According to AEW Executive Vice President Cody Rhodes, All Elite Wrestling will be a much less-scripted product than fans are used to. In fact, AEW won’t be hiring any writers for the foreseeable future. As Cody sees it, the wrestlers are the ‘writers’ and the last thing he wants to do is micro-manage the talent.
During our exclusive interview with Cody earlier this week, we asked how the AEW product will be different than WWE’s brand of over-scripted, corporate Sports Entertainment. In addition to a more more sports-like product that include Win/Loss Records and Rankings, Cody says the talent will be working off loose bullet points, not lengthy scripts.
‘Let Wrestlers Play Their Music’
“There’s plenty of young, fresh independent talent out there that probably can use guidance and things of that nature, but there’s also plenty of folks on board already that I wouldn’t dare try to tell them how to play ‘their own music.’ If I am licensing you and I am paying you, then I already know what you can do. These are your songs and I want you to go out there and play them. Obviously, there’s a side that this is a collaborative effort and we do need to have an end goal. That used to always be a thing in wrestling – what is the finish? I don’t mean the match, I mean, the finish to the angle, the finish to the quarter or the year. What is our goal?”
Cody continued, “When you have like-minded super-professionals like Matt and Nick, like Hangman Page, when you have likeminded super-professionals, it’s fun to see how everyone works for that common goal. Again, the wrestling I grew up on. We’re talking bullet points, we’re talking an overall knowledge of the business, and hey, let them go out and play. Take a look back at the wrestling you and I love. For the most part, they’re all grown men and women doing what they were hired to do. They’ve cut their teeth, they’ve paid their dues and now they’re going to go out there and play their music. I would very much like a presentation that mirrors that. We don’t need to micro-manage and we certainly don’t need to script a great deal of the product we’re planning.”
AEW Not Hiring Writers Any Time Soon
“We’re Keeping It Very In-House For Now”
With so many talented wrestling minds out there who have experience booking major league promotions, we wanted to know if AEW has considered reaching out to guys like Eric Bischoff, Bruce Prichard or Jim Cornette to join their team as members of their creative team or as consultants.
“Those resources are available potentially to us,” he said. “I have a good relationship with all three of those guys. But I do know that we want to lean to what we did with All In. And on All In, we did it. Me, Matt and Nick, we did it. The way we did it, it was us. There’s probably going to come a time .. we never want to be so full of pride or so stubborn that we will turn down a good idea. But for now, we’re going to keep it in-house and keep it within the spirit of All In.”
Cody said he’s been asked a lot about writers joining AEW. In a move that shows just how serious they are creative freedom, Cody revealed AEW won’t hiring any writers because “the wrestlers are the writers.”
“This is probably going to be an unpopular thing to say, but I will say it. There won’t be a writer hired for All Elite Wrestling any time soon. Because wrestlers are the writers. We’re the writers. Like I said with guys going out there and playing their own music, believe me – the day comes that I see ‘this is something we can really benefit from’ – absolutely, but I knew 40 writers in WWE and about 4 of them actually did anything. The reason I remember them and value them, they helped produce pre-tapes, they were team players, so right now that’s one thing we’ve gotten a lot of questions about. We’re keeping it very in-house for now.”
For much more on All Elite Wrestling, visit our dedicated AEW News page.