Brandi Rhodes was driven off Twitter last week after launching AEW Heels, a community for women who are fans of wrestling that charges an annual fee for membership. Amongst the criticisms levied at Rhodes and AEW, besides the price, was the fact that women's wrestling isn't featured as prominently on AEW Dynamite each week as men's wrestling is. In an interview with TV Insider, AEW Chief Brand Officer Brandi Rhodes discussed why AEW's latest women's wrestling gambit, the Deadly Draw Women's Tag Team Cup Tournament, is being featured on YouTube instead of on Dynamite.
"With YouTube, it's its own show," Rhodes said. "That means we are trusted enough to carry our own show and don't have to be compared to men. We were also not restricted on time. So it's really the dream scenario. Better than finding out when we are live, and something went long, you may only have four minutes to put it out there. That's really hard, especially when you are trying to introduce new women and put that kind of pressure on them. Being it's our own show without the restraints and to be able to tell these stories how we want to is a really great situation."
But though the tournament is on YouTube right now, and next week's episode will feature all experienced competitors rather than a high percentage of rookies as the first two weeks did. Rhodes implies it could lead to a women's tag team division in AEW later on. Asked if that's the plan, Rhodes responded, "The tournament has been really well-received. When I last checked, the first episode surpassed 500,000 views on YouTube, which is kind where people start paying attention and say, 'This is really cool.' On a success level, I think we're doing well. I think it opens the door to possibilities for more as far as the when, where, and why, that isn't something we're not in any rush to do because we're very new. To be able to do something like this and be successful this early is a really good sign."
AEW's Deadly Draw tournament takes place on Mondays at 7 PM on YouTube. Brandi Rhodes will be competing in one of the semi-final matches on this Monday's episode.