Cody Rhodes Three-peats as TNT Champion!

It’s hard to say who exactly Cody Rhodes is wrestling for these days. The Prince of Pro Wrestling was once the indy scene’s darling. The son of the son of a plumber, wrestling fans around the world rejoiced as Cody Rhodes bucked the system of wrestling for wrestling conglomerate World Wrestling Entertainment and struck out on his own. And it’s now come full circle in his new home of All Elite Wrestling, where Cody Rhodes has once again, for the third time, become TNT Champion.

During AEW Dynamite’s Holiday Bash edition of Rampage, Cody Rhodes fought the Inner Circle’s Sammy Guevara. In the back-and-forth match, the two wrestled in front of an intense crowd. Guevara, one of the young pillars of the upstart company, according to many, was trying to defend his title for a fifth time. In the end though, Cody Rhodes hit not one, not two, but eventually three Cross Rhodes on Guevara, and then finished off the champion with a tiger driver, claiming the TNT championship for a third time.

When Rhodes first left WWE, he traveled the world. From Ring of Honor to Impact Wrestling to New Japan Pro Wrestling and so many other places in between. In arguably the most meaningful title he could’ve competed for, Cody Rhodes beat Nick Aldus for the NWA Heavyweight Championship at All In, successfully attaining the championship that some consider synonymous with his father, Dusty Rhodes. He began to develop a following that grew beyond his tenure at WWE. Wrestling fans rejoiced at witnessing what seemed like a rebirth.

When Rhodes joined the Young Bucks and Kenny Omega as Executive Vice Presidents of the newly formed All Elite Wrestling, the fans still followed Cody. He came out to cheers from sold out arenas. He was in the first ever cage match for AEW and awed the crowd as he jumped off the top of the structure. He literally smashed the throne of former employers, forever claiming his own place in pro wrestling, all to the delight of fans. He even wrestled Shaquille O’Neal, putting the NBA legend through a table.

But somewhere along the way, something happened. The supporters of Cody, wrestling fans who once stood with their arms raised high in support of Rhodes, started to disappear. Cody had faced giants like Wardlow, upstart sensations like Darby Allen and Jungle Boy, and taken himself far past normal human limits in emotional matches against his brother, Dustin Rhodes. Somewhere along the way, whether it was when Cody joined a television talent show with celebrities, or became a reality star in his own right with his own show, the cheers started dying down and more boos could be heard through the arenas.

This all happened around the time Malakai Black showed up in AEW.

Was it Black’s ultimate goal to get the AEW fans to boo their once hero? Is the House of Black responsible for corrupting AEW fans and their once vibrant cheering? Or has Cody crossed a line that only certain athletes get to? Has Cody Rhodes become so popular and loved, that he’s now being hated for being loved?

Whatever the reason for the change of heart, one thing is for sure; Cody Rhodes is walking a very dangerous line. On one side sits the feral beasts who want blood and wish for Cody to turn to the dark side. To unleash the real American Nightmare he established once he left New York. On the other side of that is the white knight. The Cody Rhodes who came to the defense of his brother and suffered Christlike lashings at the hands of the vile MJF.

Only time will tell which Cody reigns as the new All Elite Wrestling TNT champion.


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