Cody: ‘I Spoke Too Much as an Executive in My Efforts to Promote the Brand’

Oct 13, 2020 - by James Walsh

The Asbury Park Press recently interviewed AEW EVP and TNT champion Cody Rhodes, who discussed the AEW Dynamite one-year anniversary. During the interview, he reveals that as an executive of AEW, he ‘spoke way too much’ during the company’s first year of doing business. Below are some highlights.

Cody on speaking too much during the first year of AEW: “I wanted to really promote the brand, I wanted to pound the pavement, but in speaking I kind of confined our product, I tried to give an identity to a product (when the) identity is evolving, its identity is growing. AEW is going to have a different identity in year one than it has in year two, and we want that identity and that flavor profile to improve. But to say it’s one thing would be incorrect because wrestling is something that there’s no one specific way to do it right. There’s many different ways to do it right. So I spoke too much as an executive in my efforts to promote the brand and a lot of this kind of click-bait journalism (followed) in areas where what I said was taken out of context and might have rubbed people the wrong way or might have created more tension between an NXT fan and an AEW fan. A little less talk from me, a little more action, is one of my goals (going forward).”

Cody on dealing with moving forward with Dynamite during the global pandemic: “These are the cards everybody was dealt. I’m just so glad the audience maintained. I’m so glad the audience grew. I’m so glad we were able to offer live entertainment throughout and not have to switch to evergreen content, that was something we were dreading and couldn’t fathom. You’ve gotta give people that escape and that’s where entertainment and the arts are such a great service.”

On his belief in growth: “You don’t put someone in a box based on the beginning of their career, that’s the point of pro sports and the arts. You can completely combine them in this regard: If this is your life’s work, you work on it every day. And the individual that was Luke Harper (in WWE), Mr. Brodie Lee, that individual has grown as a wrestler. He’s better bell to bell, he’s considerably better on the mic. He’s learned more — experience, experience, experience. … It’s weird, in wrestling people like to keep you confined to where you were and I don’t believe in that. I simply believe in growing.”

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