On a recent episode of the Talk Is Jericho podcast, Chris Jericho sat down with AEW EVP Cody Rhodes where they discussed “Go Big Show” and other AEW topics. They discussed Rhodes’ rivalry with the late Brodie Lee most notably their Dog Collar Match. Rhodes admitted that he only wanted to come back after losing the title just for that match and not come back for an interview segment, but Jericho and Tony Khan convinced him to do more.
“You had a big part in that story because I was going to go straight back just for the Dog Collar Match,” Rhodes revealed. “I think I told you, ‘I just want to come back for the dog collar. Advertise me coming back. I do a dog collar.’ And you had said, ‘Well, what if you came back, and you got one of his guys and you made a statement’ because I had to explain that there would be a little bit of a change in me basing a little bit off Vader and Inoki meets Death of Superman with the black hair [and] new logo. And you had said, ‘Well, interviews are such an important part of wrestling.’ You were totally. You and Tony both were right. Let’s do the promo with the run-in. Let’s have him frame up the dog collar. Have the bad guy call for it, the antagonist or the heel.”
Rhodes also admitted that he was worried about the match because it was also on Jericho’s 30th anniversary show. However, he reflected on that night and felt everything was given the proper time it should have gotten.
“I worry about the dog collar because it’s on Jericho 30,” Rhodes noted. “I never had to worry because we balance the show in such a way that it was given the true amount of time it needed to be given. It was given the seriousness it need to be given, and then Jericho 30 was also given all the bells and whistles.”
Rhodes also discussed other worries about the match that he revealed Jerry Lynn helped put together. He talked about how he was worried about them getting hurt with the dog collars around their necks, but he praised Lee for his ability to make moves look more violent than they are.
“Jerry Lynn helped put it together,” Rhodes revealed. “Jerry Lynn’s wonderful. The night before, I’m putting the collar on the chain, and we’re pulling on each other. It’s like the first time you get in the cage. You’re like, ‘ugh, this is awkward.’ The Elimination Chamber, ‘I’m supposed to take a bump here?’ I’m very worried about our necks, any whiplash, and he’s so big, but that was one of the things that made him, as you’re somebody who worked him and always sung his praises on his work. He could make something look incredibly violent. He could do it to you every night. We could have done that dog collar every night.”
Rhodes revealed a back-up plan that they had if the collar would have broken. He said there were other collars and chains under the ring, and he revealed that it was Lee’s idea for the table spot that was done during the picture-in-picture break.
“We had another collar, a set of collars and chain under the ring, and we ended up using that as part of his big picture and frame we made him backstage. And I was telling Amanda, this was the chain in case the other one broke,” Rhodes recalled. “He was going to double clothesline, go put it on himself like an animal and then put it on me. So we had that plan.
“I was glad to see it get used, but it everything went how we’d like it to go. He was really adamant that, going into commercial, we do a really big bump in the commercial. Again, another one of the rules. You can’t give anything away in the commercial, and so you can. And I love that about here. I’m waiting for us to do a finish in the commercial. Here’s what missed!”
Lee tragically passed away late last year, and the Dog Collar Match ended up being his last match. Rhodes talked about how bittersweet it is that he is Lee’s last match because of other great matches that fans will never get to see.
“I hated the fact that I was his last match,” Rhodes admitted. “I loved it, and I love that feeling, but I also hated it because god, we were denied all these other great matches. I wasn’t confident in that being — obviously, he could have continued and been better and done more stuff, and I could have been better. I hated and loved that I shared that moment with him, but now, I look at it more with the reverence and love just because he got to go out, the thing he wanted the most, the thing he told you, he got to go out on top, which is great.”
Lee’s wife, Amanda Huber, praised AEW for the tribute show they put on for her late husband. Cody revealed that he still watches the tribute video WWE put on for his father Dusty, and he hopes that show can be something his family can look back on as a way to remember how great of a person Lee was.
“I watch my dad’s, the video package the WWE had made him when he passed away almost every day, and I was proud at AEW, and you were a huge part of putting the show together. I’m proud that his family has that show to look at because the whole thing is is done in such a genuine way of man, this is actually for you,” Rhodes expressed. “This is for you, and this is for the world to know, if you didn’t know through all those interviews, how special you were. This is all about you. So I was so proud to be on it.
“I hope that Nolan, who’s only three, I hope he can see it one day and just know, wow, he wasn’t — there are just average wrestlers, average people and there are shi–y people that get into wrestling, and there are great people. This guy was great at wrestling and great at being a person. The ultimate family man because he bought me a bottle of bourbon for the Dog Collar Match, and I knew we would never drink it together. I knew he would be gone as soon as he could leave to go home.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Talk Is Jericho with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.