Protégé No More: 15 Things You Didn't Know About Dana Brooke

It finally happened. On the recent March 13th episode of Monday Night Raw, the protege Dana Brooke finally broke away from her mentor, Charlotte Flair. For almost a year now, Dana Brooke has been associated with being Charlotte's underling and has helped the former Queen of PPV rack up several wins and title retains. In that time, dissension and a breakup between the two has been constantly teased. At one point that breakup was achieved after Brooke slapped Charlotte on the September 12th, 2016 episode of Raw, though she would quickly rekindle her relationship with Charlotte the following week. For the time being, the duo's most recent split seems to be a permanent one. Things could change by time the next episode of Raw airs, but after a frustrated Dana Brooke mercilessly beat down Charlotte after getting berated by The Queen one too many times, it might be safe to say that Dana Brooke is on her own for once.

For the first time in her career, Dana Brooke will be venturing towards a singles career. When she first started out in NXT and briefly during the beginning of her main roster career, she was one-half of a bad girl duo between herself and Emma. When Emma found herself sidelined with an injury, Brooke found herself taken under Charlotte's wing. Since that partnership seems to have officially ended, it should be interesting to see how Dana Brooke fairs now that she's on her own. More importantly, we are bound to see a lot more of Dana Brooke in the next coming weeks. Whether that means that she is set to be inserted into the Raw Women's Championship match at WrestleMania is unknown at the moment. All it means is that we are going to be getting to know a lot more about Dana Brooke as both a character and a person in the coming weeks when as for now, we don't know much about her at all. To get us all ready for the ensuing Dana Brooke singles run, here are a few interesting facts you never knew about her.

15 She's An Ohio Girl

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Born Ashley Mae Sibera, this future WWE Superstar was born on November 28th, 1988. While she is currently being billed from Cleveland, Ohio while in WWE, she was more specifically born and raised in Seven Hills, Ohio before she decided to venture into bigger, brighter horizons outside of her native land for the sake of her career. She remained in Ohio long enough that she decided to go to Kent State University in Kent, Ohio where she started working towards a rather unique education.

14 Her Education

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Most people who head on out to college/university typically have just one major and a minor. Perhaps even a double major if they can afford the time and work ethic. Not Dana Brooke. Brooke was actually a triple major. She graduated from Kent State with a major in Fashion, Merchandising, and Design. She even found the time to minor in Business. With knowledge and experience which spans across several different fields, Dana Brooke is an absolute triple threat as a worker. And if there even is such a thing, we can call her a quadruple threat. She has numerous different options to go into if her wrestling career doesn't pan out. Which, thanks to her fluid background in many extracurricular activities. Extracurricular activities such as gymnastics, for example.

13 Her Gymnast Background

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Ever wonder why Dana Brooke does a bunch of crazy flips during her entrance as soon as she steps up on the ramp? She's doing so to showcase her amazing skills as a former gymnast. At the age of two years old, young Dana Brooke was taken to her first Mom and Tot class with her mother at the Johnson's Gymnastics Center. From there, an intense and unabashed love for gymnastics began for Dana Brooke and for the next 18 years of her life, she practiced gymnastics. She was damn good at it to. She took part in plenty of gymnastic competitions in those 18 years, including a stint in the prestigious Junior Olympics in 2001. She even managed to win a few championships here and there. All was well and good until she sustained a few untimely, career ending injuries.

12 Nagging Injuries

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Just as Dana Brooke was at the height of her gymnastic career, she fell victim to a consistent string of injuries. One of those injuries was a broken nose she suffered during the Junior Olympics after falling down on her face during a stunt. Later on, she suffered an array of stress fractures in her back. Another, and easily the most fatal, was when she broke both of her ankles. The damage she suffered on her ankles required reconstructive surgery and afterwards, she was advised to put an end to her gymnastic ambitions for the sake of her health. This is also worth noting because as a new emerging face in WWE, her real injuries may be used in storyline to make her sympathetic. So if Brooke is ever taking the heat and you hear the announcers drawing attention to Brooke's ankles, back, or nose getting attacked, you now know why.

11 Diving Career

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Upon first being told that her flourishing gymnastic career had to be put to a screeching halt, Dana Brooke was crushed. But she never gave up her Olympic ambitions. Determined to make it into the world renowned Olympic Games somehow, Brooke took up diving as her new sport of choice. While attending Holy Name High School, Brooke's hard work and dedication eventually earned her a district championship in diving. However, despite the honor that the title came with, Brooke wasn't as enthused with her win as she hoped. In fact, after she won, she realized how boring the diving sport was. Not only because she didn't think there was anywhere else to go after winning a big title, she thought the sport was too easy. As she told Xavier Woods on his UpUpDownDown Youtube channel, "it's just jumping off a board in the water. What's next?" As she explained to the Miami Herald, she stopped diving because she "needed something a little bit more challenging." That's when she moved on to the wondrous world of bodybuilding.

