Since the launch of AEW one of the most poorly received elements of the promotion has been the Nightmare Collective. A group consisting of Brandi Rhodes and Awesome Kong who had a penchant for collecting the hair of their fallen victims.
Fans heavily criticised the collective since its inception but the backlash reached boiling point in an angle that involved the group interfering in the AEW Women’s Championship match between Kris Statlander and Riho.
In the following weeks, the focus was taken away from the collective and they were rarely seen on TV until recently when the group seemed to disband with Kong being ousted and put on the shelf by Mel.
Leader and spokesperson of the collective, Brandi Rhodes recently addressed the beginning, the backlash and the end of the group on Wrestling Observer Live.
Rhodes said of the beginning of the group;
“The original thing was supposed to be myself managing Awesome Kong. She came to me with the idea to change her look and vibe but still being an assassin of sorts, a threat to the women’s division. She had the idea to cut hair as a trophy, to keep. And Awesome Kong is not a talker, so naturally, a good fit was for me to be the one to talk. Unfortunately, you can layout a huge trajectory of what you want to do and sometimes things happen that don’t allow that to happen. One of the things I noticed was Awesome Kong was not physically feeling great. I would never want to ask somebody to work in a capacity where I know they’re going to hurt themselves.”
The group would expand by adding Mel and ‘Japanese Deathmatch Legend’ Luther. These additions were also heavily criticised due to the bizarre and awkward ways they were introduced and Brandi was all too aware.
“One of the things we claim at AEW is we let the artists play their music the way they want to play it. I’m one of the artists that’s part of the Nightmare Collective and I started to see the music was not playing how I liked it. I didn’t feel it. Audience members were on the same page as me. I was starting to feel like, ‘I’m not really understanding this’ or things were happening too quickly. A big misconception is AEW made changes. Not at all. I did. 100%. If I’m going to do something, I want to be happy with it and I was not happy with it. I wasn’t happy with me in it, how other people were being perceived and portrayed. I made the decision to do the therapist series. People loved it and it was cool and that was just me. I didn’t want to take TV time, I wanted to do it on my own.”
The therapist sessions that Brandi referred to were videos posted on social media showing Brandi discussing her reasoning behind the creation of the group. In the videos, she explains to her “therapist” how she has come to realise the error of her ways and remove herself from the group.
Check out the videos below.
As the regular AEW Dynamite reviewer, I have been highly critical of the Nightmare Collective and everything they have done. The disbanding of the group can be nothing but a step in the right direction and hopefully, we can get back to AEW creating a credible women’s division.
Many thanks to Fightful.com for the transcription of the interview.
What do you make of Brandi’s words and are you glad to see the back of the collective? Let us know below and as always stay tuned to Diva Dirt for all of your AEW news, reviews and updates.