In a family of true wrestling royalty, Brandi Rhodes is ready to take her place as the crown jewel of the Rhodes family.
Rhodes’s father-in-law is wrestling legend Dusty Rhodes and her husband is former WWE star and Ring of Honor champion Cody Rhodes. She now looks to make her own history as the first-ever Women of Honor champion in Ring of Honor.
“Being a part of the Women of Honor championship tournament is historical,” said Rhodes, who opens the 16-woman tournament against Karen Q on Saturday in Nashville. “The thought that I could be the first-ever Women of Honor champion is just surreal. I’m honored to be a part of this elite group of women, and I will be fighting with everything that I have to be the woman that comes out on top.”
Like her husband, the 34-year-old Rhodes also worked for WWE. Known as Eden Stiles, she was a ring announcer from 2013–2016 but requested her release shortly after Cody exited the company.
Rhodes left WWE with the seemingly outlandish idea that she could be a bigger star outside the company than she was inside Vince McMahon’s wrestling conglomerate. Two years later, that dream is turning into reality.
Rhodes just returned from standing in Cody’s corner at New Japan’s Wrestle Kingdom 12 in Tokyo, and she played a role in his standout match against Kota Ibushi. She was also the only woman involved in the Bullet Club’s invasion of WWE’s Raw last September, and is now starring in WAGS Atlanta on E!, with her season-premiere taking place on Wednesday.
“I grew up with hopes and dreams, with the idea they would become real if I put the work in,” explained Rhodes. “I’m a big fan of working for things. If everything was handed to me, I wouldn’t appreciate it. I put a thought of how I want my work to look right now, and I still have a list a mile long of what I want to accomplish.”
WAGS Atlanta follows the lives of wives and girlfriends of famous athletes in Georgia, and will allow audiences to get to know Rhodes as well as open up a window into her marriage.
“People know I take good bikini pictures, but I also want them to get to know who I am,” said Rhodes. “You’ll also see why my marriage with Cody works so well. We’re natural with each other. He trusts me and doesn’t micromanage me, and I trust him. Working together is not work for us.”
The relationship between Brandi and Cody is as genuine as it is compelling. Rhodes stood in the balcony this past June when her husband found his smile and captured the Ring of Honor championship at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium, and she injured herself racing toward him in the post-match celebration.
“When it comes to Cody, I get nervous,” said Rhodes. “Someone actually told me that my lip was shaking as I watched him during a WrestleMania match.
“When Cody won the Ring of Honor title, I rushed out of my seats, tripped on the steps, and bruised my leg in front of a couple fans. I just didn’t want to miss a moment with him. That is how much I care about my husband, I care so much I get clumsy.”
Cody Rhodes and the Young Bucks are the architects behind the September 2018 “All In” wrestling show that is designed to fill up a 10,000-seat arena, and Brandi Rhodes—perhaps with the Women of Honor championship around her waist—will also be part of the historic show.
“I’ve been fortunate to mesh so well with Cody’s friends in the Young Bucks, Kenny Omega, and Adam Page,” said Rhodes. “The sky is the limit for those guys, and I’m there to support in any way I can.”
Rhodes’ work on WAGS Atlanta will allow viewers the opportunity to watch her wrestle with traditional Southern values while still remaining true to her own beliefs.
“I’m not from the south, I am from Michigan, and Atlanta is very engrained in its southern roots,” said Rhodes. “Many of the wealthy women cater to their men. Here I am, ‘Big Dreams’ Brandi, I don’t have kids, and I want to wrestle. I don’t have kids. I have a very different life than all of these other women. Their lifestyles and expectations are very different than mine.
“One of the women told me that her life is all about taking care of everything so her husband can just focus on pitching. That is not my life. I don’t just make sure Cody wrestles, I make sure he wrestles, takes care of the dogs, pays his bills, and that’s along with everything else, because that’s the way I grew up. Me fitting into this dynamic of Southern Belle is funny. Some of the women can’t believe I wrestle. I tell them it’s not because I have to, it’s because I want to.”