Wrestling

Brandi Rhodes says she saw AEW drift from its original vision before departing

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All Elite Wrestling

Her husband took the high road when he was given an opportunity on The MMA Hour to join the debate about the state of AEW that’s been raging since CM Punk’s visit to the same show on Monday. Brandi Rhodes didn’t go low while talking to The Athletic’s Chris Vannini for a larger piece about Cody, but she did give the discussion a new talking point.

In covering the Rhodes’ 2022 departure from the company they helped create just a few years earlier, Vannini notes that Brandi — who served as AEW’s Chief Brand Officer — never thought they’d leave. However, she says:

“What I feared with that company, I was seeing before my eyes. When you start to see things drift from the original vision and… I’ve seen this happen before, then you start to (think) this may not be what we thought it was.”

There’s no additional information, just a reminder that Cody said they at the time they left because of an unspecified “personal issue”.

It all has people reconsidering another portion of Cody’s interview with The MMA Hour’s Ariel Helwani where he spoke about whether or not we’d see his wife at WrestleMania this weekend. He didn’t lay the blame solely at AEW’s feet, and certainly didn’t name names. But he was clearly not happy with how Brandi was treated by the wrestling world at large after they left, and it seems her husband thinks some at AEW could have spoken up in support of her when that was happening:

“That woman got hugely scapegoated and hugely just misinformation, and everyone knows who they are that was involved. If ever there was a moment for her to just feel like a princess and feel like somebody who did a lot more for wrestling, there’s many people working at AEW who, she was the one who said their name. She was the name who wanted to keep them in the fold when something went wrong.

“For how she was treated after the departure — and this is not by any company, just in general — it pissed me off to this day, and I look forward to just… she had a great experience last year at WrestleMania. She felt that love again, and I look forward to that just because I could not do this without her — could not play this game.“

What specific issues had the Rhodes concerned or upset? They’re not saying, but we’re sure plenty of people have theories they’ll share.

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