Cody Praises Sting; Angle Talks Vince McMahon Confusing WWE Fans; Carlito on AEW

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 17, 2021

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR WWE - WWE Superstar Sting makes his first ever WrestleMania appearance at Levi’s Stadium on Sunday, March 29, 2015 in Santa Clara, CA. WrestleMania broke the Levi’s Stadium attendance record at 76,976 fans from all 50 states and 40 countries. (Don Feria/AP Images for WWE)
Don Feria/Associated Press

Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe.

    

Cody Talks Sting's Importance to AEW

Since making his surprise debut on an episode of AEW Dynamite in December, Sting has been a regular part of AEW programming.

He appears weekly on Dynamite to cut promos or make his presence felt, and he is set to team with TNT champion Darby Allin against Brian Cage and Ricky Starks at next month's Revolution pay-per-view.

In an interview with Joseph Staszewski of the New York Post, AEW star and executive vice president Cody Rhodes discussed Sting and why he means so much to the company:

"When he walks through the back, the common area right before you get to the go position where my office is, where Tony [Khan's] office is, there is the common area, and when he walks through there, it changes the mood.

"Every local who might be working 'Dark' that night, guy who is chomping away, then when you see him he really brings this great presence. That alone is really invaluable, and the fact that he's on TV and we've only seen the tip of the iceberg with I think what Sting is capable of."

Sting hasn't had a match yet in AEW and isn't likely to wrestle much, but having one of the biggest stars in the history of the business on television and in the locker room undoubtedly helps give AEW a big-time feel.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

For a promotion that is really still in its infancy, building that type of legitimacy is important, and Sting brings that to the table because of all the success he enjoyed as one of the faces of WCW for over a decade.

In addition to praising Sting, Cody talked about his desire to have a match against Sting, which would be fitting since Cody's late father, Dusty Rhodes, is synonymous with WCW as well.

Since Cody is one of AEW's top stars, it stands to reason that a match against Sting will happen if he wants it.

AEW will likely have to get creative in that scenario since Sting is 61 and has a history of neck injuries, but given what wrestling companies have been able to do in the realm of cinematic matches during the COVID-19 pandemic, it shouldn't be too difficult for AEW to find ways to utilize Sting.

    

Angle Says Vince Likes to Confuse, Rile Up Fans

WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle has known WWE Chairman Vince McMahon for many years, and he recently shared some insight on Vince's mindset when it comes to dealing with WWE's fans.

On an episode of The Kurt Angle Show (h/t Phillip Hendrix of Ringside News), the Olympic gold medalist talked about the rationale behind some of McMahon's decisions:

"Vince listens to the fans, he does. Whether he does things on purpose to tick the fans off, and I think he likes to get them riled up, but he has a psychology to it. It's not ... he always does something to bring them [the fans] back.

"He loves the attention. He loves making noise, he loves doing big things, and he likes making it hard for the fans to understand and confused every once in a while. Being ... basically being frustrated as a fan? Sometimes it makes you want to watch even more to see if they change the stuff up."

Wrestling fans tend to be as critical as any fanbase in entertainment, and McMahon is likely well aware that every booking decision he makes is viewed under a microscope.

WWE, like any wrestling company, has some storylines and angles that work perfectly and others that leave most fans shaking their heads in disappointment or disbelief.

Angle seemingly thinks McMahon creates some of the latter situations on purpose in order to get fans talking, and there is no question he does precisely that quite often.

Being a wrestling fan isn't always easy since it sometimes requires wading through the bad stuff in order to get to the good, but few things are more rewarding than a great wrestling rivalry or match.

Ratings are way down for WWE compared to where they were during the Attitude Era or even just 10 years ago, but the company is more financially successful than ever, which means McMahon must be doing something right.

    

Carlito Open to Working with both AEW and WWE

After making his surprise return to WWE in the men's Royal Rumble match last month, Carlito is open to any good opportunities in wrestling moving forward.

During a recent appearance on Whattaday with Joe Lowry (h/t WrestlingInc.com's Jason Ounpraseuth), Carlito suggested that while he doesn't know what the future holds, he is open to offers from WWE and AEW: "Man, who knows? As of now, I'm open to whatever kind of idea is out there. Right now, I'm on my own. I'm just open to whatever comes my way."

Carlito added: "Whatever great idea is out there, I'm willing to listen and see if I fit in there somehow."

It had been about a decade since Carlito appeared in WWE before he showed up in the Rumble and popped the fans watching at home.

Carlito also wrestled the next night on Raw, teaming with Jeff Hardy in a victory over Elias and Jaxson Ryker.

While Carlito has not been seen on WWE programming since, it is unclear if his stint with WWE is over or if WWE is biding its time and waiting to insert him into something else.

If he is done with WWE for the time being, Carlito could be a potential target for AEW since the promotion has not shied away from signing performers who wrestled in WWE in the past.

The 41-year-old Carlito is in better shape now than at any other point in his career, and there is no denying the resume he put together in WWE during his heyday.

Carlito is a former Intercontinental, United States and Tag Team champion in WWE, and he has long been a favorite of fans.

If any company brings him in moving forward, it would likely be a smart move in terms of generating interest in the product.  

     

Listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot wrestling topics. Catch the latest episode in the player below (warning: some language NSFW).