AEW: Brandi Rhodes and her underrated passion for wrestling

AEW, Brandi Rhodes (Photo by Presley Ann/Getty Images for TNT)
AEW, Brandi Rhodes (Photo by Presley Ann/Getty Images for TNT) /

Brandi Rhodes has an unmeasurable passion for AEW and wrestling.

There is an old saying about an athlete who has the heart of a champion, and that’s all that can describe Brandi Rhodes as she made her return on AEW Dark. Brandi has been through a lot over the years and it has made her who she is as a competitor and businesswoman. It would be foolish to question Brandi’s dedication and love from what she has done since her debut to now.

The very first time seeing Brandi, she was a ring announcer while signed to WWE. She had some memorable moments on all major shows as a ring announcer and even had a chance to ring announce at Wrestlemania.

With all the knowledge that came later, she wasn’t looking to become the next Lillian Garcia or Tony Chimel. She received training to be a wrestler but wasn’t given the green light to put her skills to the test in the ring.

Even though it wasn’t what Brandi wanted, she still stuck with it for the time being as a way to be in the ring any way she could. If fans watch past shows, they could see how engaged she was with what was happening in the ring.

She eventually took on a more hands-on role after she left WWE and started to appear in the ring facing the likes of Jordynne Grace and Tessa Blanchard. This continued as she signed with Impact Wrestling along with her husband Cody Rhodes.

The skepticism was high against Brandi Rhodes at the time since most fans couldn’t look past the fact she was an announcer, but she continued to excel at her role. She stood by Cody’s side when he won the Impact world title, and she even competed in matches for contention of the Knockouts championship.

After Brandi left Impact, she didn’t hold out, she continued to compete for various promotions and kept striking while the iron was hot. This includes Ring of Honor, which was on the rise again in 2017.

She didn’t need a major promotion that had a national or regular television deal and exposure. She kept going no matter the platform. This was just before the birth of AEW, and she kept going with the same hunger and drive like she had everything to lose not competing in the ring.

That brings us to AEW and one of the biggest success stories for anyone in the business. She went from ring announcer to chief brand officer for AEW. That alone was enough to feel the energy and emotion with every match and endeavor.

Brandi was finding herself in other ways, but not everything will be perfect. During the early days of AEW, Brandi stretched and saw how far she could go with her own faction then known as the Nightmare Collective.

The stable didn’t work out as planned and Brandi was trying to find herself more as an on-screen personality. Unfortunately, some fans used it as leverage in their argument against Brandi to try and wreck her credibility.

Nightmare Collective from a creative standpoint was a risk, but the fact they tried it anyway showed how far Brandi was willing to go with an opportunity she previously didn’t have before. Even though it didn’t work out, it’s a testament to her giving something new a try.

She started to find herself just before she got pregnant and it came in the form of a rivalry with upcoming superstar Jade Cargill. She took on a more direct approach as a competitor who will protect what she has built at all costs from a personal and company standpoint.

Brandi Rhodes’s return will be interesting to watch

Fast forward to post-pregnancy, Brandi Rhodes made her return as an in-ring competitor on AEW Dark. It was the first time in over a year seeing Brandi compete, and she was in top form in the ring.

She came out victorious in more ways than one for that episode because she proved she can still go in the ring. Brandi looked her absolute best in the ring and she found that groove she has been looking for her whole career.

The emotion can be felt as she still had people who doubt whether she can pull it off, be a believable threat, or be a person who can have good matches. There should be no doubt from anyone who once doubted her anymore.

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Brandi is just getting started in AEW as a competitor and businesswoman. Everything she has gone through will be something to think about no matter what her next moves will be. If there was any doubt Brandi has a love for wrestling and AEW, there should be no doubt anymore. Keep watching AEW Dark and see what Brandi has in store next for fans.