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    Wednesday, February 16, 2022

    The Grapevine (2/16/22): What We Know About Cody Rhodes's Departure From AEW, Interest From WWE

    Cody Rhodes

    Welcome to the Grapevine! This section of Smark Henry is where we round up all the important founded and unfounded rumors floating around the pro wrestling scene that you may have missed over the past few days. Remember to take everything with a grain of salt!

    What we know about Cody Rhodes's departure from AEW

    Former TNT Champion Cody Rhodes, whose AEW contract expired on December 31, reportedly asked for more money than AEW President Tony Khan was willing to pay him. The arrivals of CM Punk and Bryan Danielson to AEW as top stars apparently spurred Rhodes, who saw himself as a top star, to request a better contract, which Khan apparently denied, as he felt Rhodes had become expendable with the amount of ex-WWE stars he had signed. It also apparently didn't help that Rhodes is currently not succeeding with his current character, which he firmly believed should remain a face.

    It had also been said that Rhodes had isolated himself away from the larger AEW roster, having a luxury private bus and his own locker room, generally not making himself available to everyone, which came across negatively among other wrestlers. Most people in AEW didn't know that both Rhodeses were leaving until negotiations fell through on Monday. (Source: Wade Keller, Dave Meltzer)

    We say: While this still has a small chance of being an elaborate work, the more we think about it, the more we realize that Tony Khan would not risk his good will on such a convoluted way to get people to like Cody Rhodes. If this is all true, all signs are pointing to Cody considering himself a bigger star than he really is, and demanding he be treated as such—it's just that not many see his worth the same way he does, and it's translating in the work he puts on screen which resulted in him getting booed. With Cody being such a weird part of AEW, this really might end up being a win for the promotion and Tony Khan, especially with all the stars the company has accumulated over the past two years. We like it.

    Vince McMahon wants to sign Cody Rhodes

    Vince McMahon is apparently already in talks with Cody and Brandi Rhodes, and is "willing" to give Cody a big push heading into WrestleMania. McMahon is ready to treat him as a big deal as he was previously a huge part of AEW. As they did not have a contract, they can show up on WWE programming as soon as possible, with some speculating they could show up as soon as next week after Elimination Chamber. (Source: Wade Keller)

    We say: WWE needed a huge score against AEW, and while this isn't the best score considering Cody's perception among fans, it's still a big one that could create some buzz for WWE nonetheless. If it happens, it remains to be seen whether Vince will actually treat Cody as the big star he thinks he is, which was previously mentioned as the main point of contention for his AEW departure. Good luck with that, Cody.

    Photo from AEW

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    Item Reviewed: The Grapevine (2/16/22): What We Know About Cody Rhodes's Departure From AEW, Interest From WWE Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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