A big talking point coming out of the AEW Rally last week was Cody Rhodes saying wrestlers in the company would be financially taken care like never before. He stated that AEW wrestlers would be paid comparable money to athletes and entertainers.
Speaking to ESPN, Cody provided more details on what he meant by those comments.
"You talk about acting and how they treat their talent, my favorite actor was my dad, who was a pro wrestler. It didn't matter whether it was 4,000, 14,000 or 40,000, he put on a performance on the same level as any TV or critically acclaimed film presentation," said Cody. "He did that. Wrestlers who are able to do that should be treated the same as the actors in the world who are able to that, too, but that's a long road, admittedly." Cody continued, "The first thing you've got to do is up the price point. You've got to pay your wrestlers more. And to old-timey, carny promoters who say, "Oh, that's going to put you out of business," I disagree with that. I think if you have a proper merchandising and branding arm behind your brand, that you can absolutely supplement that income as well if you're able to provide genuine content that matches sizzle with substance. We did it once with All In and we plan to do it again with Double Or Nothing."
While financial details of AEW contracts won't be known, Chris Jericho stated on his podcast that his contract offer from AEW was at "almost NHL-level."
Continuing his conversation with ESPN, Cody discussed how AEW will take care of their wrestlers and why a union could not work in the business.
"We want to make this a better world for wrestling fans by making it a better world for wrestlers. So the first step you have is you up that price point and you take care of your wrestlers more. The more that happens, we can continue to go," said Cody. "A union in pro wrestling -- and that's this thing that people say all of the time, and they don't realize it -- a union in pro wrestling would put pro wrestling out of business. But, with that said, we should be actively working towards some sort of body, and this is outside of what I'm talking about with AEW and as me in the executive role, but we should actively be working to have the happiest talent you can possibly have. Whether that starts as a talent feedback system, or a players' league, or some sort of body where there's a complete, transparent communication between those in the office and those in the locker room."
Cody ended by saying, "That's massively important, especially when you are traveling the world. I think taking those steps, even if they are baby steps, is great."
For the last week, Cody has been revealing more and more information regarding AEW. You can view his comments on the potential of win/loss records being used in the company here and why AEW won't be using writers here.