Tony Khan Reflects On Cody Rhodes' AEW Departure

On Monday, Fightful's Grapsody podcast released a new interview with AEW President and CEO Tony Khan that dove into a variety of topics. One of them was a story that, while it's faded into the background a bit thanks to 2022 being a particularly volatile year for wrestling news, was still one of the biggest of the past 365 days: Cody Rhodes leaving AEW to return to WWE as a top babyface.

"It was, certainly, whenever you lose a star the caliber of Cody Rhodes, it's going to have a major impact on your company and affect a number of different departments and number of different things in terms of the presentation and the backstage," he said. "Personally, I really like Cody and I know Cody really well and he was so involved in so many different facets with the start of AEW and what we were. When he left, that was a major challenge. Going into Revolution, we had so many great stories and I think it helped us and helped keep us strong that people were so invested in what was happening in AEW at the time."

Rhodes, one of AEW's founding executive vice presidents along with his wife Brandi, Kenny Omega, and The Young Bucks, returned to WWE during night one of WrestleMania 38, but has been on the shelf since Hell in a Cell in June. In the main event, Rhodes somehow worked an entire Hell in a Cell match against Seth Rollins with a torn right pectoral muscle, with the internal bleeding causing that part of his chest to turn different shades of black and blue. He won the match to blow off their feud, but it remains to be seen when "The American Nightmare" will be cleared to return.