-- Cody Rhodes spoke to the media today, here is a quick recap:
— Cody thanks everyone for joining. He says they are just a day away from the biggest thing to happen in his life, potentially the biggest thing to happen in wrestling. They open it up to questions.
— The first question is about Kenny Omega’s controversial comments about going against “developmental talent” in NXT. Cody says you will never hear him talk about NXT as he has friends over there and his Dad has a history there. Cody says that Kenny was just having a little bit of fun but he has nothing but good things to say about NXT.
— The next question asks about Cody’s angles against some younger guys that never really ended up developing as expected. Tomorrow, Cody is wrestling against Sammy Guevara and he is asked whether they will have time to build up storylines with younger wrestlers. Cody says one of the things they want to integrate into Dynamite is these sort of things. He talks about his match tomorrow and that if he loses to Sammy, it will be Sammy who moves onto face Chris Jericho at the Full Gear PPV so that the stakes are high. He says that AEW has to make sure that they play “new songs” and they should be able to do that with 52 weeks of television per year.
— He was asked about the “Rhodes” name and whether he is able to use that. Cody says that he is legally able to but he won’t be using it because he’s already got the rub off of his family and likes using his first name and getting “The American Nightmare Cody” over. He confirms that WWE won’t be suing him if he happens to use and you might see Rhodes here and there.
— The next question asked about the Young Bucks accepting dual contracts from ROH and NJPW and how it would have affected him if he also had that option. Rhodes says that if the Bucks took that contract, perhaps there wouldn’t be an AEW. At that time, his mindset was to simply hold a second event after All In.
— The next question asks about Cody’s comment about seeing only 40% of the AEW roster after the first four shows and where that number comes from. Cody says he’s not good with math but they have a lot of roster left, including an existing partnership with AAA where there is a significant amount of young talent that he would love to feature weekly on Dynamite and that it has a bit of a “Nitro” flavour to it.
— The next question asks what Turner and advertisers are expecting for TV. Cody says he has a number in mind but he isn’t going to be naive to say it.
— The next question is about roster diversity. Cody says one thing his wife has been great at is adding diverse talent to AEW. He talks about adding African-American representation and there are some great ones out there and they definitely targeting a diverse roster but their work is not finished. He is open to direct contact for recruiting purposes.
— AEW will be coming to the UK in 2020.
— The next question talks about disgruntled WWE wrestlers who can just hop over to AEW and whether they have a target roster size in mind and how close they are to it. Cody says they are about 85% there, which is fairly full, and it is a misconception that they are taking anyone and everyone who contacts them as he doesn’t want the current roster to feel under-utilized as he did during his time with WWE.
— Cody then talks about their touring schedule for TV. They want to run actual arenas and are starting out in the East and then working their way West, which is a strategy they are taking from a financial perspective. But they will definitely be heading West in 2020.
— They are looking to run four or five PPVs moving forward and he hints that the next one after Full Gear will be held on the West Coast.
— Cody talks about the competition with NXT and says that they were going to be on TNT no matter what and that NXT on USA was a reactionary move, but didn’t think it was a negative for them.
— He jokes about someone floating a feeler to WWE about being able to buy the “War Games” trademark and theme back but they are focusing on creating their own unique type matches and he points to the Casino Battle Royale as a modification of WWE’s Royal Rumble.
— He talks about the promotion done by WarnerMedia as well as the overall support that they have provided in preparation for the launch. Cody points to talking to Dusty for 30 years as a way to prepare him for his job and this moment. Things will come up and he will lean on certain people like Chris Harrington.
— Cody is about statistics and wins and losses. Cody says he like Tony Khan doesn’t just believe in wins and losses but the quality of the wins and this will play a significant role in their storylines - comparing it to college football. As the number of matches to go up, they hope to introduce more statistics like how many times a certain person has won or lost with a specific finisher, and he used the Walls of Jericho as an example.