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Cody Rhodes tries to retire after one-sided loss to Malakai Black

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The main event of the Aug. 4 Homecoming edition of Dynamite was Malakai Black’s in-ring debut, which means it was also our first look at Black’s new ring entrance. The True Detective season 1 meets God of War mask is my favorite bit.

His opponent, Cody Rhodes, was out with his brother - and standard entrance. As they’ve done throughout their storyline, Malakai was in, well, black. Cody wore the white hat, so to speak.

The former Tommy End worked his modified kickboxing style, and focused on Rhodes leg as he promised he would in the run-up to the match.

As Jim Ross pointed out, Cody seemed focus on trying to end things quickly with a big move. It didn’t work, and he was kicked from the top through a table at ringside. Black waited for him in the ring, then delivered Black Mass and covered him with one foot.

Shocking enough, but there were still five minutes left in the show. What came next was even more surprising.

Cody Rhodes gave a retirement speech.

That’s certainly what it sounded like, as Cody delivered a tearful speech which included references to Vince McMahon saying he didn’t see AEW as competition, and rumors of in-fighting with his fellow Executive Vice-Presidents Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks.

But when he went to leave his boots in the ring, Black returned to wallop Rhodes with a crutch.

This was a strange angle. Even going to Rhodes while he was selling having been knocked out by Black’s finisher was weird. But it is different, and should keep us guessing about next steps.

What did you think of Malakai Black’s first AEW main event, and Cody’s retirement tease?

Find out everything that happened on Dynamite tonight here.