With the signings of “All Ego” Ethan Page and Christian Cage at AEW Revolution, it has almost been forgotten that it was the signing of Paul Wight in February that opened the flood gates. Wight’s signing from WWE was certainly from left-field, but now Cody Rhodes has revealed a little more about how the deal came into being.
In conversation with Action Sports, AEW’s Executive Vice President has detailed how it was Wight who made the first move, and that he contacted him, before speaking to AEW President Tony Khan.
“I’m typically one of the first people that people reach out to because we shared locker rooms together and they are curious. I’m never afraid to chat with somebody and see where they’re at mentally. With him, that was one of the main giveaways and how I know how motivated he is. There wasn’t much negotiation. He talked to me and then moved on to talking to Tony Khan and they were quite a match. The benefit he provides to the locker room are endless. The lack of negotiation tells me he’s very hungry and wants to be part of this, it was almost an emotional decision.”
Rhodes went on explain how much he learned from Wight during their time working together in WWE, and his dissatisfaction with how their rivalry was handled creatively.
“People who follow my career know that I was not happy with what happened with my rivalry with Big Show and what it led to at WrestleMania, creatively. It was actually the beginning of my downfall at the company. The part they didn’t see was the three to four months where I was basically married to this giant on live events. There are a few people I ever learned as much from. It was so valuable to me. I see him talking backstage and I see the sincerity. They are going to learn so much and I can’t wait to see him go (in the ring),”
Elsewhere in the interview, Rhodes discussed his recent match with NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal, commenting that the former guard for the L.A Lakers “has got the wrestling bug.”
H/t to Fightful for the transcription.