AEW TNT Champion Cody Rhodes spoke with Alex McCarthy of talkSPORT before tonight’s title match against Sonny Kiss at AEW Dynamite: Fight for the Fallen.
Not surprisingly, one of the byproducts of NXT and AEW going head-to-head is a focus on the ratings battle between the two companies. Both AEW President Tony Khan and Chris Jericho have each commented multiple times about the 18-49 demographic ? typically what AEW wins ? being most important for AEW as it moves forward.
For Cody, he’s tried to stay out of that side of the business, noting fans won’t see him talking about the ratings any time soon.
“I think early on we were looking at it, and there’s really that specialness with ‘X’ amount of wrestling fans tuning in on a Wednesday night,” Rhodes recalled. “As a big wrestling fan, what does that mean to me, etc. I think now with where we’re at and as we’re gearing towards our next big pay-per-view, and we’re gearing towards Fight for the Fallen, we really have to put our focus on having the best show.
“It’s really easy to get caught up in the weeds with like, ‘for X amount of weeks we beat WWE in the ratings’ or get into this wild demo discussion ? if you ever catch me tweeting about the demos, please just delete my account. And it’s not wrong, I respect everyone that is bringing it up. I don’t make the ‘Top 50,’ that’s the thing. People spam me and the management core ? Showbuzz Daily, they make the ‘Top 50.’ We don’t make the lists. So, if we’re ahead of your favorite or your favorite shows, spam them! [Laughs] I don’t know what to tell you!”
Ultimately, Rhodes says he’s is looking to put on the best show for wrestling fans, although it’s good to keep AEW, as a company, accountable by looking at the data that comes through the day after Dynamite airs.
“But my focus, I don’t get caught in the weeds,” Rhodes said. “Thursday is the day all that data comes down and you look at everything. Minute-by-minute, did someone tune out here? You have to ask yourself, why did they tune out? Is it an anomaly? Is it a pattern? Again, we have great people flanking us who put this all in black and white on a grid for us so that we can be accountable. if you’re not drawing viewers, you have to at least address the problem.
“That’s the one day it gets really analytical and looking into the data. But for me, creatively and as a competitor and artist, it’s about having the best show, something that people talk about evokes emotion, creates memories and brings them joy during this period.”
AEW Dynamite: Fight for the Fallen airs tonight at 8 pm ET on TNT to benefit COVID-19 relief.