AEW Executive Vice President Cody Rhodes recently sat down with Marc Raimondi of ESPN to discuss possibly signings for AEW. Rhodes named two former WWE talents as great free agents.
“I think there are two free agents that are on a lot of people’s radar, that being Miro (Rusev) and Matt Cardona (Zack Ryder),” Rhodes said. “Obviously, those free agents should be on any radar. They have literally drawn money. They have TV experience. They have high-profile experience. They have locker room experience. The pros heavily outweigh the cons.
“Those are two great free agents. I’m not going to go as far to say that if I had to sign anybody, those would be the two that I would sign. But I think they’re great free agents. I think if they have the passion for pro wrestling, they’re going to continue to succeed.”
While highlighting Miro and Cardona, Rhodes noted that Dynamite is only a two-hour show, and there’s many members of AEW’s roster that have not gotten a full push yet. He said while competition can be good, he wants to keep things fair for everyone.
“Here’s the trick. We only have a two-hour show,” Rhodes noted. “And a lot of our roster hasn’t even been fully realized or seen yet. I want to make sure we honor individuals like that. If you bring in a hot free agent, that means someone is going to lose a spot. That’s just the reality of it.
“In my capitalistic, cold nature that I have, I actually don’t mind that, because that makes everybody else step their game up. But you do want to do it fairly and responsibly. The best wrestlers, no matter where they came from, you’re going to want on your show.”
Rhodes was asked if Kurt Angle was on AEW’s radar as well. Rhodes praised Angle and their matches outside of WWE and speculated on what Angle’s passions are outside of wrestling especially after his retirement after WrestleMania 35.
“Kurt is amazing. I had three matches with Kurt when I left WWE,” Rhodes noted. “That’s a very special wrestler. I’m not sure if he wants to keep doing it, though. I look at someone like that and I look at what is their interest like beyond just being a wrestler. When you’re multifaceted like that and you have an Olympic background, I would just be curious as to where his passion levels lie beyond in ring.”
Tessa Blanchard is no longer under contract with Impact Wrestling, and early reports indicated WWE had interest in signing Blanchard. Rhodes admitted that he is not familiar with the details about Blanchard’s current situation and said those discussions are more for his wife and AEW Chief Brand Office Brandi, fellow AEW Executive Vice President Kenny Omega and AEW President and CEO Tony Khan to have.
“I don’t know a lot about the current situation with her and Impact,” Rhodes admitted. “Tully, her father, is in AEW. That’s more Kenny Omega, Brandi and Tony carving out the growing and evolving women’s division. They’d have more of a beat on that. She was part of All In for us. And anyone who was part of All In has a place in my heart.
“On a personal level, I always want all the second and third-generation wrestlers to have the best experience. She has a lot, a lot of talent. I’m sure it’s something Kenny, Brandi and Tony have discussed.”