Cody Rhodes Details Why AEW Chose Washington D.C. For TNT Debut

(Photo Credit: Dominic DeAngelo)

Cody Rhodes was on the Chad Dukes vs. The World show yesterday and The American Nightmare had a good amount to say about why he and his AEW Elite EVPs decided to choose America’s capitial, Washington D.C. as the starting point for AEW’s weekly primetime show on TNT. Cody also isn’t bashful about sharing how he differentiates friends’ text messages regarding AEW when a friend who is under contract with another promotion expresses interest in being “All Elite.” Quotes  and full audio of the chat are below:

What made you decide that this building, this market – you could have gone anywhere and sold the barn out – what made you decide that D.C. was the place you wanted to kick this thing off?

We had a really strong presence in terms of, in this era, you’re able to track a lot of data. And I know that might sound like, ‘Whoa. That’s the nerdiest answer ever.’ But you’re able to track a lot of data and see where, okay, where did the most views come from for BR Live and things of that nature? And when I say we’ve got these artists who are running this, and these inmates who are running the asylum, one of the best things that we’ve done – myself, Matt, Nick and Kenny – as EVPs with AEW, one of the best things we’ve done is said, ‘Okay, we don’t know how to do this, so let’s hire somebody who does.’

I’ll give you an example. Rafael Morffi, who came from WWE and was there with me as our market rep, that’s the individual who can look all across the board, and who can strategically place us in the best market and service every market that we possibly can, and reflect that data that’s been reflected, and appease that, and all that math and all that science. We’ve built a really great team around us, and short answer, I’m a huge fan of American history. I’m the American frickin’ nightmare. It makes perfect sense that we’re in Washington, D.C., the nation’s capital. So that’s the short answer. The long answer is that we’ve got a lot of really wonderful professional people who said this is the spot you want to be for the first show.

This is a question maybe you can’t answer. What do your text messages look like from people that are under contract at other promotions? I can’t even imagine what happens. Luke Harper’s a favorite of mine. Every day I just refresh all the blogs, saying, ‘Is this the day he shows up in AEW?’ But there’s probably a hundred guys that people are looking at, and women as well. What is that process like with this? You’re not talent. You’re a guy that’s running this whole thing with your partners. That must happen all the time for you.

Sure. And that is a really great question, and I can talk about it. You’ve got to basically differentiate. The tricky thing is we’re friends. We are all brothers in arms, sisters in arms in this industry. We’re the ones who go out there and take the bumps. Nobody sitting in a corporate office is taking those same bumps, or on the road and in between the ropes.

So there’s a camaraderie there and there’s a level of, we’re allowed to talk with anybody we want to talk to, as friends, but when it gets beyond friendly and it gets beyond personal, that’s an area where I’ve had to grow up, and Matt, Nick and Kenny have had to grow up. And that’s an area where we’ve had to, ‘Okay, well we can’t talk to you, cause you’re under contract.’ Or, ‘We can talk to you, but it will be at this date.’ And that’s not always easy for some of your friends. That’s not the easiest pill to swallow, when everybody just wants to kind of… you know, you’ve got to just separate and differentiate when you’re talking as friends and when you’re talking in business.

(Transcription credit should go to Chris Lingebach of 106.7 The Fan)