Cody and Brandi Rhodes talk sensory inclusiveness, AEW legacy, trademarks and more

On Tuesday Brian Cranfill of Indy Sports Daily got the chance to chat with Cody Rhodes and Brandi Rhodes via telephone 1 day before AEW: Dynamite on TNT goes live here in Indianapolis at the Indiana Farmer’s Colosseum. Here is what he chatted about with the power couple that make up some of the leadership of All Elite Wrestling.

We did read yesterday that there were some match names trademarked- Blood and Guts and The Match Beyond. Are you guys at a point where you can talk about that at all?

Cody- “I mean, everything that gets trademarked doesn’t always get used but it is kinda fun when you’re on the trademark game and the copyright game; It is kinda fun to see what ones come to fruition. I went ahead and made sure The Match Beyond was something under mine and I know that AEW checked in on Blood and Guts.

Lee South/AEW

For me, mine has more to do with the fact that I’m trying to collect items from my dad- his former IP’s and pick them up and to be able to curate and have access to his legacy when it comes to those assets. But I wouldn’t be surprised if…I mean, Bash At The Beach is a prime example of one I didn’t think we would be using and then we wanted to create a themed Dynamite for the Miami show and it ended up being a perfect theme so, yeah I wouldn’t be surprised if you see them used.”

Is beating NXT on a weekly basis something the company is actively trying to do or is this something that’s happening because you guys are just focusing on what you do best?

Cody-  “As we were dialing you up, I was just talking to someone and the word “focus” is the number one word around the AEW camp- “focus” and “discipline” because in wrestling, what will happen is that people will hot shot things in an attempt to poke viewers and sometimes they’ll lose their actual foundation.

I think for us to beat WWE in the ratings seven weeks in a row when they’re heavily cross-promoting Survivor Series the way they are, it has everything to do with focus and discipline and nothing to do with really trying as much as we’re just trying to have the best AEW product. Obviously, this is competitive but we still very much stand by the idea that we want to be an alternative to the WWE and to other brands of wrestling- we want to be an alternative in the industry.”

Lee South/AEW

Brandi, With the slogan that “wrestling is for everyone” becoming more and more of a staple to see on T-Shirts and online, I know you were a big proponent of that with the sensory inclusiveness at different events. How are you continuing to push that idea for the company?

Brandi- “Some news that will be shared on social media Tuesday by AEW is the fact that we were recently able to secure having sensory bags- Culture City Sensory Bags- at every single Dynamite going forward, which is something we’ve been working on since day one.

That’s huge news. It means every single show will be sensory inclusive and that people don’t have to worry about it anymore. That, we’re very excited about and we’re very committed to that portion of the mission and committed to trying to increase awareness about sensory inclusiveness and doing everything we can to bring it to the forefront of wrestling and beyond.

Another great thing is that for our larger events, where we’re servicing more people- like our Pay Per Views, Culture City is committed to having Sensory Rooms available or bringing their mobile vehicle which has been at two of our Pay Per Views so far.

We’re very much committed, it’s not something that we just say, it’s something I’ve worked very hard on and other members of AEW have worked very hard on and it’s just something we believe in and will continue to push for.”

Cody, what does it mean to be wrestling in what is essentially still the same building that your dad and his partner, Dick Murdoch, had some very gruesome battles with Dick the Bruiser and The Crusher- back in the day?

Cody- “It’s kind of funny that you bring it up. That’s a portion of his career that’s not as well known as the American Dream stuff that was in the NWA and Jim Crockett. That period with The Bruiser and The Crusher, where they were the bad guys- The Texas Outlaws- those tag matches set a standard when they were in this area and also really helped…that’s how you learn to become a great good guy, is by being a bad guy with characters like Bruiser and Crusher that were so, so popular in this part of the world.

I know he learned a great deal from that and was before everything was filmed and everything was visible, so mainly it’s just memories that people have of it, but for sure it’s a special place to me for that reason.

I was actually just kind of reading up on that battle earlier and it’s something that I’ll carry into the building tomorrow that no one will know about but that’s one of the cool pieces of being a second or third generation- being able to bring your legacy with you.

People talk about the style of wrestling today and with how, kind of, progressive the style is but if you really go back, the Main Event’s always been progressive. The big draw was something that was always hard-hitting, that was violent, that was polarizing and those matches, for sure were.”

With AEW being an alternative to what we’re used to, what can fans expect or what are they seeing that’s different when they attend the AEW Dynamite shows compared to what we’ve experienced in the past with other companies?

Brandi- “It’s just a very energetic, infectious environment. A lot of these AEW shows, fans have said they feel like it’s kind of a reunion or they’re with a bunch of friends or with a bunch of family and able to just enjoy the show. They can just be themselves, having the best time and a lot of our fan base and been prone to traveling for that reason because they want to continue to have these experiences and our wrestling, we believe is the best.

So, it’s a win-win. You get to be in a fantastic environment where you’re gonna have the best time and you’re gonna see some of the best matches you’ve ever seen.”

Cody- “Our crowd is just as much a part of our roster as any of the wrestlers. That’s one of the things in our first meetings with TNT that I was really adamant about- that they know that, that you can hear them at home with the audio because our crowd is very active, they’re very vocal and very much part of this.

Part of the reason the show was almost called Revolution- because this is a revolution and every week we get to show people exactly why, because they’re still plenty of skeptics and plenty of casual fans who think pro wrestling and think only one thing. But when they turn on TNT for Dynamite or attend it live, they get something completely different.”

Live two-hour weekly matches of All Elite Wrestling: Dynamite air on TNT live from 8-10 EST each Wednesday. The highly-anticipated action-packed matches will take place in different cities across the nation each week on Wednesdays.

But why watch on tv when you can go see it live? There are still tickets available via Ticketmaster.

-Brian Cranfill


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