Cody Rhodes Explains How Best to Use Celebrities to Make New Fans

By promoting a huge maych with Shaq on AEW Dynamite this week, AEW hoped to draw in the mythical "new wrestling viewer" to become a potential future AEW fan. Lots of companies in wrestling and beyond (it's actually worse in comics) claim to want to appeal to new fans, but often fall into the trap of catering to a dwindling niche audience instead. During a conference call Wednesday ahead of the AEW Revolution PPV, Cody Rhodes discussed his philosophy on drawing in new fans to AEW.

Cody Rhodes crashes through a table with Shaq on AEW Dynamite - Credit: All Elite Wrestling
Cody Rhodes crashes through a table with Shaq on AEW Dynamite – Credit: All Elite Wrestling

"For me, I've really taken it upon myself to, I want to grow our audience, and I know we have the best bell to bell wrestling," said Rhodes. "We have a guy like Pac here. So just a guy like Pac guarantees me that we have the best bell to bell wrestling. But I need people to watch it. I need them. If they come for Shaq, maybe they'll stay for somebody like Pac. I keep using him as an example just because I'm a big fan of his work, but I definitely think you will see more crossover and you'll see crossover done in a respectful way."

According to Rhodes, it's important that celebrities crossing over with wrestling take the whole thing seriously.

"Like I said, Shaq trained," Rhodes continued.  "You mentioned Stephen Amell, well, he also trained because that's the only way I would insist on doing anything. That, to me, is important. You can only bring in people for, when it comes to a crossover, that respect your business. Snoop Dogg, nobody respects wrestling more than Snoop Dogg and has a love for it. You don't need to chase Hollywood A-list and B-list if they're not into this. And Shaquille O'Neal is somebody who's very into wrestling and knows a lot about it. You know, grew up watching Leroy Brown and JYD, and he has a lot of opinions and things to say about them. And as a fan, and again, like I said, he trained, so, yes, you will see more crossover."

"My goal here is always to grow our show because I want to grow more fans," he continued. "I want to make more fans happy. You will see it, but it will always be done in a disciplined way. We want people who love our sport and love our form of entertainment because they make for the best guests.

Keep checking back, as Bleeding Cool is attempting to break the Guinness World Record for most clickbait articles churned out of the transcript of a pro wrestling media call, so we'll have lots more on the way from Cody Rhodes and AEW in the coming days.

About Jude Terror

A prophecy claims that in the comic book industry's darkest days, a hero would come to lead the people through a plague of overpriced floppies, incentive variant covers, #1 issue reboots, and super-mega-crossover events. Unfortunately, nobody can tell when the comics industry has reached its "darkest days" because it somehow keeps finding new lows to sink to. No matter! Jude Terror stands vigilant, bringing the snarkiest of comic book and pro wrestling clickbait to the undeserving readers of Bleeding Cool.