AEW EVP Cody Rhodes recently talked with New York Post about his upcoming match with Red Velvet against Shaq and Jade Cargill, before talk turned to AEW’s burgeoning relationship with New Japan Pro Wrestling.
Rhodes talked about how he sees crossovers evolving for AEW, and that he wouldn’t rule out AEW working with the likes of MLW and WWE at some point down the road:
“I think of ‘All In’ itself. ‘All In’ is a show that ROH helped us with that Matt [Jackson], Nick [Jackson], myself did all the work for outside of that initial production element and the reason it was important that the three of us do it was we were able to let all these old rules go away. That’s a very dangerous and powerful precedent to set if you literally do put down all the bridges and you do put down all the doors.
“Again, this is all hypothetical, but there is no reason AEW couldn’t work with New Japan. We’re aware of the world outside. Bullet Club is a big part of our blood in AEW. So there’s no reason we couldn’t work with New Japan.
“There’s no reason Jacob Fatu couldn’t take a step over from MLW and stand across the ring from me. There’s no reason that there couldn’t be a potential WWE crossover one day. And I don’t mean that’s a thing that’s been discussed or happening, but none of those rules that exist for other places exist for us. Wrestling is really this universal industry. The territory reference that you made, that’s fairly accurate, but the part of it that’s most accurate was there was a genuine trust.”
The nature of AEW and NJPW’s relationship still isn’t 100% clear, but if these initial crossovers with the likes of KENTA - as well as the crossovers between NJPW and IMPACT - work well, then Rhodes has a number of talents he’d like to work with:
“I’m all AEW, but I’m not blind to the potential of these crossovers. I do think when travel restrictions lift, perhaps there are crossover matches, the dream matches that are available for us. I know in my heart that there is somebody I’d love to wrestle from New Japan. I didn’t get the opportunity and time is running out on that opportunity.
“I’m a big fan of The Ace (Hiroshi Tanahashi). I like to challenge myself and they have a great roster in terms of [Kazuchika] Okada, Jay White and of course [Kota] Ibushi, who I got to wrestle so many times, and many people. [Tomohiro] Ishii, my gosh.
“There’s some good potential there for crossover elements and good friendly relations, but I also want to never forget that we have a loaded locker room of men and women who are champing at the bit to get in this two-hour time slot and I always look at AEW first. Just respectably to any other company, I’m probably the most guarded up when it comes to crossovers.”