All Elite Wrestling’s Executive Vice President Cody Rhodes recently sat down for an interview with the Rich Eisen Show. During their conversation, Rhodes opened up wanting to portray himself in the ring—something he claimed WWE never fully understood. He also addressed whether he spoke about AEW with Vince McMahon.
Cody explained that he knew throughout his entire career who he was destined to be regarding an in-ring persona. He acknowledged he never wanted to be something he wasn’t. Instead, he wanted to fold his real life into his character, owning the fact he is Dusty Rhodes’ son. He added that this ambition was something WWE never understood, which acted as motivation for him to leave and start working with other promotions like Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro-Wrestling.
“I didn’t want to be another character. I wanted to be this combination of everything that I had built,” Rhodes explained. “I hit the independent scene and the independent scene was thriving. The alternative brands like New Japan Pro Wrestling and Ring of Honor were doing really well. I linked up with some other non-WWE backed wrestling talent and that’s what ultimately led to having an alternative product [AEW].”
Betting On AEW
When he first started planning AEW, Cody was told by an “endless amount of people to forget it.” He added that the one person he loves to consistently prove wrong is his mother. Cody described her as being “terrified” over his betting on himself and AEW not succeeding.
“What happened was, there were four major free agents in wrestling,” Rhodes said. “It was myself, Kenny Omega, and The Young Bucks. Tony Khan, who’s a die-hard wrestling consumer and fan, was the one who said ‘I can get this, I can back you guys fully. You can hold me accountable, I can hold you guys accountable, and I can get this on TNT.’ He wasn’t lying. The day our free agency began, he took us under his wing and everything has gone forward since.”
He explained that “[Tony] is someone I like talking to because he has a good grip on what wrestling might be good today. ‘[He’d say things like] these guys are getting really popular. I saw this guy in Japan. I saw this girl at an independent event.’ He has a good mind for the future and how things may be.”
AEW: Dynamite premieres on TNT this Wednesday, October 2nd.
H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.