Brandi Rhodes joined Tony Schiavone and Aubrey Edwards on the AEW Unrestricted podcast to talk about her early life as a figure skater and her current role as AEW’s Chief Brand Officer. Rhodes talked about the first time she met Tony Khan and how well informed he was about her life.
“It sort of seemed like overnight the spark started with Cody talking to The Young Bucks about some guy named Tony Khan. I heard a lot of names float in and out for a while, and Tony Khan just kept sticking. So I was intrigued and interested, and I looked in to Tony and found out that he’s a legitimate person. He’s not just a concept,” Rhodes said. “I became interested in OK well if this is going to be real, then I want to meet this person. What are the next steps? I was actually one of the first people to have a meeting with Tony.
“It was a wonderful bit because I was prepared for a meeting in which I would have to be selling myself to somebody and having to say, ‘OK, these are all my strengths. This is what I do. This is what I’m thinking about. This is how I can help pull all of these things together.’ When we sat down, he told me everything about myself since I was 17, and it was all right. So then I was like, ‘cool, want to get a drink because you got this all wrapped up?'”
Rhodes has spoken in the past about how being AEW Chief Brand Officer is a dream come true. She did admit that there was a stigma she has gotten for the perceived notion that she only got the job because of who she is married to.
“The only hesitation I ever had was the hesitation that a lot of women are made to have in positions like this which is that people would say, ‘well, the only reason you’re doing this job is because who you’re married to.’ That obviously happened. I’m still alive. I still have the job, so it didn’t really hurt,” Rhodes said. “That’s the natural thing, you don’t want to do something great for yourself then getting get a lot of backlash for doing something that was good for you.”
Rhodes has talked about the importance of diversity in AEW, and she reiterated that point when asked about AEW’s efforts to be more diverse. She talks about how AEW does not try to check boxes and gives everyone opportunities based on their merit.
“If there was anything that was my number one thing in taking on this role is how can I make a difference as quickly as possible in this light because I’m a woman of color, so I’ve seen a lot,” she said. “I’ve been through a lot of different things in my life where I was always the only person with my experience. There was never anyone else that could relate on any level like that.
“The way that this place has come together has been really beautiful. Nothing comes up in these discussions when talent is pitched. It’s just they’re really great at this. Watch this video. They have a great following. Cool, let’s do it regardless of any background. No one is is sitting there like, ‘well, you know we got a guy that’s doing this already.’ It’s just all merit based. You just do that, it opens up the world to everybody as opposed to just trying to check boxes and fit people into different roles. I think we’ll continue to grow and be more diverse over time. This is just the very beginning, but I’m really happy with what we have put together.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit AEW Unrestricted with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.