With the COVID-19 pandemic taking over all across the world, many entertainment events have been canceled or postponed. For pro wrestling, it seems that many promotions, including AEW, are doing all that they can to keep their fans happy and content during this difficult time. Bully Ray asked Cody Rhodes during his interview on Busted Open if he considers his weekly televised shows, Dynamite and Dark to be the most entertaining product out there, wrestling wise.
"Oh yeah, wholeheartedly, Rhodes exclaimed. "You know, during this period of time, where a lot of the content is prerecorded or taped - a good chunk of it - I'm still seeing it multiple times. One of the best things is when you go to see the screeners or you look at items in post-production if it can bring a smile to your face - an organic real smile, or, I'm sure you've seen this Bully in catering since this is where it always happens - that thing where wrestlers watch their matches, and you see them start moving around, and you watch their face going through the motions - it always brings a smile. The content is king right now, especially with the Coronavirus and the quarantine, [our] content is king. I think our content is the best."
Since AEW is working with a limited staff, many wrestlers are working multiple roles. A prime example is Chris Jericho, who has been teaming up with Tony Schiavone on commentary, most recently. Rhodes applauds both men for their efforts, while also mentioning how their pairing has been a silver lining during this dark period of wrestling.
"I actually said this to Tony and Chris, I think a lot of people are going to miss the duo," Rhodes stated. "A lot of things have come up by necessity. Like the movie "The Replacements," there's been a replacement story with the limited roster that we had as we were filming during the quarantine. One of the silver linings - and there's been a lot of them - is the duo. I think people are going to miss the commentary team of Jericho and Schiavone. To see Tony Schiavone grow into this role even further, a role he didn't have to grow into is really amazing. He's been an MVP during this time period. But, I'm excited to get Jim [Ross], Excalibur and Taz back in the fold, and get the full team together."
Speaking of the commentary team, Bully Ray took a moment during the interview to talk about Taz's performance on commentary since his debut. What impresses him and many fans out there is how detailed and charismatic Taz is when calling out the wrestler's in-ring moves. Rhodes informed both Bully Ray and Dave LaGreca that he nor Tony Khan tell him what to say on commentary. Everything he does, he does on his own.
"No, that's actually a DIY Taz with assistance from the judge Jeff Jones," Rhodes informed. "Taz, you know, was somebody that when everything went down, he was looking for things to do. He was not looking for a vacation or a shelter in place. He's constantly moving. He beta tested these. Obviously, the sports-based presentation is still a huge part of professional wrestling. Even if we offer a buffet of different types of presentations, that piece of it where a man is trying to beat another man, or a woman is trying to beat another woman, that piece is incredibly significant. That is what Taz did on himself. He beta tested it. I loved it, I know Tony Khan loved it, and I know that the guys and the girls when they see their piece of business being talked about, that's a rub in itself, you get a rub from a legend like Taz. You also get a deep guy, you're analyzing something and this is very unique. Pro wrestling is unique enough in its representation in actual wrestling, but nothings more shilly to me than chain wrestling or really bad pretend style wrestling. Taz is one of those guys that doesn't pretend. He knows the sports mindset and it's a valuable thing that he brought to the table during this time, and technique by technique, Taz is going to stay."
You can listen to Cody Rhodes full interview here. If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Busted Open with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.