Booker T: “Cody Rhodes is obviously a visionary”

Jan 15, 2019 - by James Walsh

In the latest episode of his Heated Conversations podcast, Booker T spoke about the launch of All Elite Wrestling and wondered if the Khan family knew what they were doing by financially backing the promotion. Here are highlights:

On the Khans backing AEW: “Ted Turner, back in the day was the guy who had the dollars, you know what I mean? He was someone that can fuel the company and did it for a long time. I had a nine-year run and that is the question: does this family really know what they are jumping into with professional wrestling as well as the circus atmosphere of the professional wrestler? Pro wrestling is a different animal than pro football and pro soccer. There is going to be a lot of money going out before the bulk of the money can come back in. It is a huge gamble for someone to take upon themselves, but I commend them and give them big props. This is something that the pro wrestling world has been looking for since the demise of WCW in the early 2000s.”

On AEW being forced to create their own stars: “Of course, everybody out there, all of those young guys are trying to get to NXT. I mean, there are a few independent guys that can write their own ticket, but the majority of these guys are trying to get to NXT. But AEW coming into the fold, there’s a lot of guys that are going to be able to make their way into AEW. They are going to need talent. A lot of these guys aren’t going to become stars right away, they have to create stars. Everybody is not going to be a Cody Rhodes or a Hangman Page or The Young Bucks.”

On how wrestling is different than football: “It is a major toll to take because pro wrestling isn’t anything like pro football. Of course, the Khan family is familiar with the entertainment world of sports, but pro wrestling is a year-round event. Pro wrestling is entertainment but people get hurt all of the time. Who is going to pay those bills? Pro wrestling is a sport where people have to get flown in on a weekly basis so that is a check that they have to write out. No doubt that this family has a lot of money, but the thing is, if the return isn’t right, and I give them three years whether they are going to make it or not, because those first three years are going to be important for the investors and whether or not they are going to see a return for their money, I think.”

On wanting AEW to succeed: “I am pushing for [Khan] and pushing for those guys to make it. Cody Rhodes is obviously a visionary. To come up with Stardust and then drop it to say that he is going to do his own thing with “The American Nightmare,” trying to fall into the footsteps of Dusty Rhodes, a guy who I respected and admired so much. A guy who had done so many things for my career. I hope for the best for these guys and I hope AEW fulfills their dreams and becomes that one company to compete for the No. 1 spot here in America. I am really looking forward to it.”

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