AEW EVP Cody Rhodes recently conducted a media call ahead of Full Gear, the audio of which is featured on a past episode of The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Rhodes discussed the negative fan feedback of the build to the AEW World Women’s Title match featuring Hikaru Shida and Nyla Rose.
“I personally am not disappointed because my outlook on wrestling is there’s a wrestling ring, and we have wrestlers, and we have rankings, and there will be matches,” Rhodes stated. “I do understand that for the last 20 years, fans have been conditioned to think that every match is going to start with an invisible camera in a piece of cake in catering, and someone takes that last piece of cake and now there’s drama, now there is a ‘storyline’. In our case – sports centric – we’re right back to it. I meant it when I said it.
“I hope folks aren’t disappointed when they get this actual wonderful match between two incredible female performers. Shida, there is no one better. No one better than Shida, and I’m talking about our women’s division/our men’s division. But I am aware that for 20 years, they’ve been conditioned to every match needs to have a warranted story connected to it. That will not be the case with AEW. We have wrestling matches because we’re a wrestling show. It’s in the title, and I hope if there was any disappointment in the build, there will be no disappointment in the execution.”
Rhodes also discussed the other women’s match on the card that will be on The Buy-In, where NWA World Women’s Champion Serena Deeb will take on former champion Allysin Kay. He said that AEW is open for business for matches like these, as he praised both wrestlers.
“One thing that’s really special about AEW, and we say it, and it sounds like a shill but it’s not a shill – we’re open for business,” Rhodes said. “Our bridges are down and our doors are open. We came up with Allysin and Serena, who I can’t say enough nice things about either of them, but particularly Serena… Just really, talk about stepping up to the plate, and I’ve known Serena since I was 20 years old. She’s a very very special wrestler, but in terms of that match, having a another woman’s match on the card, I think Tony Khan was the one who had the foresight to connect with Billy. He’s always connecting with Billy when it comes to the NWA presence, which is a lingering thing, and it’s a good lingering thing.
“They have a good relationship, and like I said, the doors are open and the bridges are down for different companies and people from different worlds/crossovers. And that is what you’re seeing with AEW Full Gear, having the NWA Women’s Champion on the show and having someone like Allysin, who has a great deal of buzz and who’s captured the imagination of the audience, especially just recently. She’s a great veteran, revered and respected in the wrestling world. I think it’ll be a hell of a match.”
While AEW is open to do business with other companies, Rhodes noted that it is unlikely that there will be an AEW cross-promoted show. He also downplayed the idea of a third match against NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion, Nick Aldis, saying that it unlikely to happen, especially with how their second match ended.
“The doors are open, the bridges are down,” Rhodes reiterated. “One thing I’m pretty sure we will never do, and I’m saying pretty sure – I don’t think we’ll ever do a cross-promoted show where we’re running two different banners. We’re very proud of our own identity. That doesn’t mean we won’t crossover or doesn’t mean others won’t cross over. I will say, the more that Billy and Tony talk and the more you see that NWA presence, I’ve often brought it up. The lingering question is going to be, when, how and where?
“If we were to do a Nick Aldis and a Cody III, if anyone knows anything about how the second match went down and if anybody knows anything about the general nature and atmosphere of that, it’s probably best we just leave it at two. We had a great experience. One of my favorite memories in my entire life is the opening 30 seconds to a minute of All In, and feeling that moment and sharing that with Nick. Nothing but respect and love for Nick. I would bet you though, it would be very difficult for that third match to happen. The parties involved are very particular about the other parties involved, that being the entities, the novelties, [and] the commodities.
“I suppose that being Nick and myself, it’s not impossible. We did it once before and it was a beautiful, beautiful piece of business. I’m glad they were able to take that moment from All In and parlay it into more success for themselves. That’s the beauty of wrestling. We’re all lifting one another up, or at least, that’s the point. But I don’t know if you’ll ever see that third match. If it happens, I would be quite blown away if it happens. Never say never.”
AEW Full Gear takes place this Saturday night on PPV. The full audio from Cody’s AEW Full Gear media call aired as part of a recent 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.