Cody Rhodes was one of the leading lights in AEW when the company was formed in early 2019 but The American Nightmare himself has explained that he was not immune to making mistakes in the company.
Rhodes was one of the four wrestlers named EVPs in Tony Khan’s new company alongside The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega which is why the wrestling world was stunned when he walked away to rejoin WWE in early 2022.
During Cody Rhodes’ time in the company, only one live event was held that was not televised meaning most of the company’s talents competed on TV or YouTube on Dark or Elevation a couple of times a week at most.
Speaking on the Insight podcast with Chris Van Vliet, Cody Rhodes explained that he thinks he made his biggest mistake in the company by thinking he could stay as sharp in the ring while wrestling a lot less:
“I think the wrestling took a backseat right away. Because I thought, my bigger mistake. And this wasn’t an AEW mistake, this was a Cody mistake. My biggest mistake was thinking, I’ll stay as good as I am in the ring only wrestling twice, three times, maybe just once a month. Sorry. And the Gen Z crowd out there is about to lose their mind, and I hope they understand what I’m saying, you have to do live events. You cannot learn how to work a live audience unless you perform in front of a live audience.
“So I was getting worse, as was everybody. Some of the best wrestlers, you name them, in that first year, the crowd was incredibly generous to us because we were new, we were fresh. Some of the stuff isn’t going to hold up just because we weren’t, we weren’t able to do this on the regular and get it down and sharpen our tools. And that’s just, maybe it’s just me, maybe it’s nobody else, but you have to be able to do it. So that’s an area where I think I was suffering from immediately.”
Elsewhere in the conversation, Cody Rhodes reflected on the “disinformation campaign” launched by a noted wrestling journalist as his time in AEW came to an end.