Cody discussed a number of topics during the interview, including the first year of AEW programming. He emphasized the importance of the 18-49 demographic, saying how he and other members of AEW‘s management are consistently checking the top 50 shows to see where they rank.
AEW has consistently outperformed NXT amongst the younger audience since the two shows began going head-to-head in October 2019. NXT tends to trend with an older audience, who are likely to have already been ‘loyal’ to WWE over the decades Rhodes revealed a certain WCW legend convinced him to focus on engaging the younger audience.
“Konnan of all people,” he said. “I don’t speak to Konnan a lot, but he had told me his secret to success. I asked him for any advice. His secret to success? It was always being around young people. Like ‘hey, I’m gonna listen to hip hop, I’m gonna listen to modern music. Even if I don’t like it? I’m gonna listen to it. I want to know what they’re talking about.'”
Cody Rhodes on Demographics
Rhodes continued, “That to me is the brightest part of the AEW roster. The youth that is on the roster and the youth that is in the creative, the direction. With Tony [Khan] in that lead spot, the direction of the show, the artistic vision of the show, the talent on the show.”
Cody Rhodes would then discuss the demographics of the show specifically. “We joke about the demo, but it’s not a joke. Seriously there’s a potential that if you, and this is for any show, if you don’t look at that? You’re going to age out. One of the reasons I’ve turned my act around into a bit of a squeaky clean act? It is because it’s really…I want to engage a young fanbase. Not just the young, affluent, and cool. I want to engage kids, because the show has a lot of violence, a lot of adult content.”
Rhodes finished by discussing the importance of attracting the younger demographic. This holds true not just with pro wresetling, but with all television shows.
“Anyone who’s not scared, and I’m not talking about our competitor, I’m talking about any show. If you’re not in with the youth in terms of, they’re not watching your show? You should absolutely be terrified. 50 plus means you’re losing your audience. Again this is about TV in general, not about WWE and not about AEW, but because we see all top 50 shows every week.”