The year 2022 has been such a wild one for wrestling news, that the whole Cody Rhodes AEW departure and WrestleMania return saga feels like it happened 6 years ago at this point, but it is still undeniably in the top 5 biggest news stories of the year.
Cody left AEW back in January, wrestling his last match in the company in a Ladder match with Sammy Guevara for both TNT Championships, which Guevara ended up winning.
Cody didn’t officially sign with WWE until a few weeks before WrestleMania, but the company considered it a foregone conclusion that he would be returning at the event. That didn’t stop Warner Bros Discovery from trying to keep Cody around, however.
Per Fightful Select (subscription required), several efforts from WBD were made in an attempt to get Cody Rhodes to remain in AEW. Cody had reportedly developed a good rapport with WBD due to a mixture of AEW, Rhodes to the Top and the Go Big Show. Fightful notes that, following the merger of Warner Bros. Discovery, there were several inquiries made by those in the company, completely independent from AEW, to gauge Rhodes’ interest in staying.
Among those in WBD that Fightful reports attempted to reach out to Rhodes was Sam Linskey, who is the Associate General Manager and Senior Vice President of Scripted Original programming for TNT, TBS and TruTv. The report states that there was no ill will coming from either side, and that Rhodes told the people that asked that it was ‘time to leave the territory.’
The sources from WBD that spoke to Fightful stated that they, while they would have loved if Cody had stayed in the company, it wasn’t a ‘dealbreaker’ for them, with them also stating that they have been happy with AEW, mainly with their impressive numbers in September.
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