A recent episode of “The Ross Report” with Jim Ross features former TNA Knockout Champion, and a member of ECW’s Extreme Expose, Brooke Tessmacher.
Before the conversation can begin, JR stumbles over the name “Tessmacher.” He says that he knew Brooke when she was Brooke Adams. Brooke says her ring name was inspired by the “Eve Tessmacher” character in Superman I & II. Brooke jokes that her name isn’t all that important: “If all the [18-34 year old] men watching only noticed my name, I’d be doing something wrong.” Brooke says that she’s been a wrestling fan since the age of eight. Wrestling was always a family affair for Brooke; her parents and siblings would gather around the television to watch Monday Night Raw and Smackdown on a weekly basis. She says that she remembers watching JR on television, but stops herself so as not to insult Jim. She says, “I always get in trouble for that. I’ll tell Lisa Marie [Victoria] that I used to watch her on TV, and she just says: ‘Brooke, shut up.’” Brooke says that Victoria was amazing, and was always one of her favorite performers to watch.
Brooke was part of the 2006 Diva Search, following her triumphant appearance in the Miss Hawaii Tropics pageant, among others. Brooke’s business manager came across the Diva Search casting call and told Brooke she’d be perfect. Once she finally reached out to the WWE however, the women were already chosen. She says she “begged and pleaded” and said she’d “ride a horse all the way from Texas” if they give her an opportunity. They told her that she was welcome to join the competition, on the condition that she pays her own way. Brooke didn’t make the final cut, and says she “started to lose her mind.” She felt as though she let her family down, and began to break down in public. Kevin Dunn—who saw Brooke crying from across the room—told her that he was willing to give her on a chance, if she was willing to pack up and move to Deep South Wrestling in Georgia. She took the opportunity and returned to Texas to prepare for what would be a life-changing experience.
Brooke says she really loved working with Bill DeMott. She admits that most of the girls in developmental didn’t get along with Bill, because he was a demanding coach who believed in “tough love.” She also gives credit to Natalya Neidhart, who was almost single handedly responsible for training a generation of Diva’s prior to the advent of the modern developmental system. Brooke and Jim agree that Natalya loves the wrestling business more than any other female, because the industry is a part of her identity. Brooke says it was hard for her to break into the business; many of the WWE Diva’s hazed Brooke, as well as other Diva Search contestants like Maria Kanellis. JR makes mention that wrestlers are—by nature—extremely self-conscious, and that can go doubly for female talents. Brooke said it was frustrating: “You’ve got to understand, I didn’t do this. You’ve got to be mad at the people who are doing the hiring. And if it’s not me, then somebody else is coming in. If you’re not moving up, you only have yourself to blame.”
Brooke continues to give credit where it’s due. She says that she didn’t have a lot of experience by the time she left WWE, and thanks Gail Kim, Mickie James, and ODB for continuing her education when she arrived in TNA. JR asks what agents are responsible for handling Knockout matches in TNA. Brooke says she worked with D’Lo Brown, Al Snow, and Pat Kinney. She says she loves Al Snow, but says Pat was far more adapt in handling the women. JR asks if Brooke watches Total Divas, and she does. She says she was brought up to the WWE main roster when the Bellas were in developmental, and grew very close to them in a short period of time. She says she was also close with Alicia Fox, calling Fox “an incredible athlete.”
JR asks what lead Brooke to leave TNA in October 2015. She says she hurt her hand and finger, and while it wasn’t major, it was one of several injuries that began to take a toll. She took it as a wake-up call and asked for her release. JR asks if Brooke plans on remaining involved with the wrestling industry, or if she plans to move on with her life. She doesn’t say yes or no to a future in wrestling, but mentions that she recently got involved with real estate and is looking to start a family. As of this recording, Brooke was not yet pregnant—or at least unware that she was. “Trust me I’ve cried and cried,” she says, “I’ve been really depressed. I never thought in a million years that I’d give up my dream on my own. I always thought I’d be pushed out, or I’d get hurt.” Brooke says that while she isn’t currently wrestling, she is open to making appearances, and can be found via her professional email: [email protected].
JR asks Brooke about relationships in wrestling, and wonders if she’d like to offer any advice to young women just starting out. “Oh my god, don’t do it, don’t do it, don’t do it,” she says with a laugh, justifying Jim’s belief that interoffice dating doesn’t work in the world of wrestling. She continues, “I did that—it’s just not smart. It seems really fun in the beginning—‘oh my god we’re both crazy’—but two crazies makes it too crazy. Just don’t do it. And then when you separate and you go to work, it’s all weird because the boys are talking about you. Just don’t do it. Just don’t do it.” Brooke explains that—because first impressions are everything—wrestlers often become attracted to one another based on the persona they portray in the ring. Once you finally get to know the real person, you come to find out you didn’t have much in common to begin with. Brooke says she made the mistake twice, once in WWE and again in TNA: “People point to John Cena and Nikki, or Brie and Daniel, and they don’t realize that those relationships are very rare. Why risk it?”
JR says, “The WWE is pushing Roman Reigns hard—do you, as a woman, find him sexy?” Brooke laughs, as if she can’t believe JR would ask such a question. “I’d have to say yes,” she says. “There’s something about him, something dark and mysterious, and that’s what makes him attractive.” JR asks what Brooke does in terms of a daily workout. She says she wakes up and does cardio from six until seven, and hits the gym in the afternoon around four. She says physical fitness has been part of her life since she was young, and assures JR that it won’t ever change. “I started lifting weights when I was seven years old. I’d watch Richard Simmons and I’d do his stomach formula video.”
The conversation begins to come to a close. JR mentions Brooke’s appearance on the Amazing Race, where she appeared with then-boyfriend Robbie E. Brooke says that it was one of the greatest experiences of her life, and she’d love the opportunity to do it again—“with a different partner, so that’s not my only memory of it.” JR asks if the show caused tension between Brooke and Robbie. She says “things were already very rocky” before they left to do the show. The casting agent called almost a year prior to the first day of shooting, when their relationship was at its peak. “It was a lot of work trying to get Robbie on the show. They said they didn’t want the ‘Jersey Guy,’ and that he already auditioned and they said no. I promised I’d take all the ‘Jersey out of him, and he’d be really normal, because—at that time—that’s what they didn’t want. So I sent them a video and they said ‘okay.’” Brooke said that their relationship grew sour, and she began to find him “very unattractive.” She said, “I’d just never seen a man act like he did.” She said they fought relentlessly on the show because he never wanted to get dirty, “not even for a million dollars!” Brooke says Robbie was the worst boyfriend she ever had.
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