Kenny Omega Addresses Cody Rhodes Leaving AEW, The EVPs’ Relationships

1 year ago by Liam Winnard

Kenny Omega Addresses Cody Rhodes Leaving AEW, The EVPs’ Relationships Twitter

AEW Executive Vice President and former World Champion Kenny Omega has addressed Cody Rhodes leaving the company.

Rhodes’ departure was announced this past Tuesday along with that of his wife Brandi, and it’s very much believed he’ll be heading to WWE sooner than later.

Kenny Omega appeared on Wrestling Observer Radio after winning the Observer’s 2021 Wrestler of the Year award, and spoke in depth about Cody Rhodes, one of his fellow original EVPs, exiting AEW.

Omega said:

“I think everyone was shocked. We all know when are deals are up, especially the EVPs, we know when our deals are up, we know when our – in the case of the Bucks – when their (extension) options kick in. For myself, I don’t have a deal like that. As you know, I’m up next year, just straight up done, so I’d have to re-sign a new one, there’s no (extension) option. We knew Cody’s, much like the Bucks, it was that time. When we would hear that, ‘Okay there’s possibly some difficulty with the renegotiation’ or whatever, it was almost like, you never think it’s gonna go in that direction where the talent is going to opt for leaving.

“Especially since when this thing first started, I would say the most passionate person about a revolution, the most passionate person about creating an ‘us vs them’ mentality – that was Cody. So it was strange for him to choose to just up and walk away. However, that being said, feelings change, the environment around you is ever-changing, it’s constantly changing, and maybe the mission statement or the goal or the revolution, whatever it is that you’re searching for, trying to create, maybe that isn’t what it is anymore to you. Maybe that isn’t your inspiration, that isn’t what gets you out of bed every day.

“So I would always encourage everyone, in wrestling, in life, whatever, if your work isn’t fulfilling, if it doesn’t make you happy, you really should look for opportunities elsewhere in a place where you can feel creatively free and a place where you feel that your work is being appreciated and fulfilled.

“I know – I can’t say I know – I’m guessing, that knowing Cody as well as I know him, I don’t really think it was an issue of money. I don’t think it was Tony not shelling out enough cash to keep him invested with the company. Cody, he really believed in the vision, in the original vision, that he brought to the table for AEW. And I think the original vision that the team brought to the table when AEW was first becoming a promotion – we didn’t know where this would go. We had been optimistic about it, we had thought we would be where we are today where we would be considered a major promotion and we would have our fanbase and we would have hopefully a lot of satisfied customers watching our product.”

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There had been a lot of rumors about the relationships between the EVPs, with the belief that Rhodes’ vision was very different to that of Omega and the Bucks, although the idea of ‘heat’ between them may have been blown out of proportion.

The issue of having different visions is something that Kenny Omega confirmed, saying:

“But, I guess we never really sat down and talked to each other about, ‘Okay we have this opportunity to now change wrestling – how do you see it? How do you see it? How do you see it? How do we make this work?’. And maybe in the end, we had the Bucks and their vision, we had my vision, and then we had Cody’s vision, and all of our visions were different from one another. And I would say mine was more similar to what the Bucks had envisioned, and Cody’s was out-there. It was much different.

“And you’re gonna get that I think when, finally, you’ve commmitted your life to an industry and a business, and finally someone goes, ‘Okay, you’ve done this job all your life, you’ve been raised into this business with these shackles on you to a degree by someone or something, now those are off, you’ve got carte blanche, what is it you wanna do?’. And I can understand that there might be some heartbreak if you were promised that or told that, and it doesn’t come to fruition. I get it.

“But again, though my professional relationship with Cody was great, he’s not a guy that I go and get a Diet Pepsi with in my off time. So I don’t know how he personally feels about anything. I can only guess as to why he would leave, and I just think that he saw it with his deal up as an opportunity to investigate something within wrestling, or just life in general, that would bring him more happiness.

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One of the big differences Kenny Omega pointed out was that he and the Bucks were never interested in the idea of ‘competition’ with WWE, whereas that was something Cody very much believed in. Omega added:

“That’s sort of where the Bucks and I differed – we never wanted to go to war with Vince or WWE. We just wanted to give people an option and give people a platform for our brand of storytelling and our style of wrestling. And I think when Cody had his way of going about it things, I wasn’t sure how to follow up with that, nor was I interested, so there was sort of like – there’s Kenny doing his thing, there’s the Bucks doing their thing, and there’s the Cody-verse over there, doing whatever it is that he does, and then there’s the stuff that Tony does.

“And then eventually, as you know, I guess a lot of fans know now, it’s essentially now just Tony’s show. And of course he’s always going to listen to our advice, and he’s going to take our suggestions to heart, but AEW is very much Tony’s thing, Tony’s baby, and we’re there to support it in every way that we can, and it’s very possible that this current version of AEW just wasn’t a good fit for Cody.”

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Rhodes was spotted at a Polish airport yesterday which prompted rumors that he could be headed to Saudi Arabia for WWE Elimination Chamber.

Kenny Omega did mention this, and added:

“And all I can say is that whatever he decides to do, I heard he’s on a flight to Saudi Arabia – so if that makes him happy, that makes him happy. Again, Bucks and I, we weren’t in this for the war, so all the guys and gals at WWE doing their thing, always wishing for the best for those guys. Always.”

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We’ll continue to provide updates and more news on Cody Rhodes and his situation as they come to light.

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