During Wednesday’s episode of AEW Dynamite, Cody Rhodes and Lee Johnson beat Peter Avalon and Cezar Bononi in a tag team match. This marked Johnson’s first career victory in AEW.
After the match, Johnson did a promo where he thanked Cody, Dustin, Brandi, and Arn Anderson, but didn’t mention QT Marshall. Ironically, Marshall helped train Johnson. It was a subtle moment, but Marshall expressed slight confusion about being left out.
It turns out that Cody has been studying the Bruno Sammartino and Larry Zbyszko feud, which saw Zbyszko turn heel in the early ’80s while trying to get out of the shadow of his mentor in Sammartino.
Dave Meltzer noted on the latest edition of Wrestling Observer Radio that Cody is likely behind the idea of using the classic feud. Thus, it’s possible that AEW is trying to tell a similar story with Johnson feuding against his trainer Marshall.
“This angle was really interesting because I don’t think people saw the angle afterward because it was so subtle.” Meltzer later added, “QT handled it perfectly, he didn’t over-exaggerate, and you’re probably not going to notice it unless you’re looking for it. You’re going to see that QT starts a little bit confused at the beginning and at the end he’s a little upset because he’s the actual trainer and he’s not mentioned at all, but everyone else even Arn and Brandi are mentioned who aren’t even the trainer. So obviously we’re building toward a Lee Johnson and QT Marshall feud in some form. It actually makes sense because I know it’s probably Cody’s feud, Cody’s idea because I know Cody has been studying Bruno and Zbyszko. Trainer and student, I happen to know this.”