Cody Rhodes hypes Battle of the Belts and directly speaks to how important championship belts are to top wrestlers.
In 2022, it is very easy to believe that professional wrestling championship belts are nothing more than props for a television story but for those that grew up wanting to be World Champion, winning a title still can mean everything in the world.
AEW is regularly trying to change wrestling conventions that have existed for several decades now due to the monopoly held throughout the industry by WWE. On January 8, AEW will present its first Battle of the Belts special event on TNT.
Reminiscent of the old WCW Clash of the Champions events these will serve as television specials that will play host to major matchups. This show is anchored by a Women's Championship match between Britt Baker and the inaugural AEW Women’s World Champion, Riho.
Now, in a new edition of FITE in Focus, Cody Rhodes is speaking about what the event means to him and how happy he is to see emphasis placed back on championship belts.
“I'm really excited that Tony named it Battle of the Belts because it's right there in the name. I've really disliked — in wrestling, in the past, and this is across the board not speaking anybody specifically. I’ve disliked in wrestling when a belt has been tarnished or they've lost their value to a wrestler,” said Cody. "Don't be fooled. You talk to a lot of wrestlers, we love our belts, we really do. Most wrestlers who are worth their salt have their own display of all the belts they've ever won. It's a significant thing. It's, you know, no different than in Hollywood winning the Academy Award. It's unique in that sense, and to name it Battle of the Belts and put the emphasis on titles, and I'm not sure if all titles will be defended in this very first TNT special, but I do know just with that in mind, it being the very first special that we're doing as part of the new contract, you know, myself and The Bucks and Kenny, and Tony, that's not one that we can leave — we are not capable, we are not able, at this point, to have a B+ show, everything has to be A+.”
Cody continued, “That is something I'm really looking forward to. We can still make these new memories, and we're going to continue to make them. Battle of the Belts will be, I'm sure, a big emphasis on the actual titles themselves, which then lean into an emphasis for the most part other than the TNT Title, lean into an emphasis on the rankings. These were all things that we, as the brand, introduced, and it's not always easy right out of the gate to say, ‘Hey, that wrestling that you've been used to for 20 years, we're changing it all up.’ You might have been conditioned to this is how things go, and this is how things go, and you might even be frustrated when you guess that we're gonna go through this door, but we go through a different one that's just because our brand does not share their identity or a different identity. It's very much AEW.”
Cody, understanding what he just said was vague, brought it back around and directly said that he is excited for the show because it is reminiscent of the Clash of the Champions, something his dad created for Jim Crockett promotions over 30 years ago.
“That's the vaguest thing I've ever said. I'm gonna be straight with you. I'm excited about Battle of the Belts because it reminds me of Clash of the Champions. It's a special, and big things happen on nights like that. I said we were not capable of never having a big night but we are capable of making our nights bigger. If that makes any sense and I'm very much looking forward to it.”
Cody will be walking into the event as the only person to ever win the AEW TNT Championship belt 3 times. He most recently won the title from Sammy Guevara on Christmas night.
Fightful will have live AEW Battle of the Belts coverage on Saturday, January 8.
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