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Cody and Brandi Rhodes Exit AEW

Cody and Brandi Rhodes Exit AEW

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Major Departures from All Elite Wrestling

If I were a betting man, I would have lost a lot of money trying to predict the first major departure from AEW.

Earlier today, Cody and Brandi Rhodes announced their departures from AEW. Both held office jobs in addition to wrestling with Cody as an Executive Vice President and Brandi as AEW’s Chief Brand Officer. Cody was also a key player in AEW’s Community Outreach program, and Brandi led the AEW Heels group for female fans.

Fightful Select, Mike Johnson of PW Insider, and Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer have all reported that there has been contact between WWE and Rhodes. Some reports say that WWE even knew about today’s announcement in advance.

Over the last several months, Dave Meltzer has repeatedly stated that Cody was both cheered and booed in the AEW arenas, but the boos were much louder.

When considering Cody’s free agency, it’s important to remember that Cody’s reach has extended beyond the wrestling ring. Time Warner used Cody as a Game Show Host on their “Go Big Show” and both Brandi and Cody were the key players on their reality show “Rhodes to the Top.”

The reports coming in suggest that negotiations between Cody and AEW fell apart when sides could not come to terms on pay. If Cody is looking for a major money deal, then WWE seems to be the only wrestling company capable of giving Cody a better financial deal than AEW.

Given the bitter departure from WWE several years ago, it may seem odd that both sides would even consider doing business. From the WWE side, they rarely dwell on historical personal issues when considering business dealings. As an example, who could ever forget the debut of Eric Bischoff on WWE programming following the nasty Monday Night Wars? For Cody, his situation has changed a lot since his departure. He (along with others) founded a very successful wrestling company that soundly defeated NXT in head to head ratings and starred on multiple non-wrestling related television shows. Perhaps Cody believes things will be different in WWE given these new credentials or perhaps fatherhood has made the number on his paycheck more important.

Whatever thought process has led to this point, when wrestlers return to WWE, it isn’t common that their endeavors during the absence (no matter how significant) lead to a change in position on the WWE card (think of John Morrison for example). That said, if WWE does offer Cody a major money deal, then that suggests he may no longer be relegated to the mid-card.

For now, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

Cody Rhodes Announces Departure

Brandi Rhodes Announces Departure

AEW Thanks Cody and Brandi Rhodes

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