Interview Highlights: Cody and Brandi Rhodes talk about AEW’s debut on TNT, their sports-centric approach, social media policy, missing title belt saga


Cody and The Young Bucks at the AEW Rally (photo courtesy AEW)

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Cody and Brandi Rhodes stopped by Wrestling SheetHeadquarters to discuss a variety of topics ahead of All Elite Wrestling: Dynamite premiering on TNT. The following are highlights sent to PWTorch.com from the show’s producer.


•On wanting to make changes in wrestling All Elite Wrestling…

Cody: “We’re approaching this from a very sports-centric approach. The league itself. The standings. The wins and losses mattering. The titles holding a lot of stake. If you look at other sports, African Americans are dominating in sports. Dominating in the NBA. Dominating the NFL. How come that hasn’t made its way to wrestling? If that makes any sense. Just something I noticed the other night and I’m thinking to myself, ‘We don’t just want to check a box. They’re out there.’ And right away I thought, I’m so happy that we have a guy like Scorpio Sky who is an absolute stud of an athlete. My beautiful wife. We have Kia (Awesome Kong). Ya know? I just think it’s important that because wrestling was a certain way doesn’t mean it always has to be that way forever. It is changing and there’s so many loud voices that try to get it from changing, but it’s going to change. It’s changed from when Harley Race was the first guy taking a back drop in St. Louis to now. It’s gonna change. They were mad at Harley Race then and they’re mad at Private Party for doing high spots now, but it’s gonna change and we have to be ready for that. The audience is changing. The product is changing.”

Brandi: “One thing that I’ve wanted to see change in wrestling, because wrestling seems to be slower than everything else that I know in entertainment as far as progressive — and I’m not sure why that is — but women behind the scenes in wrestling don’t really exist. So this role is paramount for that reason in that that showcases that there’s another one of us that are existing, and making decisions, and being pinnacle parts of the building of a company. There should be more. There are a lot more smart women that are involved in the wrestling business as wrestlers or people who want to be involved behind the scenes that want to have executive roles. I want to see that start to change and I want to see that start to change much more rapidly. But, here’s what I have to say. Ladies. We can’t eat our own! If we’re always eating our own, we’re not gonna make progress. If myself, or some of the other women that are currently in wrestling in executive roles, aren’t your favorite … that’s ok. Don’t beat that to a pulp where nobody wants to hear it. Just keep working towards what you do want to see and that’s the way that we overcome these things.”

•On the online reaction to the photos they posted of themselves on one of the AEW production busses…

Cody: “The picture was sent to me from a friend in the lot saying ‘Hey, the truck wrap is done.’ There are multiple trucks with different people on the back. With Kenny Omega on the back. With Jericho on the back. With Moxley. There’s honestly like the whole roster. There’s a lot of trucks!”

Brandi: “There’s also people that you’re not going to expect on the trucks. So it’s really cool!”

Cody: “God forbid my friend took a picture of that truck and I thought, ‘Oh cool, the trucks are rolling, this is nice!’ Because when you got to a WWE event you see all the trucks. Way to ruin my day, internet!”

•On responding to criticisms on social media and reaching people who aren’t on it…

Brandi: “I definitely do agree that there are some ways to answer questions and not answer questions. Sure. But if there’s a conversation to be had, I don’t think I should ignore it. I think that’s one of the charms of our organization, that we are willing to engage with the fans and chat with them and have these discussions back and forth. So yeah, I’ve never understood why I should ignore a fanbase that I cherish.”

Cody: “Also, the metric in social media … this is really important for our whole generation to understand. Three people tweeting three hundred times is still only three people. So, the moment you signal boost that and you give that negativity this big spotlight, it’s just bad. We’re all, our entire generation, is getting better at dealing with it. But there’s this whole market that may not even be on Twitter. If you look at the most recent Presidential election, that’s what big thing they found out. There’s a lot of people who aren’t on social media. There’s a lot of people who watch tv that aren’t on social media. You’ve gotta find ways to actually test that audience. To actually check into their sensibilities. It’s really great that we have a good partner with WarnerMedia who is doing all this research. Where you find out that this is something that people really like. That’s really exciting, versus the age-old ‘let me see if it trends’ or likes, or retweets, because like I said man … three people tweeting three hundred times is still three people.”

•On initial reaction to the AEW World Championship going missing…

Cody: “It was kept quiet amongst a ‘need-to-know’ for as long as we could keep it quiet. I think the tale of it getting stolen out of a Longhorn Steakhouse and the grand theft potentially involved, again Longhorn Steakhouse, I think that’s a really great story. If what is actuality happened was a gentleman just placed it on the roof of a car and it fell off, that’s not as sexy of a story. The main thing I was happy about, cause I ordered a second title immediately, I was happy that we found it and it was undamaged and Chris has it in his possession. Because when he got it that night it meant the world to him, so I’m just glad we have it.”

 

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