AEW Executive Vice President Cody Rhodes was a guest on a recent episode of The Apter Chat. During the discussion, Cody addressed his previous response to Vince McMahon’s “blood and guts” comment.
It was noted how Vince made reference to AEW after an investor asked about competition in the entertainment world, not just from pro wrestling companies. Vince said he cannot speak directly for TNT, but he can’t see the network putting up with the “blood and guts” content from AEW.
Rhodes didn’t allow the comments to go without a retort. In a recent promo video for AEW’s premiere on TNT, Rhodes responded, “Recently there were some very public comments made about us, where we were referred to as ‘blood and guts.’ Blood and guts… the entirety of our business is built on blood and guts. Every man or woman who ever stepped foot in the ring, regardless of race, color, creed, political affiliation, sexual identity, felt blood and guts and passion, because if we don’t care, they don’t care. So if you say we are blood and guts, I say you bet your ass we’re blood and guts.”
In his interview with The Apter Chat, Rhodes seemed to withdraw a bit when Apter joked that Rhodes was bringing “blood and guts” to the TNT network. Nevertheless, he’s excited to see how far both TNT and pro wrestling have evolved when AEW becomes the first professional wrestling program to air on TNT in almost two decades.
“I don’t know, I think I said something to that nature for sure,” Cody laughed. “I was taking back the initial blood and guts comment (from McMahon). I’m so excited that wrestling is going to be on TNT. I think it’s been 18 years, and to have a partner like that – and they’ve changed so much; the Warner Media Group has changed so much in terms of their infrastructure. Wrestling has changed so much, so it’ll be cool to kind of catch back up. You know, where is everything now?”
After selling out multiple events, including the AEW on TNT premiere episode in Washington, D.C. that sold out just last week, Rhodes is skipping the celebration and focusing more on the content for said upcoming shows. He believes that high quality matches will be what convinces viewers to tune in and stick with AEW programming.
“I think [the TNT TV premier] selling out was an honest shock to me,” Rhodes said. “I thought it would do well, but we were so focused on the content of the show itself. Washington D.C.: the Nation’s Capital – it’s serendipity, man. And the only way it’s going to keep happening after the fact is if we keep putting on the best bell-to-bell matches that we can.
“Yes, people may tune in and expect something different as far as AEW is concerned and expect that alternative, and they’ll get that,” Cody continued. “But they’ll also get something they’ve been familiar with for a long time and that is bell-to-bell pro wrestling at it’s best because of the roster we have, and that’s the best thing we can give them. There’s a hundred hooks, and gimmicks, and all of that in this world of sports entertainment and show business, but the stories you can tell in the ring, they’re the most sophisticated stories on Earth if you want them to be. And I’m excited to do that.”
Rhodes revealed that his scheduled match against Sammy Guevara on the AEW on TNT debut episode will likely be the very first bout of the night. This will also allow him to take the helm as Executive VP once the match is finished.
“I think, as of looking at it now, I’ll probably be the very first match of the night,” Rhodes said. “Which has a special place in my mind but also thinking from a logistic and planning standpoint, it also makes it very easy for me to go sit down, put the headset on, and help Tony Khan and the other EVPs produce the rest of the show.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit The Apter Chat with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.