We talk a lot about current fashion trends but we don't talk much about my in-ring fashion and what it all means. When I first started wrestling my name was "Eden". I'm traditionally an over prepared person, so before I had my first match I had plenty of gear made and ready to go in the case I got called to wrestle on the fly. Back then, Dusty was one of the head trainers at FCW in Tampa. The creative direction for "Eden" was significantly similar to the story of Eve in the Garden of Eden. A temptress who listened to the serpent, eating and sharing the forbidden fruits with Adam, bringing paradise to an end. I'm a huge fan of the Biblical story, and I wanted snakes on my gear to represent that. And that's the story! I continue to wear the gear because it was a cool idea, it's beautifully made, and it feels like me. No slight to any other companies I've worked for in past, just creativity that is part of the path to me continuing on this path in wrestling. Sorry, there isn't "juicy dirt". You can find plenty of that elsewhere!
Now recently, I decided to mix my snakes with Dusty Rhodes' signature black and yellow polka dots. I was worried about doing this. Others have done tributes to my father in law and as well intended as they may have seemed, it's never really been well received, except when Stardust did at Wrestlemania. However, it was on my heart to do this for some time, and bearing the Rhodes name I figured I would take my chance and hope that it meant something. I knew it meant a lot to my husband and myself, that was going to have to be enough.
I have never ever recieved so much positive energy towards anything I've ever worn in my entire life. Fashion is a passion of mine, for sure. But the dots make people feel good. They make people remember. They start conversations and encourage fans to tell me their favorite Dusty stories and moments. It's really surreal and it helps people come together and enjoy themselves that much more. That said, don't worry, the dots aren't going away. I will definitely bring them back from time to time to help people feel good and to remember. Also, I feel like I should state this because, well hell, somebody's got to. Just because I'm black, doesn't make me in polka dots a Sapphire reference. She was amazing and I enjoyed her and Dusty immensely. But Cody and I are never trying to be this. Cody is Dusty's son and I never had the pleasure of meeting sweet Sapphire. I would consider it disrespectful to her family to try and "represent" her. That's their right and their lineage, certainly not mine.
Side note, last night I had the pleasure of meeting Tully Blanchard for the first time. I was wearing my dots and I got the chance to tell him how awesome the roll of quarters match was with him and Dusty, as I had literally watched it just the night before. That had little to do with fashion, it was just a very cool moment.