AEW President, CEO, General Manager & Head Of Creative Tony Khan chose to focus on the future of AEW when asked about Cody Rhodes this week.
Khan spoke with Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated to promote last night’s AEW Dynamite, and was asked about Rhodes returning to WWE this past weekend at WrestleMania 38. He admitted he lost a top talent, but pointed to how Samoa Joe was debuting against Max Caster in a qualifier for The Owen Hart Foundation Men’s Tournament. Khan also noted how AEW has recently signed Toni Storm and Jeff Hardy.
“I did lose a very prominent free agent,” Khan responded. “But we’re debuting one tonight in Samoa Joe. In the past 30 days, we’ve also debuted Toni Storm, who was incredible last week in her win against The Bunny, and Jeff Hardy, one of the biggest stars in wrestling. We have a lot of excitement happening here, and that’s our focus.”
Rhodes spoke with Variety for an interview that was released after his WWE return at WrestleMania Saturday. He was asked about his AEW departure, which came back in February. Rhodes said he is still rooting for Khan, but it was time for him to move on, also citing a personal matter they couldn’t get past.
“I chose to remain silent about my departure from AEW and I’m going to keep my word on that. There’s no shoot interview. There’s no nefarious tale that’s going to be told,” Rhodes said in his first post-AEW interview. “There were all these different theories and none of them are correct. I mean, there were things about money and creative control. They were printed as fact and it’s been a very difficult two months to see that, when the reality is it was just time. It was a personal matter and we couldn’t move past it.
I have nothing but respect for Matt [Jackson], Nick [Jackson] and Kenny [Omega]. I’m rooting for Tony Khan. His name is going to be in the history books as someone who helped to bankroll and support this entire alternative and revolution that AEW became but for me, it was just time to to move on. I get an opportunity at my dream, I get another chance at it. And you really can’t leave any stone unturned with that.”