Cody Rhodes had a media call today that lasted roughly 45 minutes, where he fielded several questions ahead of AEW’s Double or Nothing pay-per-view, which is set to air this Saturday, May 23.
Here are some bullet point summaries of his responses:
- Cody was asked about how much the creative plans for Double or Nothing have changed due to the coronavirus. Rhodes said the card is around 90% the same as originally planned, and the coronavirus hasn’t changed much about it.
- He explained some details about AEW’s coronavirus testing, including how it’s not done inside Daily’s Place. Testing is done under quarantine measures. That way if someone tests positive for COVID-19, production at Daily’s Place would not have to be shut down. Talent and crew are tested in different locations. The idea is to spread out to avoid cross-pollination.
- Cody said that wrestling etiquette is all about shaking hands every 30 seconds, so one of the biggest changes during the pandemic has been adjusting away from that longtime habit.
- He hopes that in a couple weeks AEW will start announcing some dates for the rescheduled Dynamite events that were postponed in March and April. It doesn’t sound like this is based on much more than optimism that things will improve, so take it with a grain of salt.
- To follow up on that, he is hopeful that “sooner than later” maybe there can be a limited “small gathering” of fans.
- He referred to Mike Tyson as a “hardcore AEW fan” who they met last year at Double or Nothing, and will add an element of prestige to this year’s card.
- The “way it’s currently looking” is that TNT championship will not have its own set of rankings. Like current champions Jon Moxley and Nyla Rose, the TNT champion will simply be excluded from the rankings list.
- Cody wouldn’t commit to any kind of specific role or position for the TNT championship. For example, it’s not appropriate to label it right now as a mid-card title, or a title for the TV workhorse. He said the title will grow and have an identity of its own. They aren’t looking at Moxley’s AEW world title as number one and the TNT title as number two. He said that he hasn’t even seen the TNT championship yet.
- He confirmed that just about everything about wrestling in an empty arena is worse than wrestling with a full audience of fans. He said silence is a wrestler’s nightmare, and implied that the wrestlers who are making some audience noise right now for AEW are a key part of the show.
- Towards the end of the call he was asked if Matt Hardy is an official member of The Elite. Cody emphasized that more than anything, The Elite consists of Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks. Other associated wrestlers like himself and Hangman Page are more like an expanded universe of The Elite. He grouped Matt Hardy into that latter group, alongside himself and Page.
The call abruptly ended before anyone asked about potential injuries suffered this week on Dynamite by Britt Baker, Rey Fenix, and Matt Jackson, so Cody did not offer any insight into their status and availability for this Saturday’s pay-per-view.
You can find an audio file to download of the full call at F4WOnline, so be sure to check it out to hear Cody’s full thoughts on these topics and more.
And let us know in the comments below what you think of Cody’s answers. Are you buying his claim that the Double or Nothing card is 90% the same as it was originally planned before the coronavirus pandemic?