In a recent interview during the Television Critics Association panel for the new TNT Reality series, Rhodes to the Top. Our correspondent, Jeandra LeBeauf, asked an insightful question concerning Cody Rhodes and his inspiration as it relates to the next generation of wrestlers and the landscape of wrestling.

Cody Rhodes Gets Frank About The Next Generation

Cody Rhodes

Here is what Cody Rhodes had to say:

“Take Dante Martin for example, he’s a very smart, young, and up and coming talent, who athletically has no bounds. The Warner Media promotion of boundless, its not remotely hyperbole when it comes to Dante Martin. He’s physically capable of potentially more than Amazing Red and Matt Sydal, and Ricochet and these light heavy weights that really carved out that world.

Nick Jackson is another great example of somebody who’s pushed the envelope, Phoenix is another one; I can go on an on but, those skills they’re wonderful but if you can take someone like that and you can give them your experience working psychology with the crowd and not strip them away of the cool moves and the athletics. Which is a mistake old-timey wrestlers have made, they tried to take away the highspots and give you more Shakespeare and give you more psychology and the truth is this generation of fans; they want it all.”

Cody Rhodes went on to say:

“They want the flips, the dives, the strikes. This new level of high-speed wrestling. They want that in addition to the stories that we tell. To do great interviews, and cut great promos, and nothing excites me more than a guy like a Dante Martin or someone that is young who I can say, hey this is something that was passed on to me and I need to pass it on to you.”

Cody Rhodes Compares Old School Wrestling Psychology To the Modern Day - The Illuminerdi

“One of the beautiful things about Bradi being the chief brand officer and myself being the one of the executive vice presidents is we were able to let ‘em see it all. What does it really look like in the back of a wrestling show? And one of the things I’m really proud of is we come off as so punk rock, and this challenger (to WWE) brand and this alternative (again, to WWE) — it almost sometimes comes off as disorganized. But when you see AEW and how it really functions, you’ll see, wow, it’s incredibly organized and streamlined and it’s a family environment and a winning environment.”

Cody Rhodes

Cody Rhodes knows this to be true and has proved it. Dynamite (Rhodes AEW Monday night show) topped Monday Night Raw (the competition of WWE) among viewers aged 18 to 49 for the first time. And for about a month straight now, AEW: Dynamite has been the highest-rated cable program on Wednesdays in the key demo

“We have an extremely receptive group of young talent at AEW. I do a little book club thing where last week we gave out a business book to all the young guys. This is my job to help grow this talent beyond the mat and while doing so, strengthen what is in the ring, and doing it with these young guys like Dante Martin, Ricky Starks, Hooks, Lee Johnson.”

Cody Rhodes Compares Old School Wrestling Psychology To the Modern Day - The Illuminerdi

“I mean you got guys like Punk and Brian Danielson who know what they’re doing, they’re out there, they’re playing their greatest hits, they got a little left in the tank, maybe a little more than a little. We already know they are amazing and they can draw. It’s my literal real job to take someone who doesn’t know everything just yet and try to give them these tools, so that five years from now. Ten years from now, we’re still at TCA talking about AEW and hopefully talking about Rhodes to the Top”

Cody Rhodes

Rhodes to the Top debuts Wednesday, Sept. 29 at 10 p.m. on TNT, immediately following AEW: Dynamite. What do you think of Cody Rhodes’ evaluation of the wrestling landscape? Let us know in the comment section or let’s wrestle over on our social media!

KEEP READING: CODY AND BRANDI RHODES TALK ABOUT IF BIG SIGNINGS LIKE CM PUNK WILL BE INCLUDED ON REALITY SHOW