Shaquille O’Neal Challenges Cody Rhodes to AEW Pay-Per-View Wrestling Match

by Joe Rutland

It’s not unusual to see Shaquille O’Neal joining his “NBA on TNT” crew during NBA seasons. But Shaq in a wrestling ring? It’s going down.

On Wednesday night, O’Neal put the challenge over the against Cody Rhodes for a pay-per-view match during “AEW Dynamite.”

O’Neal, who is best known for his basketball abilities and NBA championships, took part in the “AEW Awards” and managed to also shoot a promo against Rhodes.

Take a listen to Shaquille O’Neal laying the law down against “The American Nightmare” on TNT.

“Before we go to that, Cody Rhodes, you little punk, you want a battle, you just name the time of the day, I’ll be there,” O’Neal said looking right into the camera.

“You little punk, with your little blond hair, you look like a little girl. You want some of the Shaq Attack? Name the place. Matter of fact, let’s do it in March. How about that?”

March 7 is the newest date set up for All Elite Wrestling’s “Revolution” PPV.

Rhodes came out during Wednesday night’s “AEW Dynamite” episode to respond to the big man’s challenge. Actually, Rhodes and AEW had some earlier thoughts about having a match with Shaquille O’Neal and Jade Cargill.

Those plans, though, have changed since Brandi Rhodes, Cody’s wife and also an executive with AEW, is pregnant. Wednesday night, Red Velvet stepped up to the plate and offered to be Rhodes’ new tag team partner.

Will this new tag team situation come together for Rhodes? Time will tell.

Shaquille O’Neal Is No Stranger To Pro Wrestling World

If you think that this matchup with Rhodes would be strange for Shaquille O’Neal, then let’s turn on the throwback machine. There was a time when Shaq’s path crossed with World Wrestling Entertainment.

Back in 2016, O’Neal took part in WrestleMania 32 as one of the participants in the third annual Andre the Giant Battle Royal. O’Neal was announced by ring announcer Lillian Garcia and he ran into the ring. He squared off against The Big Show, who was taking part in the Battle Royal himself. Show and O’Neal ended up having a little physicality in the ring, giving Kane a chokeslam.

There had been plans for a Shaq-Big Show one-on-one match dating back to 2009. Shaquille O’Neal was a special guest referee for a match The Big Show was in on “Monday Night Raw.”

Nothing, though, came of the singles match opportunity in WWE.

O’Neal’s involvement with AEW makes sense from a branding standpoint, too. Both “AEW Dynamite” and “NBA on TNT” are on, obviously, TNT.

This means AEW can get more attention for its product on the NBA talk-fest with O’Neal, Ernie Johnson Jr., Kenny Smith, and Charles Barkley. Meanwhile, “NBA on TNT” gets some attention on AEW programming under AEW President Tony Khan and announcers Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, and others.

H/T: Cageside Seats