Cody Rhodes has clarified that he did not leave AEW due to any locker room issues with fellow stars, but it was his aspirations to become a World Champion that led to his AEW departure.
A fan page on Twitter shared a picture of Cody Rhodes, Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks(Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson) together with a caption, “They changed the World.” Cody was the EVP in AEW along with the other 3 wrestlers in the picture who still hold the same position in the company.
Another comment on the picture asked why did Cody end up leaving AEW. Replying to this, Cody Rhodes tweeted that he did not leave AEW due to Omega or The Young Bucks. He also added that he is forever bonded to Omega and Bucks over their work in creating AEW. Cody also said that he did not leave either due to any issues with CM Punk or due to booking or money. He clarified that his motivation to leave AEW was to go for the “big one.”
By “big one”, Cody might be referring to a World Championship in WWE. Cody was barred from competing for AEW World Championship due to a stipulation in his AEW World title match against Chris Jericho at AEW Full Gear 2019. Amid criticism towards him for holding an EVP position with AEW and getting a World title shot, Cody announced at the time that he would never compete for World title in AEW if he fails to win the title at Full Gear 2019.
Rhodes went on to lose the match after MJF, his cornerman in the match, threw the towel when Jericho had Cody in a Liontamer. MJF turned on Cody moments later, but the loss had bigger ramifications for Cody as he never challenged for the World title again in AEW. He went on to become AEW TNT Champion 3 times, but it seems the aspiration for being a World Champion again proved too much for him to stay in AEW.
Cody left AEW along with her wife Brandi Rhodes this year in February after talks for a new contract failed. He went on to sign with WWE and got a grand return at WrestleMania 38 night 1 to face Seth Rollins. It is safe to say that he remains one of the hottest names among wrestling fans ever since the switch of promotion.
After a trilogy of fights against Rollins, Cody currently remains sidelined due to a torn pectoral injury. He is expected to make his return to TV around Royal Rumble 2023, in time for WrestleMania 39 season.