Last year, Cody Rhodes who was an EVP of AEW at the time decided to leave the company along with his wife Brandi Rhodes. Cody then joined WWE and made his return at WrestleMania 38.
A lot of things happened following Cody Rhodes’ AEW departure and Tony Khan faced numerous backstage issues. The biggest issue that made a forever black mark in All Elite Wrestling was the backstage fight between CM Punk and Elite during All Out media scrum.
On Ariel Helwani’s MMA Hour, the American Nightmare gave his opinion about the All Out backstage fight.
“I got a fun story. It’s pretty neutral, but one of my students from the Nightmare Factory was involved in pulling apart whatever the scuffle was. He’s got a job, he’s a driver there. I told him, I go, ‘I feel terrible. I didn’t prepare you. We taught you how to do hip tosses and how to an interview. We didn’t teach how to break up a backstage brawl. So now when we do these beginners’ camps, I always wanna be like, ‘So guys, if you see two guys fighting, immediately separate them,’ just because he had that experience. That always popped me.
I woke up the next morning, and I had, no joke, I think I had 63 messages. So I was very worried that something was said about me or Brandi. I did everything I could. I gave a lot. I have great memories with AEW, I do. So I hope it’s respected mutually. I was worried. I was like, I hope somebody didn’t take a weird shot, something like that. That wasn’t the case. It was about this press conference and all that.
I had a great relationship with Matt, Nick, and Kenny. Still do. It definitely was tested by being young executives. It was tested by having differing opinions on wrestling. But our different opinions is what made it strong. That’s what made us work. I wanna do Crockett and old school. They want to do PWG and west coast, and damn, I loved it. I liked that. That contention is what made us bond. We’re bonded forever because of the things we did.
I also had a great relationship with Punk. He was my dinner buddy. They’d order dinner for me at AEW every week as one of my management perks or whatever. I don’t think he knew, I always just put it on my tab because I wanted to make sure he was getting something too, salmon or sushi. We didn’t talk a lot, but I had a great relationship. We’d still chat, and I was so excited to have him back. If you remember when he came back, everyone was fired up about that.
When I watched it, just from my sitting there, there was some people texting me. I remember somebody texted me, ‘Man, you’re the smartest guy in the room.’ I wanted to write back, ‘FU, man, I don’t feel that way.’ I feel this thing we built got damaged, and I’m not putting any blame on anybody. Sorry, super Switzerland at this moment. I’m not putting any blame on anybody. But I just hated seeing that because as the company grows, and I hope it continues to grow, I hope people remember the mission in the first place, why we were there. If you bring in people who don’t know the mission, then things like that can happen. I’m not saying he didn’t know the mission or anything of that nature, but I was just bummed out. That’s how I felt.
I was bummed out because… you win the title, that’s a feather in your cap. You win the Royal Rumble, that’s a feather in your cap. Building an alternative wrestling is definitely a feather in the cap. I don’t want that to be erased. I don’t want that to go away. Plus, there’s not as many jobs in wrestling as people think. There’s about 1,000 people who work there. Structurally, infrastructure, and talent. I’m proud of them, and I want to make sure they’re able to feed their families. That was a situation that was so big and heavy. I don’t think it was helpful. I don’t know. Maybe you can make it helpful. Maybe you can do something with it. But that’s how I felt. No heat on Punk, no heat on Matt, Nick, Kenny, or Tony. I was just bummed out when I saw.
That’s not how we envisioned it. The spirit of All In, if you ever lose the spirit, you’re lost. I think the spirit was gone in that moment. Doesn’t mean you can’t get it back. But it was just a bummer. I also felt weird because I always talk to everybody so I was like, ‘I don’t wanna make it look like I’m taking any sides here.’ I’m literally just an observer now. I’m not there, guys. No connections, other than the initial connections. Just a bummer.”H/T WrestleZone
Stay tuned with The Spotlight for more news.