Following Fyter Fest, which took place this past Saturday, AEW President and CEO Tony Khan spoke with the media. Among the topics discussed during the media scrum was the chair shot to the head delivered to Cody by Shawn Spears. The chair shot was so severe that Cody required twelve stitches. Many viewers believed that Cody suffered a concussion, given the blood drawn from the shot. According to Khan, however, this was not the case.
“I don’t know if this is the time to go into detail about what happened, but we had taken precautions in this situation and that specific situation,” Khan explained to the media. “A doctor was available, and Cody does not have a concussion and had staples and we’re all very grateful for that.”
Khan also expanded on the possibility of extreme violence and more mature content on AEW’s weekly television, which will begin in the fall. Though Fyter Fest featured everything from middle fingers to barbed wire, Khan dismissed the possibility. “You can expect different rules for pay-per-view, and we said going in, these are non-sanctioned hardcore matches,” he said. “We wouldn’t have advertised that kind of violence… We wouldn’t have offered that on TNT.”
Another topic that was highlighted was the possibility of intergender wrestling in AEW. Khan said not to expect it in AEW, using the battle royal at All In, where Jordynne Grace was struck in the face, to expand his point. “It’s a really complex question, and I knew it would come up sooner or later,” Khan said. “We’re going to focus on a men’s division, singles, and tag, and a women’s division, singles, and tag.”
Sutter’s Synopsis: First and foremost, the decision for AEW to speak with the press following big events must be commended. I feel like this is a decision more wrestling companies can benefit from, as it presents them more like authorities on sports. It’s no different from other forms of athletics, so it’s good to see AEW take initiative.
With that said, Cody taking a chair shot to the head following his match with Darby Allin was questionable at best. Over the past decade and a half, there has been a wealth of knowledge shared about concussions and their effect on athletes, professional wrestlers included. With this knowledge, a new promotion like AEW electing to use a chair shot to a head to further an angle deserves scrutiny. My hope is that this was a one-off occurrence and AEW abstains from this moving forward.
It also looks like AEW’s weekly network TV show will not feature the same level of violence as pay-per-views, which is for the best. The utilization of barbed wire, thumbtacks, and high bumps from ladders should be reserved for bigger events, as was the case for the main event pitting Jon Moxley against Joey Janela. Seeing such a level of violence on a weekly basis would only numb the fans in due time.
As far as intergender wrestling is concerned, this may be the most divisive topic in wrestling. There are many fans who support the idea of men and women fighting one another as equals, but others, like Tony Khan, prefer separate divisions after Fyter Fest. I’m fine with the concept of intergender wrestling if it’s treated with a sense of legitimacy. When it becomes overly reliant on comedy, the concept loses its appeal. It’s unlikely we will see intergender wrestling in the short term in AEW, but this doesn’t mean the possibility is off the table down the road.