In what many people believe is the biggest match of Cody’s career, he will challenge Chris Jericho for the AEW World championship on Saturday at the Full Gear pay-per-view in Baltimore. If Cody loses the match, he will never challenge for the AEW World championship again.
On the November 6th edition of AEW Dynamite in Charlotte, Cody cut a critically acclaimed promo on Chris Jericho where he laid out the stipulation of never challenging for the world title again if he loses and described AEW as Ellis Island for pro wrestlers where they can experience freedom.
“The opportunity and the interview that I got to be part of with Tony Schiavone in Charlotte on the most recent episode of Dynamite, you know when you go back through the curtain? There are some times you don’t have to ask anybody, ‘Was it good? Was it bad?’ You know. The funny thing about it is that I could not hear myself because as a production there are some things that we are adding including a speaker in the ring for talent to be able to hear themselves when they are talking on a microphone. It was sensory overload for me out there,” said Cody on Friday’s AEW media call.
“I was very connected to what I was stating because it’s my life. It’s sometimes a curse to not be able to hide under a mask or be a character, and then there are times when it’s a blessing. Right now, it’s been a blessing. I’m not hiding from who I am. I’m not hiding from my position here. What I said in the interview about not challenging for the AEW championship ever again if I don’t beat Chris, is very authentic. There is no plot, logic device, or hole in that statement. That’s something that I’ve heard from fans.”
“That controversy was surrounding people like my Dad, like Bill Watts, Verge Gagne, and I refuse to have that controversy in my run. We have enough young and hungry men and women that I want to help showcase. At the same time, I’m in the best run of my career. Wrestling is best when it’s real so I don’t know if you can even call it a promo. It was just a real statement from me and I’m glad it resonated with fans,” said Cody.
According to Cody, the AEW World championship match against Chris Jericho speaks for itself and does not need any added emphasis to promote it.
“I had a really good coach and mentor in my career and in my life. A man I met in Los Angeles, his name’s Howard Fine, and one of the things Howard Fine use to say to me all the time when talking about this job was, ‘The truth doesn’t need weight,’ and in entertainment we put weight on things all the time and the biggest spectacle ever there is always these qualifiers. You enter into hyperbole, an exaggeration but I’ve had no problem with this because it isn’t an exaggeration. This is the biggest match of my career. It’s coming at the most perfect time in my career. I found my stance in the batter’s box.”
“Believe me, when the company started in January and I know that someone like Kenny Omega is on the roster and that Chris Jericho enters the fray and then Jon Moxley. In addition to being the EVP (Executive Vice President), I want to be the quarterback and the only thing that wins in today’s wrestling, isn’t politics, it isn’t any of the things that plagued wrestling years ago. It’s content. Being able to go out there and get the best reaction because you are giving them the best competition. You’re giving them the best performance and for me I don’t want to hit a slump. I got to keep going onward and upwards. There is a lot riding on this,” said Cody.
In addition to what’s at stake for the match between Cody and Jericho there is additional pressure for Cody as part of the management of AEW, as the company moves from the new wrestling promotion into growing the brand.
“The biggest hurdle for us is maintaining the buzz. Maintaining the cool thing. I don’t think it is as big of a hurdle as we think because all we have to do is stay disciplined and true to ourselves. We cannot change what we plan and we cannot become a reactionary brand. The only reactionary brand that we can be is reactionary to our own audience, not to what someone else is doing on TV.”
AEW FULL GEAR
– AEW World Championship: Chris Jericho (c) vs. Cody
– Jon Moxley vs. Kenny Omega (Unsanctioned, lights out match)
– The Young Bucks vs. Santana & Ortiz
– AEW Tag Tag Team Championship: SCU (c) vs. The Lucha Bros. vs. Private Party
– AEW Women’s Championship: Riho (c) vs. Emi Sakura
– Adam “Hangman” Page vs. PAC
– Joey Janela vs. Shawn Spears
– Dr. Britt Baker vs. Bea Priestly (pre-show)