SteelChair Wrestling Magazine had the chance of joining Thursday’s media call where AEW’s Executive Vice President and former TNT Champion Cody touched on a variety of topics such as the Double or Nothing PPV card, his match against Anthony Ogogo, the announcement of the AEW Rampage show, moving to TBS next year, the evolution of AEW, becoming a father soon, and much more.
On his opponent at Double or Nothing, Anthony Ogogo, the “American” promos
“I look at every pay-per-view, almost all of them, I look in a different light for the story that I’d like to tell and the story that I’m currently part of, this just fits so well being Memorial Day weekend and being that both men in the match really truly are living the American dream and the beauty of that. And again, this weekend in Jacksonville, Florida, just felt like a great time to pick up that sword and shield that I referred to as too heavy for me it is, but again, it’s mine and Dustin to pick up. It’s a one-night-only thing on the American nightmare. I know my role, but I absolutely will try and make a statement, as far as myself as a wrestler, myself, as a member of the Rhodes family and where we’re moving forward with Double or Nothing and as the brand continues to expand. So yes, it is indeed a statement match.
“I would consider (Ogogo) AEW’s very first developmental wrestler we had, and I was part of his signing. DDP had introduced him to me, he tells me about ten people a day that are going to change my life, and I don’t know what the batting average is on that, but he wasn’t wrong about Anthony Ogogo. The upside is very, very visible for anybody watching Dynamite in terms of the look, the charm, and one thing I got to see first-hand initially with his training was his skill in the ring. I can’t take credit for training him. That is definitely going to go to Qt Marshall, who is, if not the best trainer in the entire world. I’m very curious to see where he’s at now. I don’t think he’s ready for this type of scenario against me on a pay-per-view, under the bright lights. I don’t think he’s ready for it, but only time will tell him. We will find out at Double or Nothing (…) that we’re able to turn out and create new stars. That is the most important thing, replenishing new stars to grow and keep our industry going.
“I very much am proud to be an American. We have tons of problems, but I still genuinely believe hope outweighs them. I’m not trying to mansplain racism to anyone. When it comes to Anthony’s opinions on the United States, those are his opinions. That’s the beautiful thing about being here is that you can say whatever you like. He has chosen to say a lot, pointing out things we do wrong as a country. I think you’re remiss if you only point them out and don’t point out that people are functionally and actively trying to fix them. I think the way Anthony’s done it is a little crude, and I think punching a man while his back is turned and draping him under your flag is crass, I suppose. But again, that’s the beautiful thing about fans, that’s the beautiful thing about wrestling. You pay your money. You’re allowed to do whatever you want as a fan. So people who think he might be the good guy, or I’m the good guy, or I’m the bad guy, or he’s the bad guy, that’s fine by me. It’s more interest for the match and more interest for the outcome for the match, but with all that said, when it’s set and done, I really hope to say, whether I like him personally or not, that I’m proud of Anthony as far as being AEW’s first developmental talent and what that looks like in a major pay-per-view spot.”
On Double or Nothing card, being back in front of a full capacity crowd
“I think what you’ll see with the show on Sunday is a lot of perhaps plans or strategies on how people are gonna perform and compete altered by the fact that crowds are back. I wouldn’t be surprised if you see some tears because pandemic wrestling has had some absolute bright spots, the TNT title being the one. I always think of the most, but it’s time to get back in front of crowds, and I think it will heavily alter and affect the show. I cannot wait, they’re gonna have to hold me back from jumping into the crowd and just wanting to be right there with them. That’s such a huge part of the music that we make, they’re really the orchestra for it. That backstage environment and that energy is. We’re ready for this, and my heart is full for Sunday.
