Report: Tony Khan Had The Option To Extend Cody Rhodes' AEW Deal, Chose Not To

Khan could have stopped Cody's departure

While Cody Rhodes is reportedly returning to WWE following his All Elite Wrestling departure earlier this week, AEW President Tony Khan actually had the option to keep The American Nightmare in his promotion.

According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, it is believed Cody's three-year deal with AEW that he signed in January 2019 included a two-year option which would have kept him with the promotion until 2024. 

Others who signed in January 2019 also had an option in their contracts for extra years - including Chris Jericho, The Young Bucks, and Hangman Page - and all of their options were picked up by Tony Khan but Cody's ultimately was not. 

The reason for this hasn't been confirmed but a "top player" in AEW told Meltzer that "Cody wasn't happy and even with the option period, Khan was agreeable to allow him to go if he didn't want to stay."

With the option not being picked up, both sides began negotiations over a new contract after Rhodes' deal expired at the end of 2021. They were ultimately unable to agree to terms on a new deal, though, with both sides said to be far apart on money while Cody was also hurt about losing booking power in AEW back in January of 2020. 

Both Cody and Brandi Rhodes then announced their departures from AEW on Tuesday, February 15.

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Aidan Gibbons

Written by Aidan Gibbons

Editor-in-Chief of Twitter: @theaidangibbons