Gabbi Tuft Said She Embraced Being A Male When She Was Tyler Reks

In an interview with Wrestling Inc, Gabbi Tuft, who recently announced her transition, revealed that even though she is now at trans woman, she did embrace being a male while working for WWE as Tyler Reks. Here are highlights:

On how she got into wrestling: “It literally fell in my lap, and I know there’s a lot of people, when they hear my story, they tend to go, ‘This goofball. He wasn’t even interested in wrestling at the time,’ and I wasn’t. I had no interest, but a really good friend of mine is Rick Bassman, and he was an agent for [John] Cena, Sting [and] Ultimate Warrior. He was the owner of Ultimate Pro Wrestling. Rick’s a great guy. We were just talking days ago. He’s a phenomenal guy, and we were great friends. We lived in Southern California. For a year, we were hanging out with guys that were former WWE stars, and I had no idea. There was just these big, giant guys around all the time we go party with, and so one day, Rick calls me. And he says, ‘Hey Gabe, I know you’re not into wrestling, but I’ve got some people at the dojo.’ It was mixed martial arts, and he had a wrestling ring in there too for UPW. And he said, ‘Why don’t you come on down and let them have a look. There’s some scouts, worst thing that could happen is that nothing happens. The best thing that happens is you walk with a contract.’ I didn’t know what I was walking into, but I walked into 40 guys in their boots and underwear, full gear [and] bumping around in the ring, and I was just like, ‘Oh my God, what is going on?’ But I talked to Bucci and Johnny ‘Ace’ Laurinaitis, and they both were like, ‘Hey, look, you got the look. We want to see what you can do.’ So they put me in the ring, gave me a tryout and the rest was history.”

On the hyper-masculine environment at the time: “2007, and then my first day in FCW was February 1, 2008. At that time, I was fully embracing being a male, and I had no problem with that. Maybe that’s something, just very quickly, I never have really talked about is there was a portion of my life, I don’t regret it. And I embraced being a male. There was just always this part of me in the back of my head that just would wonder. I got along great with the guys. I was very masculine. That never bothered me. From my perspective, the women’s division or just the Divas in general, they are as much of a part of wrestling as we were, and it was necessary for the draw for the crowds to build the business. So I fully understood that, and it was more or less a newer aspect. We had been through the Attitude Era with the Divas back then, but they were really trying to build something new and different, and it’s understandable that there’s a smaller pool of females there. Of course, it looked different for the guys. A lot of us were like, ‘Man, the measuring stick for them is this big (small), and the measuring stick for the guys was this big.’ Honestly, how does that affect me? It doesn’t. They’re going to get their air time no matter what, and they’re going to build a division. It’s going to be a draw for WWE. It’s gonna be great, and then for us, there may have been 60 guys who we’re competing with, but that’s what it always had been, so I didn’t look down on it at all. Didn’t bother me one bit.”

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