Mike Tyson has had a couple of stints in WWE but now he's linked up with AEW and will be on hand at Double or Nothing. Cody Rhodes was asked if Tyson was always a part of the original Double or Nothing plans when he was on the AEW Double or Nothing media briefing earlier today.
"Mike Tyson was actually somebody that we met as a company at Double or Nothing last year. Over the course of the year, we've come to respect him as a fan and he's a hardcore AEW fan," revealed Cody. "I'll say though, that was one of the last touches put on Double or Nothing in terms of who will be the one to present that championship. Someone with an element of prestige and that's what Mike is there to do Saturday night. He is there to hand the championship to Lance or myself and it's been fun to get to know Mike over the past year."
Tyson will present the inaugural AEW TNT Championship at Double or Nothing and Cody was asked if we will see the title before Saturday's PPV.
"Well, I haven't seen it. Things leak in wrestling so you never know. There has been talk of potentially it being seen before but my preference would be to see it live for the first time when it comes out of the bag," admitted Cody. "Not unlike when Bret Hart presented Big Platinum and the AEW World Championship. I would lean towards you're not gonna see it yourself until I see it for the first time. But you never know."
In an effort to treat their product more like a sport than simply sports entertainment, AEW uses rankings for their wrestlers to help determine title contenders. Cody talked about how the TNT Championship will affect their AEW rankings.
"When we got to the semi-finals, Tony Khan addressed everyone in the tournament individually. The way it's currently looking, the TNT Champion will not be ranked. They will be listed as a champion. Jon Moxley currently has Big Platinum but we're not going to look at those titles as No. 1 and No. 2. That's because we want to see what becomes of the TNT Title," stated Cody.
"The only way we can do that here is now, we can't tell you, 'Hey, it's gonna be a workhorse title.' We can't tell you it's gonna be a midcard title. We can't say any of those things because we've never seen it before. I've literally never seen the belt. It will grow and have an identity of its own. But I can say as far as the rankings go, the top 5 will all be non-champions… We'll see how Tony takes that a step further as someone who's a firm believer of the sports-phased ladder system that's involved with rankings; we'll see how that goes. But the TNT champion will no longer be ranked."
With Matt Hardy teaming with Kenny Omega and battling the Inner Circle, many are wondering if Hardy is now a part of the ELITE. There's no better person to ask than someone who is a part of the ELITE, Cody Rhodes.
"Matt Hardy is wonderful. Last night I got the privilege to sit outside and get a beautiful view of the Jacksonville waterfront with Matt and to hear him tell stories to some of the younger guys. He's really a special veteran who, not unlike my brother, is able to continue to go," said Cody.
"As far as the ELITE is concerned, the ELITE more than anything, is the OGs. That being Kenny Omega and Matt and Nick Jackson. That's the heartbeat of it all. Look at it – Kenny was PWI's Wrestler of the Year last year. Matt and Nick Jackson – I don't know how many tag team accolades they've won. They're incredibly polarizing figures but they're polarizing because they're damn, damn good. That's the ELITE."
Cody added that the expanded universe includes Hangman Adam Page and Marty Scurll while Matt Hardy is someone under the ELITE banner.
"I'll tell you on a personal level, the reason I go so hard for the Nightmare Family is out of respect for the ELITE. That's their world. It's an honor to be selected to be a part of it as it's very special. But at the end of the day, the OG ELITE will always determine who is ELITE – Kenny, Matt and Nick. I think Matt [Hardy] gets a battlefield promotion, perhaps, to the ELITE," said Cody.
Cody Rhodes will battle Lance Archer for the TNT Championship this Saturday night at AEW Double or Nothing live on PPV. Cody's full AEW Double or Nothing media scrum aired as part of today's episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it's released Monday - Friday afternoon by clicking here.