Cody Rhodes On The Origins And Future Of All Elite Wrestling
The professional wrestling world has been abuzz in the first two weeks of 2019, with the official announcement of All Elite Wrestling and the introductory event in Jacksonville, Florida, that proved it meant business. From its inaugural show announced for Las Vegas to talent announcements that included Chris Jericho and Pac (formerly Neville), the excitement for a major shift in the wrestling world is palpable.
AEW was built upon a foundation of momentum established by members of "The Elite" -- The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson) and Cody Rhodes -- that began with their popular YouTube channel and reached a fever pitch with their record-setting independent event, All In. For most, the type of big swing it took to make All In happen would mean going too far out on a limb, but for Rhodes in particular, an undying love for wrestling and a willingness to risk it all runs in his blood.
When Shad Khan, owner of the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars and Fulham FC of the English Premier League, and his son, Tony Khan, the general manager of Fulham who also heads the Jaguars' analytics division, decided to step into the wrestling business, it made all the sense in the world to hitch their train to "The Elite" and everything that group was trying to accomplish. In addition to Cody Rhodes -- the son of the legendary Dusty Rhodes, who has stepped out of his father's shadow to explore these uncharted waters -- The Young Bucks and "Hangman" Adam Page (in addition to Kenny Omega and Marty Scurll, who are still under contract elsewhere) built an independent movement that attracted mainstream attention from the likes of Hot Topic, Funko and others on a level not seen for decades outside of the massive sphere of WWE influence.
ESPN recently had an opportunity to talk to Cody Rhodes about a number of topics, including how AEW came to be, the ways it will differentiate itself from the WWE and how this new promotion could end up changing the entire sports entertainment business.
First on the docket? The coup of scooping up a living WWE legend in Jericho.