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Cody Rhodes says that after the All Out media scrum debacle with CM Punk, he felt the thing he helped build in AEW got damaged.
In an interview with Ariel Helwani, Rhodes spoke about the situation, what he felt when he watched it, and what it means for the company.
“I remember somebody texting me saying, ‘you’re the smartest guy in the room,'” Cody said. “I wanted to write back ‘F you, man.’ I don’t feel that way. I feel that this thing we built got damaged. And I’m not putting any blame on anybody. Sorry, I’m super Switzerland in this moment. But, I just hated seeing that because as the company grows — and I hope it continues to grow — I hope people remember the mission in the first place. Why we were there? And if you bring in people who don’t know the mission, things like that can happen. And I’m not saying he (Punk) didn’t know the mission, but I was just bummed out. That’s how I felt.
“I was bummed out because building an alternative wrestling promotion is definitely a feather in the cap. I don’t want that to be erased. I don’t want that to go away. Plus, there’s not as many jobs in wrestling as people thing. There’s about 1,000 people who work there — structurally, infrastructure, and talent — and I’m proud of them. I want to make sure they’re able to feed their families. And that was a situation that was so big and heavy that I don’t think it was helpful. Maybe you can make it helpful? Maybe you can do something with it? That’s how I felt. No heat on Punk. No heat on Matt, Nick, and Kenny, or Tony. I was just bummed out when I saw it. That’s not how we envisioned it. The spirit was gone in that moment. It doesn’t mean you can’t get it back. But it was just a bummer.”
Cody Rhodes left AEW in March of 2022 and returned to WWE in April at WrestleMania 38. Rhodes beat Seth Rollins in his return match, but was then injured in June after a weight training incident tore his pectoral muscle. Rhodes was inactive for WWE from June of 2022 until returning to the company at the 2023 Royal Rumble PLE. He entered the men’s Royal Rumble match at number 30 and was victorious after throwing Gunther out.
Rhodes will now wrestle for the WWE Undisputed Universal Championship against Roman Reigns or Sami Zayn at WrestleMania 39.