Cody Rhodes did a media call on Tuesday, promoting tomorrow night’s AEW Dynamite TV tapings in Atlanta, GA. You can check out some highlights from the call below:
– Cody hyped tomorrow night’s AEW Dynamite in Atlanta, said he hasn’t felt like this about wrestling in Atlanta in a long time and that he has a great deal of history here. He said AEW has a lot of momentum in 2020 with their new TV deal, selling over 100,000 live event tickets in 2019, and reaching over 37 million people.
– Cody was asked if he heard anything from WWE legal regarding the Bash at the Beach name. Cody said that he has many trademarks but that it is unlikely to see many more of them, except for one that he didn’t reveal. He said he continues to trademark things that he feels his dad had a hand in creating, but that it’s mostly for his mother and preserving his dad’s legacy.
– Cody said he had a lot of great interactions with Randy Savage. He remembered how Savage called him “Code-man” and always tried to be in character when around him. He joked how Bruce Prichard has a lot of great Savage stories but that “half of them are made up.”
– He said that he feels that the most underrated guy in AEW is Jack Evans. He said people don’t have any idea what he can do in the ring, and how he’d love to get a singles match with Jack Evans.
– Cody confirmed that Jeff Cobb works for NJPW, ROH, and now AEW. He put over Cobb and said he hopes he pursues a “longer thing” with AEW but that he isn’t going to impede everything Cobb is doing. He said he has to keep the exact details of Cobb’s AEW deal vague, but that he would like to see him in more of a longer term deal with AEW. He did confirm that they have Cobb for more than tomorrow’s Dynamite.
– Cody said that the creative structure of AEW is the four EVPs and Tony Khan, and that there are other advisors and people giving input like Jim Ross, Taz, Tony Schiavone, Dean Malenko, Dustin Rhodes, etc. but that they want to keep the circle small. He said that he has learned a lot from the first 20 episodes of Dynamite, noting that people talk to him differently and treat him differently since he isn’t just one of the wrestlers. He said he tries to keep open communication with all.
– Cody put over the MGM Grand as a venue and said they are excited about returning for Double or Nothing and Dynamite after. He revealed that they are going to “load up” with AEW shows between Double or Nothing on Saturday night and Dynamite on Wednesday night in Las Vegas. He reiterated that Double or Nothing’s home is Las Vegas and they will have it their every year.
– Cody discussed how the new TV deal and security of that deal change how they go after free agents. Cody said how even back at All In, he felt like that show would make others want to be part of what they’re doing. He said that with regards to free agency, they want talent that is “fresh” and can go “bell to bell” since they are still a “bell to bell” wrestling company. He said it’s a proud time to be a wrestler and that the “doors are open.”
– Cody discussed how he and Taz want to scout NCAA amateur wrestlers, and how Matt and Nick Jackson are still mining the independent scene for talent.
– Cody said that he has taken on a leadership role at a wrestling school in Norcross, Georgia which they call the Nightmare Factory. It is not officially affiliated with AEW, but may grow into that. He said that is where Sadie Gibbs and Anthony Ogogo will be training. He said they don’t currently have many trainee wrestlers but that the school is open to all and Dean Malenko recently held a seminar there.
– He said the women’s division is growing but said it will “take time.” He said he’d like to see more of Big Swoll, put over Britt Baker and Nyla Rose, Riho, etc. But asked that fans be patient and that they are doing everything they can to grow the division. He said some people are out to get “woke points” with women’s wrestling but that in reality, women’s wrestling does great with merch and ticket sales and so they want to continue growing it.
– He put over Chicago as a wrestling town, noting that it has its own identity as a crowd. He said he will be loyal to Chicago throughout the future of AEW because that is where they got their start.
– Cody said that signing more people of color is a priority, saying he has been looking at a guy named Chris Bay who is an example of someone who could be good for their singles division. He said they are committed to that demographic and that they want the show to look like what America really looks like.
– Cody put over how much ROH helped them with All In, and noted that ROH doesn’t own the name All In and that it is owned by Killing the Business (Matt & Nick Jackson).
– Cody talked about how their content is what defines them and how they don’t put out statements or do PR campaigns to push certain wrestlers because they let their content speak for itself. He said most fans can tell if you are pushing someone just to check a box as oppose to pushing people because they are the best.
– Cody called Val Venis’ criticism of Nyla Rose “disappointing” and said he doesn’t think anybody knows who Val Venis is anymore. He said he probably doesn’t mean the awful things he’s saying and is instead just trying to get a booking. Cody urged the media to not give people like this oxygen and to “stop hitting the ball back” to them.
– Cody put over TSN in Canada and said he hopes AEW will come to Canada soon. He said they are talking about running actual shows in Canada in 2020, with the first one likely being Toronto.
– Cody said the thing he is most proud of with AEW is that nobody is taking victory laps. After each show, they just go right back to work and that the environment is friendly and passionate. He said he is proud that they don’t get ahead of themselves. He said he doesn’t have any regrets with AEW so far.