The tournament to crown AEW's first TNT Champion will officially begin on this week's AEW Dynamite, starting off with a match between Cody Rhodes and Shawn Spears. AEW uploaded a promo of Rhodes on Wednesday ahead of the show, where he sat in a dark room smoking a cigar while addressing each of his fellow competitors in the tournament. Much like his promos directed at Chris Jericho and MJF, it was outstanding.
After addressing the elephant in the room regarding the pandemic, Rhodes said the reason he so desperately needs to win the championship isn't because of fame, money or continuing the Rhodes family legacy.
"It's because I don't want to lose," Rhodes said. "AEW has four major pay-per-views — Double or Nothing, All Out, Full Gear, Revolution, and I'm 50-50. I've felt loss, and I don't ever want to lose," Rhodes said.
He then talked about everyone is in the bracket, starting with Colt Cabana.
"Ask anybody in any locker room the world over, they'll tell you they love Colt Cabana," Rhodes said. "Frankly, I do not trust a wrestler that doesn't have any enemies."
Regarding Kip Sabian, Rhodes pondered if his relationship with Penelope Ford would make both of them complacent. Rhodes said Darby Allin was the fastest-rising star of any wrestler in the world, but called him "a freshman on the varsity squad."
"I don't think he has the mental aptitude to finish this tournament," he said.
Rhodes said Spears will "mentally defeat himself before we ever lock up," praised Sammy Guevara's mean streak and said his first match with his brother Dustin "split my soul down to the bone" and that he doesn't want a rematch.
Finally there was Lance Archer. Rhodes didn't hold back.
"Jake Roberts has sure had a lot to say to me about Lance. You think I'm shaking in my boots because of your one-time reign with a title (the IWGP United States Championship in New Japan Pro Wrestling) that I personally held, so I'm talking from first-hand experience, a title that puro and casual fans alike consider to be worth about as much as this ash tray? Come on!"0comments
Rhodes then said flat-out he wasn't afraid of Archer.
"Every one of those guys, they want to be TNT Champion. Difference with me? I need it," Rhodes concluded.
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