At some point, the McMahons will gather together to discuss how to improve WWE’s brand. Halfway through the brainstorming session, someone in the room is going to ask the $64,000 question – what will it take to bring Cody Rhodes back to the company? There is no correct answer because the notion of letting the second-generation wrestler walk away from the circus should never have been an option.
This will be one of those things Vince McMahon realizes was one of the worst moves in his tenure as owner and CEO of this promotion.
According to Wrestling Inc. and other news outlets, Rhodes will get a shot at history at the “All In” pay-per-view when he challenges for the NWA World Title – the same title his father, Dusty Rhodes, held on three occasions and the one glorified as the greatest belt in wrestling history.
Per Josh Gagnon’s story from May 13, “At today’s All In Press Conference, Cody Rhodes introduced NWA President Billy Corgan who announced that the NWA World Heavyweight Championship will be defended against Cody Rhodes. Currently, Nick Aldis is the champion, but that could change between now and September 1.”
This is one of those stories that may not go away for a while, especially if Rhodes is able to capture the title once held by his legendary father. It’s almost prophetic. When Dustin Rhodes made his debut in the NWA, he was considered one of the more gifted athletes in the business and was hailed as the next big thing. It never materialized as he was never given main event consideration.
Dustin Rhodes left for WWE where he developed one of the greatest gimmicks of all time in Goldust.
Many years ago, Ric Flair said the biggest mistake WCW did was releasing “Stunning” Steve Austin, who was a solid singles and tag team champion. Austin went on to become one of the greatest performers of the Attitude Era and in WWE history. Could the same things be said of Cody Rhodes? His resume is starting to look that way.
Cody Rhodes joined WWE in 2006, initially being assigned to the company’s developmental territory Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW). After becoming a Triple Crown Champion in OVW, he was elevated to WWE’s main roster in 2007 and remained there for 9 years, performing under his real name and later as Stardust. During his time with WWE, Rhodes became a two-time Intercontinental Champion and was a prolific tag team wrestler, winning six tag team championships (three World Tag Team Championships and three WWE Tag Team Championships) with four separate tag team partners. Rhodes left WWE after requesting his release in May 2016.
Following his departure from WWE, Rhodes began wrestling on the independent circuit, also making several appearances in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. In the time frame spanning from early 2016 to early 2017, he competed at WWE’s WrestleMania, ROH’s Final Battle and NJPW’s Wrestle Kingdom events, as well as appearing for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) at Bound for Glory (albeit in a non-competing capacity). In September 2017, Rhodes signed a “multi-year” deal with Ring of Honor.
Aldis, formerly known as Magnus in TNA, is a former world champion of that promotion as well. He is married to Mickie James.
Aldis s a former one-time GFW Global Champion, one-time TNA World Heavyweight Champion, two-time TNA World Tag Team Champion, one-time IWGP Tag Team Champion and one-time GHC Tag Team Champion.
Aldis is currently the only wrestler in history to have held the NWA World Heavyweight Championship, TNA World Heavyweight Championship, and the GFW Global Championship. He also appeared on the United Kingdom revival of Gladiators, where he was known by the name Oblivion. He was also a co-presenter of Britain’s Strongest Man on Challenge TV in the United Kingdom.
It’s one of those matches that will change the course of wrestling this year and possibly beyond. It’s a shame WWE wasn’t behind this, but this is also an occasion where WWE’s loss is the wrestling business’s gain more important ways than having the McMahon name behind it.