AEW's first quarterly TNT special, Battle of the Belts, was supposed to see Cody Rhodes defend his TNT Championship against former TNT Champion Sammy Guevara in a rematch from AEW Rampage: Holiday Bash last month. However, the day before the show AEW announced that, due to medical issues, Rhodes would have to miss the event. Guevara then defeated Dustin Rhodes to become the company's first interim TNT Champion and will defend that title against Daniel Garcia on this week's AEW Dynamite. As for the title unification match between Rhodes and Guevara, no date has been announced. But Rhodes did pop up on Instagram on Saturday to explain his absence.
"I appreciate everybody reaching out," Rhodes said. "Brandi and I are in isolation with family that have unfortunately tested positive for COVID. It's been a scary time dealing with such a strong virus and the complications that can come with it. We are doing all we can to nurse and protect the family during this time. I will remain in quarantine as long as needed. Every day is more encouraging. Thank you immensely for your support and respect of our privacy. Thank you to AEW for understanding and allowing me to be where I am needed today, and for still allowing the TNT Title to be represented. I look forward to being back soon. All the love in the world!"
Rhodes spoke with ComicBook last week and discussed the comparisons he's been getting to the Homelander character from The Boys.
"I never want to ruin it for anybody," Rhodes said. "I never judge our fans or hold them accountable. They pay their money. They can do whatever they'd like. That's the beauty of being a fan, but I can tell you Sandra Gray, who's been making my gear since Dashing Cody Rhodes, has no idea about Homelander. And now, that jacket is forever synonymous with it, but it is a really unique parallel. I know people have a lot of fun with fan art when it's concerned. With what's happening with me and the reactions, I don't want to ruin it for anybody, but I feel like the luckiest wrestler alive that we're able to cause this polarity, that we're able to have every show be clickbaited and discussed.
"And just the thing I am most excited about is, as with all things AEW, we're not going a path that perhaps you saw on another wrestling show," he added. "We are going to be going in a different direction and that makes for great wrestling because it's new, because it's fresh. But yeah, with everything that's going on with the crowds for me right now, I really have to pinch myself, in terms of (being) very lucky."