black women in wrestling

The most influential black women in pro wrestling

Brandi Rhodes

Brandi Rhodes has a somewhat divisive presence on online these days. At any rate, she has effectively created a new lane as the first African American woman to hold an executive position at a professional wrestling company.

AEW’s Chief Brand Officer has been a wrestler, valet, commentator, and ring announcer. But her current role is uncharted territory for black women. This position is usually reserved for white men.

Stephanie McMahon, who holds the same position for WWE, is one of the few exceptions.

Nevertheless, it’s hard to describe how powerful it is to see an African American woman as one of the creative voices behind a major wrestling company. Under her watch, AEW just crowned the first black transgender woman to hold a world title at a major promotion, Nyla Rose.

In a business with a murky history with sexist and racist stereotypes, this change was long overdue. Even more, this opens the door for more representation at the top of the industry.

No matter what your opinion of her in-ring ability or on-screen character is, Rhodes is undeniably a role model from women from all walks of life. She proved that they can aspire to create a positive change in wrestling as an executive, as well.