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Cody has an interesting response to AEW’s third hour of weekly television, as well as Tessa Blanchard

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AEW Executive Vice President Cody Rhodes was recently interviewed by ESPN’s Marc Raimondi, where he addressed a wide variety of topics. Let’s get right into it.

First, here is what Cody had to say when asked if there will indeed be a third hour or second show coming to AEW’s weekly television:

“I think probably in four to six weeks I’ll have a firmer answer on that. That’s still very much the case. The format of that show might be different. It might rely on the production we have in place already, it might not. I know we’ve got all kinds of different plans converging on what we want. The goal of what the third hour would be is to showcase a different crop of talent from AEW. It’s very hard when you have this much talent and you only have a single weekly show. It’s hard to keep people in the mix. As a wrestler, it’s even hard to train for. The only way to train for wrestling is still wrestling. It’s been an adjustment, even without the pandemic...If I had my way — and maybe I will — that third hour is a space to see some new men and women, including men and women not on our current roster.”

I assumed a third hour of weekly television would prioritize more of the current roster members who have been wrestling on Dark most weeks. But given the way Cody describes the situation, there are a lot of different ideas floating out there right now, and the third hour might actually be used to highlight talent not under contract to AEW. We should hear more information about this by mid-September.

Cody also talked about what’s going on with AEW’s relationship with Mike Tyson and Henry Cejudo:

“I can say that there’s a relationship between Mike [Tyson] and AEW and Mike and Tony Khan. I think that’s a thread that those guys will likely pull, if not now, then in the future.”

“I’d love to see Henry [Cejudo] in the ring. I really would. I’d love to tag with Henry. I think he’s great. He’s a former Olympic gold medalist. It’s very important to me that we have a real sports broadcast. I know there are a lot of very meta and very silly things on our show as well. That’s part of the buffet. But when I’m going out there and stiffing each other to high heaven and beating the hell out of each other, I like the sports side of it. I want to strengthen that as much as we can as a company.”

This answer makes me think that even if Mike Tyson’s upcoming exhibition fight against Roy Jones Jr. on Sept. 12 means he won’t be able to compete against Chris Jericho at AEW’s All Out event that same month, at some point down the line they’ll find a way to get everyone’s schedules to line up.

Finally, Cody offered his thoughts on a wide variety of pro wrestling free agents.

First up is Tessa Blanchard:

“I don’t know a lot about the current situation with her and Impact. Tully, her father, is in AEW. That’s more Kenny Omega, Brandi [Rhodes] and Tony carving out the growing and evolving women’s division. They’d have more of a beat on that. She was part of All In for us. And anyone who was part of All In has a place in my heart. On a personal level, I always want all the second- and third-generation wrestlers to have the best experience. She has a lot, a lot of talent. I’m sure it’s something Kenny, Brandi and Tony have discussed.”

This is an artful dodge. Tessa Blanchard is a controversial figure due to allegations of bullying and using a racial slur. Her father (Tully) works for AEW. Cody found a way to respect the Blanchard name and express respect for her work in the ring, while throwing responsibility for AEW’s potential interest in her into the hands of Kenny Omega, Brandi Rhodes, and Tony Khan.

This interview was conducted prior to Matt Cardona’s arrival in AEW, and Cody happens to namedrop Cardona as one of two free agents who has his attention:

“I think there are two free agents that are on a lot of people’s radar, that being Miro — formerly Rusev — and Matt Cardona, who was Zack Ryder. Obviously, those free agents should be on any radar. They have literally drawn money. They have TV experience. They have high-profile experience. They have locker room experience. The pros heavily outweigh the cons.

Those are two great free agents. I’m not going to go as far to say that if I had to sign anybody, those would be the two that I would sign. But I think they’re great free agents. I think if they have the passion for pro wrestling, they’re going to continue to succeed.

Here’s the trick. We only have a two-hour show. And a lot of our roster hasn’t even been fully realized or seen yet. I want to make sure we honor individuals like that. If you bring in a hot free agent, that means someone is going to lose a spot. That’s just the reality of it. In my capitalistic, cold nature that I have, I actually don’t mind that, because that makes everybody else step their game up. But you do want to do it fairly and responsibly. The best wrestlers, no matter where they came from, you’re going to want on your show.”

We’ve already seen Cardona show up in AEW, and it sure sounds like Rusev could be next based on Cody’s praise.

What about Rey Mysterio?

“To me, the greatest luchador ever, of all time — hands down — is Rey Mysterio Jr. And he’s got friends here. Jericho and him are friends. Mysterio is not afraid to travel out there, either. He’s not a one-company individual. And I think Rey still has a lot left to give in terms of wrestling. That might be something that someone else is currently discussing with him at this point. You never know.”

I guess Cody isn’t too worried about long-term damage from Rey Mysterio’s eyeball recently popping out of its socket in the Eye for an Eye match at Extreme Rules 2020.

I recommend heading over to ESPN to read the full interview, where Cody also explains what went down with AEW’s negotiations with Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson, and if there is any lingering heat in their relationship.

Which of Cody’s answers in this interview stand out to you the most?