Sunday, New Jersey independent wrestling promotion Pro Wrestling syndicate tweeted the following:
So proud to officially announce that @codyrhodeswwe will be exclusively joining the PWS roster as soon as his 90 no compete clause expires!— ProWrestlinSyndicate (@ProWreSyndicate) September 30, 2013
Knowing Pro Wrestling Syndicate, it seemed like a joke.
The promotion has a fair bit of comedy wrestling with guys like Starman (the character from Pro Wrestling for the original Nintendo Entertainment System) and the Drunken Swashbuckler.
At a PWS show I attended WrestleMania weekend, a vendor had left without paying for his table, so the ring announcer shamed him and threw the merchandise he left into the crowd.
If you're familiar with PWS, announcing Cody Rhodes was coming in doesn't seem like a big deal, because it seemed like an obvious joke. Then Cody re-tweeted it. He also added a note of his own:
It's now early in the following afternoon, and neither has followed up on it beyond PWS posting a slightly different message on their Facebook page (emphasis is mine for the added detail not in the tweet):
Major Update! PWS is proud to announce that former WWE Superstar Cody Rhodes will be wrestling for PWS exclusively in the near future! Cody will join the PWS roster as soon as his 90 no compete expires with WWE making him eligible to be seen on PWS iPPV!
Still, I think it started as a joke. Besides what I noted above and the goofy sense of humor on their shows, they didn't announce a date for Cody's debut even though there's a PWS show shortly after the alleged 90 day non-compete period would end.
On top of that PWS promoter/wrestler Kevin Matthews is not on WWE's good side, to say the least. If Rhodes actually was working independent shows to put over the firing storyline, it wouldn't be for PWS.
What do you think is the reality behind the Cody Rhodes/PWS tweets?
Having said all that, Cody Rhodes was clever to pounce on it. In a world where he really was fired, PWS would make sense as the first independent promotion he'd work for.
As he alluded to in his tweet, he's been friends with Pat Buck (the other PWS promoter) for years, as his first ever match was with Buck when both were in WWE's developmental system. PWS books former WWE stars regularly as part of their eclectic lineups, too.
Rhodes' Twitter account is largely in character, so this is a nice way to add to his storyline.
Since released WWE talent can work on independent shows and still get severance as long as they don't wrestle on TV he has the built in excuse of why he's not wrestling for them sooner: He's only working for PWS, his friend's promotion, which offers all of their shows as Internet PPVs.
I could be wrong.
WWE could have decided that the angle was getting over so well as a launching pad for Rhodes that ending it at one of the PPVs this month would be too soon, with a few months of additional run-ins plus some independent bookings being the perfect way to sell it all.
I doubt it, though.
Even if Rhodes also expected the tweets to be taken as jokes, he got a ton of attention for both his friend's shows and his own storyline.
Maybe he intended for all of it to happen, or maybe he just wanted to give PWS a plug. Regardless, he's gotten a lot of fans a lot more excited for his storyline, which is likely to be featured on the Battleground "go-home" edition of Raw tonight, and a lot more fans know about PWS.
That's a job well done.