wrestling / News

Cody Speaks on AEW Dynamite Ratings, Liking Elements of WWE Production, Adding Mid-Card Title to AEW, Rankings System, More

November 8, 2019 | Posted by Ashish
AEW Dynamite Cody 11-7-19

Cody had a conference call with the media today to promote Saturday’s AEW Full Gear. 411 was on the call, a recap is below along with the full audio.

* Cody welcomes everyone to the call and puts over the success of AEW Dynamite so far. He says these calls are “good luck charms” for AEW.

* Cody was asked about working a full-time schedule with WWE vs. the AEW schedule that has more time off, and how it was to have essentially six weeks with no shows prior to the premiere of Dynamite. He said that it is difficult to prepare to perform as a wrestler without doing it. He said that they want their talent to be able to push themselves, noting that they run longer matches on AEW Dark. He added that there is such a thing as wrestling too much, noting that he has not wrestled as frequently on the show and that he feels the best he has ever felt.

* Next question was on Cody’s promo from AEW Dynamite and the critical acclaim it received. He said sometimes when you walk to the back after being out there, you don’t have to ask anyone if it was good, you just know. He said he felt very connected to what he was saying because it’s his life. He’s not hiding from who he is. He says the stipulation for his match with Jericho is authentic and he doesn’t want that controversy surrounding him. He mentions the praise from everyone including The Rock and puts over how he has prepared for this moment. He said it was just a real statement from him and he is glad it resonated with fans.

* Cody is asked how important the match with Jericho on Saturday is. He says it is the biggest match of his career and that isn’t an exaggeration. He said he has found his stance at the batter’s box and that he wants to be the quarterback of AEW. He says the thing that wins in wrestling now is content, not politics. He says he doesn’t want to hit a slump and that he has a lot riding on this. He says he has had a lifetime to prepare for a 60 minute match tomorrow night and that winning the AEW Title would be the pinnacle of his career.

* Next question was on Cody’s recent comments about not liking WWE’s production and if he thinks WWE production has good elements to it. He says Kevin Dunn has done wonderful things with production and that he tries to bring the good things he learned from WWE production to AEW, but that he also likes the more sports-oriented feel that Keith Mitchell brings. He puts over how Keith Mitchell shoots wrestling.

* Next question is about possibly adding a mid-card title in AEW. Cody says he gets frustrated with the term “mid-card” and says he didn’t consider his run with the Intercontinental Title as “mid-card.” He says that it is likely that in the next month or so, there will be a “prize” for the guys rising through the ranks. He says he wants the titles to matter and the next one will matter just as much.

* Next question was about the AEW rankings systems. Cody says he is hoping the top fives for the men, women, and tag teams will be out tonight. He promises they will be out tonight, and says they will be updated every Friday.

* Next question was about the constructive criticism he has received from fans and how to filter that from people who just like to complain. He mentions that he emails every department every week with things that he thinks they can do better. He gives the example of music, saying a lot of people want to hear the songs more. He says they don’t pipe the music into the feed because they want to hear the crowd more, and the cost of that is that the music isn’t as loud. He says they will tweak it a bit. Says he loves constructive criticism.

* Cody is asked about if there is a plan to start running more women’s matches on Dynamite and Dark. Cody says absolutely, and that it’s not just for Dynamite and Dark, but also on BTR, in vignettes, etc. He says they have a lot of foreign talent which requires work visas which, in this climate, are not easy to get, which makes things a bit more challenging. He says the Riho vs. Emi match may be the one he is most looking forward to at Full Gear. He puts over the job Kenny Omega is doing with the women’s division.

* He’s asked about the biggest lesson he has learned from producing live TV every week and what the biggest hurdle going forward is. He says it’s the diplomacy of wrestling, how they speak to each other. He says he refuses to panic during the live broadcast and that he has found so many unsung heroes in the production. He also puts over the value of coaches, mentioning Dean Malenko and Arn Anderson. He also mentions the value of the security, the stage hands, etc. He says when he goes out there and looks good, he’s the product of 30 people who are propping him up. Says the biggest hurdle is maintaining the buzz and the cool factor. He says they need to stick to their plan and not become reactionary.

