The biggest story in wrestling right now is Cody Rhodes jumping back to WWE. His debut stole the show at WrestleMania, and his promo on the RAW after Mania felt like one of the more real and honest on-the-mic moments by a WWE performer in recent memory.
But the discourse around his arrival has been lacking, putting it nicely. Some fans have been unsatisfied with Cody’s reasons for leaving AEW. AEW’s notoriously toxic fanbase is not taking it well. Once their shining king, Cody has been reduced to nothing more than an opportunist and a traitor.
Cody Rhodes is nothing but a TRAITOR how dare he decide to leave the company that he helped BUILD to combat the fed and make wrestling better. He did absolutely nothing but SPIT in the face of Tony Khan the true SAVIOR of wrestling and leave for his own gain, I’m no longer a fan.
— ᵃᵃʳᵒⁿ☄️ (@P3RCSZN) April 3, 2022
Inject all of these sad Cody Rhodes is a traitor tweets into my veins! https://t.co/JBxnKO5tqu #Wrestlemania pic.twitter.com/sXD1vT7ive
— Morning. (@morningpuroresu) April 3, 2022
Cody Rhodes is the guy who supports your girl when she’s left you then FUCKS her.
— Daniel Ball (@danielballpod) April 3, 2022
I came back to wrestling because of that traitor Cody Rhodes…I’m staying because of @DaxFTR wherever FTR goes my money as a fan will follow.
— Jerry Pennacoli’s Gerbil (@logic4lifex) April 6, 2022
Hey y’all, wrestling companies create tribalism, it’s in their DNA,
Don’t fall into it, or you’ll be like some of the dudes burning Cody Rhodes trading cards, buying a $3000 dollar ticket to mania to tell him he’s a traitor, or wishing death on him.
That shit is mad weird.
— Tone (@TheToneWhite) April 3, 2022
WWE hardcore fans are chiming in as well. Many former Cody haters are now saying it is great he’s back and unironically using the AEW “huge get” line. WWE fans universally loved Cody’s story about fighting to get the title his father was rightfully owed.
But, I think everyone is missing an essential point regarding Cody Rhodes’ return.
Related: Three Details You Missed On The RAW After WrestleMania
Cody doesn’t owe you an explanation
He can tell you a story about his dad, about not wanting to be an executive, or that he was ready for a challenge. But you shouldn’t judge him by it, in real life.
Storyline-wise, you can critique his fixation on “repairing” his father’s legacy in WWE or that he has never been comfortable standing on his own. But there are a lot of people out there who think that Cody is a “liar” and a “carny” who “betrayed” AEW by jumping ship.
This is a business. Wrestlers don’t owe loyalty to a company. And fans shouldn’t be loyal to a company either. Follow your favorite wrestler where they go, but don’t abandon someone because they go work for the wrong billionaire.
You can disagree with someone leaving a company. I definitely have. But it gets ridiculous when you start calling a wrestler a traitor. Would you call someone a traitor for leaving an excellent job for another at a similar company? If you would, then you need to rethink your priorities.
The same goes for the fans who are suddenly Cody fans again. What changed? You only like him because he left AEW? How is that attitude better than being a petty indy-wrestling smark?
What’s funny is that these same people applaud when a wrestler leaves WWE for “creative freedom.” I don’t like this phrase, but it certainly works here: if you support a wrestler at one place, “Keep that same energy” when they go somewhere else.
Cody is a businessman. He is a carny and needs to first look out for himself and his family. Anyone could see he was treading water in AEW. He is going to be a main-event guy in WWE. This is a good thing, especially if you think Cody offers a lot.
And isn’t it refreshing that Cody didn’t instantly start bashing AEW? Ever since, he has been effusive in praising the company he founded.
The American Nightmare @CodyRhodes explains what led to his decision to return to @WWE.
— WWE (@WWE) April 6, 2022
How about you watch wrestling and enjoy yourself?
Categorized: Ringside Intel Sports Wrestling