Dana Brooke: From Gymnast to Wrestler, The Amazing Journey of a WWE Diva

Estimated read time 6 min read

Dana Brooke is one of the most versatile and talented female wrestlers in WWE history. She has excelled in various fields, such as gymnastics, bodybuilding, and fitness, before becoming a WWE superstar. She has also won the WWE 24/7 Championship 15 times, making her the most decorated female 24/7 Champion ever. This is the amazing journey of Dana Brooke, from gymnast to wrestler, and how she became a WWE diva.

Early Life and Gymnastics Career

Dana Brooke was born as Ashley Mae Sebera on November 29, 1988, in Seven Hills, Ohio. She started gymnastics at the age of two and showed great potential and passion for the sport. She qualified for the Junior Olympics in 2001 and competed at the national level until she was 18. She had dreams of becoming an Olympic gymnast, but fate had other plans for her.

In 2006, Dana Brooke suffered a career-ending injury on her right ankle, which required multiple surgeries and months of rehabilitation. She was devastated by the loss of her gymnastics career, but she did not give up on her athletic aspirations. She decided to switch to bodybuilding and fitness, which would prove to be a wise choice.

Bodybuilding and Fitness Career

Dana Brooke began training as a bodybuilder and fitness competitor in 2007, under the guidance of her coach Mike Davies. She quickly adapted to the new sport and developed an impressive physique and charisma. She competed in various amateur shows and earned her pro card in the International Federation of BodyBuilding & Fitness (IFBB) in 2012. She also competed at the prestigious Arnold Classic in 2013 and 2015, placing 12th and 13th respectively.

Dana Brooke’s bodybuilding and fitness career caught the attention of WWE scouts, who were impressed by her strength, agility, and personality. She was invited to try out for WWE in 2013 and passed with flying colors. She signed a contract with WWE in July 2013 and was assigned to the developmental brand NXT, where she adopted her ring name Dana Brooke.

NXT Debut and Alliance with Emma

Dana Brooke made her in-ring debut on NXT in April 2015, teaming up with Emma against Bayley and Charlotte Flair. She quickly established herself as a heel, taunting and mocking her opponents with her signature hand gesture. She formed an alliance with Emma, who was also a heel at the time, and they became known as Team D.E.M (Dana & Emma’s Mission). They feuded with Bayley, Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Asuka, Carmella, and other NXT women.

Dana Brooke showed great improvement and potential on NXT, but she also suffered some setbacks. She injured her shoulder in October 2015 and was sidelined for two months. She also lost most of her matches against top NXT women, such as Asuka and Bayley. However, she did not let these challenges stop her from pursuing her WWE dream. She continued to work hard and learn from her experiences on NXT.

Main Roster Debut and Alliance with Charlotte Flair

Dana Brooke was promoted to the main roster on Raw in May 2016, aligning herself with Charlotte Flair, who was then the WWE Women’s Champion. She became Flair’s protege and helped her retain her title against various challengers, such as Natalya, Sasha Banks, Bayley, Nia Jax, and others. She also participated in some historic matches, such as the first-ever women’s Hell in a Cell match between Flair and Banks in October 2016.

Dana Brooke’s alliance with Charlotte Flair lasted for almost a year, until March 2017. Flair started to treat Dana Brooke poorly and disrespectfully, blaming her for her losses and berating her constantly. Dana Brooke finally had enough of Flair’s abuse and turned on her during a match against Sasha Banks on Raw. She attacked Flair and left her lying in the ring, ending their partnership.

WWE 24/7 Championship Reigns and Record

Dana Brooke won her first WWE title in September 2019, when she captured the WWE 24/7 Championship from R-Truth backstage. She would go on to win the title 14 more times, becoming the most decorated female 24/7 Champion in history. She also had some memorable moments with the title, such as getting engaged to Batista on Twitter, getting married to Drake Maverick in Las Vegas, and getting chased by zombies at WrestleMania 37.

Dana Brooke’s WWE 24/7 Championship reigns showed her versatility and creativity as a wrestler and entertainer. She was able to adapt to different situations and scenarios, and make the most out of them. She also displayed her humor and charisma, and connected with the fans. She proved that she was not just a serious competitor, but also a fun-loving personality.

Tag Team with Mandy Rose and Friendship

Dana Brooke formed a tag team with Mandy Rose on Raw in 2020, after being drafted from SmackDown. The duo showed great chemistry and friendship, and challenged for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship several times. They faced teams such as Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler, Lana and Naomi, Natalya and Tamina, and others. They also competed in the first-ever women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic on NXT in 2021.

Dana Brooke’s tag team with Mandy Rose was one of the highlights of her WWE career. She found a loyal and supportive partner in Mandy Rose, who shared her passion and vision for wrestling. They also became close friends outside the ring, and often posted pictures and videos of their workouts, travels, and adventures on social media. They were an inspiration for many female wrestlers and fans.

NXT Return and Challenge to Raquel Gonzalez

Dana Brooke returned to NXT in June 2023, after being released from her WWE contract in September. She claimed that she was still one of the best female wrestlers in the world and challenged Raquel Gonzalez for the NXT Women’s Championship. She said that she wanted to prove herself on the brand where she started her WWE journey, and that she was not afraid of anyone.

Dana Brooke’s NXT return was a surprise and a delight for many NXT fans, who welcomed her back with cheers and chants. She showed her determination and confidence, and confronted Raquel Gonzalez, who was then the dominant NXT Women’s Champion. She said that she had nothing to lose and everything to gain, and that she was ready for the biggest challenge of her career.

Dana Brooke is a remarkable woman who has overcome many obstacles and achieved many successes in her life. She has been a gymnast, a bodybuilder, a fitness competitor, and a wrestler. She has also been a WWE 24/7 Champion, a tag team partner, and a friend. She has shown her versatility, talent, charisma, and passion in everything she does. She is truly a WWE diva who can do it all.

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