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Cody On Why Shawn Spears’ Chair Shot Went Wrong, Original Plan For It, How Jon Moxley & Tony Khan Reacted

November 17, 2020 | Posted by Blake Lovell
Cody Shawn Spears AEW Fyter Fest, Austen Lane Wrestling Image Credit: AEW

In a recent interview on AEW Unrestricted, Cody Rhodes discussed why the Shawn Spears’ chair shot to the head at Fyter Fest 2019 went wrong, the original plan for it, how Jon Moxley and Tony Khan reacted, and much more. You can read his comments below.

Cody on why the Shawn Spears’ chair shot to the head went wrong at Fyter Fest in 2019 and how Jon Moxley and Tony Khan reacted: “I told him it’s entirely my fault what happened. The whole is my fault – the whole thing. The scene when I came back – I did not have a concussion but I was definitely shellshocked – all the studio guys were filming a very serious moment. But I saw out of the corner of my eye as I headed for the training room – [Jon] Moxley and Tony Khan just ripping Spears to shreds. I hadn’t seen that side of the owner, and I hadn’t seen that side of Moxley – some days he says one half a word to you, other days he’s talking your ear off – he’s such a unique personality. It was cool to see that because he cared about my health and he cared about the product. I could see him pantomiming to Spears how he was supposed to do it. Tony is agreeing because you see a wrestler like that, and he’s clearly gotta be right. But he’s wrong because I’m the one that told Spears to swing from the side. I told him to swing from the side, and the last words I told him – there’s a whole series of days prior to this that we’re going over it – were swing for the fences.

“When I landed, my head is so stiff from the shot that I land like the awkward landing where you have two falls. I muttered swing for the fences. Here is my objective and I want people to understand this – wrestling is violent, people get hurt, it’s not ballet – you’ve heard all this stuff. Now, I don’t want anyone to get hurt. The art is to make it look like we hurt each other and then we go can go home – that’s why we shake hands over and over and over again. If we’re gonna be held to the same standard as TV and film, which some people would like to hold us to those same standards – we have a comparable reach, we have global penetration pop culture-wise – well then, if Captain America can be swinging his shield around hitting people on the head with it, no one is crying headshots. No one is blaming this modern generation for whatever the hell they did in 1990-something with Mick, Rock, and Shamrock. That’s not our fault. So, I wanted to take chair shots to the head back for the boys, but I wanted to do it safely.”

On the original plan for the chair shot: “The plan was, and I explained this because everyone was pretty adamant against it – I said we’ll do a chair shot to the head, but we will literally gimmick the chair. So, gimmicking the chair, it would’ve been nice to have a person who knew how to do that. It went from ‘My friend ordered this off Amazon and see if this would work’ or ‘If we take the cushion off, is it super thin like a cookie sheet’ but then it won’t look like a wrestling steel chair. So, what do we do? Charlie Ramon, he saved Moxley in that moment, he’s been in a bunch of random segments. I would classify Charlie as what we would call our magic department – it’s crafts, it’s props – all the crafty things. In WWE, the department was called magic because it could be can I get some costume jewelry to can I get a sledgehammer that’s actually rubber and these are the eight different versions of it. So, Charlie kind of filled that void because he’s doing great now, he was briefly the head of our props division. He was also fired the same day as he was head of our props division because of how bad this all went.

“The plan was Charlie was going to sand the seat of the chair so it was a cookie sheet – a cookie sheet can’t hurt anybody, but it sounds like it does. It’s not unlike why we hit each other with the trash can lid…..it makes a great sound, it looks good. He was gonna sand the seat of the chair, and then again, swing for the fences. So, I wanted to see it, and then being very organized, I said I want two of them because what if we decide to do one in the middle of the day to test it? You mark them with a piece of tape and you leave them in my office. The night before, Tony Khan is adamant that Charlie hits him with the chair. I was adamant that he was not hitting him with a chair, you’re not taking a chair shot……I really appreciate it but we’re sanding this thing down, and we can’t dent it. Perhaps we should have. I still wouldn’t want Tony to take this, but even he was banging it against his own head saying ‘See it’s nothing.’ He’s such an energetic individual.”

On what he told Tony Khan: “What I told him was, if we get a lot of heat right out of the gate for what goes down, say to whatever sources you want to – tell them it was a gimmicked chair. So, in the fiction and in the actual product we’re doing, we’re not addressing it. But off the record, he is addressing it, so really, no one can get mad. That was the plan. Should’ve coordinated the plan with everybody – that would’ve included Matt and Nick Jackson, who I left out in the wilderness on this. Kenny [Omega], who I don’t think I said a word to about this. That was the plan, and that was where the term gimmicked chair came from. In the end, he did sand the chair down. It was sheet metal, it was beautiful. It’s just my advice to [Spears] to swing from the side is what – the top bar is what ate the back of my head.

“I was happy, and I knew it went bad, but it was a great moment……then it became this whole big thing and ‘We’re never gonna do chair shots again.’ My attempt to get head shots back for the boys, but safely, was a failed attempt. In hindsight, maybe it should’ve never been attempted because the optics of hitting someone in the head with a chair are still the same – whether it’s our fault for what Mankind, Ken Shamrock, and all those guys did – people still look at it that way. So, I didn’t think of that, and that was a big lesson for me. Would I do it again? Yeah, I would, because it led to a fun pay-per-view, and Spears has never really had the moment I think he deserves. I thought it was the right moment and it’s what he deserved as someone who helped train me early on in my career and was really patient with me……but chairs to the head, I don’t see us doing again.”

If using any of the above quotes, please credit AEW Unrestricted with an h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.