Arn Anderson Talks Cody Rhodes’ Reluctance To Turn Heel In AEW

cody rhodes arn anderson aew tv

Arn Anderson has shed some light on why Cody Rhodes didn’t want to be a heel in AEW.

During his three-year career with All Elite Wrestling from 2019 until his departure in early 2022, Cody Rhodes was an Executive Vice President who also wrestled in some main events, but mostly was in the upper mid-card for most of his AEW run.

Cody Rhodes was the inaugural AEW TNT Champion who would go on to hold the title three times. Cody also feuded with some of the rising stars in AEW while also doing open challenges to try to introduce unfamiliar wrestlers to the viewers at home.

While in AEW, Cody was a babyface wrestler, but he would get booed at times, yet he was reluctant to fully go heel. There were some promos and moments where it looked like Cody might embrace that heel role, but it didn’t officially happen.

Arn Anderson served as Cody’s manager/coach on screen in AEW while also working behind the scenes for the company, which he still does. After WCW died in 2001, Arn worked in a backstage agent/producer role in WWE for over 15 years as well.

Cody Rhodes Wants To Do The Right Thing As A Role Model

On a recent episode of Arn Anderson’s podcast, the WWE Hall of Famer talked about how Cody wants to do good and be a role model.

“This is not a cat out of a bag thing. Cody has such a strong need or want to do the right thing, to be a role model; he wants to do something the kids can look up to. I tried to explain to him, ‘Cody, I get that you want to do the right thing, you want to be a babyface, you want to be a positive force for kids. I don’t give two s–ts about being a role model. If a guy thumps me in the nose, I’m gonna head butt him right between the eye. I believe in one-upmanship.”

As he continued, Arn spoke about advice he would give to Cody.

“I used to say, ‘Wrestle rough, Cody. If a guy kicks you in the head, kick him in the head — twice.’ He just had this look on his face, that, he knew he had enough talent, and he was a smart enough student of the game that he could accomplish all the goals without having to do that [turn heel]. My philosophy is, why wait until you get behind the 8 ball?”

Recently, Cody Rhodes spoke about what he really appreciates about being part of WWE.