“The American Nightmare” Cody Rhodes was on a recent episode of the AEW Unrestricted podcast, and he chatted with Aubrey Edwards and Tony Schiavone about a variety of topics. The three touched on AEW Games, which has recently detailed the three new AEW games, and featured Rhodes and Edwards. Rhodes discussed who is the head of AEW Games while also joking that he was not going to bury someone just so he can be on the cover of the video game.
“I didn’t know it was a real thing until I did a commercial the other day,” Rhodes jokingly said. “Well really, Nic Sobic (AEW VP of business operations) is really the head of it. I like that guy, but I can tell you this about Nic Sobic – he doesn’t trust me at all. I don’t think he trusts anybody. I’ve told him before like, “Hey, I’m not a shyster.’ Nic’s our Vice President; we have a lot of them. I think he trusts anyone though.
“We’re a year in now, bud. I’m not trying to get on the cover of the game. I would love to be. If you tell me that Kenny’s on the cover of the game, cool. Maybe next year. It’s like the PWI 500; I’m not going to bury somebody do it.”
Rhodes also noted that AEW is “way too generous when it comes to poster space.” He said that he’d rather liked to see around five people on a poster so that other talent can view their goal as wanting to be on the next poster.
“I’d rather do it by my own merit, and in the end, I know we’re just going to put everyone on the cover anyways because we’re way too generous when it comes to poster space,” Rhodes remarked. “If I go to see a Denzel Washington movie and Denzel Washington’s on the poster, I get it. I know we try to cover a lot of bases, and Brandi loves everyone to be on the poster too, but I just need four or five people because then, the goal is ‘I want to be on that next time.’ Then you look at it later in your career like, ‘That was mine.’
Edwards revealed that Rhodes was not featured on the initial promo art for the game because there had to be revisions on his character. She noted that Rhodes changed his hair back from black to blonde, and they had to also make sure his neck tattoo was the right size.
“So you’re not on any of the initial promotional art for EGM because your art was not finished,” Edwards revealed. “We had to do so many revisions, like the tattoo is not big enough [and] your hair was originally brown because everyone was on board with it. I know it was too vampire, but I had to tell people, ‘No, we have to go back to blonde.’ They were legit like, ‘Aw.'”
Rhodes continued discussing promotional posters, telling a story about the marketing team telling him that he’ll be on the next wave of billboards and posters, which gives him assurance. But he admitted that he never checks after. He reiterated that a poster should emphasis only certain wrestlers, noting how WWE still has John Cena and The Undertaker in promotional material even though the two are no longer active in-ring wrestlers.
“You know what marketing will tell me when I get a little irritated about my coverage, like I see the Moxley billboard replace my billboard downtown? They’ll say, ‘You’re on the next wave,’ and then I don’t look,” Rhodes admitted. “‘You’ll be on the next wave.’ It’s better than putting everyone on the poster because if you put everyone on the poster, [nobody’s special].
“It’s not negative. If you’re trying to present ‘Ricky Starks is our guy. He’s the future.’ Well then, don’t make him the same size of– who I was going to say was mean. He’s got to be front and center; he has to be presented as such. That is wrestling. That’s one of the problems that WWE has – it’s still John Cena and The Undertaker. They’re not wrestling!”
That led to Rhodes recalling driving Cena around on the road. He talked about how much he learned from Cena, and he talked about the “cowboy phase” Cena was going through at the time.
“He’s killing it. John’s a great guy,” Rhodes said. “I drove John around for a year – super valuable learning experience. He was going through a cowboy phase when I drove him around. He was into Coors Original, the Banquet beer, and he was such a diligent, hard-working guy. He was up at 6:00 a.m. every day squatting, nearing the 500-600 pound level. He was just an absolute Olympic lifting monster. I have lost communication with him, but absolutely, what a good leader. A wonderful individual, and I’m so happy he’s able to have blown up in the way he has because he has been on such a journey.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit AEW Unrestricted with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.