Cody defeated Lance Archer in the finals of an eight-man tournament to become the inaugural winner of the TNT Championship at AEW Double or Nothing on Saturday.
Midway through the match, Cody was unable to put away Archer with Cross Rhodes. Sensing an opportunity to finish his opponent later in the bout, he hit Cross Rhodes and kept ahold of Archer to deliver another to keep the Murderhawk Monster down for the three-count.
It seemed as though the two men were on a collision course since Jake "The Snake" Roberts' surprising debut on AEW Dynamite on March 4. He interrupted Cody and claimed he was bringing in someone to take out Cody.
Archer was revealed as Roberts' charge the following week, and he began running his way through the All Elite Wrestling roster with dominant victories over Marko Stunt and Alan Angels, which is when the TNT Championship tournament was announced.
Cody and Archer were placed on opposite sides of the bracket, which made it clear at the start of the tourney that they were destined to face each other at Double or Nothing.
The American Nightmare scored wins over Shawn Spears and Darby Allin to reach the finals, while Archer took out Colt Cabana and Dustin Rhodes. The semifinal win over Dustin was an especially big message to Cody, who prevented Brandi Rhodes from throwing in the towel.
Archer was dominating Dustin, but Cody refused to take the match out of his brother's hands. That proved to be a poor decision, as Archer smashed Rhodes' bloodied head into the mat multiple times before pinning him.
That situation likely shook Cody to his core from a storyline perspective, but Archer and Roberts didn't stop there, as they went after another person close to him.
After Archer beat QT Marshall in a match on Dynamite on May 6, he and Roberts took advantage of Britt Baker attacking Brandi. Roberts slid into the ring on top of Brandi and then placed his patented snake on top of Cody's wife.
Not only was Saturday's match significant since both men were vying to become the first person to hold the TNT Championship, but it was personal since Archer's main goal ever since joining AEW was to get his hands on Cody.
An argument could have been made for either performer to win, as The American Nightmare is a top star who could add instant prestige to a new title, while Archer is a dominant heel who needs to string together wins to remain legitimate.
Cody came out on top at Double or Nothing, but Archer and Roberts are unlikely to go quietly, so it stands to reason that his reign could be a short one.
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