The American Nightmare: Why Now Is The Time For Cody Rhodes To Turn Heel
From the moment AEW began, Cody Rhodes has been positioned as a top babyface star and someone that the fans can love. However, in recent weeks, things have begun changing for the former TNT Champion, with fans online and in attendance beginning to sour on him. So, is now the time to turn Cody heel?
A Genuine Fan Connection
Cody Rhodes’ babyface career has completely gone off the rails lately, which is a big change as initially, he was the most popular star on AEW’s roster. The reason for that is he built a genuine connection with the fans.
Cody was the man who bet on himself, walked away from a job in WWE where he was a consistent mid-card act, and tried to better his career. That’s exactly what he did and Cody took the fans on the entire journey, building a strong bond with them.
Whether it was his initial list of dream matches or accepting the bet with Dave Meltzer which led to ALL IN, Cody as becoming one of the most beloved stars in wrestling. It benefitted AEW early on as well because fans wanted to continue seeing him on that path, but the wheels have now come off.
The American Dream Isn’t For Everyone
In recent times, Cody has feuded with former British boxer, Anthony Ogogo in a storyline that has been focused on UK vs. the USA. It’s been clear that the purpose of this is to get Cody to the point of being the American Dream and following in his father’s footsteps, and on paper, that is a nice story.
However, in reality, it hasn’t worked. Firstly, the entire situation feels forced with Cody desperately trying to channel his inner Dusty Rhodes rather than carving out his own style as himself. People fell in love with him by being his own star and not trying to be a carbon copy of his father, so switching gears has felt out of place.
Cody caught a lot of criticism from fans for his promo regarding race, mainly because it just felt like an out-of-place rallying cry, rather than something that fits uniquely to the story.
But the real reason this isn’t working is that it’s not believable. Dusty was the everyman and was relatable as someone chasing the genuine American Dream. That situation doesn’t exist for Cody, who has always had great success, from being a top WWE Superstar to being the Executive Vice President of AEW.
Cody has the fancy suits, his own tour bus, a beautiful wife, and success outside of wrestling too. There’s no feeling that he is scratching and clawing to achieve anything as his father did and therefore pushing him as an underdog chasing a dream will never connect in the manner he hopes.
Time For The Heel Turn
While Cody’s recent storylines haven’t quite connected, there’s no doubt he’s a major star for the company. AEW has always been great at switching things up when things aren’t working, and right now that is the case with him. Rather than continuing to push the same stale character, now is the perfect time to turn him heel.
Cody has proven several times throughout his career that he can be an effective heel, and there are plenty of routes AEW could go down in turning him. Not only would a heel turn freshen up his character, but it could also potentially take him back to being with the other EVP’s, killing the rumors of backstage fallouts in their tracks.
Plus, a big benefit to turning Cody heel could be to get rid of the stipulation that he can never be World Champion. AEW really shackled itself with that stipulation as it makes Cody hard for fans to truly love as he is never allowed to win the big one. If a heel turn allows him to become arrogant to flex his backstage pull, this could remove that stipulation.
Allowing Cody to chase the World Title would in turn lead him back to being a genuine babyface as this is the main goal that fans have wanted for him ever since leaving WWE. A heel turn isn’t always the answer to a problem, but in the case of Cody Rhodes, it’s time to turn back on the dream and embrace the American Nightmare.