Cody Rhodes' decision to forgo his ability to ever challenge for the AEW World Championship should he had lost to Chris Jericho at Full Gear surprised many and even didn't sit well with AEW President Tony Khan.
In an interview with the Dallas Morning News, Cody explained why he made decision to never challenge for the title ever again. Cody revealed that he was solely responsible for making that decision and that Khan wasn't a fan of it. A reason for that is that he didn't want to have to deal with the critiques some may have thrown at him for being one of the people in charge of a wrestling company that he also wrestles and is a top star for.
"It was solely my decision. Tony was not a fan of it, but he understood why I wanted to do it. And I heard both sides of the argument. Right now, I’m in a spot with the fans that I’ve never been in before. I’ve never gotten reactions like this. I’ve never been as good as I am in the ring right now. You know, men’s wrestler prime is 35 [years old], that’s what everyone always says. I’m 34. So, I think I’m almost there. ... But also, I don’t want to face any of the criticisms or any of the asterisks that my dad [Dusty Rhodes] faced because they weren’t fair to his legacy," Cody said.
Further expanding on that point about his dad, Cody talked about how Dusty was criticized later on in his career and figured he would take an alternative approach to that. Despite no longer being able to challenge for the title, Cody said he was happy with the decision.
"When he was with [Jim Crockett Promotions], people talk about all that, he made everybody at Crockett rich. Him and Ric Flair were the top stars. When you’re the top stars, they’re what the people wanted to see. But they all received that criticism later on, the political aspect of it. I figured I would just take a different path. It’s not going to stop me from wrestling. It’s not going to stop me from even main-eventing if the match calls for it. But the title doesn’t belong to me. And unless the fans really wanted me to be champion, to wouldn’t belong to me. So right now, I’m happy with that decision," Cody said.
Cody ended up losing the match to Jericho at Full Gear when MJF threw in the towel from Cody's corner. The full interview can be seen at this link.