On the January 19, 2022 episode of AEW Dynamite, Cody Rhodes cut what would turn out to be his final promo in AEW.
Rhodes mentioned CM Punk's infamous "Pipe Bomb" promo and how Punk said he would do certain things like work New Japan or team with the Young Bucks, while Cody was the person who actually did those things. Cody addressed his non-heel turn at the end of his AEW run, building the "Forbidden Door," helping start AEW and how the company had changed, and much more.
Speaking to Sam Roberts on Not Sam Wrestling, Cody addressed his final AEW promo.
"I think it's easy for me now to say 'Oh, I definitely knew,' but it wasn't the case. I didn't know. The last thing I did at AEW, no one really knows, the last thing I did was coach a match -- and I wasn't the best coach, I'm more of, 'Let you do what you want to' and then we talk about it after -- with Ruby (Soho) and Nyla Rose. That was the last thing. I remember walking out the door, they did fine, it wasn't anything to do with them. I remember thinking, 'I think I'm leaving.' That promo, I remember I mentioned it to Punk as well, 'Hey, I think I'm going to say this,' I'm not a fan of blindsiding anybody. Where we're terrible at is social media. 'My opponent just nuked me,' then you nuke him back. Alright, no trust and we're at the peak level of fervor. I look at it now and I call it the 'exit interview.' Maybe, selfishly, egotistically, I wanted to remind them, 'I appreciate the company has changed, I do. Please know though, there is no company had these things not have happened.' Other things had to happen; (Chris) Jericho had to do his stuff, Bucks had to do their stuff, Kenny (Omega) had to do stuff, (Jon) Moxley had to do stuff, he's a big part of it too, I don't give him credit enough. I just wanted to let them know. The other part was sincerely, this is being a heel, saying you're not going to be a heel. It was just too meta," said Cody.
Cody continued, remembering the time fans threw the weight belt back at him during a multi-man tag team match.
"I had fun with it, I did, even when the belt came back in the Target Center, it was perfect. Dax (Harwood) and those guys knew what to do, we leaned into it. I would always tell QT (Marshall) or Tony (Khan) or whoever was there, 'I'm leaning in.' I don't know if anyone knew what that meant. I think that's the story about everything at the end, 'I don't know if there's a plan for this. This is chaos.' Chaos, we did big numbers, one of the last Saturday specials did a killer number and we were doing great business, but chaos, you have to get the reigns on it at some point. Where is this going? The 'exit interview,' selfishly, I wanted fans to know, 'I love you guys so much, and I did all this, and if you have forgotten about it, I don't think that's cool.' It's the nature of it. Me, Matt (Jackson), and Nick (Jackson) talk about that all the time. It's like people don't remember. I'm of the fault that when I'm 80 years old, 'He did do all this.' It's so odd because I was so mad at different journalists in how they discredited my dad, took ideas and took things away from him, and later he passed away, 'He did all of this.' As mad as I was, I felt in that moment, 'it's happening all over again and happening to me.' There are too many egos in wrestling, including my own. I can't take credit for the revolution, there were other people. Was I a big part of it? Sure," stated Cody.
Cody would wrestle one last time on AEW television, losing a ladder match to Sammy Guevara and, in the process, losing the AEW TNT Championship.
He would depart AEW in February and return to WWE at WrestleMania 38.
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