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What Cody Rhodes & Triple H say about his AEW exit in new documentary

American Nightmare: Becoming Cody Rhodes, a two hour documentary on the life and career of the second-generation wrestler and current WWE Superstar, premiered on Peacock today (July 31).

One of the aspects of the WWE-produced program people were most interested in was how it would cover AEW, the company Rhodes launched with owner Tony Khan & fellow Executive Vice-Presidents Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks. The answer is... not much.

There’s considerable coverage of ALL IN, the event Rhodes & The Bucks put on with Ring of Honor’s help that served as a proof of concept for AEW. But American Nightmare’s coverage of Cody’s years with that company are spent focusing on how he grew during that time, especially outside of the ring with the birth of daughter Liberty.

His exit from AEW is addressed, both in terms of how WWE approached him after his AEW contract expired in early 2022, and in terms of why Rhodes made the decision to come back to the company he’d requested his release from in 2016.

The remarks made by Cody and his new boss, Paul “Triple H” Levesque, from that latter portion of the doc are getting a lot of play on the wrestle web today...

Rhodes: This is my one request in this entire documentary. This one answer, I don’t want edited in any capacity — don’t even edit this part. I can’t tell you why I left AEW. I can’t, and I won’t. But I’ll tell you the reasons that were said that didn’t actually matter: I didn’t leave AEW because of money, and I didn’t leave AEW because of other talents. I left AEW because of a personal issue. That’s it. But the byproduct of leaving AEW is the opportunity to go for the biggest dream I ever had, and the first dream I had in my life.”

Levesque: To then take that gamble again and say, ‘This is not what I wanted to be. I didn’t grow up dreaming of being the champion, or the face of a secondary promotion. I wanted to be the WWE champion.’

This isn’t the first time Cody’s made reference to personal reasons for leaving AEW. It’s also not the first time Triple H’s made it clear he doesn’t consider AEW to be on WWE’s level.

But it’s the first time they’re doing so in a WWE-produced documentary on the domestic home of the WWE Network, so we’ll see how it plays this time around.

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