A fan asked Rhodes on Twitter whether non-AEW wrestlers can earn a shot at the TNT title, to which he responded affirmatively, "yes."
Cody became the first person to hold the belt when he defeated Lance Archer at Double or Nothing on May 23. During Wednesday's installment of AEW Dynamite, he issued an open challenge to anybody in the locker room.
Although AEW doesn't have a formal partnership with any other promotions, Jon Moxley and Chris Jericho have continued working limited dates with New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Perhaps Cody's comment was a hint that more wrestlers could follow Jeff Cobb, who's signed to NJPW but made a brief run with AEW in February.
This could be a way to introduce a new member of the full-time roster as well.
WWE released a number of in-ring performers in April as a cost-cutting maneuver amid the coronavirus pandemic, with many fans wondering if any will wind up in AEW. Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler, who wrestled in WWE as The Revival, made their debuts this past Wednesday.
Regardless of whom AEW has in mind, pitting Cody against marquee opponents on a fairly regular basis would be one way to establish the TNT Championship as a meaningful addition to the company.