AEW executive vice president Cody Rhodes and his wife, Brandi, will not be returning to the company they helped found.
Rhodes announced the news on Twitter Tuesday morning:
Brandi, the company's chief brand officer, then released the following:
AEW head Tony Khan released his own statement via the company's Twitter account:
The surprising news comes as Cody is currently on two WarnerMedia-owned programs in Go Big Show and Rhodes to the Top, the latter being a reality show featuring the couple and behind-the-scenes happenings in AEW that was just picked up for a second season.
As of now, it's unknown what the barriers were between the 36-year-old and Khan on getting a deal done. TMZ reported that their sources said there was a fallout between the two "as Khan's visibility within the company grew."
Speculation will now lead to whether Rhodes will return to WWE, the company he requested a release from in May 2016 and that he has been critical of since leaving.
On the most recent Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer noted that there had been increased speculation from both locker rooms as to where Rhodes would land. He said that when the initial story broke about Rhodes being a free agent, he thought it was a minimal possibility Rhodes wouldn't return to AEW but he wouldn't say that as of last night.
Meltzer said Rhodes returning to WWE was "definitely something talked about...in certain circles about the potential of something happening."
Rhodes' AEW deal expired at the end of December and he even noted that he was working without a deal in a promo leading up to his TNT title unification bout with Sammy Guevara, quipping the match contract was not the one he was expecting to receive in the mail.
Rhodes was granted his request for a release by WWE in May 2016. He re-invented himself on the indies and then Ring of Honor, Impact and New Japan Pro Wrestling before founding AEW with Khan, Kenny Omega, the Young Bucks and others.
He wrestled just once this year, losing to Guevara in that January 26th match. It was originally to take place earlier in January, but Rhodes had to pull out due to an undisclosed medical situation.
Dustin Rhodes, however, will be staying put: