Fyter Fest event on Saturday night from the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, Florida, was yet another well-received show from the budding AEW promotion. However one moment during the show left many fans cringing, as it hearkened back to a time in wrestling where certain precautions weren't taken, particularly with avoiding concussions.
After his match with Darby Allin ended in a 20-minute time limit draw, Cody Rhodes turned around and was smacked right on the head with a steal chair by Shawn Spears (WWE's Tye Dillinger), effectively turning him heel.
Cody Rhodes helped out of the ring after a brutal hit to the head 🙏🏻June 30, 2019
Rhodes had to be helped to the back and later revealed that while he was not diagnosed with a concussion, he did need 12 staples in his head in order to close the wound.
In a media scrum after the show, both the Young Bucks and AEW president Tony Khan spoke about the situation and company's outlook on unprotected chair shots to the head. Because of medical discoveries in recent years regarding concussions and CTE, many companies (including WWE) have outlawed them from matches.
According to Nick Jackson, there was a precaution going into the spot but a malfunction with the chair caused Rhodes' injury.
"You think it was unprotected, and I'll leave it at that," he said. "That was all Cody's idea. I think, see I didn't even know what happened to be honest. All I know is that he did get staples. So I'm going to have to look back and I'll have a comment on it later. I do know that they 'gimmicked' the chair. And it clearly didn't work, right? Because he was bloody."
Khan stated that Rhodes was immediately examined by a doctor after making it backstage.
"[We] call[ed] a doctor immediately, it was really regrettable what happened. I don't know if this is the time to go into detail about what happened. But we had taken precautions in the situation, in that specific situation and a doctor was available. Cody does not have a concussion, he has staples, and we're all very grateful for that."
"All I'm going to say to you guys on it right now, and I will talk about it more in detail, you could build the safest airplane in the world," he added later in the interview. "And if there's pilot error, there's pilot error. And it was not good."
The show also featured a non-sanctioned match between Jon Moxley and Joey Janela as well as a hardcore match on the preshow between Michael Nakazawa and Alex Jebailey. Khan clarified that a lot of the violence and profanity seen during the show would not be present on the weekly live TNT this this fall.
"No, definitely not," Khan said. "This was not TV, this was a streaming show. It was effectively a pay-per-view in a lot of the world, in the US it was presented free, but it was a pay-per-view. So you can expect different rules for pay-per-view. And we said going in, these are non-sanctioned, hardcore matches. And I think that was the expectation going in, and we wouldn't have advertised that kind of violence. We wouldn't have offered that on TNT, 100% no."
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