If there’s anyone in the pro wrestling industry who is laser-focused at the moment, then he’s none other than Cody Rhodes.
Co-Executive Vice President and in-ring talent of AEW, Rhodes is aware of the WWE vs AEW war that will set in motion once the upstart promotion’s weekly show debuts on TNT on October 2.
As previously reported, AEW is taking things seriously and their sole focus is on “pro wrestling” and not “sports entertainment”. And this, in turn, boils down to the fanbase that has been the driving force behind the nascent company coming into existence.
On Busted Open Radio, Rhodes stated that instead of trying to please the “casual fans”, AEW will first cater to the hardcore group and focus on giving them the program they want to see.
“I’ve seen the power [of the AEW base], I’ve seen it and that’s why I wanna focus on them first and foremost. There are people who are critical of what AEW does and instead of signal boosting that, I’d rather the 100s of the fans that we have in that base than that one salty son of a bitch that’s not coming on board anyways if that makes any sense.”
“You know the first way to fail is to try and please everybody, but I gotta take care of the people that brought us to the dance in the first place and I think that’ll be appealing on a global level, I genuinely do.”
The road won’t be easy for AEW as WWE will try to squash any momentum that they build at any point.
The good thing is AEW has already secured a hardcore fanbase in a short period of time while WWE is still firing on all cylinders to make their product edgier and draw a younger audience.