of the bell to bell. That title, if it leaves my hands and inevitably, you win some matches, you lose some matches, it will leave my hands at some point. When it does, I’m sure the person that’s carrying it will carry it with the same amount of equity it was born with.
“It is a title that really really matters, and all you need to do is just vanity search it and you’ll see the discussion. When there’s discussion, that’s a success, and it is the most widely discussed belt in all of sports. And I am so proud, so proud to be the one carrying it.”
AEW Full Gear takes place this Saturday night on PPV.