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Gabbi Tuft is eyeing a potential return to the squared circle.
Wrestling fans may remember the name Tyler Reks, a WWE Superstar that worked for the company for nearly five years between 2008-2012. Reks retired from wrestling shortly after that, and publicly came out as a trans woman in February 2021.
Gabbi currently works as a personal fitness and nutrition coach, gaining a big following through her Instagram and TikTok accounts, as well as on her website, www.coachgabbi.com. More recently, Tuft had a chance to attend a WWE event at Madison Square Garden, the first she’d been at since retiring years earlier.
Tuft spoke with WrestleZone Managing Editor Bill Pritchard about what the visit did for her. It seems that she’s been teasing a more formal return to the ring as of late, and she explained that she is feeling a lot more nostalgic about pro wrestling than she expected.
“I did not expect to miss it as much as I did.”
“Teasing is a good word. I didn’t have any interest in going back to wrestling after I left. I thought I was done permanently,” Tuft said. “In August, the New York Times did an article on me. The reporter thought it’d be kind of interesting to take me back to an arena for the first time in 11 years and just be there as I walked back in for the first time and get the emotion and everything.
“I did not expect to miss it as much as I did. I walked in, and this was August, four months ago. And my heart just like exploded with overwhelming nostalgia. And I saw my friends that I was in WWE with performing,” she added. “The Usos were leading the show, and I’m just like, ‘oh my god, I missed this.’ And ever since then, it’s been kind of on my higher priority list to explore what options are available or what I might be interested in doing if I were to come back to the ring.”
Gabbi said the event being at Madison Square Garden, WWE’s de facto “home” for years, was a total coincidence. She compared the situation to being a “universal divinity” and loved the excitement and energy of the evening.
“I went there with an intent”
Gabbi Tuft lives near Austin, Texas. She recently shared a video of her visit to Dustin Rhodes’ nearby wrestling school. Now that she had the MSG visit out of the way, Tuft says she went to visit her friend’s school with a goal in mind.
“I went there with an intent. Let’s just put it that way. It was a cordial conversation with Dustin. But I went there with an intent to kind of poke around and see if I really wanted to get back in the ring. And the second I kicked my leg over the middle rope and stepped inside, everything just ignited again. Dustin was so sweet too. He’s such a nice guy,” Tuft said. “Goldy, him and I have been buddies since I was on the roster. He was actually one of the guys that helped me a ton. He was the one who took the first Burning Hammer, or my version of the Burning Hammer for me when I was coming back as a heel.”
Tuft said she and Dustin spent some time kicking around ideas to see what it would take to shake the ring rust off. One other obstacle she needs to overcome is actually getting cleared to wrestle. Gabbi had surgery to fix an ascending aortic aneurysm in 2019. The Mayo Clinic defines an aortic dissection as a serious condition in which a tear occurs in the aorta, the body’s main artery. If it goes untreated or undetected and blood leaves the outside aortic wall, an aortic dissection can be deadly.
Wrestling on the mind
Gabbi noted her mother had the same surgery the year before her (and an undetected aortic dissection is also what caused the death of John Ritter in 2003). Gabbi’s surgery was eight hours long, and she now has a synthetic aorta in her chest. She’s working with Stanford University and hopes to get some positive news soon.
“[Wrestling is] definitely on the front of my mind. I’m working with Stanford University right now to get clearance. I did have open heart surgery in July 2019,” Tuft explained. “So we are reviewing scans currently. Hopefully, this week, I will know if I’m 100% clear to start taking bumps again.”
Her plans for pro wrestling are still hypothetical. However, Gabbi teased what the next chapter of her wrestling story might look like. If it happens, she will make sure her next match is on the biggest stage possible.
“I would say I don’t want to open that book or give a preview before its time. But if it was a book on a shelf, and you pull it off, and you looked at the cover,” Gabbi explained. “We all know that covers really enticing, but you flip it over, and you read the summary on the back. Let’s just say there’s definitely an open door right now. And it’s cracked, but I’m ready to kick it open. I don’t want to give anything away too soon. I want to make sure that if and when something actually does happen that the world is watching.”
Watch our full interview with Gabbi Tuft below:
Gabbi Tuft, CPT, LSN, is a forerunner and pioneer in the transgender community, a renowned professional athlete, keynote speaker and fitness coach. Gabbi has over 30 years of experience in the fitness industry and has coached over 1500 people to success in the past 13 years. With 99% of her clients being cisgender women, Gabbi’s mission is to empower women to break free from cyclical behaviors and embrace sustainable fitness and nutrition habits, all while fostering positive neuro-associations for success, inspiring a world of women who embrace change and love themselves as the queens they are. Her goal is to create a ripple effect of empowered women who lead fulfilling lives, unlocking their true potential and celebrating their individuality.
Blurb: Gabbi Tuft is an online personal fitness and nutrition coach. She has coached over 1,500 clients to success over the past 13 years. She specializes in helping women break cyclical behavioral patterns for long-lasting, sustainable weight loss and physique changes. For more information, visit www.coachgabbi.com.
The post Former WWE Star Gabbi Tuft Is Planning A Return To The Ring appeared first on Wrestlezone.