This week's AEW Dynamite ended with Cody Rhodes seemingly attempting to retire from in-ring competition, only to get blasted in the back with a crutch by Malakai Black. Rhodes lost to Black in the show's main event in about five minutes, then gave a heartfelt speech reflecting on his career before taking off one of his boots. Black mockingly grabbed the boot while Rhodes was unconscious, but "The American Nightmare" kept going once the cameras stopped rolling. As you can see in the video below he undid his other boot, kissed the canvas and departed with his brother Dustin Rhodes.
The former TNT Champion was expected to take time off from AEW television regardless, as he'll once again be on the judge's panel for Season 2 of Go-Big Show. He's stated in the past that he doesn't intend to wrestle past 40, but he's only 36 right now and likely has a few more years left in the ring.
One interesting note regarding Rhodes' speech was him mentioning the recent rumored in-fighting between himself and the rest of the executive vice presidents backstage. Rhodes had previously shot down those rumors while speaking with the media.
"When I heard that story was floating around, it is one of the things I chopped up as we've been very successful, AEW, and with NXT losing the Wednesday Night Wars, that created a lot of anger," Rhodes said in a media conference call prior to May's Double or Nothing pay-per-view. "I understand there is a lot of hardcore NXT and WWE fans out there and that's why those stories like that don't surprise me. I think people need to cling to something and as sexy as that story is, I talk to Matt and Nick every day, I talk to Kenny very often, I support their projects fully and they've been supportive of all my projects.
"We would not be able to put this show on the air, Tony [Khan] is the man and he's the boss, but we would not be able to put the show on the air if the four of us were not functioning as one team," he continued. "Unfortunately, it's not very sexy to say, but there is no truth to that. We'll remain one team."