Dustin Rhodes' AEW contract expires at the end of July 2023

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2022/12/08/dustin-rhodes-aew-contract-expires-at-the-end-of-july-2023/

July 2023 is when Rhodes’ contract when AEW comes up. 

Earlier this month, Great Lakes Championship Wrestling hosted their ‘Blizzard Brawl’ event. Dustin Rhodes was one of the talents who appeared in-ring and he spoke to the audience in attendance and shared that 2023 will be his last year as an in-ring talent. 

Rhodes was welcomed onto Busted Open Radio with Dave LaGreca and Mark Henry to discuss that decision. His primary reason is that he does not want to embarrass himself and feels his stamina is not where it used to be. 

Within his response, Rhodes mentioned that his contract with AEW is up at the end of July 2023. He added that he hopes to continue coaching and would not be against making an on-screen appearance here and there. 

I remember seeing Ray Candy years ago when I broke in the business and he wasn’t in the best shape and he was on a walker and I was just getting into the business and I was green and excited about it, was hungry and passionate. I still am but I saw him and I made a promise to myself that I was gonna get out while I can still walk, and I didn’t really think I was gonna say anything about this but, it just happened at Blizzard Brawl and I said, I don’t think anybody will pick up on it but they did and it caught fire basically and I was just like, I gotta own it. But I really, truly don’t wanna go out in the business and do anything that tarnishes my career. I don’t wanna slip up and fall. I have this in the back of my head every time I go out. What if I do something stupid? They’re gonna start chanting, ‘Please retire’ and I don’t want it to get to that and I know I’m doing really well right now and having some of the best work of my career these last four years, even though they’re few and far between. I think Tony’s done a good job of treating me like an attraction in that sense and I appreciate that very much and it does help my body but on the flip side of that, it’s hard when you’re not working five days a week like the WWE schedule. Your body gets calloused and you get used to it and things like that but now it’s like I work every two, three, four months… You realize, 100 miles an hour and then you pay the price for it. I am paying the price for it. It takes me a week-and-a-half to two weeks to recover from one match and it’s just, I’m starting to see those things and my knees are pretty rough, my shoulders are pretty rough and I made the decision that hey man, the end of July, my contract’s up and I’m gonna be done with in-ring — or at least tone way, way down. I don’t know if that’s gonna be it because when they say we’re retiring, they always come back and you never say never. But that’s what I’m looking for is end date for my in-ring wrestling career and that’ll be 35, almost 36 years in the business and I think that’s a good round number and there’s nothing that I haven’t done good or bad that I regret in the business. I’ve loved everything that I’ve done. The bad things have always come to me and taught me lessons and I’ve become a better man for those. So I wanna get out while I can still walk but still kiss the kids, still coach hopefully. God willing, I’m allowed to do that here or whatever and occasionally make an on-screen appearance, I don’t know. I just don’t wanna embarrass myself is the main thing and I’m starting to second-guess my work rate. My stamina is not as good as it was.

While AEW was in Rhodes’ home state of Texas for the 12/7 Dynamite, he competed in the Dynamite Diamond Ring Battle Royale. 

If the quote in this article is used, please credit Busted Open Radio with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcription.