TNT Champion Cody Rhodes is out of tonight's Battle of the Belts special on TNT due to "medical protocols," AEW announced on Friday, a phrase which we can only presume has something to do with the Omicron variant, even though symptoms of the virus are said to be very mild in people with ugly neck tattoos. Cody's brother Dustin Rhodes will replace him in the planned bout against Sammy Guevara at the show, one of four 1-hour quarterly specials that will air on TNT in 2022 following AEW Dynamite and Rampage moving to TBS at the start of the year.
Because the special is called "Battle of the Belts," AEW had no choice but to make the match for the "Interim TNT Championship." AEW announced the change in plans on AEW Rampage last night:
In response to the news, Rhodes commented:
While Guevara said:
Additionally on Rampage last night, Ricky Starks announced he will defend the FTW Championship against Matt Sydal at Battle of the Belts, adding another actual title match to the show. Dr. Britt Baker will also defend her AEW Women's Championship against former champion Riho at the event tonight. Battle of the Belts airs at 8PM Eastern on TNT.