Cody Rhodes was instrumental in putting AEW on the map. The American Nightmare stayed with the Jacksonville-based promotion for nearly three years before returning to WWE at WrestleMania 38.
Cody Rhodes was involved in several projects with TBS during his time in AEW as well, and his decision to leave the promotion shocked fans, peers and network officials alike.
Sean Sapp reported from behind Fightful’s paywall that Warner Bros. Discovery executives pushed for Cody Rhodes to stay in AEW when they were made aware of his decision to leave.
In speaking with Warner Bros Discovery sources, we’re told that several efforts were made within the company to retain Cody Rhodes in AEW. Between AEW, Rhodes to the Top and Go Big Show, Rhodes had developed a good rapport with several in WarnerMedia at the time. We’re told that the Cody Rhodes WWE deal wasn’t official until a few weeks before WrestleMania, even though WWE considered it a foregone conclusion. As a result, after the merger of Warner Bros. Discovery, there were inquiries in the company completely separate of AEW to gauge Rhodes’ interest in staying.
Among those that we’re told that made an effort to reach out to Rhodes was Sam Linskey, who serves as Associate General Manager and Senior Vice President of Scripted Original programming for TNT, TBS and TruTv. We’ve heard that there wasn’t any ill will between either side, and Rhodes had told those who asked that it was “time to leave the territory.”
It was also reported that, “due to the Rhodes’ connections across multiple Warner Bros. Discovery shows, they were also contacted to possibly participate in the UpFronts. We weren’t told if that was tied to AEW, the other shows, or a combination.”
Cody Rhodes is getting closer to making WWE return as well. Fans are anxiously waiting for the American Nightmare to regain the momentum he lost due to his terrible injury.
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