Thursday, April 18

Her Transgender Journey From WWE’s Tyler Reks To Today

Highlights

  • Gabbi Tuft was a World Champion in FCW as Tyler Reks.
  • She came out as a transgender woman in 2021.
  • Tuft may be on the verge of making a return to the wrestling ring.



Over the last few years, professional wrestling has seen much more representation for LBGTQ+ wrestlers. In an industry that once did not give any respect to the community, that narrative is finally shifting in a positive direction. When specifically looking at the representation of transgender wrestlers, names such as AEW’s Nyla Rose and TNA’s Gisele Shaw immediately come to mind. However, there is someone else who has been teasing a return to the ring on her social media accounts. Gabbi Tuft, who formerly wrestled in WWE under the name Tyler Reks, has been making quite a splash on social media recently and has been very open about her transition.

1:58

Related

20 Wrestlers Who Are LGBTQ+

More wrestlers than ever before are coming out as part of the LGBTQ+ community, with these major names being great examples in and out of the ring.

Gabbi Tuft’s Professional Wrestling Career

Gabbit Tuft Was A World Champion In FCW As Tyler Reks


  • She signed with WWE in 2008.
  • She held the FCW Florida Heavyweight Title once.
  • Tuft and Brian Myers were in a lower card tag team together.

Tuft began her professional wrestling career in 2007 after being trained by Mike Bell. It did not take long for her to be noticed by WWE, where she signed a developmental contract in 2008 and wrestled in FCW, the former developmental territory of WWE. There, she achieved a fair amount of success. She defeated Drew McIntyre to become the FCW Florida World Heavyweight Champion. She was a two-time FCW Florida Tag Team Champion with Johnny Curtis (currently Dirty Dango in TNA) and Joe Hennig (formerly Curtis Axel in WWE). All in all, she did well for herself in developmental. However, that same success did not follow her to WWE’s main roster.


She joined the main roster in 2009 and was a member of the ECW roster. However, following ECW’s end in WWE, she jumped between RAW and SmackDown. She competed at the 2010 Survivor Series and appeared in the 2011 Royal Rumble match. Eventually, she formed an alliance with Curt Hawkins (known as Brian Myers in TNA). They were a comedic heel jobber duo on NXT. Eventually, the two also began making appearances on WWE’s main roster as well. In 2012, she wrestled her final match for WWE on SmackDown in a tag team victory with Hawkins. That same year, she requested and was granted her release by WWE.

Tuft’s reason for leaving WWE had to do with wanting to spend more time with her family. She said in an interview with WrestlingNews.co:


I just was like, ‘I gotta go. I can’t be here anymore.’ Like, my daughter was eight months old. She knew I was leaving. I was gone six days a week. I cannot be a FaceTime parent. This is not for me. So that’s when I was like, ‘Hey buddy, I love you, thank you for the ride, but, today’s my last day. That was it.


In her post-WWE career, Tuft wrestled one match on the independent scene with Myers as The Heatseekers for PWS.

Gabbi Tuft Came Out As A Transgender Woman In 2021

Gabbi Tuft Has Been Very Open About Her Journey

  • She came out to her family in 2020.
  • Tuft felt liberated once she came out.
  • She operates her own fitness business.

After leaving WWE, Tuft publicly came out as a transgender woman on February 4, 2021. The year prior, she had spoken with her family about it. On social media, specifically TikTok, she had been very open about her transition and the different stages of it, such as her breast augmentation surgery. She said in 2021 interview on The Sessions

“When the news hit, I felt liberated. I don’t have to hide anymore. I can walk outside [and] my neighbors are just waving [and saying], ‘Hi Gabbi. Good to see you!’ It was like my prison sentence was over.” (
h/t Wrestling Inc
)


For the majority of her time outside WWE, Tuft has largely stayed away from the world of professional wrestling and has spent most of her time focusing on her personal fitness business. In addition, she also regularly posts on her TikTok account where she discusses various topics about her life, including her transition, fitness, health, and her time as a professional wrestler. However, it seems like Tuft may just be on the verge of making a return to the ring.

Related

AEW Star Anthony Bowens Talks LGBTQ Representation In Wrestling

In a business with an ugly history of homophobia, LGBTQ representation can be tricky.

Will Gabbi Tuft Return To The Wrestling Ring?

Gabbi Tuft Does Not Rule Out A Wrestling Comeback

  • She has trained at The Nightmare Factory and The Dungeon.
  • Tuft has expressed interest in becoming a wrestler again.
  • She has been making appearances at AEW and WWE shows.


In an interview with WrestlingNews.co, she spoke about going to the Nightmare Factory and an interaction she had with Dustin Rhodes. She said:


I stepped in that ring like my heart center just opened and I felt all this nostalgia come back. That was the moment when I was like, ‘Yep, I think I need to do something about this
.” (
h/t Wrestling Inc
)

To further add to this, Tuft has posted videos of her training in the ring at The Dungeon. She has also been making appearances at AEW and WWE shows more and more recently. This has added even more fuel to the speculation of Tuft making a return to the ring. Whether she does or not, Tuft’s journey has been a truly incredible one to witness.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.