Vice President of All Elite Wrestling, Cody Rhodes recently took some time to speak with Breaking Kayfabe. During the interview, Rhodes went into detail about how the relationship between management and talent will function in AEW. Rhodes believes that, like his late, great father, WWE Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes, pro wrestlers that put on a captivating performance rivaling any television or film actor should be paid similar wages. The result, Rhodes explained, would be happy, well-paid performers that encourage a happy fan base.
“I spoke about this at the rally and I mean it – my father was my favorite actor ever, if that makes any sense,” Rhodes said. “He was a pro wrestler but I thought he was on the level as some of the greatest actors in film and on television, and I always remember him telling me, amongst comparable influence, a guy just as big as a celebrity, wrestlers are always the least paid. And I want to change that. There’s this corny outlook on the industry, this hot dog, handshake BS, that people think, if we move away from that, the system’s gonna blow up. I disagree. I think happy wrestlers only encourages happy fans and you have to up the profile.
Rhodes also considered the idea of there potentially being a wrestling union, but his stance remains that it wouldn’t be possible with the current lackluster price points for independent pro wrestling. Rhodes thinks that implementing open communication between the management and talent in AEW is one baby step, among others he listed, that will keep talent nurtured and will perhaps start them on the path to a higher profile industry.
“I’ll hit this right on the head, there’s been talk in wrestling – people say the word, ‘union’ a lot,” Rhodes said. “A union in wrestling would destroy wrestling because it’s not there at the price point yet. You’ve got to continue to up the profile. You have to take these baby steps, and a baby step is a talent feedback system, a baby step is a player’s league, a body where there’s a transparent line of communication between your office and your talent about what they like, what they don’t like, the travel, the catering, everything to the booking – it’s got to be there. The resource for wrestling is professional wrestlers but they have to be nurtured, taken care of.”
You can listen to the full interview above. If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Breaking Kayfabe with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.