“The American Nightmare” Cody Rhodes appeared on Chris Jericho’s podcast and talked about working with the late “Exalted One”.
In an interview that was released on Jan. 7, All Elite Wrestling (AEW) star and executive vice president Cody Rhodes talked with fellow AEW wrestler Chris Jericho on Jericho’s Talk is Jericho podcast and discussed what went into formatting his Dog Collar Match against Mr. Brodie Lee, in what turned out to be the late wrestler’s final match (h/t to Jeremy Lambert at Fightful for the transcription):
Jerry Lynn helped put it together. The night before, I’m putting the collar on, the chain, and we’re pulling on each other. It’s like the first time you get in a cage, it’s awkward. I was very worried about our necks and any whiplash. Everyone praised [Lee’s] work and he could make something look incredibly violent, but we could have done that match every night. I am overly prepared, so we had another collar and chain under the ring. Everything went how we wanted it to go. He was adamant we do a really big bump in the commercial. He had me do Kevin Owens’ package piledriver, and he was really confident in my strength. I was able to do it, no problem. He pushed me and challenged me as a wrestler, and I love that. One of my favorite things from that match is, I punched him with the chain wrapped around my hand, and he said, ‘I want you to punch me in the face as hard as you can.’ So, I leveled him, and he just chuckled. He really wanted to do a dog collar and a gritty and serious rivalry.
Rhodes and Lee faced one another in the aforementioned match (which our own Samantha Schipman picked as her honorable mention for 2020 Match of the year) on the Oct. 7 episode of AEW: Dynamite. The bout, which was contested for the AEW TNT Championship, resembled something you would see in Jim Crockett Promotions in the 1980s. In a war that saw both men sporting crimson masks, Rhodes delivered the Cross Rhodes to Lee to score the clean pinfall to win the TNT Title for a second time.
This match would sadly be the final appearance for Lee in AEW, as the leader of The Dark Order disappeared from television following this match and on Dec. 26, the wrestling world was stunned and crestfallen to learn of his passing at only 41 years old.
The Dog Collar Match was the second of two matches between the two. In the first, which aired on the Aug. 22 episode of Dynamite, Lee ran through Rhodes in a matter of minutes to win his first and only championship in AEW. Lee and the rest of Dark Order then beat up Rhodes and his coach, Arn Anderson, following the dominant victory, leading to Rhodes getting stretchered out of Daily’s Place, which was the pretense for writing Rhodes out of storylines for the next few months. Rhodes also reminisced about laying out that match with Lee:
I wanted to do Vader vs. Inoki. I wanted to do it for a while, but no one fit the profile. Vader vs. [Antonio] Inoki was kind of done at SummerSlam with Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena, where two-minutes in, you realize, as a wrestler, ‘they’re going home.’ I thought, ‘No one has done that and it would be shocking. It would be the right call because in wrestling, anything can happen on any given night and we have to consistently remind them of that. [Brodie] is near seven-feet, a legit super heavyweight, who is mobile. It would make all the sense in the world for him to catch me with a dropkick and that’s the piece that puts me out.’ I know wrestling can follow the traditional parameters, but when we break away from those, sometimes there’s some magic. He was the perfect person — he didn’t believe me when I told him. I told him, ‘this is the easiest match you’ll ever have.’ He didn’t believe me. I didn’t want to do anything and I literally didn’t do anything. A flurry at the beginning, that’s it. He was worried, ‘I want to hook your leg.’ ‘Don’t even hook my leg. Absolutely disrespect me. Own me. Eat me alive.’ Arn added the cherry on top at the end, the moment with Anna choking out Brandi. It was a great way to end the show. It’s my favorite match in AEW. I just loved how I felt. When he covered me, I could feel his chest and how excited he was. He had some words for me right before he covered me and that felt so good. It was the right thing for the show, the flow of the TNT Title, and the right guy.
Again, thanks to Fightful’s Jeremy Lambert for the transcription.