AEW Missed Out On NJPW Star For Bizarre Reason Thanks To Cody Rhodes

Cody Rhodes

According to one NJPW star, Cody Rhodes dropped the ball.

In recent years, El Phantasmo has become a fixture in New Japan Pro Wrestling. Since joining the company in 2019, the Canadian star has won the Super-J Cup twice, and the Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Titles three times, while he’s one-half of the current NJPW STRONG Openweight Champions alongside Hikuleo.

However, things were almost very different.

During a new interview with Speaking of Strong Style, ELP revealed that AEW offered him a deal before he fully committed to NJPW.

“It’s also funny, they [NJPW] originally only offered me a three month deal to do Best of Super Juniors and maybe Super Junior Tag League but that was also right as AEW was starting. I wrestled Cody Rhodes and Tony Khan was there and they offered me a deal to go to AEW. But that was before anybody knew what it was and I went from one day being an unknown indie wrestler in the UK to having multiple contract offers,”

The star added that he chose to join NJPW after Cody Rhodes didn’t respond to his WhatsApp messages. Rhodes was instrumental in several AEW signings during the company’s very early years, including current World Champion MJF.

“At the end of the day, New Japan asked first and that’s what my decision came down to. They asked first, they wanted me first. It was funny, I was texting Cody Rhodes on WhatsApp and he didn’t respond. And then I was like, “Cody, like, I kinda need to talk to you,’ and he didn’t respond. Then Rocky [Romero] got the Japanese visa and they were like ‘we want you with Bullet Club.’ I was like, ‘sh-t I can’t say no to that.’

But if you ever talk to Cody he’s like ‘ah, I only ever use WhatsApp for one person.’ Because I don’t have like iMessage or anything. Tony Khan was like, ‘hey, what’s going on?’ and I was like, ‘well, he didn’t respond to me on WhatsApp.’ And then he f—ing called Cody backstage in front of everybody and was like, ‘what’s going on with ELP?’ I was like ‘dude, you didn’t respond on WhatsApp.’ And he was like, ‘sh-t, you’re the only person I talk to on WhatsApp!’ Kind of a funny story.”

Cody Rhodes Tips MJF To Join WWE

MJF’s contract status remains unclear with the star insisting he hasn’t signed a new deal with AEW, despite being the current and record-breaking World Champion. While discussing the star in a recent interview, Cody Rhodes said he expects MJF to land in WWE one day, adding he’s proud of what the Salt of the Earth has achieved.

H/t to Comic Book