Earlier this week Cody Rhodes spoke with Chad Dukes on 106.7 The Fan to discuss him destroying a throne that was symbolic of Triple H was a shot from him personally, and not from AEW. Rhodes also explained how AEW decided to go with Washington D.C. as the first location for its TNT TV debut.
Last May at AEW Double or Nothing, during Rhodes' entrance a throne was shown on the stage that looked like one Triple H had often used in some of his previous entrances. Brandi Rhodes handed off a sledgehammer—another Triple H reference—to Rhodes, who would return to the throne and destroyed it with the weapon. Rhodes was asked about this moment and he wanted to make it clear this was a shot from him to Triple H.
"Well I mean, the safe term to say is we're the alternative, because that is true, in terms of you can watch us in lieu of watching WWE, perhaps," Rhodes said. "There's an option, a place elsewhere on television that you can go to. But saying 'alternative' is almost just kind of insulting to people. Naturally, this is going to be competitive, naturally, because there's not that much wrestling out there.
"The decision to blow up the throne was my decision alone and doesn't reflect on AEW at all. It was something I had thought long and hard about, and I, honestly, think it came from more of a personal standpoint than the company firing that first shot. And that's gonna be something that, I don't know how many more of those I get in me, because as I become more engrained in the AEW business side, as an employee and as one of the executive vice presidents, I don't get as many, 'Oh, well he's just a dumb talent doing dumb things.'
"Plain and simple, I was a huge fan of Triple H. I learned a great deal from Triple H, a great deal. I probably wrestled him in the Capital One Arena. But when push came to shove and I thought I was better than 99 percent of the people he was putting ahead of me, he didn't see that. So in that moment, there is no greater revenge in the world than success. So I knew I was walking out to a sold-out crowd, wrestling a 50-year-old man in a match that people, at one point, deemed unworthy and the place was literally shaking. So I felt no need. Like, this is the perfect time to do it, to fire my own shot, and it was my own shot, not an AEW shot."
As noted, the AEW will debut on TNT TV on October 2 from the Capital One Arena in Washington D.C. The show took only three hours to sell-out. Rhodes was asked how AEW decided to start things off in D.C. and it came down to hard data from previous events.
"We had a really strong presence in terms of, in this era, you're able to track a lot of data," Rhodes responded. "And I know that might sound like, 'Whoa. That's the nerdiest answer ever.' But you're able to track a lot of data and see where, okay, where did the most views come from for BR Live and things of that nature? And when I say we've got these artists who are running this, and these inmates who are running the asylum, one of the best things that we've done – myself, Matt, Nick and Kenny – as EVPs with AEW, one of the best things we've done is said, 'Okay, we don't know how to do this, so let's hire somebody who does.'
"I'll give you an example. Rafael Morffi, who came from WWE and was there with me as our market rep, that's the individual who can look all across the board, and who can strategically place us in the best market and service every market that we possibly can, and reflect that data that's been reflected, and appease that, and all that math and all that science. We've built a really great team around us, and short answer, I'm a huge fan of American history. I'm the American frickin' nightmare. It makes perfect sense that we're in Washington, D.C., the nation's capital. So that's the short answer. The long answer is that we've got a lot of really wonderful professional people who said this is the spot you want to be for the first show."
All Elite Wrestling's next event is All Out from Chicago on August 31 featuring Chris Jericho vs. "Hangman" Adam Page for the AEW World Championship. Also, Cody will face Shawn Spears, and Jon Moxley takes on Kenny Omega.