Cody Rhodes has discussed the process of bringing The Icon Sting to All Elite Wrestling and says AEW is the healthiest company the WWE Hall Of Famer could have joined.
The first-ever TNT Champion spoke with Inside The Ropes’ very own Kenny McIntosh for issue 11 of Inside The Ropes Magazine and discussed just what it meant to him to be a small part in getting Sting through the doors of AEW.
“Sting is entirely Tony’s. He let me in on the process of it and I got to be there to help facilitate it to a small degree but, more than anything, I think he did that out of respect for my fandom. Sting was my favourite wrestler growing up and he’s a big part of my childhood. I’ve modelled a lot of the babyface I’d like to be after the babyface that Sting was. So for him to be involved in what we do is massive.”
Rhodes then discussed the importance of AEW’s medical staff in getting Sting cleared to compete in the ring once again. Prior to coming to AEW, Sting’s last match came in WWE at the 2015 Night Of Champions against Seth Rollins. Sting suffered a scary bump to the turnbuckle during the bout that had seemed at the time to have brought his wrestling days to an end.
“The process of getting him cleared really comes down to having a great medical team. I can’t say enough about Doc Sampson and what he’s set up for AEW. I came back through the curtain after Double Or Nothing and someone handed me a bottle of electrolytes, one of the Young Lion type medical trainees that he has because he always has a group of interns and students. I mean, really, I don’t believe in so much of that stuff. I’m a dumb old school wrestler. At least I try to pretend to be. But that’s how you prolong your career. It’s the ice baths, it’s the kinesiology, it’s the actual attention to detail on nutrition.”
“Sting joined the healthiest company he could possibly join. And it wasn’t a matter of ever getting him cleared, he’s got to do that through his doctors and our doctors, but more than anything, I don’t know if we thought Sting was going to have a “match” match. Until I saw the level of intensity that the cinematic was—probably more intense than an actual live 12-15 minute match—that’s when I knew, personally, he can have a match. You’re only as good as your dancing partner and when people talk about somebody who might be medically—they might have a handicap, they might have an issue—what we do, we protect that. That’s our job is to protect that.”
As well as the medical staff, Cody Rhodes heaped praise on the opponents Sting has faced during his time in AEW:
“I think it’s a matter of Sting having good opponents. You put Ethan Page in the ring with Sting, he’s going to be just fine. He’s going to be able to shine and take care of himself, and give the fans what they want. That’s the key. You’ve got to have a good dancing partner and you’ve got to know what you’re able to do. I think he’s just now seeing that there’s a lot under the water, the tip of the iceberg with the Stinger. But if at any point he would want to scale it back, he’s still a huge part of our team. We’re there. There’s no pressure on him to perform. He has nothing to prove to anybody.”
And as for a potential Rhodes vs. Sting match somewhere down the line, Cody Rhodes is definitely keen:
“I absolutely was adamant about wanting to do a match with him and it’s not something that’s been discussed or contracted or anything like that but, while he’s here, I still would hope that it happens. He’s such a huge part of who I am and he was such a d*ck to me on the second week when he showed up, and I love that. And I love his love for my dad as well. Sting is a big part of what we do. What a different company when you can have Sting there and Jack Evans in the same company. That’s what AEW does better than any. It’s such a diverse roster.”