All Elite Wrestling found itself in a controversial situation back in late June when, during the Fyter Fest event in Daytona Beach, Shawn Spears ran in the ring and smacked Cody Rhodes on the head with an unprotected chair shot. The lip of the chair caught Rhodes on the back of the head, creating a gash that would require 12 staples to close. AEW president Tony Khan stated after the show that bloody violence like that would not be featured on AEW Dynamite each week, while The Young Bucks explained that the injury was caused by a malfunctioning gimmicked chair.
While there have been plenty of wild and dangerous matches on AEW since then, there haven't been any unprotected shots to the head. According to Rhodes, who appeared on Collider Live on Wednesday with his wife Brandi, that change was deliberately made following his head injury.
"The lip got me, the lip of the chair," Rhodes explained. "Tony went out and put out a statement properly, as he did. We went to great pains to 'take back' chair shots but soldering and ironing out a proper way to do it, and we just didn't get all of it."
"That was day one and done of the props department," Brandi said.
Cody continued, "But I was totally okay in doing it, and here's why — Captain America is hitting people in the head with his shield and no one is screaming 'concussion!' No one is screaming 'CTE!' No one is making any of these references. If you're going to hold us to a certain standard at this point, in 2019 if we're talking to you as part of an entertainment brand, then you can't hold us to an older standard if that makes any sense. So I wanted to take chair shots back for wrestling. However, I don't think that was a success. And I think maybe that was the last head shot in AEW with a chair."
Rhodes said on top of the injury itself, part of the decision came from the backlash the spot received from AEW fans. His feud with Spears culminated in a match at the All Out pay-per-view in August. After Tully Blanchard, Arn Anderson and MJF all got involved, Rhodes beat Spears with a CrossRhodes in the middle of the ring. Days after the match AEW announced that Rhodes, who has not suffered a loss in a singles match since the company launched, would take on Chris Jericho for the AEW World Championship at the Full Gear pay-per-view on Nov. 9.