On Thursday night, Starrcast featured a panel called “From Undesirable to Undeniable” where Tony Schiavone sat down to speak with Cody Rhodes.
Off the top, they addressed Schiavone’s new role with All Elite Wrestling while confirming interest from WWE in Schiavone’s services. Schiavone revealed it was Bruce Prichard that reached out and Conrad Thompson served as his agent going back-and-forth before he landed this deal.
Of course, Schiavone has an existing contract with MLW and that had to be ironed out to facilitate any role with AEW. Schiavone explained that his Control Center appearance on one of the “Road to” specials came from a phone call from Cody asking for a favor, and Tony agreed. After its airing, MLW CEO Court Bauer was upset and contacted Schiavone to remind him of his deal. Both Schiavone and Cody were complimentary towards Bauer and MLW for helping to make this deal work and he’ll proceed to work for both groups.
Schiavone added that he will be calling matches with Jim Ross in the future for All Elite Wrestling.
Cody discussed his role as an Executive Vice President and loves the job, to the point he’d be willing to take a step back from wrestling to focus more on it, if necessary. He admitted his faults in the beginning stages citing a bad temper, poor texting etiquette, and joking about lessons learned regarding contract tampering that he did not elaborate on.
Regarding the television show on TNT, he emphasized a sports presentation and that’s the world Tony Khan comes from. There would be no twenty-minute promos in the ring, no invisible cameras backstage, and are not going to have a PG rating attached to it.
He is bullish on bringing big events to his home market of Atlanta, mentioning the 21,000 seat State Farm Arena as a possibility and adding the likelihood of bringing the TNT show and a future pay-per-view to the market. He added that after the Sears Center television show in November, they may look at running the United Center in Chicago and hinted that talks may have already taken place.
Cody got emotional reflecting on the post-match with brother Dustin at Double or Nothing. He said the post-match speech he gave was not scripted and was very real, which is why he is reluctant to say pro wrestling is fake because of some very real elements attached to it.
On the signing of Orange Cassidy, the said the Young Bucks made that hire and he was disappointed that those within the company didn’t defend the signing more. He mentioned critics of the signing and his argument is they are presenting a buffet, Cassidy is talented, and that more should have backed the decision to hire him.
He ended by reflecting on Rey Mysterio, who he credits for making his career by choosing to work with Cody at WrestleMania 27 in 2011. He added that he hopes WWE does right by Rey, or else he will scoop him up.
Overall, I found this to be a fun chat and Cody came off very personable while admitting to faults and characters that haven’t clicked when he joked about the librarians. Tony Schiavone was a great host and reverence for Dusty came through and made for an enjoyable comparison by the host regarding father and son.
In terms of news, there were plenty of hints as is par for the course with the Elite in these settings but gives you a sense of directions they are headed in. While there was nothing earth-shattering, it did provide a small window into the philosophy of the television series with examples of items you won’t see focused on.