Last year at Fyter Fest, former TNT Champion and AEW EVP, Cody Rhodes, took a chair shot to the head from Shawn Spears. In the world of wrestling, any attack on the skull is forbidden due to the harmful effects of concussion. However, Rhodes took it, and it was the first and last of his career.
Not only was he on the verge of a concussion, his head bust open, and he started bleeding in the ring. Rhodes required 12 staples as the lip of the chair caught him in the back of the head. This incident got a lot of attention for AEW, and it started the feud between Rhodes and Spears.
Now, ‘The American Nightmare’ has finally revealed the backstage details of the accident. Speaking to AEW Unrestricted, Rhodes revealed the chair shot was completely his idea. He wanted to make a statement.
“It’s entirely my fault, what happened. The whole thing. The scene when I came (to the) back. I did not have a concussion, but I was shell shocked. I saw [Jon] Moxley and Tony Khan just ripping Spears to shreds, I hadn’t seen that side of the boss, and I hadn’t seen that side of Moxley.”
Everyone was blaming Spears for the poor delivery, but it was Rhodes’ idea altogether. He gave Spears the direction to swing the chair from the sides. However, he justifies this action, “Here was my objective, and I want people to understand this; wrestling is violent. If we’re going to be held to the same standard as TV and film, which some people like to do because we have a comparable reach.”
While talking about the inclusion of chair shots into mainstream matches, Cody recalled the Attitude/Hardcore Era, “No one is blaming this modern generation for whatever the hell they did with Mick [Foley], Rock, [Ken] Shamrock. That’s not our fault. I wanted to take chair shots to the head back for the boys. I wanted to do it safely.“
While Spears tried to land the chair to be as safe as possible, it did not work out. Although Rhodes got immensely hurt in the process, he would love to do it again.
“My attempt to get chair shots to the head back for the boys, but safely, was a failed attempt. Maybe it never should have been attempted. It was a big lesson for me. Would I do it again? Of course,” said Cody.
The rivalry between Spears and Rhodes saw the latter emerging victorious. Cody then started feuding with Chris Jericho. Their feud later made MJF turn heel and gave rise to The Inner Circle.
There were never any chair shots to the head in the future, but the gruesome matches are still a part of AEW.