“Women’s wrestling is absolutely at its peak right now”
Via Donald Wood Jr. and Ring Rust Radio:
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Brandi Rhodes Interview Transcription
Ring Rust Radio: On Wednesday, January 17 at 10 p.m., you make your debut on E! Network’s hit show WAGS Atlanta. How were you initially approached with this project and what can wrestling fans expect from you on the show?
Brandi Rhodes: I was actually just sought out randomly. They got in touch with my management about a Skype interview to be considered for the show which to me, I thought a Skype interview, they must be in the very early stages of casting for this. So, I thought this was cool, sure no problem. I did my Skype interview with the casting it went well and then a week later had a contract sent to me, so clearly they were not in the beginning stages of casting, they were at the end stages of casting and they just needed one more person. So that’s how I ended up being that ninth girl.
Ring Rust Radio: After spending so much time in wrestling, how has the transition to working on the set of WAGS Atlanta been and have you enjoyed the experience?
Brandi Rhodes: Working on WAGS is obviously very different than working on wrestling television. It’s very different in the way that there is not nearly as much to do for WAGS. More of it was just kind of being my natural self. We go to different places and have different situations and we talk about different things. However, it’s very much just me being me and offering my opinions and things like that. They are very, very different, but it’s nice to have something different to kind of break up the norm of what I’m used to doing on television. It was a lot of fun to get to film some different scenes and try different things out. I would say the most fun that I had is the things I got to do with Cody. We were just are usual selves and people got a chance to see how we are and it was just a lot of fun for sure.
Ring Rust Radio: You were primarily utilized as a ring announcer and backstage interviewer in WWE, but now that you’re wrestling and also managing Cody, how do you believe those experiences in WWE helped prepare you for what you’re doing now?
Brandi Rhodes: That’s a really good question nobody’s asked me that yet so kudos to you. The one thing that makes this, I don’t want to say easier because the learning curve is huge and I’m still making my way here. I would say watching from ringside for so many years and seeing so many different things and watching all these different stories play out, I understand what you want to see. That doesn’t mean I can do it always or accurately, however I understand what people want to see and understand what needs to happen where and when. A lot of people, you would be shocked, this isn’t the most natural thing to understand but it’s one of those things that has helped me so much. As far as putting matches together, when someone starts to say something I would say, you wouldn’t want to do that because it doesn’t make sense and then they go, “Oh yeah, you’re right, how did you know that?” Then I tell I’ve been watching for so long. I just know if it doesn’t fit or it’s out of place, I remember sitting at ringside and looking at the person sitting next to me saying, “What?” It’s just helped to kind of ingrain in my mind what things should look like for a fan and what just make sense.
Ring Rust Radio: Your performance with Cody at Wrestle Kingdom 12 was my favorite that I’ve seen from you two, and you both have nailed your characters. Are you mapping out most of what you do beforehand, or is most of it ad-libbed in front of the fans?
Brandi Rhodes: This sport is such a roller coaster. For me personally, I feed off of the energy around me. So if everybody wants something and they are yelling and they are cheering or they like something or they do not like it and they hate it, I totally go off with that. So with that being said, everything of course is not planned. I was the one that started laughing after the thing that happened with Ibushi. It just felt natural like I should laugh, I got him and I should laugh so of course he started laughing and it was great. It was awesome and everybody got it at that point. Still I am very new to things so a lot of times if there is the opportunity to ask a question then I’m going to. It’s something that I’m seeing it as oh ok this make sense to me but maybe it doesn’t make sense to somebody else so I should run it by someone else. It’s really of those natural organic moments where you just know what you should do.
Ring Rust Radio: You were there first hand as the WWE’s women’s revolution kicked into high gear. Now that you are part of Ring of Honor’s Women of Honor championship tournament, how do you feel about the state of women’s wrestling and do you believe you can win the tournament?
Brandi Rhodes: One thing I know to be true is you should never put yourself in anything you don’t think you can win. You might as well be an idiot if you enter contests thinking I don’t think I can win but I’m going to try! Women’s wrestling is absolutely at its peak right now. It’s at the top of its game and is getting so much attention and so many eyes and it should be. Women are stepping up, they are performing, they are showing that we are athletes as well and we deserve the attention we are getting. This is an incredible time to be part of a women’s division, any women’s division really because they’re so solid. The girls are really good and really different and that’s great. I don’t think we have anywhere in wrestling right now two of the same girls trying to be the same girl if that makes any sense. It is just so unique and everyone is soaring right now. It’s great and it’s a positive thing and I hope that it keeps growing and who knows what heights were going to get to?
Ring Rust Radio: Many in the wrestling business say nothing can compare to the enormity of WrestleMania, but Wrestle Kingdom in the Tokyo Dome may be the closest thing. Having been part of both, how would you say Wrestle Kingdom compares to WrestleMania in terms of scale and importance?
Brandi Rhodes: For me it’s kind of an unfair question because I was in two very different roles for each of those. Naturally for me, Wrestle Kingdom had this vastness that the other didn’t because my role was so different. I’m very proud to have been part of Wrestle Kingdom and it never dawned on me the entire time I was out there that almost 40,000 people were out there too. It was just a live in the moment, enjoy what I’m doing type of thing. I don’t add a lot of pressure or take away pressure based on crowds. I am the same amount nervous at Center Stage in Atlanta that I am at the Tokyo Dome in Wrestle Kingdom. It’s all the same to me. The level of performance is the same, the amount that I want to do well is the exact same, and after it’s really cool to get to see what the feedback was socially insane and see how many people watched and how many people enjoyed the show. That’s the biggest difference show is that I would say between the two shows is how much people interact because it’s so much bigger. Really, for me Wrestle Kingdom was the greatest thing I’ve achieved so far.
Ring Rust Radio: With how successful you and Cody have been around the world in wrestling, and now expanding further into mainstream entertainment with WAGS Atlanta, has WWE contacted you about returning and is that something you would consider?
Brandi Rhodes: Wow what a question. All I can say is that we are doing really well with everything that we are doing and we are very happy on this path that we are on and we are happy for every success everyone is having in wrestling right now. I think that everything is continuing to grow were continuing to grow to sky’s the limit.