Cody Rhodes Promises To "Talk Less" As An Executive, How AEW Continues To Evolve

AEW superstar and Executive VP Cody Rhodes was recently interviewed by App.com to talk all things pro-wrestling, including how the promotion continues to evolve as they reach one year on television. Highlights are below.

How AEW's product continues to evolve:

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.

Says he plans on doing a lot less talking as an executive and pushing a little more action:

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).

Dealing with COVID-19 in the company's first year on television:

These are the cards everybody was dealt. I’m just so glad the audience maintained. ... 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.

How he believes wrestlers continue to grow, citing Brodie Lee as an example:

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.

On working with other promotions:

I think you’ll never see a full-scale, like, joint-promoted show (between AEW and another promotion). We have too much pride in our individual brand. But in terms of the relationships, we’re never closing the doors and we’re never going to pull up the bridges. I laughed when I heard people talking about a working relationship with New Japan because clearly it already exists — Jon Moxley has been on New Japan, Chris Jericho has been on New Japan. It already exists, the working relationship. The NWA (owner) Billy (Corgan) and Tony Khan are in contact, Thunder Rosa’s the prime example of that. ... I loved seeing Tanahashi on TV last week. He’s somebody I really wanted to get in the ring with one time as far as singles and never got the opportunity — and who knows? That might be something that can happen in the future. But our doors are open, our bridges are down.