It took Cody three gruelling matches to win the AEW TNT Title. He defended it for three gruelling months after that. On this episode of Dynamite, his whole world came crashing down in three minutes
Cody’s eight defences of his beloved title saw him face young up-and-comers from within AEW, giants and established stars such as Jake Hager and Scorpio Sky and even indie hero outsiders as the AEW TNT Title open challenge became one of the most high-octane, varied and compelling stories in modern day wrestling.
Brodie Lee tore all of that down in a brutal, vicious and portentous performance that became even more terrifying armed with the hindsight of what was to follow this TNT Title bulldozing.
As the competitors came out for the match, nobody could have foreseen what we were about to witness. Whilst Mister Brodie Lee looked menacing enough, Cody looked calm, composed and confident as he made his way to the ring. Chatting with Arn Anderson, lapping up his multiple nicknames and bantering with the crowd, the pre-match felt like it would easily lead to another notch on Cody’s title bedpost.
And for 5 seconds it was all going so well as Cody launched into a hectic start, hitting The Exalted One with 12 rapid-fire strikes in the corner. Sadly, those were to be the only gloves Cody landed, and once Brodie shoved him back and delivered an impressive drop-kick, the decimation began.
Cody was launched over the top rope to the floor like a sack of cats before being smashed almost through the metal barrier and then finding himself entirely on the wrong end of a massive big boot. Arn Anderson already had his head in his hands and this was only the start.
Back in the ring and Lee hit a rough looking half-and-half suplex followed by a release German and when this was followed by two meaty superkicks, it was genuinely a bit surprising to see Cody kick out, such was the heap of bones he had seemingly been turned into.
It was only a very brief reprieve however, and following two callous powerbombs, Brodie dragged the soon to be former champ to his feet and turned him inside out with a ferocious discus lariat. Not even bothering to hook the leg, Lee snarled as the referee counted three. And that was that...the end of Cody’s TNT Title run.
Sadly for Cody, it was not the end of his downfall and humiliation. As he was loaded onto a stretcher, given a neck-brace and then oxygen, we were given a moment of hope as the Grandson of a plumber gave us the thumbs up, but then came the cruel cruel denouement of the show.
Aided and abetted by his Dark Order cronies, the Exalted One started by ordering the violent beating of Arn Anderson, before tipping the prone Cody off his stretcher and pummeling with a mystery bag which later turned out to be the shattered older version of the TNT Title belt. Dustin Rhodes and QT Marshall were also brought to the stage to add to the pile of bodies, and in a final gut-wrenching moment, the wailing Brandi Rhodes was choked out and left lying by the immediately imperious looking Anna Jay.
As Lee poured the remains of the old belt out over the fallen Cody and the lifeless bodies around him, it was hard to imagine that little over six months ago the Dark Order were pretty much a joke.
They ended this episode of Dynamite looking practically unstoppable. Join the Dark Order...or else...