Cody Rhodes on What Shaq Brings to AEW, How He Got Involved With the Company

Cody Rhodes talked about his upcoming tag match with Red Velvet against Shaq and Jade Cargill in a new interview with the New York Post. The match is set to take place on the March 3rd episode of Dynamite, and Rhodes also talked about the NBA legend’s training for the match. You can check out highlights below:

On what Shaq brings to AEW: “The power of Shaq, when you have one of these like very, very iconic all-American brands it can’t be understated. The only thing I know about as far as (audience) penetration and just absolute sphere of influence, the closest thing I could think of is Snoop Dogg himself. For me, that’s really, really exciting. It’s actually a big part — not my wrestler job — it’s a big part of the other job (EVP) because if we build this and they come for this Dynamite, March 3 with Shaq, I hope they love everything that he does and they love everything that we do, but perhaps find somebody who they wouldn’t have known if this is their first foray into wrestling that they fall in love with as well who’s not in our match. That’s one of the beautiful things of the rub of and the power of somebody like Shaq.”

On how he came on board: “What happened is really what fans saw. He tweeted about me (in August 2020) and didnt, I don’t think, particularly know me. He just knew he had a show on TNT and we had seen each other at the upfronts and “Dynamite” was kicking ass and I think he chose an in-house professional wrestler to pick on. And I didn’t think much of it other than, you know, us wrestlers, we love when we see the blue (Twitter) checks, we love when we see people talking about our world. Then the next you know, QT (Marshall) calls me like half a year ago, so this is a while ago. He called me and said, “Hey, I just want to make you aware of something.” When that’s how he frames it, I know it’s going to be something about the Nightmare Factory. He said, “I just want to make you aware of it that Shaq came in and started training. I said, well send me a video, I’ve got to see it. He’s done a good amount of training with QT with a couple bodies there that he can throw around and things of that nature. Right at that moment, I knew we were into an area where this could really, seriously happen. We really jumped on it in the best way we could. QT is really technically responsible for that. He and (AEW president) Tony Khan because he and Tony have a great relationship as well. It kind of willed itself into existence like so many other things in AEW.”

On how long Shaq has been training: “I don’t have a lot of interaction with him. I know when he trains it’s very long. They put in over two hours. They go from the weight room to the ring and two to three of our better guys bump around, training themselves and want to be there. They’re there almost all night. I’ve never trained with him. He’s very much been trained by QT. They train pretty regularly and I’m excited. When you’re of that size. If you were coming in, not Shaq, if you were that big I would want you to train and learn to do as much as you can but most wrestling promoters and bookers and companies aren’t going to have you do as much. There is very much a less-is-more guideline for a legitimate giant. Not many come into wrestling anymore. The only thing I’ve been thinking of in my mind is I wrestled Big Show so many times. He was just one of the most valuable teachers to me. He was everything. He was a genuine adversary when it came to how he handled going to WrestleMania. He was my first taste of good politics, bad politics, and he was an angel in the ring to wrestle with. It gave me some absolute valuable lessons. So thinking about Show a lot as I’ve been thinking about Shaq, in any way are they similar.”

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