AEW Executive Vice President Cody Rhodes hosted a media caller earlier today to promote Wednesday’s AEW Dynamite premiere on TNT, which will air live from the Capital One Arena in Washington, DC. Cody is set to face Sammy Guevara on the show.
Cody confirmed that WWE is not “holding hostage” the Rhodes last name, and said he can use it if he wants to, but he doesn’t want to use it. Our own Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman asked Cody about the Rhodes last name and any potential issues with WWE over the use of it. Rhodes said he got the rub off his father, WWE Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes, and the family name enough over the years. He also indicated how there’s respect between the families behind WWE and AEW.
“I can use it,” Cody revealed. “I won’t use it though. That’s not everyone’s favorite answer, but I got the rub off that name plenty. The reason I don’t use it is this – this isn’t the romantic Game of Thrones answer that everyone wants, but the reason I don’t use it is, I got so used to being ‘The American Nightmare’ Cody in Japan, and I love that. I love the idea of trying my damnedest to get a single name over. I got the rub off of Dusty and my family long enough. I don’t mind not using it. You’ll see it every now and then, some people, they already know, so if it’s here, it’s here, if it’s not, it’s not. But by no means is WWE holding that name hostage, that is not a real thing. If I was to walk out tomorrow as Cody Rhodes and announced as Cody Rhodes, nobody’s gonna sue us, nobody’s coming after us. There’s a lot of respect between the families that are involved here. So, no. I just like using my first name.”
Cody was also asked about recent comments made by another AEW Executive Vice President, Kenny Omega. As we’ve noted, Omega stated in a recent interview that WWE NXT Superstars would be working the dark matches to his main events if there was just one wrestling promotion, and that AEW has real stars while NXT just has developmental talents. Cody gave props to NXT, but referred to it as the developmental brand, and said he believes Omega was just having fun and playing a gimmick.
“Well, I know that my father was rather instrumental in bringing the developmental brand up from the OVW-like situation or the FCW situation that I was in as a trainer, and making it more of a brand,” Cody said of Dusty’s early work with the NXT brand. “You’ll never hear me disparage NXT. There’s a locker room full of my friends over there and literally if any of you have done the Performance Center tour, you’re going to happen in front of my dad’s boots. I think Kenny was just having a bit of fun and it was something much in character that’s been going on with Being The Elite. I have nothing but good things to say about the developmental brand, and their success they’ve had, and their continued success.”
Cody later expressed interest in wanting to buy back the War Games name and concept from WWE, which they currently use for the NXT brand at annual Takeover events. Cody also confirmed that he has the Bunkhouse Stampede and BattleBowl trademarks for potential use in the future. Jae Holland of the Unsanctioned podcast asked Cody if we could possibly see AEW do a match similar to War Games, or another concept we haven’t seen yet. Cody noted that AEW President and CEO Tony Khan often comes up with new match ideas. Cody also revealed that Nick Jackson of The Young Bucks came up with the Casino Battle Royale match, with the idea that it would be a layered Royal Rumble.
“Well, you mentioned War Games and I’m kind of sitting here thinking to myself,” Cody said. “I’d really love to just buy it back and I wonder if they’d be willing to let me just buy it back, because Dusty came up with the match concept, on a napkin in the parking lot. Arn Anderson was there, I’ve got a witness. The one they do now isn’t truly loyal to the old school rules of it. Maybe I can get it back. But the beauty of that – War Games just came out of the experience of being around wrestling, seeing the Four Horsemen build-ups, seeing the good guys and their adversaries, and all of a sudden the light bulb went off. Hopefully a match comes to us the same way.
“We started with the Casino Battle Royale, which was Nick Jackson’s idea of doing almost a layered Royal Rumble, and I think with the women’s one, which was far superior to the men’s one, I think we got the formula for that right. I would really hope that we come up with some great match-ups of our own. I could always steal from my dad but come on, he wouldn’t be proud if I was just yanking all his ideas. I do have the Bunkhouse Stampede on lock-down, if and when we need to, also Battle Bowl, if and when we need to. But I know among us, especially Tony Khan, who seems like he’s coming up with a different match concept every day, I know we can come up with something original. Maybe we float that out, though. Float that out to WWE, see if we can buy War Games.”
The full audio of Cody’s AEW Dynamite media call aired as part of today’s episode of our WINCLY podcast. It can be heard via the embedded audio player at the bottom of this post.