Cody Rhodes On How AEW Handles “Cancel Culture”

AEW EVP Cody Rhodes recently made an appearance on After Hours with Defo and Lubie. Rhodes was asked about how AEW balances pushing the envelope and if AEW has had to deal with cancel culture.

"How do we do it? I don't know," Rhodes stated. "It's such a sensitive time, as you know, and comedy is probably more targeted, stand-up comedy is probably more targeted than pro wrestling, but pro wrestling live interviews have definitely been — we've had to be more accountable. We've had to take a look at it, but also, those who are going to push the envelope do it under the absolute idea that what you're seeing on television, this is the character that I am, don't judge that in a civilian setting. And for people who understand that, which our fanbase does, there haven't been these big calls to cancel.

"As silly as this was, Arn Anderson started talking about a glock on television the other day, and he simulated, with his hand, putting a glock to my head. And I'm positive that nobody would have been able to get away with that from my generation, but Arn, again, there's such a charm to this retired coach of mine, veteran wrestler just telling me he's gonna shoot me on television live on TNT. It was definitely pushing the envelope, but they were able to make kind of a joke of it and move forward, which I appreciate. Our fans aren't really rallying behind the idea of holding everybody accountable for things that are within a television show."

AEW star Max Caster dealt with some controversy over a rap that had referenced the Duke lacrosse scandal. AEW President Tony Khan called the rap "awful", and Caster was dealt a suspension. Rhodes also talked about the pressure of being the son of Dusty Rhodes.

"The opinion probably changes day-to-day in terms of the load is still being carried, and the fact that now there's a show on TNT that bears his name with Rhodes to the Top, somebody mentioned that to me the other day, if he was to come back from the dead, what would he think of that," Cody said. "And the load is still being carried, and certain days, it's really easy to crumble underneath it, especially when it's such a giant of a personality, and I did enter into his exact space and now I have his exact job as the executive vice president of All Elite Wrestling, and it's a WarnerMedia network.

"We grew up in the south because Turner bought all the wrestling, and my dad was tasked to meet with Ted and Rick and WCW became a thing. A lot of synergy, a lot of destiny and now my youngest daughter who's been born and everyone got to see it last week on Rhodes to the Top, she'll be the granddaughter of a son of a plumber. She's going to have the American Dream in her, just like I did. I have no complaints about it. I know for certain second, third generations, it's very easy to crumble and mentally suffer under it, but for me, I wouldn't have it any other way. It's a great legacy, and it's a great inspiration for me."

If you use any quotes from this podcast, please credit After Hours with Defo and Lubie with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.