WWE Champ Cody Rhodes Explains Why He'll Always 'Have An Eye On' AEW

When new first broke in early 2022 that Cody Rhodes had departed from AEW — the company he helped build – many within the industry were taken aback. Now as Rhodes stands at the top of the mountain as Undisputed WWE Universal Champion, nobody is questioning that decision any longer. Despite being gone from AEW, however, Rhodes admitted on "Busted Open Radio" that he still checks in.


"It's just not something you can abandon in your mind," Rhodes said. "In a sense of, "Hey, me, Matt [Jackson], Nick [Jackson], Kenny [Omega], Tony [Khan], Brandi [Rhodes], Bernie [Cahill], Chris [Jericho], Dana [Massie] started this thing.' Especially if you were in those initial meetings... But I had said this before, I wouldn't root against my former company, and I keep eyes on them."

The May 17 edition of "WWE SmackDown" emanated from Jacksonville, Florida, which is known as the birthplace of AEW. It was here where Tony Khan was first linked to the fledgling promotion, and the place where many of the company's first trademarks were filed. Rhodes commented on what it's like to perform in Jacksonville under the WWE umbrella.


"Jacksonville's a funny place, because always when WWE comes to Jacksonville, people ask, 'Hey, how do they respond to you here?' And I was really proud of how it was on Smackdown, because that's really what it was. I spent a year — I spent my pandemic in Jacksonville — and all we were trying to do was get people through the toughest of times, get people through hard times with sports entertainment and with pro wrestling. So I'm always really appreciative that Jacksonville is appreciative of it."