AEW Executive Vice President, Cody Rhodes, recently spoke to SPORT1 about the challenges and advantages AEW’s roster or relatively young talent has. According to Rhodes, AEW’s talent has quickly learned to adapt to the demands of performing on live TV.
“There are people who are definitely ahead of the curve considering they have never been on TV: Darby Allin, for example, or Kris Statlander,” Rhodes said.
“I didn’t know who Kris Statlander was a month ago. Now, I can’t imagine AEW without her. She’s an incredibly special talent and we want to cultivate that. I’ve been really impressed with so much of our roster with how they’ve taken doing live television,” he added.
Rhodes also said that one person who has been instrumental to help the production rise to the challenge of having a weekly television is WCW and WWE veteran Chris Jericho.
According to Rhodes, Jericho – who is also AEW’s inaugural and current World Heavyweight champ – plays a crucial and helpful backstage role.
“You don’t want to praise Chris because he’s such an asshole, but you have to give him props,” said Rhodes.
“Every week, Chris Jericho does something that reminds me of how important he is to the company – every week! He’s a huge part of this,” he added.
Rhodes also spoke about AEW’s goal of providing wrestling fans with something different by being a hybrid of old school territory wrestling and new television and social media savvy professional wrestling.
“You have to give people the buffet: some old, some new. We are melding those worlds. I like Memphis Wrestling, southern wrestling. I revel in that old school, but not lazy old school – the diligent, committed old school. If you mash that up with the new school and create something new like Darby Allin does or MJF, people will let you know how much they love it,” he said.