As previously noted, one of AEW’s Executive Vice Presidents, Cody Rhodes, recently spoke with Wrestling Inc. as part of our WINCLY podcast. During the conversation, Rhodes gave an update on his knee following the surgery he had on it in Atlanta earlier this month. He also addressed the idea of AEW establishing their own training center at some point in the distant future.
We previously reported about how Rhodes underwent a successful surgery last month to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. Rhodes revealed that the surgical process of scoping out his knee’s torn cartilage was indeed a painful experience, however, he’s glad that he has until May’s Double Or Nothing event to get his knee rested up for in-ring competition.
“So, the knee is weight-bearing and it was weight-bearing right after surgery,” Rhodes explained “I had a meniscus scope where they just dig out the cartilage, so that’s the pain, and the swelling, and the recovery is based off of how much digging they did in there. Which they did a lot because there was a little more damage than they anticipated. But I don’t have to wrestle until May, so, this is the perfect time to have ever gone under the knife. I’m lucky I have the time. I don’t like the crutches they gave me, and I fell at the office yesterday. So, I’ve been humbled by my own body but the scope went well.”
Rhodes told Wrestling Inc.’s Nick Hausman that AEW doesn’t have a specific office building where they handle business, and furthermore, there may ultimately never be a home base office for the promotion. Rhodes’ impression is that modern, busy Executive VPs of a company may not need a specific location to handle their business matters. If they do ultimately decide to create an office, Rhodes hopes that they keep it close to his home in Atlanta.
“My office is in Atlanta but the office for All Elite Wrestling is TBD because we don’t know,” Rhodes said. “There may never be one because the four executive vice presidents are all over the place and in 2019, you may not need everyone to be in the same room. We talk every day. But yeah, my office is in Atlanta here, not far from where I live. It’s kinda the makeshift current AEW office, actually, because that’s the only business that gets done in there actually. So yeah, maybe we’ll just do it out of my place. Well, it’s a very nice place so I do encourage them. That’s where me and the AEW coordinator, Mike, that’s where all the Road To Double Or Nothing videos are filmed. So I encourage them to come to me.”
Along with a potential office, the prospect of a future training facility for the AEW talent was brought to Rhodes’ attention. Rhodes isn’t fully against the idea, however, he believes that a setup allowing AEW talent to travel to various other training facilities may ultimately give the AEW performers a greater pool of knowledge to access. AEW’s thriving partnership with Oriental Wrestling Entertainment may offer an example of the crossover training that Rhodes has in mind.
“I have access to a really good facility here in Atlanta…I have a really good facility that’s called the One Fall Power Factory that the AEW coordinator, Mike, he also is the coach there,” Rhodes stated. “It would be a long shot to do a feeder system versus maybe some sponsored trainees instead. Where they could go to the different schools because that to me – people don’t talk about how great OVW was near enough because we didn’t have four rings and Shawn Michaels teaching us.
“But we also weren’t told that we had to love wrestling,” Rhodes continued “You learned to love wrestling. You find like-minded people to go to the gym with, you watch wrestling with your friends, you weren’t just checking boxes. Not that that’s what they do but that’s why I like the idea of maybe some sponsored trainees instead. Ya Know, here’s four guys – and I know Matt Jackson has talked about doing something similar with OWE and China about maybe a bit of a trainee exchange. And that’s something that he could speak to, but yeah, I think maybe sponsored training more than a full time center. I don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves.”
Rhodes hopes that the trainers and backstage producers working with AEW, including Billy Gunn, continue instilling a medium of old school psychology and modern, open minded views. Rhodes thinks that the two ideologies coming together will benefit the company as they pursue a product centered more around the sport of pro wrestling.
“Billy [Gunn’s] accolades, they really speak for themselves,” Rhodes said. “Billy was also a part of All In, and there were a lot of people at All In behind the scenes. Tommy Dreamer was another one. There was a lot of people at All In that were really helpful in the sense that they gave us a bit of an old school outlook. But they were fully understanding of what the product is now. We cannot go backwards. And some fans, I understand that they love traditional wrestling, how it was done in the territories, and that old school psychology – I totally understand that. And all that footage and all that history is available to you to watch and love. But the stuff that is entertaining people today isn’t necessarily that.
“There’s definitely things that we can pluck from the past and use and put them out there,” Rhodes added. “Ya know, what’s old is new. But Billy has that really, like – he’s got a foot in both worlds. And when we look at our coaches and who we might have as potential coaches, because we’re not gonna flood the room or bloat the budget with forty coaches. It’s gonna be very limited. But when we look at those coaches, we want them to be understanding of what wrestling is today with the insight on what wrestling was yesterday, and combine both. Especially when you’re trying to present a sport-centric wrestling show, which is the mission.”
AEW presents Double or Nothing on May 25th from the MGM Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV. Tickets are sold out but the event will be available to stream via FITE.
Cody’s full WINCLY interview can be heard in the embedded player below. During Cody’s interview he discusses the decision to launch AEW, the record breaking sell out they had in Vegas, Arn Anderson’s WWE release, his friendship with newly released WWE Superstar Tye Dillinger, beginning to scout stadiums for future AEW shows, the latest on AEW’s TV deal, Billy Gunn as their first producer and more.
You can check out past episodes of the WINCLY here.