After months of waiting Cody finally got his hands on MJF at AEW’s Revolution pay-per-view on Saturday night at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Illinois. Things didn’t go as planned for Cody and he ended up losing the match to MJF after his nefarious former protege cracked him in the jaw with the Dynamite Diamond and secured the 1, 2, 3.
Funnily enough though, no one is talking about how Cody lost the match. Heck, no one is even talking about the match itself. All anyone can talk about is Cody’s new neck tattoo. I’m sorry what? Yeah you heard me. Cody Rhodes has a brand spanking new red, white, and blue neck tattoo. Don’t worry, if this is the first time you’re hearing this news, everyone who saw it debut last night is still just as baffled as you are in this moment.
When Cody first appeared at the top of the entrance ramp the questions began circling the room I was watching Revolution in “What’s that on his neck? Is that a tattoo?” I and the folks I was watching the PPV with thought it must be a temporary tattoo, there’s no way that Cody would do something like this. He’s a good looking, well dressed, clean cut guy that likes to dress in suits and whose only tattoo is a simple script that reads “Dream” above his heart.
But there it was right there on his neck, the Cody Rhodes Nightmare Family logo. I remember thinking to myself how out of character this was for him and that it had to be a fake. And that’s when I saw it. While checking Twitter to see what people were saying about the tattoo I read a Tweet from the official AEW account and a cold hand closed around my heart. It’s real. And not only that, but AEW is actually proudly showing it off.
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEWrestling) March 1, 2020
Full transparency, I have over twenty tattoos myself and some of them I’m less than fond of. So I don’t want to make fun of Cody’s neck tattoo (I kinda do), but we need to talk about it.
The thing about tattoos is there’s a number of unwritten rules that you follow when getting them. For instance, you never tattooed your significant other’s name on your body because if you ever split, you’re now the idiot with your ex’s name permanently displayed on your skin. Don’t let a stranger you’ve never met tattoo you in your friend’s kitchen at a party at 2am (self-explanatory). Know what the tattoo means, especially if it’s from another culture so you don’t end up with “monkey balls” written on your rib cage in Chinese. And never tattoo your face, neck, or hands unless you’re okay with the fact that most employers won’t hire you.
As I just explained, a tattoo on your face, neck, or hands is a big deal because of the repercussions you can face when getting one and due to that, you don’t see them very often. When you do see someone with a tattoo in one of these locations, 99% of the time that person is covered in tattoos. A neck tattoo is something you work yourself up to. You don’t just dive into the deep end and get one as one of your first tattoos. This is probably the biggest reason that Cody’s tattoo is so controversial. There was no build, no warning, someone just flipped a switch and one of AEW’s most clean cut babyface’s now has a huge neck tattoo.
But hey, let’s be honest, wrestlers aren’t exactly known for getting good tattoos. The Undertaker had to get his ex-wife’s name removed from his neck with a laser, CM Punk has a giant Pepsi logo on his shoulder, Lance Archer has a tribal tramp stamp, Brock Lesnar has an incredibly phallic looking sword on his chest, and Scott Steiner has one of the worst overall collections I’ve ever seen.
And then there’s Batista’s belly button. I’ll just leave this here.
People don’t just think the neck tattoo looks bad, they’re concerned about Cody’s mental and emotional well being. One distressed fan took the liberty of creating a GoFundMe to help raise funds for the tattoo’s removal. Cody’s concerned fan has set a fundraising goal is $10,000 with a total of $10 donated thus far. The GoFundMe page reads:
Cody just unveiled a horrible tattoo on AEW Revolution. The tattoo clearly was a major factor in him losing his match against MJF, and it’s just really really ugly. I’m sure Cody is embarrassed and probably regrets it. Let’s raise some money so Cody can afford to get it removed.
The internet, myself, and my group of friends aren’t the only people not stoked about Cody’s unexpected decision to permanently alter his appearance. Brandi Rhodes was present at the media scrum following Revolution alongside her brother-in-law Dustin Rhodes. While discussing Dustin’s match against Jake Hager and his future Tag Team plans, Brandi was asked about Cody’s new ink.
“I’m the one person that doesn’t like the neck tattoo, I don’t like it,” said Brandi. “I’ve said it, there it is. I know a lot of wives like to be really hands on. My husband makes his own decisions, he’s allowed to make his own decisions. So if I decided to do something crazy, he can just let me make my own decisions [laughs].”
Those are the words Brandi chose to share with the media. Safe to say she was probably a little more blunt with her husband in private.
Tony Khan, AEW President and CEO, spoke during the media scrum and was far kinder to Cody when asked about the American Nightmare’s new ink.
— Ryan Droste (@ryandroste) March 1, 2020
Okay look, all jokes aside Cody is married to one of the most beautiful women to ever grace the squared circle, he’s an executive vice president at the most exciting wrestling promotion since WCW, he wrestled his first five star match within the last year, and at this point in his career he’s basically ascended to the wrestling pantheon as far as fans are concerned. Suffice to say, this neck tattoo isn’t going to topple the American Nightmare from atop his throne because eventually fans will completely forget about it and no one will really care anymore.
The actual immediate issue is that going into Revolution this feud was easily the one that fans had invested the most emotion into, and even though it wasn’t for a title, no one would argue that it was likely pegged as match of the night candidate. I honest to god can barely remember what happened during this match because all my friends and I could talk about the entire time was Cody’s neck tattoo. I’ve seen this story echoed by countless fans across social media and the other myriad watering holes you find wrestling fans in on the internet. All people could talk about before, during, and after the match was the neck tattoo.
When MJF came out it looked like he had fallen asleep in a tanning bed. My friends and I laughed at him and then waited for Cody to come out to being the match that all of us thought would be a match that we’d be talking about for months, if not, years to come. We weren’t wrong. This match is infamous and will remain so until the end of time as far as wrestling is concerned. But for all the wrong reasons.
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