One of the questions I get most frequently is "so...what's it like to be married to a wrestler???" The answer's probably going to shock you guys. It's not what you'd think. He doesn't body slam me on the bed for craps and giggles. He doesn't go around breaking things or ripping his shirt down the middle like good ol' Hulkster used to do in the ring. We don't sit around watching hours upon hours a day of wrestling footage. Well, at least I don't. He has a very strong bond to this business, he grew up in it. I did not. I just liked Koko B Ware as a kid 😊. I am not a huge fanatic and I don't have to be, by default. So...what is it actually like? Well, here goes. When I first started dating Cody I thought the attention was cool. People coming up and telling him they were fans, kinda neat. Before working for WWE I'd get recognized here and there from some of my published shoots or commercials but that was once in a blue moon. 5 years later though, I feel a little differently.
Check this scenario: you're in mid conversation with your husband about something rather important and basically out of nowhere a man jumps right in front of you (like you're not there) and yells "OMG YOU'RE CODY RHODES". Then the pictures start (which You often end up taking to get them to please go away so you can finish your conversation- yes, may as well add photographer to your list of many accomplishments) and then autographs, then waving the whole family over to look at you awkwardly and then FINALLY peace again (if you don't count all of the stares coming from the surrounding audience that has gathered trying to figure out who on earth you are and why you caused such a disturbance.) Anyway, back to that super important conversation you were having...dammit. Now you've completely forgotten what you were even saying!
That's an average day guys. Most of it is me by default being treated like I'm not a real person, because I'm with this wrestler, who is also not real. One time we were at Disney World, FULLY engaged in a moment kissing. Kissing. Yes. And a grown man came up and tapped Cody on the shoulder and asked for a picture. 🙄 Talk about romantic! There are some amazing fan interactions though. True fans I think react very differently than casual fans do. The casual fan will get Starstruck and nearly punch me in the face to get close to Cody. Long time fans know that I'm his wife and will be nice and cordial to me, but a lot of times I keep walking when people approach to avoid...situations. So if you see me and you would like to say hello to me, that's great! You'll have to say something though because most of the time I'm high-tailing it to get out of playing photographer or getting asked a random question like "are you his manager?" Or my favorite which I tweeted about recently "are you with that wrestler guy?" 😂 No. I just wanted to have dinner with a stranger tonight and he seemed fit for the job!
But, like I said, there are really good interactions. Like when we go to dinner and are greeted as "Mr & Mrs Rhodes" without having made a reservation. When we go to the theme parks and get the absolute royal treatment because people know us and know how big of fans we are of the different parks and rides. And when we check in for our flights (like today) and are greeted with hand shakes, professional behavior and good care taken of our bags. Or kids. Kids are great. They are always so genuine and well mannered and happy to say hello :)
Growing up learning about the news industry I was given a good bit of advice. This was by a college professor actually. They told me that news is unlike any form of TV, in that people see news anchors faces every single day. It becomes a situation where they think they know you. Like you're a friend or a sister of theirs. They'll come up and talk to you like they've known you for years. I always thought that was very strange, but understandable. Wrestling is the same way. For 10 years my husband has been on people's screens for ATLEAST 2 nights a week, not too mention his Dad for how many years? They feel connected with him, like family. It really is quite interesting...one of the most common things that happens to both of us actually is people think they talk to us on Facebook! Other than fan pages, we don't have Facebook accounts! Still, more often than not we will meet people who say "hey Brandi its Jane from Facebook!" I'll say "oh man, I'm sorry but I don't have a Facebook. You're communicating with someone who's impersonating me." This bewilders people! They are more apt to believe we've been talking every single day on Facebook, than to believe someone is pretending to be me. This even happens with family members and friends. They follow fake accounts and think they are talking to us, until we clear it up. That's actually kind of scary!
The best thing I can tell you about being married to a wrestler is that all of these random interactions aside, I am super blessed. I got married to a really good man. I never wanted to marry anyone in the sports or entertainment industry because of the things that you hear. Thank goodness I did not let that stop me. I married an honest man with the utmost morals and values. I married a man that wanted to marry me because he loved me. Not for any gain. Someone who truly wants to be a provider and do the right things, not just as a husband, but as a person. I don't know if that's what it's like to be married to a "wrestler". I've only been married to one and it's the best thing I've ever done, saying yes when that man asked me to marry him and taking that leap of faith. Now I'm not telling anyone to go out and marry a wrestler, that's your own business. I'm saying that at the end of the day I am very fortunate. That is all!