Cody Rhodes will be speaking with members of the media in a conference call this afternoon beginning at 1PM ET.
The “American Nightmare” and All Elite Wrestling EVP will be discussing this weekend’s stacked Double or Nothing pay-per-view, including his highly anticipated match with the “Murderhawk Monster” Lance Archer for the TNT Championship.
— AEW PR runs down the match card for Double or Nothing before introducing Cody Rhodes, who also runs down the card and says it’s going to be an “outstanding” event that he’s looking forward to. “The situation is different this year due to COVID-19, but the spirit is there…”
— Cody says the card is about 90% of what they originally had planned for DoN. Not a lot of things changed in terms of creative. “All the credit has got to go to Tony Khan. George Washington crossing the Delaware type stuff.” He says AEW was fortunate to have most of its top stars in play, and it was nice to have the Bucks and Hangman Page back last night on Dynamite.
— When asked if the mindset is different going into year two, Cody said all the EVPs have different views, likes and dislikes, but to him the mindset is just focussed on making DoN a destination event that you must see. He praises the diversity of the card, and TNT for putting together this TNT Championship tournament, as well as the women’s matches, the unique Stadium Stampede match, and so many young talents like Jungleboy and MJF, which he compares to “Stunning” Steve Austin vs. “The Natural” Dustin Rhodes back in WCW. “We want this to be the best damn buffet that there is.”
— Cody praises the medical team during the pandemic. He said he has to take a temperature check just to get in the hallway that leads to his office. Everyone has been tested, continues to be tested, and it’s the top priority for the company to make everyone as safe as possible.
— “It’s really clear who stepped up during this time.” Cody credits the roster during a difficult and unique time, specifically Chris Jericho for stepping up in a major way.
— The TNT Champion will “not be ranked” and listed as a champion, just like Jon Moxley. “We’re not going to look at them as one and two. We want to see what becomes of the TNT title.” He doesn’t want to say it’s going to be “midcard” or “workhorse” because the belt doesn’t have an identity yet. He hasn’t even seen the belt yet.
— Cody has “no problem” if they continue to work at Daily’s Place in Jacksonville for the foreseeable future. Loves the building and says they’re lucky Tony Khan had it available for them to use. The goal is to “stay in one spot. You put your talent at risk” when you move around. If it’s up to him he would stay in Jacksonville until they can let fans back in, and maybe beyond that, although there are several other EVPs and it is NOT up to him.
— Cody is really excited about the new AEW action figure line coming out. Praises the entire team behind making that deal come together.
— A lot about AEW’s reaction to COVID-19 is talked about. Cody says people are as spread out as much as possible. The talent gets tested in a different place than the crew. They temp check everyone and everyone that enters the arena has been tested. He said at the start they were handed this pandemic and nobody really knew what to do about it. AEW now has a pandemic plan, and lord forbid they have to do this all over again, they’re better prepared for it now than they were when this started.
— Cody doesn’t want to see the TNT Championship until its revealed live. They’ve talked about putting it out there before Saturday and plans might change, things might leak, but it’s likely we wont’ see the belt until Mike Tyson presents it at DoN.
— “MJF is destined for something incredibly great. He’s a very different type of wrestling; a very adaptive type of wrestler.” He says the match with Jungleboy at DoN is a “snapshot of the future”. Praises him for putting on “drug free and healthy size”. Also praises Sammy Guevara as someone you want to see more of every single week.
— As far as whether or not Matt Hardy is a member of The Elite, Cody said “The Elite more than anything is Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks”. At its core that’s what the group is. Everyone else is in the expanded universe; Hangman, Marty Scurll, etc.
— Cody says the reason he goes so far with the Nightmare Family as far as its branding, the jackets, the controversial tattoo, is out of respect for The Elite and what they’ve been able to accomplish as a brand.