Cody Rhodes is a second generation wrestler, being the son of the legendary Dusty Rhodes and half brother of Goldust. On January 1, 2019, Cody unveiled a new promotion, All Elite Wrestling (AEW), in which he, along with Matt and Nick Jackson of The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega, would serve as Executive Vice Presidents and on-air talent.
Both Cody and The Young Bucks signed five-year contracts with the promotion. At their inaugural pay-per-view event on May 25, Double or Nothing, Cody defeated his real life half-brother Dustin Runnels. On June 29 at Fyter Fest, Cody wrestled Darby Allin to a time limit draw.
After the match, Rhodes was attacked by Shawn Spears and struck with a chair shot that caused Rhodes to bleed heavily from the back of his head. While Rhodes did not suffer a concussion, he did require 12 surgical staples. Spears' actions would be condemned by MJF, Cody's self-proclaimed best friend.
MJF would later become Cody's cornerman for his matches. Over the following months, Cody attempted to secure a match with MJF, which MJF agreed to do as long as Cody met three stipulations: he could not touch MJF until the match, he would have to defeat MJF's bodyguard Wardlow in a steel cage match, and he would have to take ten lashes with a leather belt.
After taking the lashes, Cody defeated Wardlow in a steel cage match on the February 19, 2020 episode of Dynamite to arrange the match for the Revolution pay-per-view. However, Cody was defeated by MJF at the event on February 29.
During a long interview with Bleacher Report, he reflected on wrestlers’ use of social media: “The pros have to outweigh the cons. The DIY wrestlers that exist out there, they were born because of social media, and a portion of AEW exists because of social media.
I don’t know if it’ll be as important in the future as it is now, but it’s still very important”.