One of AEW’s Executive Vice Presidents and “The American Nightmare”, Cody Rhodes, was part of a media call this week that Wrestling Inc. partook in. Rhodes wasn’t shy when it came to the subject of former UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez, saying that Cain is someone that AEW definitely has interest in signing.
“He’s definitely somebody that I am keeping an eye on. Cain was one of those athletes – it’s not even an athlete thing, it’s almost a strange, natural ability to pick up our industry,” Cody said. “He picked it up so quick and he wasn’t doing mixed martial arts Cain Velasquez, he was trying to do true lucha. And he had worked with Psycho Clown who, Psycho Clown, if you haven’t caught him, is just amazing. What a stud!
“So, I was blown away by Cain Velasquez. I would love to bring that tandem and that tag back to All Elite Wrestling. I’m glad to hear he like what we’re doing; I like what he’s done with AAA., I continue to monitor it,” Cody added. “And that might be something you see as a personal project for me if and when Cain would like to come play ball with us. I’d be down. There’s something special- I mean, the man is a former UFC Heavyweight Champ, a nice guy, represents a whole part of the world, just a special human being. I think he’d be a great fit to our family.”
Cody mentioned how wins and losses will stay play a pivotal role in AEW’s storytelling, however, he wants viewers to know that the opponent a performer defeats, how they defeat them, etc. will influence things as well. He hopes that these evolving stories will run in conjunction with increased viewership each week.
“I can tell you that as far as wins and losses are concerned, it isn’t just the wins and losses,” Cody explained. “Almost look at it how college football is appropriated when you look at the quality of wins. One of the things that Tony did which was really wonderful was the press release with Sports Illustrated about me and Jericho, where he talked about the quality of wins that I had by beating Dustin and beating Shawn Spears.
“It will play a heavy role in the show – wins, losses, the quality of wins, and then as the numbers go up in terms of matches, that will be a really wonderful time to break out the heat chart and you start getting percentages on body parts, and how many times someone has lost to ‘The Walls’ or a ‘Codebreaker’,” Cody continued. “And that will really help as our numbers start to go up in terms of actual matches. On the other side, we hope that the narrative element of it, the wins/losses matter in building [storylines], and the prestige of the championships. We hope that it will be congruent with the ratings and they will go up with all of that, as well.”
Cody and the fellow management team at AEW intend to air Wednesday Night Dynamite in Europe and multiple other countries once they find international deals that align with TNT’s guidelines. Their goal is to have the show accessible to anyone in the world that wants to be a part of AEW.
“It’s definitely something that we’re looking at currently and not particularly because you’re asking me and you’re from Germany… The German market is massive; I just did a German magazine two days ago, I was in two wonderful sell-outs in Paris in terms of France and that market,” Cody said. “We don’t want to leave anybody out. One of the things about having a major cable carrier cover this company is that the international deals are very hard to navigate and they are beyond my depth as an EVP. But we have the right people in place because we want the product everywhere: Germany, France, and the smaller European countries.
“Right now, with FITE TV, I know that there are some places excluded and left out, but we’re doing everything we can to get what they call in production ‘ignitions’ to all these countries. And I’ll do everything in my power because it was always my goal for everyone to see,” Cody continued. “We don’t have a network subscription service just yet so we’re working with the tools we have. And our focus was Dynamite to begin with and then growing it out, so I would hope that nobody gets left out in the first month, at least, of Dynamite. Definitely something Mike Weber and FITE have done a great job that we’re working on and, believe me, Matt, Nick, and Kenny – a question we regularly ask in our group meetings is, ‘When are we going here? How do we get there because people want to see it.'”
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