Cody Rhodes recently spoke to ESPN about All Elite Wrestling. He talked about wrestler pays, about wrestlers being treated like Hollywood actors and unions in professional wrestling. Here are some of what he said:
"You talk about acting and how they treat their talent, my favorite actor was my dad, who was a pro wrestler. It didn't matter whether it was 4,000, 14,000 or 40,000, he put on a performance on the same level as any TV or critically acclaimed film presentation. He did that. Wrestlers who are able to do that should be treated the same as the actors in the world who are able to that, too, but that's a long road, admittedly.
"The first thing you've got to do is up the price point. You've got to pay your wrestlers more. And to old-timey, carny promoters who say, 'Oh, that's going to put you out of business,' I disagree with that. I think if you have a proper merchandising and branding arm behind your brand, that you can absolutely supplement that income as well if you're able to provide genuine content that matches sizzle with substance.
"A union in pro wrestling -- and that's this thing that people say all of the time, and they don't realize it -- a union in pro wrestling would put pro wrestling out of business. But, with that said, we should be actively working towards some sort of body, and this is outside of what I'm talking about with AEW and as me in the executive role, but we should actively be working to have the happiest talent you can possibly have.
"Whether that starts as a talent feedback system, or a players' league, or some sort of body where there's a complete, transparent communication between those in the office and those in the locker room. That's massively important, especially when you are traveling the world. I think taking those steps, even if they are baby steps, is great."