Cody Rhodes is ready for the most ambitious crossover in wrestling history.
Since the turn of the year, the forbidden door has been open with AEW, New Japan, and IMPACT Wrestling all working together. KENTA has wrestled on AEW Dynamite, Juice Robinson & David Finlay are set to appear on IMPACT, Jon Moxley has appeared on NJPW Strong, and Kenny Omega main evented an IMPACT event.
Speaking to the New York Post, Cody discussed AEW working with New Japan and whether he would ever find himself back in Japan for an event.
"I’m all AEW, but I’m not blind to the potential of these crossovers. I do think when travel restrictions lift, perhaps there are crossover matches, the dream matches that are available for us. I know in my heart that there is somebody I’d love to wrestle from New Japan. I didn’t get the opportunity and time is running out on that opportunity," said Cody. "I’m a big fan of The Ace (Hiroshi Tanahashi). I like to challenge myself and they have a great roster in terms of (Kazuchika) Okada, Jay White and of course (Kota) Ibushi, who I got to wrestle so many times, and many people. (Tomohiro) Ishii, my gosh. There’s some good potential there for crossover elements and good friendly relations, but I also want to never forget that we have a loaded locker room of men and women who are champing at the bit to get in this two-hour time slot and I always look at AEW first. Just respectably to any other company, I’m probably the most guarded up when it comes to crossovers."
Cody wrestled for NJPW from 2017 to 2019 before the start of AEW. He won the IWGP United States Championship and competed for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship multiple times.
When discussing other potential crossovers, Cody mentioned the possibility of MLW and even WWE.
"I think of “All In” itself. “All In” is a show that ROH (Ring of Honor) helped us with that Matt (Jackson), Nick (Jackson), myself did all the work for outside of that initial production element and the reason it was important that the three of us do it was we were able to let all these old rules go away. That’s a very dangerous and powerful precedent to set if you literally do put down all the bridges and you do put down all the doors. Again, this is all hypothetical, but there is no reason AEW couldn’t work with New Japan. We’re aware of the world outside. Bullet Club is a big part of our blood in AEW. So there’s no reason we couldn’t work with New Japan. There’s no reason Jacob Fatu couldn’t take a step over from MLW and stand across the ring from me. There’s no reason that there couldn’t be a potential WWE crossover one day. And I don’t mean that’s a thing that’s been discussed or happening, but none of those rules that exist for other places exist for us. Wrestling is really this universal industry. The territory reference that you made, that’s fairly accurate, but the part of it that’s most accurate was there was a genuine trust."
Cody continued by saying, "Eddie Graham and Vince (McMahon) Sr. they traded people all the time and made prolific pieces of business out of it and they did it in a way where they introduced these characters in New York and then next thing you know they introduce these characters in Florida and it kept things fresh because above all, Wednesday Night War or not the main thing we have to do for fans for the rest of this run – and I want this company to be around forever — is keep it fresh. It can’t ever get stale. Our doors are open if the business is right, if the moment is right, if the time right. Our bridges are down. I’ll be the one curmudgeon AEW guy to make sure it’s all good."
Appearing on IMPACT Wrestling via a "paid ad," Tony Khan stated that he is the "forbidden door" and that he swings both ways. AEW recently filed to trademark the "forbidden door" and "forbidden portal."
As far as Cody goes, he is currently suffering from a slight tear of his left rotator cuff.