Cody Rhodes Confirms He's On A Handshake Deal With AEW

Cody Rhodes lost the AEW TNT Championship at AEW Dynamite Beach Break when he was bested by Sammy Guevara in a ladder match.

Rhodes won the best on the Christmas episode of AEW Rampage, but was unable to defend it at AEW Battle of the Belts due to medical protocols.

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In a backstage segment on AEW's YouTube page, Cody reflected on his loss.

"This is such a bizarre story, but my dad used to coach our football team. I remember the last game of the season, we played the Walton Raiders. Last game of the season, we weren't going to the playoffs, we lost, didn't matter. We were in seventh grade. Everyone is expecting, it's the last game, 'great season,' we do the banquet and all this. We lost. We got our ass kicked. It's similar tonight because I lost. I'll never forget, all those parents were circled around him, they thought he was going to say something inspirational, something significant about 'what a great season.' He just told them, 'I have a bad taste in my mouth.' Wrestling is about the ones who win. I oughta know, I lost for eight years. I really oughta know. Something as silly as a wrestling match isn't silly at all to me. The winner's purse isn't remotely fictional to me. The winners make more than the losers. The winners sit in first class and wear the TNT Championship. I feel at least positive that it's on someone like Sammy Guevara. It's on someone who I helped bring here, recruited, wrestled in the very first match in Dynamite history. Here we are on TBS, we've only grown, our audience has grown, the ratings have grown," he stated.

On January 17, Fightful's Sean Ross Sapp reported that Cody was a free agent and had been working without a contract since the end of 2021 when his deal expired.

Cody confirmed the report in the segment.

"It's paradise, right? There are so many elephants in the room. This is an insane week in wrestling. People think that the Sean Ross story is BS, it's not. I'm working here without a contract. I'm not even on payroll anymore. I'm working here on a handshake deal. That is 100% legitimate, I swear on Pharaoh's life," he said.

Cody finished up by once again mentioning his AEW TNT Title loss to Guevara and what the TNT Title means to me.

"I can tell you this, I have never felt more at home than under those lights, wrestling for the TNT Title, a title that will never ever be secondary because of matches like that. Old school promoters will tell you that a title can make the man or the man can make the title. At this point, we don't know which is which. I'm very proud of Sammy Guevara. I absolutely wish that I could go home to my family and say, 'TNT Champ once again,' a belt that was synonymous with my name doesn't look like it'll be just about me. Brodie (Lee), Miro, Darby (Allin), Sammy, myself. I'm slow when it comes to rematches, but maybe I won't be so slow on getting my rematch on this one. For now, I'm going to take a beat, get with Arn (Anderson), and think about it. An insane week where I have heard the most wonderful crazy things from all walks of the wrestling world about what it is that I do next. Like I said, I've never felt more at home than wrestling for that title in front of a crowd like that. Thank you," he closed.

It was noted in the original report that FIghtful reached out to Cody regarding his contract status, but did not hear back.

If you missed anything from AEW Dynamite, check out Fightful's full report on the show by clicking here.

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