AEW Executive Vice President Cody Rhodes recently spoke with Brian Jones of PopCulture.com and discussed the “huge impact” that Bryan Danielson and CM Punk will make in the company.
Punk made his return to pro wrestling in August, signing a multi-year deal with AEW. He has since won two matches, one over Darby Allin at All Out, and the other over Powerhouse Hobbs on AEW Rampage last week. Danielson signed with AEW and debuted at All Out last month, confronting AEW World Champion Kenny Omega. His non-title in-ring debut against Omega ended in a Time Limit Draw late last month on the Grand Slam edition of AEW Dynamite, and then he defeated Nick Jackson on Friday’s AEW Rampage.
Cody looked at Punk’s big return at AEW Rampage in August and called it the most important pro wrestling show since the 1996 WCW Bash at the Beach, which saw the formation of the nWo.
“I think you’re looking at really a flashpoint in wrestling history, the day that Punk returned in the United Center,” Rhodes said of Punk’s debut in August. “I had texted one of the guys who format the show, and I said, you should be proud of yourself. You’re formatting the most important show since Bash at the Beach, and everyone should know the Bash at the Beach I’m referring to, and really that was so special. Every wrestler wants to be in that spot.
“To hear that crowd that way, and seven years his audience had waited, and to be in his home and the ice cream and just the synergy and the love. I really enjoyed the steam, the look in his eyes; we walked out and saw not just his fans, but what the AEW fans look like. It’s changed our business; he’s broke every record there was.”
Cody said he’s confident that having both Punk and Danielson in AEW will continue to be “massive” for the company.
“It was a flashpoint to have Bryan, the last star who organically kind of got over on his own, culminating at WrestleMania 30, when that happened to have them, but having them is one thing, holding them and their passions manifesting on the screen will be the ticket,” Rhodes said. “I’m confident that both of them will just continue to be massive, massive pieces of our business and great examples for the locker room, because they’re top guys, they’re top guys in reality, in presentation, in work ethic.
“That is only going to bring up everybody who surrounds them. And that is the job now for anyone who has any modicum of fame, is to reach your hand down and bring up. And, I look forward to what they do with us and helping them in any way I can.”