AEW EVP Cody Rhodes recently spoke with Austen Lane on Action Sports Jax On ESPN690. Rhodes explained why AEW has a team environment given the lack of rumors of talent being unhappy with where they are at in the company.
“The term we use in the business is ‘boo-boo face’, these individuals walking around who are miserable and don’t like what their creative is or don’t like even the fact that they traveled. We’ve got almost non-existent, such a low percentage of that, and we do have this team environment,” Rhodes said. “And I’ve been in a myriad of locker room since I was a little kid. I’ve never felt a team environment like this before, and I think what drives us and what bonds us is twofold.
“We’re competing with a juggernaut in the industry that’s been doing this for 40 years. We’re this startup that could, and that really bonds us in a way that it is truly one team where I’ve not seen that in wrestling. In addition to that, it’s a very transparent company. I’m really quick to say, ‘I don’t like that, but I like this. There’s no stabbing in the back. If anything, it’s wrestling, you might as well stab each other in the front, and there’s a real honor to this place.
“I’m so lucky to be at the highest level here and part of management coming in at the very bottom floor and helping build this with Tony [Khan], and the other EVPs and all the great personnel we have, but that looming monster over our shoulder that is our competitor in this space makes us just work so much harder, and that’s why our content’s the best wrestling content on TV bar none.”
WWE NXT is rumored to be moving to Tuesday nights sometime soon. Rhodes was asked if he prefers to have that competition on Wednesday nights or is happy that AEW Dynamite will air unopposed.
“I think my answer changes a lot. There was a fun nature to the Wednesday Night War that plenty of people took very seriously, but if we’re being honest and again, not trying to sound braggadocious, this is a just a run-through,” Rhodes pointed out. “We have destroyed them for over a year now in that space, and them leaving, perhaps that opens up a different viewership for us on Wednesday’s, but we’re not reactionary to their booking.
“We’re not going to change anything we do with what they decide to do on Wednesday’s or not, and also, there’s a lot of smart people who work for WWE and perhaps they’re planning something else. Maybe it’s going to be Wednesday night RAW for all I know. I’m not assuming that their white flag on moving to Tuesday nights is a true white flag. I’m gonna kind of wait and see myself, and in the interim, all we’re going to do is continue to come up with good content, great stories and try to make new kings and queens on our roster.
“You’d be surprised. If you’re ever backstage at AEW, no one’s talking about our competition as far as how it affects our job that night. We’re talking about how much we love or are excited to do what we’re about to do, and that won’t change.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Action Sports Jax On ESPN690 with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.