Cody faced Mr. Brodie Lee in a Dog Collar Match on the October 7 edition of AEW Dynamite. It was a return match from August 22, when Lee destroyed Cody in a squash and captured the AEW TNT Championship in the process. The title was once again on the line in this bout and both men definitely delivered.

A bloodied and battered Cody walked away as the new TNT champion, as many fans predicted he would. They also predicted it would be a smash-mouth old school brawl and it absolutely was. But what they perhaps didn’t predict was Orange Cassidy’s appearance at the end.

Cody cut a tearful promo after beating Brodie Lee and then promised to defend his newly won championship on the October 14 anniversary edition of Dynamite. That was Cassidy’s cue and the laidback star came out on the stage, giving the thumbs up to the champ. The title defense was made official later on in the show.

That upcoming bout did not overshadow the chaos that fans had just witnessed however, as it marks one of the most violent showdowns that AEW has ever produced. Cody and Brodie Lee fought both in and out of the ring, utilizing the dog collar chain every step of the way. It was very reminiscent of territory wrestling and it brought another very distinctive layer to the AEW product. 

Watch Cody vs Brodie Lee!

Tony Khan’s company has consistently made the effort to set itself apart from WWE, as well as every other wrestling promotion in business today. Part of that effort entails connecting the AEW brand to the old school fanbase, who appreciate the gritty, no-nonsense era of the NWA and early WCW.

Cody versus Brodie was a pro wrestling gimmick match, in every sense of the term. This was not a comedy bit and it wasn’t a cheap ploy meant only to pop a rating. This was a natural progression in the feud between both men and now that feud may, or may not, have ended. If it’s over, then fans got a quick glimpse of pro wrestling’s glory days. If it’s not over, then Brodie Lee will back in the picture sooner or later.

But in the meantime, Orange Cassidy, who many fans hail as the future of the company, is now the man stepping up to the champ. Some believe this will be Cassidy’s opportunity to realize his main event potential. Is that the case, or will this be a throwaway title match on a big show?

Part of the issue with Cody’s current run in AEW is that when he returned to action, the speculation surrounding a new faction ramped up once again. This speculation centers on an old school group, similar to The Four Horsemen, featuring either Arn Anderson or Tully Blanchard, or possibly both, at the helm. FTR would be included due to Blanchard and Cody would be the obvious leader, thanks to his connection with Double A.

Relive Cody vs Broide Lee from August 22!

But this conjecture has had virtually no basis in reality to this point. So it’s either completely imagined, or it just hasn’t happened yet. Either way, fans can only deal with what’s right in front of them. Any bit of fortune telling on anyone’s part is merely just a distraction. Unless something major happens on October 14, Cody is going to have a straight-up pro wrestling match with a beginning, middle and end.

Of course, there is always the possibility that someone will interrupt and bring the whole match to a screeching halt. Brodie Lee could be that someone, but it could also be anyone on the AEW roster. Perhaps Cody has another TNT Championship challenger waiting in the wings, biding his time until he strikes. Or maybe Cassidy has an enemy that will get involved, ruining the title match and possibly his chances of leaving with the belt.

No matter what happens, it’s hard to argue that Cody isn’t a highly effective titleholder. When he first held the TNT belt, he defended it against all challengers and he was a very credible champion. This second title win could be the start of a very lengthy run, or it could be over before it really begins. 

Orange Cassidy is fully invested in AEW and his fans are fully invested in him as well. He’s definitely the future of the company and his time will come. Whether or not that time is October 14 against Cody, remains to be seen. Cody is doing what he does and despite what comes next, he will likely remain one of the most credible and relevant talents in AEW. That outcome is definitely not in dispute.


Tom Clark is a Senior Pro Wrestling Analyst and Featured Columnist for Wrestling Rumors. His podcast, Tom Clark’s Main Event, is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, Spotify, YouTube and live every Friday at 12pm EST on Wrestling Rumors Facebook Live


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