At Fyter Fest, in 2019, one of the standout moments – for better or worse – in AEW was THAT chair shot that echoed around the wrestling world as Cody Rhodes has his head sliced open during his match with Shawn Spears.
On the AEW Unrestricted podcast, Cody said the “entire thing” was his fault. Rhodes would go on to say he wasn’t concussed but was shaken up – and he saw Tony Khan and Jon Moxley “ripping Shawn Spears to shreds” backstage after the moment. The former TNT Champion said Moxley was showing Spears how he should have done it, but detailed that he was actually the one who said Rhodes should swing from the side. Cody also revealed what he told Shawn Spears before that infamous spot, and the words he muttered afterwards.
“I told him [Shawn Spears] to swing from the side, and the last words I told him were, ‘swing for the fences,’ and when I landed, I don’t know if you can make out in the camera shot, but when I landed, my head is so stiff from the shot that I land the awkward landing when you have two falls, I muttered, ‘swing for the fences.’”
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) November 12, 2020
Cody Rhodes would also go on to say his objective was to show that steel chair shots to the head can be done safely.
“Wrestling is violent. People get hurt. It’s not ballet, you’ve heard all this stuff. I don’t want anyone to get hurt. The art is to make it look like we hurt each other then we go home, that’s why we shake hands over and over again. If we’re going to be held to the same standard of TV and film, which some people would like to hold us to those standards, we have a comparable reach, we have global penetration, pop culture-wise. Well, then, if Captain America can be swinging his shield around, hitting people in the head with it, no-one is crying, “Head shots!” No-one is blaming this modern generation for whatever the hell they did in 1990-something with Mick [Foley] and Rock, and Shamrock. That’s not our fault! So, I wanted to take chair shots to the head back for the boys. But I wanted to do it safely.”
Rhodes clarified that the objective was always to gimmick the chair, but said that would have been easier if they actually knew how to do so. The former TNT Champion states that AEW’s security guard Charlie – who saved Jon Moxley from a fan invasion recently at All Out – was head of the props division and “fired” that same day due to the way the chair incident went down. Charlie is still employed by AEW in several capacities, including security and something called the “magic” department.
Rhodes detailed that the chair was supposed to be sanded down to the thickness of a cookie sheet – and confirmed it was sanded down to that level. Rhodes said he wanted two chairs, marked with a piece of tape, to make sure they worked and were identifiable, and said Tony Khan was adamant he was taking a chair shot with it to ensure it was safe.
AEW’s EVP Rhodes said, no matter what happened “optics-wise”, he told Tony Khan to say it was a gimmicked chair – which is where the fallout came from – confirming it was indeed a gimmicked chair but that his advice to Shawn Spears to swing from the side meant the edge of the chair hit his head.
“What I told him [Tony] was, if we get a lot of heat right out of the gate – optics-wise – for what goes down, say to whatever sources you want to, however you want to distill this information, tell them it was a gimmicked chair.”
Cody confirmed he still has a bump on his head from it but says he’s happy with how the moment went, saying, “That was a cool moment.”
“My attempt to get chair shots back for the boys – but safely – was a failed attempt.”
Rhodes, however, did say he would do it again.
AEW fans can listen to Cody Rhodes discuss that chair shot moment with Shawn Spears, as well as his – and AEW’s – future on the AEW Unrestricted podcast by simply visiting this link. You can read the full transcript via WrestleZone.