The TNT Title Needs Cody Rhodes

So, before you prepare to flog me for this train of thought, I understand fully that Cody is a hated man. I also have heard all the names he’s been called. But here’s the deal, he’s a ratings draw, and a heat magnet. I’m not a super Rhodes fan at all, but I feel he’s a tremendous wrestler and has a star quality. 

Let’s take a look at past versions of heel Cody. In his WWE days, when he was Dashing Cody Rhodes he was great. He worked with a plastic mask, like Brandon Cutler, and was in a stable with Randy Orton and Ted Dibiase Jr as Legacy. Both were undeniably great while in the WWE. Cody as a face wasn’t too great, with his worst being Stardust. He also played a heel role in NJPW and ROH, so too it’s safe to say he used to being a heel and does it well. 

Now going into AEW, he’s always tried to remain face. He did so when going against MJF. He tried hard to be a face while facing Anthony Ogogo, but fans ended up booing him and liking Ogogo better. Even when he was TNT champ last time, people begrudgingly watched him “bury” the likes of Eddie Kingston, Ricky Starks, and other homegrown stars like Jungle Boy and Darby. 

So fans don’t want him as a face anymore, but what about his supporters in the Nightmare Family. MJF branched out because he knew the real Cody, as did QT Marshall. However, those two weren’t the closest people to Cody to say it. His coach, Arn Anderson, has even told him he’s soft. Even his own wife Brandi wants to be the biggest heels in AEW.. How does one even look past the opinion of your closest family and friends and ignore the deafening roar of heel Cody. Cody is trapped in wanting to be the good guy to slowly take a look at himself and reevaluate who he really is. Where does Cody go?

On the flip side, I adore Sammy Guevara. He’s a bright shining star. He started as an opening act for AEW, and was a likeable guy. Panda head and all, he simply got over like rover. His move set and cocky attitude really made him look like a young Eddie. Then, he joined a heel Inner Circle. He became a crash test dummy and did all the big spots. Sammy flourished at some points, then had the lowest of lows with his single feud with Matt Hardy. Sammy was meant to be the standout, but ended up being the punching bag. Now fast forward, and he won the TNT title by himself. Sammy springboarded himself from the top stable to one of the biggest single baby faces. Booking however, has done him no favors. 

The problem is his TNT title reign has been diluted by terrible booking with a feud between the Inner Circle and America Top Team. His title was shoved to the back burner for a feud no one really cared about. He has gained momentum lately with some good, quality matches with great wrestlers. Nonetheless, those guys were not Cody material. Side note, I will give you Jay Lethal as a match for Cody. Tony Nese, Bobby Fish, and Ethan Page are mid-card fodder.  While the TNT is a mid-card title there is an upper mid card that Sammy hasn’t faced.Cody is the King of the TNT title and beating him would be great for Sammy.

Sammy needs a match and a good storyline. These two have a tremendous history starting from the beginning of Dynamite. Sammy turned on Cody to join the Inner Circle. If you follow Sammy’s Vlog, he and Cody interact a lot. Sammy is sometimes a thorn in their side; it’s a big brother, little brother dynamic. Brandi Rhodes on Sammy’s Vlog has called Sammy a liability. 

He’s a young kid who does stupid things. Sammy is popular, but he’s not what a network would want as a poster boy. Sammy is popular with the same Darby demographic. Young and reckless only gets you so far, and that is what older wrestlers like Cody think of him.

Super talented kids but he doesn’t have his head on straight. Due to this carefree attitude Cody brushed off Sammy. Rhodes saying, “Good luck kid.” was the seed that I was looking for. He didn’t show the TNT champ respect ,instead he brushed him off because he’s a kid. That’s a heel move.

Here’s the kicker, both are going in as faces. This is how the matchup could be sold asa must watch match. Can this be a match reminiscent of Warrior vs  Hogan? Two big stars, popular in their own right, fighting to battle it out. Or will Cody have to begin work like a heel in this match as we’ve begun to see previously? Will Cody’s hunger to get him back to a title he thinks is his for the taking? Cody Rhodes and the TNT title are tied together, as it is his only real crowning achievement. He hasn’t been the same since he lost it. 

Cody is the lynchpin in this match; fans are watching mainly because of his storyline. This is causing fans to wonder if Cody will go heel or not. Here’s my creative booking on it. However, I don’t care as long as a heel Cody comes out and wins in a heel way.

So, I think the match should go back and forth until, once again out of nowhere, Brandi comes out and cheats for Cody. This can happen directly through her, or she ends up orchestrating it with another person, possibly Kip Sabin, and allows Cody to get the win. We have a new champion who is TNT material. Sammy has a new feud with Kip, and Cody gets to be poster child again. 

Doing this gains a few things. First of all, it makes the title spontaneous and makes it look less planned. Anyone can win at any time. That’s what you watch for, not the pass around game they’ve been playing. Sometimes upsets happen in sports, or in this case a Cinderella team doesn’t beat the top seeded team.This will create buzz on the internet, not only because of a new champion, but because the wrestler everyone hated has won the TNT Championship back. Anything Cody does is instant internet buzz. Fans will go nuts if Cody wins. However, when it comes down to it, fans will watch to see if Cody will possibly lose and ratings may go up again. 

Next, this allows Sammy a chance to redeem himself eventually after facing Kip in a small feud. This also keeps Sammy clean, leaving the door open to return to. 

Lastly, it helps both men lead into a new storyline right now. Both need a good push away from old habits. Sammy needs to grow away from the Inner Circle ,and Cody needs to step to the darker side and get rid of clean cut Cody. Both require a boost. Cody will also continue to get boos and more importantly, Sammy will get babyface sympathy. 

So like it or not, Cody is embracing a darker side. A short run as savior of the TNT Title will only build that. He doesn’t have to hold it for more than a few months. Anyone can take it off of him.The only conclusion I can come up with is a heel Cody Rhodes bridging the gap with the TNT belt until someone is ready.