Cody Rhodes has said that AEW want to give its audience a fresh product, as opposed to simply signing popular wrestlers from other promotions.
The vice president of the newly-formed company has more than made a name for himself on the indie scene, as well as the WWE, and he's now taken up an administrative role as he looks to get a new business off the ground the best way possible.
The 33-year-old, one of AEW's founders, was a guest on The Jim Ross Report, ahead of the company's ticket announcement party in Las Vegas on Thursday, where he shared his roster-building plans.
AEW already has Chris Jericho on their payroll but also recently signed the relatively unknown Jimmy Havoc as they aim to form a locker room dominated by less familiar talent.
“We’re looking for ‘fresh’ more than the equity-garnered individual that’s perhaps popped around various television shows already," he explained (h/t Mandatory). "We’re looking for someone that hasn’t been seen, that’s the directive.
"Of course there’s folks like a Chris Jericho, who is an absolute star, wrestling’s frickin’ rock star, and he’s done it all and seen it all. I want to have the juxtaposition to have somebody on that level seen with somebody that our audience may be seeing for the very first time ever.
"I’ll use Jimmy Havoc as an example - not that he’s not well-known - but perhaps he’s not universally known. That’s what we want to sell, that’s the message that we want to bring forward. I don’t want to say the ‘next generation’, it’s more this generation, disruptive, independent brands, and you’re seeing a pop-up all around.
"Jimmy Havoc as of yesterday, tomorrow at the ticket on-sale party, we want to give them more than ‘hey, here’s just the details on where you can buy tickets.’ There’s a few talent signings that we’ll be able to throw out there, I think they’re really going to mobilize folks and generate some excitement."
What This Means
Fans should be all for this sort of thing. There's hardly any point in bringing a rebranded WWE or Impact Wrestling to the fore.
Of course, there are bound to be some established guys around. But AEW would do well to deliver a novel product to wrestling fans looking for a change of scenery.