Cody Rhodes claims he's no fan of Jungle Boy, Sammy Guevara, Darby Allin, and MJF (or Britt Baker, if your name is Phil Brooks) being referred to as "the Four Pillars of AEW."
The reigning TNT Champion said as much during a recent appearance on Rasslin' with Brandon F. Walker. His kayfabed comments saw Rhodes criticise MJF for pushing the idea despite being "the most unknown one" coming into AEW, saying the 25-year-old had been "stuck to my side like a little baby" on the independent scene (h/t WrestlingNews.co):-
“I hate the four pillars, not the actual idea, but the concept that he (MJF) just went and decided to say, ‘We’re the four pillars’ without really confirming. The guy who said the four pillars thing, he was the most unknown one coming on board and literally was stuck to my side like a little baby because I knew him from the Northeast independent scene, mainly NEW from Mike Lombardi where he’s getting paid like $15 a match. The next thing you know, he’s treating it like he came in and was told, ‘Hey, it’s you four.’"
Cody continued, stating that AEW's pillars should be determined by their work, not decreed, arbitrarily, by MJF:-
"No, when we all came in, it really was an artist haven in terms of what you go out there and put on, that will determine it. We thought we had recruited really well, and I think we absolutely did, but you have to sink or swim. It’s live TV. That’s the thing. You’ll find a lot of independent wrestlers, and they’re great independent wrestlers, they’re great at forming these really complex promos that they put in video packages and stuff like that. Put them on live TV. If they do well there, then you’ve got a winner, and Max did, in his defense.”
Rhodes and MJF worked together extensively throughout AEW's first few months of life, culminating in a Cody defeat at Revolution 2020. The promotion still has a rematch in its back pocket. Though Cody has teased it in the past, most notably after losing the TNT Championship for the first time in 2020, AEW has never pulled the trigger.
MJF coined the "Four Pillars" term as part of his feud with Darby Allin heading into Full Gear 2021. Following Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus' World Tag Team Title win last week, Max is now the only Pillar to not capture AEW gold since coming into the company, despite his prominent position in the kayfabe hierarchy.