AEW came a long way in 2021, with top talent like CM Punk and Bryan Danielson joining the company started by Cody Rhodes, Tony Khan and co. The American Nightmare reflected on AEW’s stellar growth in less than 3 years.
Cody Rhodes stated that the likes of Bryan Danielson and Adam Cole decided to jump ship from WWE, which was testament to AEW’s growth. Of course, CM Punk’s return to wrestling was the biggest story of the year.
The former TNT champion spoke to Sports Illustrated and said the following:
“We’re essentially at the three-year point of AEW, and our stability is the tell-tale sign that our vision was the proper vision,” Cody Rhodes said. “We have such a stable company that Bryan Danielson decided to cross that line, that CM Punk decided to join after seven years away, that Adam Cole, who was being groomed to be a massive star in WWE, decided to cross the line. And that’s not a knock on them, it just shows that we have built a very stable infrastructure.”
Cody Rhodes credited Tony Khan, the Elite and the fans for AEW’s growth
AEW has quickly built up a rabid fanbase that displays immense loyalty to the company. Cody Rhodes believes the fans, Tony Khan and the Elite, deserve credit for AEW’s rapid growth:
“It’s based around a joint vision, and the vision that’s working doesn’t belong to any of us,” Cody Rhodes said. “The fans had a vision, too, once they started to invest with Bullet Club and New Japan Pro Wrestling, supporting the [Young] Bucks, myself and Kenny [Omega]. Tony was the only one to have the foresight to bring this all together, and we’re carrying on that vision. As a founding father or founding mother of AEW, you could walk at this point and still have a great story, a legacy. But everyone wants more.”
Hangman Adam Page is the current AEW world champion, after his multi-year story concluded at Full Gear. CM Punk and Bryan Danielson have heated up in recent weeks while Cody Rhodes was literally on fire this past week on AEW Dynamite.
The company has gotten plenty of things right so far. Should this continue in the same vein, the gap with WWE is sure to shorten.