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Cody Rhodes Comments On Destroying Triple H’s Throne: “I Burned A Bridge & I Can’t Go Back”

Following last night’s monumental AEW Double or Nothing pay-per-view at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Executive Vice President Cody Rhodes took some time to speak with members of the press, including’s own Doug Enriquez.

If you could sign anyone to AEW, who is the next name you would sign?

“I guess the guy I wanted to sign the most would have been Jon Moxley, and we did sign [him]to a multi-year deal. A really wonderful deal for AEW in our presentation as the ‘alternative’. That’s the guy I wanted.”

“…Moxley is right in the thick of it. The Shield was the hottest thing. I got to be in there with those guys with my brother and my dad. He took the last Bionic Elbow! I just have this connection with him, and he has a connection with the fans. I don’t know if you saw but when he’s in the ring, he is literally unhinged, and just coming out of whatever shell had been put over him. I was just really happy.”

How do you feel the match between you and Dustin went? 

“Back when the situation came up where we might have wrestled at WrestleMania, I actually didn’t want to do it. I wanted to do the ladder match at that Mania, and I wanted to move away from Dustin. We have a very unique relationship, and in such a strange way it’s cathartic what happens – it is real between him and I. A different upbringing; a different lifestyle. The Prodigal Son story is dead on for who we are. But he’s my brother. I was so happy that he got to be out here, because thse fans are so different and he got to be there. By no means is he going to retire. He’s not done.”

“It was just a really crazy experience out there. Honestly, I feel like I’m still in the ring, if that makes any sense. That’s why I haven’t showered, and that’s an old Dusty thing. When you hit a home run, or you feel like you did, you don’t want to go home. You just want to stay out there, but we have time limits… But I was real happy.”

When Dustin revealed his new “Dusty’s Favorite” t-shirt at Starrcast, do you think he went too far? 

“No, no. I mean it’s funny beacuse I was clearly his favorite. [Laughs] It’s well-documented. He’s a performer, always, first and foremost. It was something he didn’t tell me about. It’s okay, you know? That’s the type of risk you take. It sounds cheesy or whatever, but wrestling is art, and when it’s done right, for a performer to be able to perform on a level like that, and do things like that – you can’t take it away from him. Sometimes it’s a miss, but that wasn’t a miss.”

Walk us through the thought process behind the entrance, the throne, and the message you were sending to Triple H and WWE: 

“I had a literal dream about this type of entrance. I loved when Triple H came out at WrestleMania and was kind of like Shao Kahn. It was really cool. The throne kind of symbolized his reign. I want to play ball! I know we don’t say ‘competition’ but it stands for itself… I also want people to know this role, this EVP role which I love, and I’m excited about, but I’m a wrestler first. We were able to do that tonight.”

“Tony Khan sat in Gorilla and timed the show! That takes years how to learn! Briscoe was the only guy who could do it for a long time, and Tony did it tonight on his first time. They don’t always need us there in those executive roles. WE were able to go out and be wrestlers. Not so much at Triple H, but more a shot at – I”m not ready to dive into that role, and lead into it. I want to be a wrestler. I’m not done. I know that people think Kenny [Omega]’s the best, and that Chris [Jericho] is the best, and now Jon Moxley is the best. I’m always gonna be wondering, what can I do?”

Was there a sense this show had to be better than ALL IN?

“It had to be a step up from ALL IN. It had to be. Everything has to be a step up. We put our names on this. I burned a bridge tonight, and I can’t go back. I’m fine with that. I want us to play. I thought the whole show needed to be a step up from ALL IN. To be more specific, Matt and Nick got screwed at ALL IN. They weren’t able to have the match they wanted to have, so tonight they were able to show the world their idea of tag team wrestling, and it’s absolute fire. Chris is just such a legend. I got to design that entrance, and I don’t know if it came off as – I thought it was pretty cool. It had to be better than ALL IN, and I’ll tell you the truth, the next time has to be better than this. That’s a tough ask.”

Is it important for you to include symbolism in your performance, or can you just go out and put on the best matches possible? 

“I think it was important that we provided a variety. The buffet. It’s gotta be a wrestling buffet. That tag team match has to be tag team wrestling at its finest. Kenny and Chris has to be bell-to-bell, work rate at its finest. I like to lean into the emotional character side of things. That’s probably my wheelhouse. I wanted all the symbolism. I think it was done right, and – you know, I think I know it was done right, because the people were so receptive to it. That’s just the best feeling in the world. Now if they had booed it out of the building, we could have worked with that too. But I like symbolism, and I think you’re going to see a lot of great things out of everybody who is on this roster. Particularly out of the guys, the four EVPs, we have a lot of pressure. How will they handle this role?”

Is the amount of diversity all across the show something intentionally put in place? How did you go about making that decision to make things more diverse. 

“Well… I’m in an interracial marriage, and I’ve learned a lot that I would never have known. One time I told Brandi, ‘I don’t see color.’ And she told me, “Well then you don’t see my experience.’ She’s right. You need to be able to see that experience, or at least understand it. The old territory system – that’s out. The best wrestlers are going to feel the game. There’s a very diverse profile, and I’m really proud of that, but we’re going to promote them as wrestlers. That’s all the elements of diversity. We’re not going to make it a PR element, and I’m really proud of that, because it’s about the wrestling.”

There was a lot of blood and violence on Double or Nothing – is that a sign of things to come in the future? 

“There’s not a real standards-and-practices format that we have at the moment. I think when you look at TV, our pay-per-views will take it a step up, if that makes any sense. It’s sports-centric. The other wrestling company almost runs a TV-G show with how protected it is. And I get that, you’re servicing the child audience, but there’s a huge percentage of the audience that still wants sports and violence. It’s treated as a live sporting event, and I think that will help our TV and drive how we want to do TV, but at the PPVs you’ll see a step up. We’ve even talked about a PPV itself that’s another step up. Wrestling is violent. It’s part of the combat sports, and we’ve got a lot of great guys with legit backgrounds. I don’t mind using the word [violence]. Everyone here tonight is happy and healthy.”

Will ALL OUT and Double or Nothing be annual events? 

“Double or Nothing and ALL OUT will probably be tentpole events, and there might be another one. We’re not going to do a PPV every month. I realize it was $50 and when we ask people to part with their money, it’s got to be worth it. Not every show will be 4-5 hours either. It’s a two-hour TV broadcast. ALL IN was where it all started, so to be able to go back… We gotta keep going, we gotta step it up. I want fans to keep us accountable. The moment something slips, or the moment something misses, let us know! That’s something that is missing. When you’re the only game in town, you don’t care. We care.”

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