AEW Executive Vice President, Cody Rhodes, took some time out of his busy schedule to speak with SPORT1 in Germany. Cody believes that some of the rising talent in All Elite Wrestling have set themselves apart because they've quickly adapted to the demands of live TV.
"There are people who are definitely ahead of the curve considering they have never been on TV: Darby Allin, for example, or Kris Statlander," Rhodes said. "I didn't know who Kris Statlander was a month ago. Now, I can't imagine AEW without her. She's an incredibly special talent and we want to cultivate that. I've been really impressed with so much of our roster with how they've taken doing live television."
Cody and AEW's aim is to be a hybrid of new pro wrestling and old pro wrestling together, but they're also aware that succeeding in such will include treading a dangerously thin line of becoming a parody.
"They say in wrestling, 'What's old is new'. There is so much of the territory wrestling, and even pre-Crockett, pre-television wrestling, that have so many great stories and elements to bring to the squared circle and tell a story within the ropes," Cody explained. "To be able to do that on worldwide television is huge. But we also have to do our best not to be a parody of what's old. Not to be nostalgia for nostalgia's sake.
"You have to give people the buffet: some old, some new. We are melding those worlds. I like Memphis Wrestling, southern wrestling. I revel in that old school, but not lazy old school - the diligent, committed old school. If you mash that up with the new school and create something new like Darby Allin does, or MJF, people will let you know how much they love it."
Cody also took some time to give praise to current AEW World Heavyweight Champion, Chris Jericho. Rhodes revealed that Jericho has been coming to TV every week and has filled a crucial, helpful role backstage.
"You don't want to praise Chris because he's such an asshole, but you have to give him props," Cody said. "Every week, Chris Jericho does something that reminds me of how important he is to the company - every week! He's a huge part of this."