Something that made the Double or Nothing match between Cody and Dustin (both FKA the same first names followed by “Rhodes,” also FKA Stardust and Goldust) was the amount of blood involved, an amount that Dustin described as “scary” during an appearance on Talk Is Jericho.
According to the AEW Executive Vice President:
“Well, this is a bigger conversation but I’ll bring it up. Wrestling fans and wrestling analysts have debated how they analyze wrestling. Do they analyze it as sport or do they analyze it as entertainment? I’m not going to tell you which it is because everyone should already know which it is. Which means we should be held to the same standard that Hollywood, that movies, that TV, that Broadway [are]. I don’t mean to sound pretentious in saying that but we should be held to those same standards. When it comes to violence in our industry, when it comes to blood, when it comes to those things it should never be a topic but I love that it is and I understand why. But when it comes up it just … You’ve got to pick a lane. If that makes any sense…
“This isn’t ballet, in terms of the physical side of it. It can get rather hairy and I did not anticipate the amount of blood, but if you’re looking for violence and physical storytelling that’s a big part of what AEW is going to bring. There’s not any guidelines to how our pay-per-views are going to be. They’re treated as a sport-centric product. You can see it in the NBA Finals, somebody gets their eye busted. You see it in boxing, somebody gets a hematoma on their forehead. It happens and it will happen at AEW.”
Whether Double or Nothing felt like a, “sport-centric product,” and what that term, which is has been frequently used in AEW publicity materials, actually means could be subjects of debate, and it’s hard to tell from Cody’s answer whether things like blading will be common practice in AEW. However, it’s clear that the amount of blood in Cody vs. Dustin didn’t deter AEW from presenting itself as more violent and physical than other wrestling on TV in the US and UK, with the possibility of blood something that makes it more of a distinctly different alternative.