Cody On Why He Doesn’t Want AEW to Cater to ‘Casual Fans’

Aug 6, 2019 - by Steve Gerweck

On a recent episode of Busted Open Radio, Cody discussed his strategy for AEW in appealing to die-hard fans over casual fans. The AEW EVP noted that the term “casual fan” is used to refer to a type of wrestling that is trying to recapture the Monday Night War era, when everyone was watching the industry. Cody said that he would rather deliver for the base that brought AEW to where they’re at already than try to fall into the pitfall of watering down the product to appeal to everybody.

Highlights from the discussion, as well as the full podcast, are below:

On his dislike of the term ‘casual fan’: “Well I mean, one thing that — you guys use the term so much as you talk about wrestling, but you guys have heard the term ‘casual fan’, right? ‘Oh, how are they gonna get the casual fan?’ And the term ‘casual fan,’ I just want to — honestly, I think I throw up a little in my mouth every time I hear it. Because it’s this vernacular to describe wrestling that is based on the Monday Night Wars. When the Monday Night Wars are over, they’re not a thing, as far as they’re not happening here and now in the present. What’s happening right here and now in the present is, we can’t determine what it is. It’s something that only history will be able to tell us.”

On wanting to deliver AEW’s base: “So my focus is always the base that built AEW. And that base, if you’ve seen it, you get it. And if you haven’t seen it, it’s just something that you have to see and feel. And Bully knows what I’m talking about, because there’s a lot of confidence, that sometimes can get misplaced for arrogance on my half or The Elite’s behalf. But I’ve seen the power [of AEW’s fanbase]. I’ve seen it. And that’s why I want to focus on them first and foremost.”

On AEW’s critics: “You know, there’s people who are plenty critical of what AEW does. And instead of signal boosting that, I’d rather [deliver for] 100 of the fans that we have in that base than that one sulky son of a bitch that’s not coming on-board anyways, if that makes any sense. You guys know that first way to fail is to try and please everybody. But I gotta take care of the people who brought us to the dance in the first place, and I think that will be appealing on a global level. I geniunely do.”

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