This past Saturday was a big night for AEW. Their Double or Nothing pay-per-view in Las Vegas, Nevada had drawn eyes from across the wrestling and entertainment world, and to say the expectations for the company’s first ever PPV were high, is a bit of an understatement.
Fortunately the company and its incredibly talented roster rose to the occasion, putting on a show that left the wrestling world in an absolute frenzy of delight, excitement, and hope for the future of the company and the wrestling business.
AEW trended world wide on social media thanks to the unveiling of their first world championship by Bret “The Hitman” Hart, the incredibly entertaining matches, and Cody Rhodes less than subtle jab at WWE’s Triple H. But things truly exploded with the surprise debut of former WWE wrestling Dean Ambrose, now known as Jon Moxley.
It was without a doubt one of the most thrilling nights professional wrestling has had in a long time, and due to that many people took notice, and not all of them were wrestling fans. In fact, one of the most prominent young members of Congress took notice as well. I’m speaking of course of Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, known to her fans and foes alike as AOC.
After Double or Nothing ended, in-ring talent and AEW Executive Vice President Cody Rhodes took some time to speak with the press about the evening’s matches, his shot at Triple H, signing Jon Moxley, and a number of other topics. AOC took notice to one question in particular, and that was when Cody was asked about the strong presence of diversity on AEW’s roster.
“Well, I’m in an interracial marriage, and I’ve learned a lot that I would have never known.” said Cody in response to the question. “One time I told Brandi– I said ‘I don’t see color.’ And she said, ‘Well, then you don’t see my experience.’ And I thought, ‘Oh, that’s… you’re right. I can’t just say that.'”
“You need to be able to see that experience and at least understand it. The old territory system of ‘just one’–that’s out. The best wrestlers, they’re going to field the game and that’s a very diverse profile. I’m really proud of that, but I know we’re not going to make that–we’re going to promote them as wrestlers. We’re not going to make it a PR element for us. I’m really proud of that. It’s about the wrestling.”
AOC is known for being a champion of diversity, and she took to Twitter to show how struck she was by Rhodes words, tweeting “This exchange is a promising peek into what growth looks like in our national discourse on race. Thanks for sharing your experience in this powerful moment @CodyRhodes.”
This exchange is a promising peek into what growth looks like in our national discourse on race.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 26, 2019
This isn’t the first time AOC has crossed over with the world of fandom — in January 2019 the freshman congresswoman quoted a line from Alan Moore’s legendary comic book Watchmen on Twitter, much to the delight of comic and pop culture fans.
As with most of her statements on diversity and race, AOC is once again on the mark here. Her recognition of Cody and AEW is well deserved, and hopefully other companies in the business will look at AEW as an example of how to do things right in the vein of diversity. Employing wrestlers like Sonny Kiss, Isiah Kassidy, and Nyla Rose, the first ever trans professional wrestler in a major company, are examples everyone should look to.
You can view Cody’s full press conference after Double or Nothing here.
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