Former NWA World Television Champion and current free agent Ricky Starks made his surprise arrival on AEW Dynamite this week to challenge Cody Rhodes for the AEW TNT Championship. Rhodes stated after he won the title against Lance Archer that he would defend it every week, and that his open invitation extended to stars outside of AEW as well. Starks was apart of the NWA back when NWA Power first launched, and began the first man to hold the revived Television Championship back in January at the NWA Hard Times pay-per-view. He dropped the title to Zicky Dice at the following set of Power tapings, and by May he was gone from the promotion.
The commentary team specified that Starks is still a free agent, so he hasn't joined AEW's roster yet.
After a hard-fought back-and-forth clash, Rhodes won with a single Cross Rhodes.
Throughout the match the camera cut backstage to Jake Hager, who will challenge Rhodes for the TNT title at Fyter Fest at the start of July.
So far, Rhodes' successful championship defenses include beating Jungle Boy, Marq Quen and Starks.
Check out the card for Fyter Fest (so far) in the list below. The event will take place across the July 1 and July 8 episodes of Dynamite:
- AEW World Championship: Jon Moxley vs. Brian Cage
- AEW World Tag Team Championships: Kenny Omega & Hangman Page vs. The Best Friends/Le Sex Gods
- AEW TNT Championship: Cody Rhodes vs. Jake Hager
- AEW Women's World Championship: Hikaru Shida vs. Penelope Ford
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