The women's division in AEW has come under scrutiny since the brand launched on television in October with fans believing there hasn't been enough storytelling. Brandi Rhodes, who also serves as the Chief Brand Officer of AEW, changed that by assembling the Nightmare Collective, though the Nightmare Collective didn't receive the warmest reception from AEW fans.
Speaking to Yahoo Sports, Brandi addressed the criticism of the Nightmare Collective and stated that there is more going on in the women's division than just her group.
“Our fans have been very vocal about it from the very beginning,” Rhodes said. “They’re a little spoiled, but that’s OK because we love them and we will spoil them. One of the things they said that they wanted was stories for the women. Now we are starting to see certain stories develop, ‘Nightmare Collective’ being one of them, but it’s certainly not the only story in the women’s division. There’s a lot of other things happening that people can look at and see where their feelings lie. There’s definitely potential this year for a lot to happen within this division and people should be excited about new stories forming.”
In recent weeks, Britt Baker has been spotlighted more, developing into more a heel character by running down announcers Tony Schiavone and Jim Ross. Riho serves as AEW Women's Champion, but has missed shows due to her commitments with Stardom. The company also features Nyla Rose, Shanna, Big Swole, Hikaru Shida and more.
On the state and diversity of the women's division, Brandi said, “I hope that we will acquire more talent as time goes on and you’ll continue to see the same trend in that we’re just looking for amazing performers, regardless of where they are from or what their backgrounds are. It’s a big recipe for success and having a comfortable environment for these ladies backstage. A lot of people have said that they look at AEW as kind of a snapshot of what their world looks like today. Everybody sees something that they can identify with.”
As for the Nightmare Collective, the group underwent a change on AEW Dark when Awesome Kong was kicked out following an attack by Luther and Mel.
Elsewhere in the interview, Brandi discussed how she juggles her work behind the scenes and on camera.
“It’s honestly very fun juggling the two,” Rhodes said. “I’m the one on the team that everyone trusts and says to let Brandi be the one to do it, to talk about it, to show up and speak on things. It’s an honor to have that role, but it comes very naturally to me. This company is my number one passion, so it’s very easy for me to share my passion with other people.”
Fightful will have live coverage of AEW Dynamite beginning at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday.