Today is the day the highly anticipated documentary American Nightmare: Becoming Cody Rhodes is finally released on Peacock. In the film, Rhodes opens up about his struggles during his first WWE run, his decision to leave, and his return. Despite expectations, he talks about AEW and uses the company’s name. Triple H also discusses AEW in the documentary, acknowledging their existence while reflecting on Rhodes’ journey and dreams.
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One notable clip features Rhodes explaining why he left Tony Khan’s promotion. He emphasizes a personal issue as the reason behind his departure, not money or other talents. Leaving AEW provided him with the opportunity to pursue his biggest dream ever, which was his lifelong aspiration.
“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 that 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 ever had in my life.”
The documentary then cuts to Triple H, who talks about Rhodes’ journey and dreams. “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.”
AEW, while successful, is still second to WWE in ratings and attendance. It’s surprising to see Cody Rhodes mention AEW in a WWE documentary and Triple H acknowledging their existence, considering WWE’s history of acting like no other wrestling promotion outside of them and WCW ever existed.