* 411’s Jeremy Thomas asked about the ratings for Dynamite increasing this week and what they do next to grow the audience. Cody said the biggest thing for him to grow the audience is to give them something to talk about and to give them characters they want to know. He puts over that Dynamite’s premiere was TNT’s biggest in five years. He notes that people are still looking at the ratings as if it is the late 1990s or early 2000s even though things have changed. He says they don’t just look at the Nielsen ratings, they look at social, ITV representation, Fite usage, etc. He says he’s very happy but there is room to grow. He notes that for six weeks, they have beat the biggest wrestling company in the world even though WWE has put stars like AJ Styles and Finn Balor on NXT. He puts over how fans don’t leave after the main event of their shows, they stay and want to see if there is more. He says their product is simple — go out there and get over, and they have the tools and attitude to do it.

* He’s asked about who the judges will be for his match with Jericho on Saturday. He says he doesn’t know as he is not tasked with that, but that according to Tony Khan, they will be championship-quality judges. He says he heard someone compare this to something TNA did, and jokes that the make-up artist will not be a judge. He says they will be qualified. He notes that this concept has been done successfully before and he thinks the fans will be excited about it.

* He’s asked about Turner’s response to Dynamite so far and if they will do more with Bleacher Report Live. Cody says that so far it has been smooth sailing and that their feedback so far has been related to production, noting that the cameras on the turnbuckle posts, the skycam, the people’s cam, etc. were Turner ideas. He says they’ve been blessed to have them. He also puts over Bleacher Report Live and that he can see them doing more specials on there in the future similar to Fyter Fest and Fight for the Fallen.

* He’s asked about what he thinks his Dad would think about what he’s doing and the up-and-coming wrestlers he is working with like Darby Allin and Private Party. He says that wrestling sometimes explains itself and mentions his Dad dreading going to ECW, and after he went there, he was in love with it, it changed his outlook even though their take on wrestling was different than what Dusty had done. He says he thinks Dusty would be happy for wrestling if he saw Dynamite. He put over how important wrestling is, especially in this climate, as a way for people to escape. He says he knows Dusty would love Dynamite.

* He is asked about the fans who had maybe stopped watching wrestling and are now back, but with so much content, how do you keep those fans engaged without having to feel like they have to watch all of it. Cody says Dynamite is the hub and that all those other shows which he calls “shoulder content” — Dark, BTE, etc. — should have a connection to Dynamite but are not mandatory. He uses the example of Star Wars, saying that it’s important for fans to be able to watch the movies and follow along even if they didn’t watch Clone Wars, or Rebels, or read the books. He says as long as fans watch Dynamite, they aren’t missing anything.

0:00: Introduction
1:35: On the differences between working a full-time schedule with AEW as opposed to the lead-up
3:42: On his promo on Dynamite and the positive response that it received
6:49: On how important his match at Full Gear is to him
9:46: On bringing in what he learned from his past work in terms of production
12:43: On the possibility of a secondary championship
15:15: On when the rankings system will debut
16:20: On good feedback he’s gotten from fans and separating constructive criticism from non-constructive criticism
19:50: On plans to give more time to the women’s division
22:30: On his biggest lesson in terms of production and the biggest challenges he’s found
26:21: On the ratings for Dynamite and how to grow the audience from here
29:48: On the judges for his match and if it will be used going forward for future matches
31:50: On Turner’s involvement with the production and how their plans for B/R Live will affect things
34:28: On what Dusty Rhodes would think about AEW putting the spotlight on new stars
37:30: On the best way to get returning fans engaged with supplemental shows like AEW Dark and Being the Elite

article topics :

Cody, Ashish