Cody Rhodes has been having some trouble as of late. The heat he’s getting from the fans can be considered as ‘go away heat,’ as it’s known in the industry. As you all may know, ‘heat’ in wrestling is a good thing only when it generates a lot of steam—positive steam from the fans—essentially hype…good hype.
‘Backstage heat’ is a whole different ballgame and generally means real beefs between the wrestlers. But ‘go away heat’ isn’t at all a good thing in pro wrestling. For those that know all of this, forgive me the refresher, for the more casual pro wrestling fan, I’m going into it a tad.
Usually a good heel can generate heat from the fans, but in those cases, it’s more of a “I love to hate this guy/girl” type of deal. But ‘go away heat’ is hard to deal with and both heels and faces have unfortunately come across it. To name a few who have: Roman Reigns, John Cena, even The Rock back in 2002, who was booed out of the building after his SummerSlam match against none other than the ‘Beast Incarnate,’ Brock Lesnar.
Stephanie McMahon also got quite a good dose of this in her many runs on TV…perhaps reason why we haven’t seen her on TV for quite some time.
Regardless, now Cody Rhodes seems to be suffering through such an experience and similar to John Cena, it’s perhaps because of a refusal to turn heel. (Each man has his reasons for doing so, and I am not questioning those reasons here).
Regardless, Rhodes has his hands full right now and for the new TNT champ, it looks as though he has an uphill battle to face in turning that audience around and perhaps a heel turn is inevitable, but we’ll see where all of that goes.
He went into some regrets that he has had with the last year—specifically one—with Brandon Walker on Barstool Rasslin’. He alludes to the possibility that the feud between he and Anthony Ogogo from back in May of this past year (2021), and states that it was ‘tone-deaf’… He said:
“Anthony is a former Olympian, he’s definitely someone who’s a developmental talent who’s going to be…We’re training him and we recruited him and we’re bringing him up through the ranks. What ultimately – I’ve never gone on record saying this, but this is the perfect time. I stood by what I said in the promo. I stood by it because I thought the content was good and I thought the intentions were good…
However, a white guy talking about race relations, who has an American flag tattoo on his neck, I can see why people would use the terms ‘tone-deaf’ when it came to that. Then trying to defend it and all – just again, intentions were good and sincere and I was so excited about Brandi and the baby but it just – That should have just been one where I went out and almost just winged it…
That’s what made it even more like, ‘Damn, every now and then you’re going to come up to the plate and strike out.’ I over planned it and struck out. Although I stand by it. I don’t have any problem with the content, but once that had happened, it set the angle in a way that Anthony, as far as wrestling age is concerned, he’s like 18, he’s a baby. He doesn’t know what’s going on. ”via Barstool Rasslin’ /cultaholic.com (Transcription)
Is this Cody trying to figure out where it all went wrong, or at least started to go wrong? It sounds like it a bit.
In reality, there’s a lot more to this than meets the eye. Personally, I think Cody Rhodes has something up his sleeve moving forward…and something big. If it’s a heel turn, I’m not sure. I just know that if he stays the course, people can and perhaps will get even more turned off, but if he changes the script…he can establish the aforementioned ‘heat,’ like we’ve never yet seen in AEW for a heel, and the good kind.
Khan promises huge debuts in AEW in 2022
Although Tony Khan has stated that he will be more selective when choosing new talents to sign—particularly in the realm of WWE expats, he recently announced that there are big signings on the horizon.
There are evident standouts…free agents that just scream AEW Debut. Gargano is one. Ember Moon perhaps another and the future of the former Bray Wyatt is still unknown, and the list goes on from there.
Regardless, if he makes the smart decisions, which when Tony Khan is concerned, he pretty much always does, and starts thinking about brand extensions, he can fill up his roster with the top stars on the market today.
It was while speaking with Josh Martinez of Z100 that he said:
“They are in North America, and they’re coming. And pretty soon, and it’s going to be awesome. I’m very excited.”via Z100 /Wrestling Inc (Transcription)
The placing of those words in his answer” “They’re in North America,” has led us to believe that he may be hinting at debuts possibly from Japan, which in our minds can only mean perhaps Okada, and of course Will Ospreay. When it comes to huge dream signings…those names stand out for sure, but anyone of the aforementioned guesses are possible.
Okada defeats Ospreay
On another note, but perhaps pertinent…it was at NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 16 Day 2 that was held on January 4th at the Tokyo Dome that Kazuchika Okada defeated Will Ospreay for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship.
Okada is set to face Tetsuya Naito next, but Ospreay seems to be set to face some idle moments in a career that has paralleled the likes of Kenny Omega. What’s next for him? What a career he’s had thus far!
Food for thought, and he possibly debuting in AEW is definitely reason for excitement on Tony Khan’s part, and yours, dear readers. I know I’m excited at the prospect, for sure.