Last night at AEW’s Fyter Fest, Cody Rhodes fought Darby Allin, a smaller and less pedigreed competitor, but one who just wouldn’t give up no matter how much Cody took it to him. When the match ended in a time limit draw, Cody was in the ring trying to get it extended for five minutes so he could put down Allin. That’s when Shawn Spears, the wrestler formerly known as the Perfect Ten Tye Dillinger, stormed the ring and hit Cody in the head with a chair. Cody didn’t put his arms up, fell to the mat with a pool of blood forming around his head, and was helped to the back by Brandi Rhodes, MJF, and others.
The immediate reaction on the wrestling internet was strong, with many people upset at what appeared to be an unprotected chair shot to the head, something that’s been banned in WWE since 2010 because of the move’s obvious risk of concussion. In terms of how this particular shot was delivered by Shawn and taken by Cody, and how he came to bleed from what kind of looked like the other side of his head, I’m not going to go over the footage with a fine-toothed comb like I’m an expert in forensic wrestling investigation. I’ll leave that for the comment sections. What I do have are follow-up remarks from some of the top people at AEW, which you can take with as many grains of salt as you want.
After the show, AEW President Tony Khan spoke with the wrestling media about the incident:
We called a doctor immediately. Obviously really regrettable what happened. I don’t know if this is the time to go into detail about what happened but we had taken precautions in this situation and that specific situation. A doctor was available and Cody does not have a concussion and had staples and we’re all very grateful for that.
Nick Jackson of the Young Bucks also commented, although as usual it’s not entirely clear where kayfabe starts and stops in his remarks:
You think it was unprotected, and I’ll keep it at that. That was all Cody’s idea. I don’t even know what happened, to be honest. All I know is he did get staples, so I’m going to have to look back and I’ll have a comment on it later. I do know that they gimmicked the chair, and it clearly didn’t work, right? ‘Cause he was bloody. So I dunno.
Later that night, Brandi Rhodes tweeted a birthday message (today’s Cody’s 34th) which didn’t seem like somebody who’s legitimately too worried about her husband’s health:
Cody has since made his own birthday post that doesn’t reference the chair shot at all (but the replies are full of people begging him never to do that again).
And as for Shawn Spears, he kept kayfabe and let everybody know what had him feeling so chair-shotty in the first place:
If you don’t remember, that’s what Cody had to say about hiring Shawn Spears in the first place. Clearly Shawn wants to be more than just a hand.