AEW has been singled out as perhaps the most progressive pro wrestling promotion out there as it hasn't shied away from promoting diversity and inclusion.
However, some have also called out the promotion for its lack of black wrestlers on the current roster. Cody Rhodes was asked about that during a media call earlier this week that Wrestling Inc. was a part of..
"We wanted to put out a product that's congruent with today's society and is a snapshot of what America looks like. I think we're doing a good job but that work is never finished," admitted Cody. "One of the things my wife has been a marvel at with this company is seeking out diverse superstars and wrestlers for our product and I think we'll continue to do so.
"I think African American representation on our brand is huge and there are some absolute studs – men and women – that I would love to be a part of AEW and Dynamite… We are doing everything we can to provide the most diverse roster – and first and foremost – the best roster."
AEW strives to be a global promotion and one way they are aiming for that goal is by bringing in talent from other countries. Cody was asked about the British talent he has his eye on that he may bring into the fold.
"I'm about to go over [to the UK] and maybe I'll do a scouting trip when I go over there…But I think as we put effort on that partnership with the UK and with FITE and ITV – and that partnership is just in its gestation – it's slowly all coming to the surface, thankfully. But I think it's important that there are homegrown stars," said Cody before mentioning guys like Kip Sabian and Jimmy Havoc as stars.
"Also, at a certain point in 2020 AEW is going to come to the UK. When we do, I would like the show to feature a great deal of homegrown talent."
In more discussions about AEW's roster, Cody recently estimated that fans had only seen roughly 40 percent of their wrestlers. He admitted that estimation was likely a little off while also saying there are some faces that AEW will reveal later.
"I think [that number] comes from the fact that I didn't go to college and I'm not good at math," stated Cody. "Honestly, we have a lot of roster left. I don't know if I was on the nose with my 40 percent.
"We're also happy with our partnership with Triple A as there's a great deal of young talent at Triple A.
Cody then brought up Aerostar and Black Taurus as great, young talent at Triple A and said there is a bit of flavor that WCW Nitro had back in the day with their young lucha libre talent.
"I think it has a little bit to do with me being bad with numbers but there are a great deal of people we've held back to this point so they could be a part of the Dynamite era specifically," said Cody.
AEW has over 50 announced wrestlers as part of their roster and there are sure to be more additions on the way. Cody was asked if he had an ideal roster size ahead of their TNT debut.
"I'd say we're probably in the 85 percent [range] for this first of Dynamite. With TV there's a lot of emphasis on long-form storytelling so we're fairly full at the moment. Definitely, there's some gems along the way," revealed Cody.
"There is a misconception that anytime someone is disgruntled or has a bad Raw or SmackDown, they can immediately call or text me and it would be done like that [in terms of them joining AEW]. But I would say that would be a disservice to the crew we have now."
Lots of the young talent that AEW has are unknowns to the casual wrestling fan and Cody was asked what AEW is doing to help get over those wrestlers.
"Well, we have two hours of multiple play we call Dynamite. Not only those two hours, we also have shoulder content which is very popular in terms of Being the ELITE and The Road To series," said Cody. "It's about making a connection. It's something the UFC and HBO, when they were still in the boxing game, are doing incredibly well. They were making an effort to introduce you to the men and women before they stepped into the ring. Then you cared and you had love for somebody or ire for somebody.
"I think it's our job to do that and taking a look at how Dynamite shapes up, I think we're gonna be successful with introducing new people as far as the key to the human connection isn't giving them an artificial character. The key is showing the real character that they are and just turning that up."
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