NYCC: AEW's Biggest Stars Talk Wrestling's Hottest New Property

Founded earlier this year, All Elite Wrestling is the hottest new show in professional wrestling, with many waiting to see just how well it's able to compete with the ever-dominant World Wrestling Entertainment. On October 2, AEW launched All Elite Wrestling: Dynamite, its two-hour weekly show on TNT, which proved a massive success for the network. Following the event, talent including Chris Jericho, Jon Moxley, Brandi Rhodes, Awesome Kong (Kia Stevens), Nyla Rose and Jungle Boy (Jack Perry) appeared on a panel for AEW at New York Comic Con.

The packed panel kicked off with Rhodes expressing her happiness with the first episode of Dynamite and the fans. "If you didn't have the heart to demand what you want, we wouldn't be able to give it to you," she said. When she asked how many people would attend when the show eventually came to New York, the crowd erupted in cheers.

The host asked a question about what drew people to AEW, with Moxley being the first person to give his answer. "No more scripts," he said to a lot of applause. "For me it was all just crazy timing, I had been planning on leaving where I was before for a few months." He told Jericho, who made him the offer to come over to AEW. "Not five minutes later I got a call from Cody Rhodes, and he started explaining all this top secret stuff to me. And here we are."

Jungle Boy went next, starting by talking about his small size and weight. "Every week I get to ride a dinosaur into the ring," he said. "And those are two things that until pretty recently would not have been acceptable anywhere else."

Jericho remarked that much of the fan base was lapsed wrestling fans. "It gives us the chance to be the artists that we are and use the instincts that we've honed after years to put on a show, to put on a match to get your character across, so don't give me a f*cking script and say, 'This is what Jericho is going to say.'" He then commented on the first show being a success and AEW being a company that can only go up.

Rose joked that she needed a job. She said people willing to take a chance on her meant the world to her.

Stevens said, "I had felt jaded by wrestling. I felt like a lot of people. I felt like 'when is this going to happen? Why don't they do this? Why don't they do that? And finally a company came along and said, 'We will.'"

Jericho was asked about AEW's roster and what the talent brings. Jericho explained that you need "six to eight main event performers that are fresh" and that there's a creative freedom. "I like the fact that we're mavericks," he said. "I like the fact that we're Rebels in a Star Wars movie against the evil Empire." He explained that he's had something of an outsider status and that wrestling is about "doing things your own way." Jericho added that a wrestling program has to be able to connect.

Rhodes then addressed the idea of having statistics and a win-loss record. She explained that it came from AEW President Tony Khan, who has a long history in sports, and that the statistics were part of making clear wrestling is a sport, saying it "insults the intelligence of the viewer" to have inconsistent stats. That would be like a movie changing styles drastically between scenes. "When things like this matter, the stakes are higher," she added.

Rose then addressed a question about the pressure of laying the groundwork with her championship match on Dynamite. She explained there are a lot of women's promotions elsewhere in the world, which aren't as common in the United States. "Given one way to view women's wrestling, your view becomes kind of skewed," she said. Rose then added that it was a "privilege" to be able to change those views. Rhodes responded to Rose by praising the match.

Kong was asked about the biggest changes she saw with women's wrestling. "Women's wrestling is just becoming wrestling, period," she replied.

The focus then turned to Rhodes, and she was asked about people crossing over from other areas of pop culture, addressing Stephen Amell and GLOW. She praised Amell, and recounted an anecdote of someone praising the actor-turned-wrestler without knowing who he was. Rhodes also talked about the DC Comics covers and the importance of looking to and at different fan bases, such as comics."You can be fans of other things," she said. "There's something coming up closer to Halloween where you're going to see another cool integration," she teased.

Perry revealed he didn't think he would be featured so prominently on a major show so quickly. He talked about how there's a "cool parallel" to starting his career with a company that's also starting out. This elicited a hug and petting from Chris Jericho. He said AEW feels like "the absolutely perfect place for [him] to be."

Kenny Omega and Moxley were supposed to face off at All Out, a match-up which was delayed due to the latter having a staph infection that necessitated surgery on his elbow. Moxley said that he woke up with "goo all over the bed" because of the injury. "You've got to be f*cking kidding me," Moxley said of his reaction to knowing he would have to miss All Out. He had to take care of the issue to avoid further complications, including death. "Hopefully it just makes this more anticipated of a big match," he said. "I think we're going to be able to create that big fight feel that's been missing from wrestling." He then added the lower number of pay-per-views meant there was more time to create anticipation for fights, especially considering the win-loss records.

After saying he thinks the upcoming fight between Moxley and Omega will be good, Jericho talked about his own upcoming match with Cody Rhodes, saying he would beat him.

The Q&A then kicked off. A question was asked about how Lyla was misgendered by an announcer. She said she wasn't aware of it happening. "These things happen," she said, admitting it might be an unpopular opinion. "cis-gendered people get misgendered all the time. I personally don't think there was any maliciousness behind it," she added. Jericho also remarked about a fan throwing a weiner into the ring at Dynamite, which he said he's never seen in the entirety of his career. Asked about how the company wanted AEW to change the industry, Jericho remarked that the company has already started to change the industry by paying athletes what they deserve.

Moxley said of the WWE, "I was a lot more miserable there than I realized." Although he was grateful for the opportunity, "I was like brain dead for a couple of years there. There was like a whole different person that went to prison and just got out. I'm looking at the world through fresh eyes again." He added that AEW and his role there had lifted "the weight of the world" off his shoulders and freed him to do what he wants.

In a shocking twist, the end of the panel saw Cody Rhodes show up and get into a fight with Chris Jericho. The two were restrained. MJF also showed up to insult the crowd, before expressing his affection for them.

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