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THIS Is The Man Who Should End Cody’s TNT Title Reign (And How)

AEW

He flashed the four fingers in this promo, too. As did Hardwood in FTR's recent banger with SCU, with a barely perceptible movement questioned - but not bludgeoned over one's head with - by the commentary team.

In FTR's first Dynamite match, a tremendous smash-mouth southern-style tag opposite the Butcher and the Blade, the camera panned to the stands. Watching on were original Horsemen alumni Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard. This deft touch served a dual purpose; it further hinted at and made sense of a group Tully may front, in the JJ Dillon role, while also visually putting over the debuting team as the undisputed favourite of wrestling's old school, lending them an instant gravitas.

The early phase of Cody's TNT Championship reign has divided opinion.

The defences have ranged from excellent to overblown. He is is drawing something that sits between heat and confusion in some online circles, which is the only remaining barometer; his match with Jungle Boy drew accusations of a 'God complex', what with the table bumps, crimson mask and celebratory fireworks display. His next defence, against Marq Quen, told a more stripped-back story, but Cody was decidedly more aggressive throughout in targeting Quen's injured ankle. That he finished him in a manner not too dissimilar to Ric Flair was - in addition to a lovely bit of dovetailing booking - further evidence of Cody teasing a similar role to the Nature Boy in the weeks or months to come.

CONT'D...(2 of 5)

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Former Power Slam Magazine scribe and author of Development Hell: The NXT Story - available NOW on shop.whatculture.com!