Cody Rhodes Talks CM Punk, Igniting Pro Wrestling And An AEW Video Game

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what’s going on everybody this is brian Mazique aka unique Mazique the hardest-working man in sports and gaming and it’s my pleasure to get an opportunity to talk to one of the vice presidents for all elite wrestling and a wrestling legend in his own right Cody Rhodes how are you doing today Cody yeah yeah I know uh it’s a really busy time just overall so I wanted to jump into a couple of things like the pay-per-view events for aew have been huge successes and Chris Jericho and others and yourself has it generated some really some noteworthy buzz on social media I did an article about how right after all out how much social media was just a buzz and I had some metrics in there to kind of show it now we’re looking ahead to the TNT weekly show that starting in October what can you tell us about the show that you know for people who have some knowledge of it or what have you yes sir analyze it and kind of look at it prior to it ever happening because people are basing it on you know what wrestling that’s out there at this time but honestly it doesn’t look like anything in wrestling out there at the moment I if I could liken it to anything I’d like it it’s more of a sports based product like a martial arts or UFC only because there’s a great deal of emphasis placed on on the actual the wins and losses the stats single championship we have and the very first episode out of the gate have the world-championship confessed it to have the first ever there’s a really sports centric approach to it and that that doesn’t neglect the human connection that’s where people like me people like Matt Nick and Kenny really thrive is we want these characters who are being presented to you for the very first time we really hope you fall for them and fall in love with them and stick with them yeah you know that that sports centric approach I’ve heard that you know time and again since ever since aw what the concept was first introduced to the public and it’s something that I’ve actually always wanted to see how that would look in professional wrestling so I’m excited to see how it manifests itself on dynamite and then moving forward so for a clarifying question in that vein are we looking at where we’ll see like overlays of standings and overlays of statistics during the broadcast is it is it that kind of a look brand new season which is gonna be fun see that develop and not just you know overlays and tail the taste but heat charts and a lot of the stuff that Tony brings in terms of analytics to the table that doesn’t mean that it’s kind of cut and dry as far as just based in that but we’re definitely we’re definitely going to be making that a part of our our footprint because it’s been missing from wrestling for some time you know wrestling that’s out there right now if you look at WWE and this isn’t in any negative way but it’s WWE and how they present wrestling WWE is the only wrestling wrestling Center it’s the turn of the century and we’re taking a page out of the past a little bit in terms that competitiveness and when you suspend your disbelief and watch a wrestling match you need to be given all the reasons in the world to suspend your disbelief and we hope to do that yeah it really does sound like a really exciting concept than in something that is completely different and you mentioned the WWE of course obviously it’s almost impossible to have these conversations at this point without at least some mentioned the WWE they’re switching they switch days for NXT gonna have it go up on Wednesdays you guys have a distribution deal obviously with TNT and I think there’s something with fight TV for a weekly stream what is it like to have kind of spearheaded or been a part of something that set off such a chain reaction in pro wrestling it seems like aew has ignited something across the entire industry what’s it like to kind of be you know a spearhead heir of that guys options for better pay help your schedules it’s a great time to be a wrestler which will make it a great time to be a wrestling fan as far as me being one of the kind of people spearheading it or the founding father of this company one of the founding fathers that that will it feels good to know where we’re taking a chance but I’ll feel even more validated when when I know the chance you know paid off when there was success and we we have to hit homeruns with every segment and we can’t be focused reactionary wise on what another company is doing we just have to do our best aw what we have been planning on doing working backwards long-form storytelling and I think I think hopefully if we talk in a year from now I’ll feel a lot more comfortable with being someone who said they were helping spear at this moment because there’s so many people involved here from Matunuck Kenny – Tony – Brandi – every fan who got an alternative product in the last few years giving us the license to do this yeah it’s it really is it looks like the right time there’s the right just the right opportunity period and so fast forwarding a little bit right like forecasting some level you know obviously some level of success and so on and so forth the world kind of loves especially like the you know the American public they love the whole backup quarterback concept or the thing that kind of whatever the concept is that kind of goes against the grain or whatever it is they become bored with do you ever worry about aw beginning to look like the big commercial brand to the masses because now it seems like public perception is that it’s something different than that but do you worry about when it becomes so big and people may change their perspective because we can help our marketing everything we can help steer it in a way that actually honors what we were there in the first place we are going to outsource to somebody to help us you know pick up our corporate sponsorships and our our partnerships I’m gonna go to those meetings directly I’m gonna tell them my story I’m gonna go with Tony I’m gonna go with Matt I’m gonna go with brandy that’s how we’ve done things so far and that’s how we’ll continue to do things so as long as there are wrestlers involved at the very top level I’m not worried about that at all those will be great challenges when we get there yeah it’s it is definitely going to it’s fun to watch companies kind of go through the different stages and watch the growth and the evolution and so I totally get where you’re saying though in the way that the company is built it’s kind of built to protect itself from that so I got a shift gears a bit I want to ask and I know that you’ve been asked this on a couple occasions but as far as CM Punk how how hard if at all did you attempt to sign punk as a talent or a reducer or anything like that Mike say like in the last 12 months because I was at all out for his for his show it was it was fantastic I mean the dude can hold court and tell a story like it’s crazy that mean so if at all how much of an effort was given there and we started alternative product and that’s an alternative from the product that doesn’t necessarily have a lot of for the money but I’m saying that we have to fill up a whole roster with brand new people because we just play old songs then we’re not starting a new league we’re not actually an alternative but there was great efforts made I really like the guy he was always nice to me and it was a good locker room leader when I was in OVW doors wide open but if people expect that we spend all our time recruiting and pining after and would be doing a disservice to the bread bakers and jungle boys to the kif sabians to the hangman pages we do want to be with our with our new new cast of characters yeah that was something that I wrote early on when they first went public is that I thought it was really important for aew to build their own stars it’s nice to bring in people who ever cast that you know established to accomplish stardom elsewhere but I thought it was really important to do that and I and I definitely see the focus of that with the way you guys are going about things so I do think that that is a smart way to go now I got one more question for you and it’s about video games I am a huge gamer so it’s one of the things I cover most on Forbes so in addition to wrestling and combat sports I am hoping to see an AW wrestling game sometime soon like I know these things take a long time I know a little bit about the development where are you guys with this at this point I’ve seen Kenny talk about it I’ve even seen the Bucs talk about it I know out there gamers I believe you’re a gamer if I’m not mistaken are you working with anyone and talks you know how where are we with that so Aki Aki around and have a nick in myself trying to get out there and secure that hopefully hopefully everybody’s patience including mine really yeah it’s it’s it’s interesting you know many gamers for wrestling gamers are really in love with the Aki which now there’s since Sophia that style back with the WCW NWO revenge and the WWE wrestlemania 2000 that whole look and I hear so many people say if we could get a game that plays just like that but looks like the tech that we have it that that’s available now and then it has a crazy creation suite where you can do anything that’s what people are like looking for and I think that there’s a consensus out there that people believe that aew with whomever you guys work with it’s the brand to deliver that game so I’m hoping that that’s what happens and I know I’m not alone with that so yeah it’s exciting to think for sure well Cody it was an absolute pleasure getting opportunity to talk to you this is a as we talked about an exciting time for professional wrestling and you guys have a lot to do with kicking that off absolutely thanks again man

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