AEW Executive Vice President Cody Rhodes recently spoke with The New York Post to promote tonight's AEW Dynamite Anniversary Show on TNT. Rhodes was also promoting AEW's upcoming debut in the New York Metro Area, for the March 25 Dynamite episode from the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ.
Cody was asked why was this the time to add wrestling legend Arn Anderson as his on-screen manager or coach. Cody talked about their history and how hard Arn was on him in WWE, and how he needs that now in AEW.
"He's referred to as a head coach by AEW, but I really wanted to look at my performance and my level of competition, what that looks like with a manager," Cody revealed. "And I have a love for the proper use of a legend and somebody that has really been instrumental in the industry, and Arn is someone who has been instrumental in the industry. Some of the most popular current wrestlers on multiple brands have been under that learning tree. So now I can be under that learning tree, but it can also be on air.
"My relationship with Arn is very real. He was someone at WWE who was extremely, extremely hard on me, and I need that same thing now because wrestling fans expect a lot from AEW."
Cody was also asked if Arn has an official backstage role with AEW right now.
He continued, "Right now it's just in front of the camera, but everything at AEW is very much a matter of people doing multiple jobs. Even last week, he made himself present at the production meeting. He's in with the other EVPs and he watches the product, which is massive. He's not there just for the check, and it's really nice to see him helping a whole new generation. So I can see the on-air role swiftly becoming a backstage role."
AEW has not had a Steel Cage match yet, but their first cage match could take place between Cody and Wardlow soon. Tonight's Dynamite episode will feature a segment where Cody may accept MJF's stipulations for their feud. The options are - Cody can't touch MJF until Revolution, 10 lashes on live TV, or the cage match with Wardlow. Cody was asked if he can say anything about the cage AEW would use for the match.
"I can't answer that (laughs). I know, but I could," Cody said. "The most important thing to me about a steel cage in television wrestling — and this is for timing and the pomp and circumstance — is that it's able to be lowered from the ceiling. That's my one pre-requisite for a cage."
Regarding AEW's NY Metro area debut later this year, Cody recently tweeted and thanked the Prudential Center for "bypassing politics & nonsense." You can see that full tweet below. The Post asked Cody about that tweet, what it was like booking the arena, and if there was any pushback from WWE.
"We have to earn (an arena's) trust, so we get solicited by a lot of buildings now that we have a good track record, and we just sold our 100,000th ticket and we hope to continue that," Cody said. "But I think in the New York area, there is a lot more of the courtesy calling going on. They don't want to have multiple wrestling companies or feel a sense of loyalty. That's something I totally understand, but if you come to us then I don't understand it.
"So it was more of me just personally glad we got through all the weeds on the potential buildings. There's a ton of buildings in the area that I performed in, whether it be Barclays (Center), Nassau (Coliseum) or the mecca MSG. And I really do hope you see AEW in all those buildings at some point."