Cody Rhodes, one of the founding wrestlers and Honorary Executive Vice President of All Elite Wrestling, is leaving the show. All signs point to a return to WWE.
His wife, Brandi, is also leaving AEW.
The news was first Reported by Mike Coppinger of ESPN, that Rhodes told AEW CEO Tony Khan on Tuesday morning that he was leaving and that he had no non-competition clause in his contract. Shawn Ross Sapp of Fightful added that “the word within the wrestling world” was that Rhodes could re-join WWE.
“Cody and Brandy Rhodes were an integral part of launching All Elite Wrestling,” Khan said in a statement.
“Cody’s ability combined with his audacity, passion for our industry, and love for connecting with the community has helped AEW achieve our mission to give fans what they’ve been needing for a very long time – something new, innovative and enduring.”
Khan added that he has “great respect and appreciation” for both Cody and Brandy and sent them his best wishes for what comes next.
Whether the deal is officially finalized or not, WWE is the most logical platform for Rhodes in the wrestling business.
Rhodes added his own statement, “I loved my time in AEW. The locker room is amazing. Amazing fans. Amazing people. ‘Revolution’ has already been televised, and I’ve been lucky to be a part of it.”
Rhodes thanked Khan and a number of wrestlers in the locker room.
Rhodes, 36, is the son of the late legendary professional wrestler Dusty Rhodes. He performed in WWE from 2006 to 16.
In many ways, his departure from WWE to perform for promotions such as Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro-Wrestling was a match in the burgundy world wrestling scene that eventually led to the formation of AEW.
His defection is a major story in the wrestling business. So far, a number of wrestlers, such as Matt Hardy, Christian, Daniel Bryan, Rusev (Miro), Aleister Black (Malakay Black), Dean Ambrose (Jon Moxley) and Chris Jericho have left WWE for AEW, but no one has such. After doing the opposite.
Rhodes and The Young Bucks were the first wrestlers openly allied with AEW, and they had dual roles as wrestlers with the titles of Executive Vice President of the company. This is not a story anyone would have expected even with newsletter It emerged two weeks ago that Rhodes was working on a “handshake deal” with AEW in the absence of a long-term contract.
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