At Double or Nothing, Cody became the inaugural TNT Champion by defeating Lance Archer who had been undefeated prior to the loss. Actor Paul Walter Hauser discussed AEW putting the belt on Cody when he joined The Wrestling Inc Daily podcast.
"I was always told in wrestling that the money is in the chase. So, I thought it might have been smarter to put it on Lance to have a heel and a babyface champion," revealed Hauser. "Then have Cody keep chasing and no one could say to Cody that, 'You threw the belt on yourself as the EVP, co-owner,' type booking himself into a million championships. AKA Triple H."
"No one would be able to say that but I do wonder what they're gonna do with the big guys. You've got Hager who lost to Moxley, Archer who lost to Cody and Brodie Lee who lost to Moxley. So, if you keep burying all of your big guys then your big guys don't seem big. Maybe that's their point because WWE is the land of the giants. They're then putting their stake in the ground and saying we're not the land of the giants, we're the land of the wrestlers. If that's the reality, then I get that and it's fine."
"Wardlow's push is dead. Wardlow is basically on the same wavelength as Kip Sabian in that he's a great worker with a great look but there's not a lot going on," said Hauser.
He added that it feels too early to split Wardlow and MJF but maybe these big guys like Archer and Wardlow could form something like a Dungeon of Doom. Hauser also talked about another guy without much momentum in Shawn Spears.
"Last time I interviewed with you, we talked about Shawn Spears and I said I'm afraid a guy like him is gonna get lost in the shuffle. That interview was 4-6 months ago and what's happened since? Not much. He's gotten some TV time but it's not like he was ever bigger than his chairman of the board moment when he whacked Cody in the head," said Hauser.
Many have noticed a trend of AEW shuffling up who they are pushing in a given week. Hauser discussed what he thinks the intent of that is and why it may not be a good thing.
"They are kinda building towards a second TV show which I assume won't happen until next year. The word on the street is that they're gonna have a whole another program so maybe they're starting to shift things and figure out who goes where and who does what," said Hauser.
"My biggest hope for them in expanding is that I hope they don't overdo it. Because if you're grabbing 7-8 guys from the indies or WWE, then that's gonna blow up the roster. Then suddenly a guy like Shawn Spears or Brodie Lee is not gonna get a chance for the title."
"I think Cage had one of the best AEW debuts yet. Matt Hardy's debut was another one of those where he desperately could have used an audience. Weirdly enough, I thought Brian Cage had enough pomp and circumstance with his in-ring ability and having Taz by his side. It felt like a really solid debut," said Hauser before weighing in on the Casino Ladder Match.
"It was a little clunky. The spots seemed a little all over the place but that's par for the course for that type of match. I'm a big battle royal guy and I kinda miss the Casino Battle Royals. But I would like to see more ladder matches for titles. I think a great match in the future is Cody vs. Kenny Omega in a ladder match for the TNT Title. I think that could be a real showstopper and a Match of the Year type of match."
In addition to his film roles, Hauser is also a recurring character on the YouTube series Cobra Kai. The series was renewed for a third season and Hauser talked about when fans can expect it to premiere.
"I can't say much but the word I am hearing is that there is some movement with the show and how it's gonna land and how they want to present it. They're taking their time to be strategic," stated Hauser. "They don't wanna just dump it because people are asking for it. What I do know is that the creators said they think it might be the best season yet."
Paul Walter Hauser can be seen in Spike Lee's upcoming film "Da 5 Bloods" debuting June 12th on Netflix. Paul's full interview with Wrestling Inc aired as part of a recent episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it's released Monday - Friday afternoon by clicking here.