AEW boasts a diversified roster that consists of former WWE Superstars, as well as wrestlers who cut their teeth on the independent scene. However, while former WWE alumni such as Jon Moxley and Miro had to change ring-names, since WWE owns their likenesses, the indie darlings have been allowed to use their personas from the independent circuit.
AEW stars such as "Bad Boy" Joey Janela, Darby Allin, and Orange Cassidy all made a name for themselves on the independent scene. Their unorthodox wrestling style, outlandish attires and personas have kept the same traits intact on AEW.
Cody Rhodes on indie stars keeping their personas intact on AEW
Speaking to USA Today, AEW's co-Executive Vice President and current TNT Champion Cody Rhodes revealed why the company lets independent stars retain their personas. Cody stated that trying to tamper with their personas would be "insulting" to the respective wrestlers:
"(It) would be insulting if we took someone who was playing in these VFWs, bingo halls, PAL centers, even some of the larger-scale independents — because the independent business pre-COVID was doing fairly well at a lot of the more mom-and-pop large scale independents. It would be doing a disservice to the fandom they’ve already built."
Cody will be defending the TNT Championship this Wednesday on AEW Dynamite's one-year anniversary episode against Orange Cassidy. The self-proclaimed "King of Sloth Style" has become a fan-favorite on AEW for his unusual denim-clad attire and unorthodox, laid-back wrestling style.Published 14 Oct 2020, 08:09 IST