Cody on AEW Dynamite’s First Year: We Want To Avoid An “Elite-Only Show”
Photo Credit: AEW / Lee South
Talking to Yahoo Sports while promoting the last Dynamite of 2019, Cody reflected on the first full year of All Elite Wrestling. A key part of the interview is the point that AEW is not in competition with WWE and that the two companies are structured so differently that it wouldn’t make sense if they were.
We don’t have any of the template that WWE currently has. We’re open to everything, our bridges are open to all folks. When you have a wrestling company run by wrestlers, you cut out a lot of the bureaucracy, a lot of the red tape on situations like that. We don’t think about it being different, our focus is fun, and something like that was really fun.
This includes the opposing airings of AEW Dynamite and NXT, which fans have dubbed the Wednesday Night Wars. According to Cody, this war is nothing but the wish of a nostalgic fanbase. “It’s fun to look at the ratings but I know internally we’re not having any pep rally speeches. Our concern is not NXT and I believe NXT’s concern is not us. If anyone is going to succeed, we cannot be a reactionary brand.”
He does say that there isn’t a lot of crossover between AEW and NXT, meaning that the two numbers they put up each week are more authentic than some might think. “Making wrestling destination programming again is cool.”
Cody also pushes back against fan expectations for the “Elite” group, many of which are running double duty as wrestlers and backstage management. None of these talents have held gold in the promotion as of yet, and that’s by design. “Part of listening to fans asking what if this were to become an Elite-only show? I love the Elite, but we didn’t want to monopolize the company so we made sure we put the fresh faces first. That’s the number one thing for recruitment into the company, the number one word, fresh.”
Going into 2020, Cody hopes that they can bring AEW to new markets across the United States and show fans the difference that his promotion brings to the table. “Moving west into places that some of our crew has never ventured into, that’s a real confidence booster. Giving fans a chance to see what’s the difference, why is this an alternative.”