By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Cody took questions from the pro wrestling media on Tuesday. The following are the highlights of the call. An audio version of this call will be released later today as a ProWrestling.net All Access podcast.
-Cody spoke about trademarking WCW events. He said it’s unlikely they will use those names more, but he hinted that there could be one more used. He said it’s more about protecting his father’s legacy for his mother, who controls his father’s estate. He said there is no money in that for him or Dustin Rhodes.
-Cody was asked if he had any interaction with Randy Savage. Cody said that he did as a kid, and Savage remained in Macho Man or Macho King mode because he was so young. He said Savage called him Code-Man, and also spoke about how his father and Savage had a good relationship.
-Cody was asked to give his thoughts on the most underrated member of the AEW roster. Cody said he’s not crazy about the word because it implies someone is underutilized. Cody chose Jack Evans and offered strong praise.
-Jeff Cobb’s contract status was brought up. Cody said it’s still in gestation. Cody hopes Cobb will pursue a longer relationship with AEW if that’s what he wants. Cody said that if Cobb wants to travel the globe then he should have at it. He said there’s not a blanket contract in AEW. Cody said they do have Cobb for more than just one show, but he said he’d limit the details to that.
-Cody said the creative structure has not changed. He spoke of using some of the great resources they have in guys such as Dean Malenko and Arn Anderson, but he said they mostly keep it to the core of Tony Khan and the executive vice presidents. Cody said he’s learned a lot being on the management side. He said people talk to you differently and the wrestlers treat you differently. He said he tries to text everyone on the roster once a week because he feels that keeping open lines of communication are important.
-Cody said they want the entire wrestling world to come to Las Vegas for Double Or Nothing. He said they intend to load up the week from Saturday’s pay-per-view through Wednesday’s Dynamite given that it will also be held in Vegas. He said he feels Double Or Nothing has a home at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Vegas for years to come. He said the same about AEW All In staying in the Chicago area, while other AEW pay-per-views will travel around.
-Cody was asked about the free agent signing process. He spoke of wanting talent who can provide fresh matchups. When it comes to scouting talent, Cody said he and Taz want to take a trip to the NCAA wrestling finals. He said the Young Bucks are still mining the independent scene. Cody said he’s taken more of a leadership and ownership role in the school in Georgia. He said it’s now the Nightmare Factory. He said it’s not officially affiliated with AEW, but it could potentially grow into that. He mentioned Sadie Gibbs as an example of someone who is training there. He said Dean Malenko held a seminar at the training center and 85 percent of the AEW roster showed up to take part.
-Cody was asked about the future of the women’s division. Cody said it’s growing. He implied that some companies come off like they are going for “woke points” but the women actually draw well and they want to make women’s wrestling a big part of their brand.
-A caller asked about signing more people of color for the men’s singles division. “Of course,” Cody said. He added that he’s been taking a deep dive into a wrestler named Chris Bey. He said they haven’t spoken to Bey yet. “None of us are pretending when we say we want the show to be congruent with what America looks like in 2020,” Cody said.
-Cody was asked if they were still trying to acquire the rights to All In from Ring of Honor. Cody said he and the Young Bucks have a great relationship with ROH executives Joe Koff and Greg Gilleland. He said they talk about acquiring it from time to time. He said they probably should from a business standpoint and he knows that if ROH were to start unloading things then Koff and Gilleland would give them first shot. He noted that the name All In doesn’t actually belong to ROH, it belongs to the Bucks and Matt Jackson’s wife.
-A caller asked about avoiding woke points. Cody said you have to lead with your conscience. He said most viewers are smart enough to smell when something is being done to check a box.
-Val Venis (Sean Morley) taking issue with AEW putting their women’s title on Nyla Rose was brought up by a caller. Cody said he thinks Venis is just trying to get a booking and they will not book him. Cody said the best way to end the bigotry is to stop hitting the ball back at those types. “When we hit the ball back, we give them oxygen,” Cody said. He added that Rose won the championship because she was the best woman in AEW. Cody said it’s 2020 and everyone should love everyone. He said he knows it sounds super hippie of him, but it’s how he feels today.
-Cody was asked about AEW running events in Canada. Cody praised TSN as a television partner. He said he would hope they are coming to Canada and noted some of his own experiences in various Canadian cities. He said he thinks the first Canadian event will be Toronto, but he’s also a big fan of the Pacific Northwest. He said nothing is on the books, though they have discussed running there. He also noted that you can’t miss in Winnipeg with Chris Jericho as champion.
-Cody said he is proud that no one in AEW is taking any type of victory lap. He said they instantly look at what they need to do the following week in terms of what they have mapped out long term and how to shake that up if necessary. He spoke of the passion involved and being proud that they don’t get ahead of themselves. “We want to make this right for every wrestling fan and make new wrestling fans,” Cody said. When it comes to regrets, Cody said he doesn’t have any with AEW. He said it’s gone so well and people who come to the events can feel that from him and the other performers. This closed out the call.
Powell’s POV: Cody came off well throughout the roughly 45-minute call. It wasn’t a particularly newsworthy call aside from getting clarification on Cobb’s status, but it was informative at the same time. Check back later for the audio version of this media call.