WARHORSE & Cody | Never Crossed Paths

On one side of the ring a seven-year veteran and the current and longest-running Independent Wrestling Television Champion and on the other side of the ring a second generation and fourteen-year veteran and current TNT Champion. On Wednesday, July 29th, these two will cross paths for Cody’s TNT Championship. Before this night, neither of these men faced each other at any point in time. After defeating Eddie Kingston last week on AEW Dynamite, Cody would answer a challenge. He answered the call from one of the hottest independent stars in wrestling today, WARHORSE. While Jake Parnell and Cody were part of a battle royal match for Alpha-1 Wrestling, Wednesday will be different. This is WARHORSE & Cody as they have never crossed paths.

Before their match takes place, it’s crucial to find out about both competitors and how this match all came about. As the son of the son of a plumber, Cody Rhodes’s family history is no secret. He’s a former WWE Intercontinental and Tag Team Champion and garnered success in all facets of professional wrestling. Cody has had the nicknames ‘Dashing’, and ‘The American Nightmare’ not to mention his Stardust alias. For almost ten years, all Cody ever knew was the world of the WWE as a competitor. However, he was no stranger to the business and was surrounded by wrestling, virtually his entire life.

Photo / AEW

The Journey of the Son of The Son of A Plumber

The influence of his father, the late ‘American Dream’ Dusty Rhodes, was evident in everything Cody has touched. After departing the WWE in 2016, Cody began to lay seeds for something different. Over a couple of years, he competed in Japan, was a member of Bullet Club, and was an active member of the Ring of Honor roster. After the success of the All-In pay per view event, a series of hints followed as Cody was aspiring for something more. After he, along with Kenny Omega, Adam Page, and The Young Bucks, were excommunicated from The Bullet Club, the question was, what was next?

On New Years Day at midnight, Cody, along with The Young Bucks and Adam Page, revealed the ‘AEW’ logo and the Double or Nothing insignia. It was then announced that Cody was the Executive Vice President of All Elite Wrestling. As 2019 moved on and AEW went into operations, he was going to make his father proud. He was once quoted as saying he was on a quest to recapture his father’s cattle. What did that mean, and who did that involve? It was evident in their securing of the name Bash at the Beach for one of their future events. As 2019 turned to 2020 that the promotion announced a new title. The TNT Championship would act as a secondary or mid-card title for the men’s division.

A Fighting Champion

Cody would defend his championship with pride. After defeating ‘The Murderhawk Monster’ Lance Archer, Cody was on a quest to defend the title against anyone and everyone. He issued an open challenge to anyone in wrestling to challenge him for said title. It began with his first title defense against Jungle Boy. Since then, his title defense includes matchups against Marq Quen, Ricky Starks, Jake Hager, and Sonny Kiss.

This open challenge led to others outside of AEW from calling out Cody. At the recent No Holds Barred event, it was Eddie Kingston that issued a challenge to Cody. The open challenge led to Kingston answering the open challenge of Cody. As soon as this happened, fans online began to add to the speculation of who would be next.

‘I was reading a book by KISS called ‘Till we make it’ and essentially they talked about how they did everything different. They wanted to be the band the always never got to see. And they love comic books and horror movies and all these things. So I thought I love heavy metal, I love 80s style wrestling I love the big over the top personalities. If you listen to most of the old school vets they’ll tell you that character will get you farther than anything else’.
WARHORSE via Becoming WARHORSE by Kenny Johnson

He was initially a member of the Viking War Party, but the faction eventually went their separate ways. However, in 2015, it was where he began to use the Warhorse name and was referred to as ‘Warhorse’ Jake Parnell. When it was first announced someone, he recalls someone laughing at the nickname initially. Despite that, he stuck to the name and continued with it.

It was trainer Devin Cutter of The Hooligans, encouraged Warhorse to evolve his persona. Both facepaint and a long robe were among his suggestions. It was Cutter that encouraged WARHORSE to utilize a Ronin’ type of striking style. However, to be a Viking version of the Ronin (which is wandering Samurai in feudal Japan with no Master or Lord to follow). A Ronin was seen as an outlaw that had been kicked out of their clans.


WARHORSE needed to stand out amongst the crowd, and after a couple of years of using the Viking, Ronin-type character change was needed. His promos needed to evolve, and he knew they hadn’t stood out. From there, he took from the influences of the likes of the Road Warriors speaking louder and more empathically. The tone in which he conveyed his message was now going to evolve with the rest of him. It was his old love of heavy metal that has given new life to the character we see today. He notes his preoccupation with work separated him from his passion for heavy metal. This was about to change.

WARHORSE has emerged as the frontrunner to challenge for the championship for several reasons. One of which was an online quest by fans to have WARHORSE & Cody challenge one another for the TNT Championship. For WARHORSE’s popularity has grown despite not wrestling for three months. Once July came to so did the triumphant return of the main that RULES ASS! In matches for Synergy Pro Wrestling and Beyond Wrestling’s Two Weeks Notice, WARHORSE’s popularity continued to be as significant as ever.

Cody has held the title 67 days and counting as of this writing. Will that continue on Wednesday night when Cody & WARHORSE face each other?

Please visit Documentaries by Kenny Johnson for the above quotes and his amazing documentary above.