“Shida’s one of the world’s most popular wrestlers going into one of the most anticipated matches of the weekend. With respect to Shida, I called myself the ACE of AEW in a promo not too long ago, and I would say the only reason I can’t fully commit to that is that Shida has been the ace in terms of her ability to compete at a high level to keep the title. I don’t think Shida is someone who currently can be beaten, that’s just my opinion, but what I love about their match is the same thing I love about Miro’s match, it’s the same thing I love about the Casino Battle Royale, about myself and Anthony Ogogo, of the world championship on the line, is that this pay-per-view is truly, and we’re not using that hyperbolic wrestling language, but every match could be the main event of this pay-per-view, and that’s going to make for an absolutely combustible, insanely fun Double or Nothing.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how Jon Moxley mixes it up with Eddie and the Bucks. The Bucks provide a type of wrestling that is always so different from everything else on the card. It’s one of the reasons I’m a fan of their work, and we’ve bonded over their work is it isn’t the type of wrestling I grew up on. It’s a whole new thing. It’s a whole new evolution of what we do and to see Mox in there and see Eddie hard-hitting gritty guys who like to play like to taste to their own blood. That’s a match I’m absolutely looking forward to. Of course, I get to be a little kid again and be sitting and go position to watch Sting wrestle in front of a live audience in a true match for the first time. And what is it, six years? That special Sting thing and Darby Allin together in this odd mentor-student relationship new are that they have going on… But I Know Sting’s incredibly motivated, taking it incredibly seriously, and I think he’s gonna have the crowd in the palm of his hands.”
On the new show AEW Rampage and how it will change the dynamic of the other shows
“On a personal note, one of the things I’m looking forward to seeing with Rampage is we have a very large roster, we’re looking to expand our roster even further. So to be able to get people off the bench, some very, very talented people to spread the wealth. It’s incredibly exciting. August 13 TNT. We’re going to be on at 10 pm Eastern, and then rampage is going to move to the mothership, to the superstation TBS, starting January 1, 2022. Rampage is definitely going to complement dynamite, and it will serve as the third hour of programming, where we can further our storyline and showcase this roster. A big part of this is establishing our better yet re-establishing TBS as the world’s undisputed destination for wrestling. And with the three best hours of wrestling on the planet joining their network early next year. I think we’re on track to do just that. I am very excited.
“Rampage will be treated with the same care that Dynamite is. Dark and Dark Elevation are fan-favourite pieces of content, we are absolutely going to continue to produce them. I’m excited as we travel to not only be touching the independent scene from Georgia, Florida, Alabama, and the South, we’re going to be able to look at it a little bit case by case as we’re going to these different markets, which has always been something to look forward to when it comes to Elevation, or when it comes to Dark itself. Rampage and Dynamite are very much going to be complementary shows, and they will lean in to the four mega-events that we do for TNT. I’m not surprised at the expansion, but I’ve always been the eternal pessimist, and the reasoning for that is I grew up in a wrestling family. I can’t tell you how many times I heard, “Oh, this show is going to get TV, and this is going to be on this network,” and it was not until Tony Khan that wrestling was able to be brought back to a comparable network and actually have an alternative and a challenger in the space. It is amazing how quickly we’ve expanded, especially now expanding into the TBS territory.”
AEW’s Double or Nothing is airing live on PPV this Sunday at 8 PM EST (1 AM GMT) on Fite TV. The Buy In Pre-Show will air for free at 7 PM EST (midnight GMT) on AEW Official YouTube Channel and Fite TV.
Double or Nothing Complete Card:
- NWA WOMEN’S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP (BUY IN): Serena Deeb (c) vs. Riho
- Hangman Page vs. Brian Cage
- Cody Rhodes vs. Anthony Ogogo
- Sting and Darby Allin vs. Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky
- CASINO BATTLE ROYALE: Christian Cage, Matt Sydal, Powerhouse Hobbs, 10, Evil Uno, Colt Cabana, Matt Hardy, Isiah Kassidy, Marq Quen, Jungle Boy, Penta El Zero Miedo, The Acclaimed, Nick Comoroto, Lee Johnson, Dustin Rhodes, Varsity Blonds – The winner receives a future title shot.
- STADIUM STAMPEDE MATCH: The Pinnacle vs. Inner Circle
- AEW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP: The Young Bucks (c) vs. Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston
- AEW TNT CHAMPIONSHIP: Miro (c) vs. Lance Archer with Jake Roberts
- AEW WOMEN’S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: Hikaru Shida (c) vs. Britt Baker
- AEW WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: Kenny Omega (c) vs. PAC vs. Orange Cassidy
All pics and videos courtesy of AEW