Is Cody Rhodes Actually Leaving AEW?

News broke on Monday that Cody Rhodes was currently operating without an AEW contract, technically making him a free agent. Rhodes is about as firmly entrenched in AEW as a person can get — he's the current TNT Champion, one of the company's executive vice presidents, he was one of the founding members, his wife wrestles for the company and has a front-office role, his older brother Dustin is still on the roster and many of his students from The Nightmare Factory have popped up on AEW TV. This is why when asked for an update on the latest Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer said Rhodes isn't going anywhere. 

"The Cody Rhodes rumors, I'm sure that at this point given that nobody has been denying them that they actually want it out like this," Meltzer said (h/t "There's nothing of substance to the story in the sense that he's got a reality show (Rhodes to the Top), he's got a game show (Go-Big Show) [and] he was just in touch with me the other day about the ratings of his game show. He was very happy with those ratings and he's Executive Vice President. He may not have signed his contract because he hasn't been there. He was supposed to go January 5th to Newark and he actually went to Newark but he had to fly home because that's when there was a family health issue and he had to go home. He has not been to an AEW show yet this year. His first one will be Wednesday so that's the basic situation there."

Rhodes talked about Go-Big Show Season 2 in an interview with ComicBook prior to its premiere earlier this month — "I think the first season, that learning curve and adapting an identity and the global penetration, one thing it leaned into was now we can cast a wider net for season two, in terms of acts and the dichotomy presented with some of these acts. In the trailer, you'll see a man named Horse whose act is getting kicked in the balls. And that act stacked up against a 20-plus-year magician, or a sideshow performer, or a high dive artist... it really is just unreal, the difference, but its ability to make you feel something. And that's really how I judge, is how did I feel? Because I'm definitely not qualified to be judging any of these people."

Rhodes is scheduled to be on this week's AEW Dynamite. He was originally booked to defend the TNT title against Sammy Guevara at Battle of the Belts on Jan. 8 but had to miss the show due to COVID-19.