10 Bikini Division

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When she first gravitated towards bodybuilding and fitness competitions, she started off by trying her hand out in the bikini division. While she did win a couple bikini compeitions, the experience wasn't as competitive as she had hoped. In fact, the whole spectacle of these competitions, to Brooke, was all far too concerned with looks. With judges who specifically requested pretty girls and blondes, Brooke eventually came to the conclusion that the bikini division was not an apt showcase of her talents. She wanted actual competition. Something where she had a goal to achieve, skills to show off, and most of all, something to win. So left the bikini division and moved on to a more fitness oriented world of bodybuilding and she instantly fell in love.

9 Fitness & Bodybuilding

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When the bikini division failed to suit her tastes, Dana Brooke went full speed ahead into bodybuilding and fitness. She fell in love with it because she felt like it was here where she was able to showcase the skills and personality that she developed during her gymnastic days. After winning a few championships in the National Physique Committee, she secured herself her International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness pro card in 2012 and from there, she worked hard in the pros. In the big leagues, she competed in a few of the ever prestigious Arnold Classic events. In 2013, she finished 12th in the Arnold Classic, then 13th in 2015, and placing 5th in 2017. Her accomplishments in the bodybuilding world quickly earned her the attention of WWE, her offered her a WWE contract in 2013 and from there, she headed down to the performance center.

8 Debuted as a Rosebud

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As we know by now, many of the rising stars on the main roster started off not just as NXT recruits, but as Rosebuds for Adam Rose's party patrol. We saw sneak peaks of future superstars like Becky Lynch, Carmella, Simon Gotch, Elias Samson, and Braun Strowman before any of them made their NXT debuts. In some cases, before any of them wrestled their first match. We can add Dana Brooke to the list as on the March 20th, 2014 episode of NXT, Brooke worked as a Rosebud alongside all of those aforementioned stars. At the time, she was still training full time at the performance center and had yet to wrestle a single match. It's always fascinating to go back and watch the first on-screen gigs that wrestlers have before they make a household name for themselves and Dana Brooke's unofficial debut is no difference.

7 Her First Match

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The first time we officially saw the Dana Brooke character appear on-screen was during a segment with Tyler Breeze at NXT Takeover: Fatal Four Way. Then, a few months later, she racked up her first on-screen win after defeating Blue Pants in her debut match. Except, it wasn't technically her debut match. Yes, it was her first match on television, but not her first match ever. In fact, her actual first match came

6 Once Rumored to Date Dolph Ziggler

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In the last couple years, Dana Brooke was once speculated of dating former World Champion Dolph Ziggler. Speculation grew when a string of photographs of the two hit social media with them looking rather intimate together. It would make sense if the two were together. Both are Ohio natives and they even attended Kent State at different points in their lives. Though as of now, it's all been speculation and never confirmed. No one knows if these two are still dating or if they were ever dating to begin with. But if nothing else is for sure, to be perfectly honest, it's none of our business anyway. Sure, it may be a little fun to speculative the private going-ons of our favorite superstars, but those going-ons are just that: private.

5 Best Buds with Braun Strowman

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It's always fun to see what real life friendships are developing behind the scenes between wrestlers when they're off duty (i.e. Shawn Michaels and Triple H), but this friendship between Dana Brooke and Braun Strowman is one that few would have ever expected. The very idea of the formerly self-proclaimed Total Diva and the Abominable Strowman in a relationship of any kind, on or off screen, is a strange one to comprehend. Yet, that seems to be exactly the case and the odd pairing seem to hit it off quite nicely. If nothing else, the two seem to be road buddies. Frequently seen on social media (mainly Snapchat and Vine) singing country music tunes and cracking jokes while driving along the road, presumably to the next WWE event on their schedule. The two seem to be awfully chummy with one another and come off like the best of friends in their videos together.

4 Her Brief Beef with Amber O'Neal

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When Dana Brooke was set to take part in a tag team match alongside The Club (Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson) during the tail end of summer 2016, they managed to produce a comedic segment right before their match with them all wearing doctor's get-up. Sure, the "comedic" part of the segment was debatable, but there were no bare bones about the fact it was anything more than an innocent segment. However, Luke Gallows' wife and former Bullet Babe of the Bullet Club, Amber O'Neal, saw things different. The so-called innocent segment must not have looked so innocent in Mrs. Gallows' eyes as she sent out a tweet shortly afterwards reading "I will kill b---h." That would be, ironically, the closest to a PG response that O'Neal would send as she also made some other mean remarks, including calling Brooke Miss Piggy. Brooke took offense to these comments, but failed to retort in any comment other than "ouch." O'Neal later deleted all of her tweets against Brooke. It was a minor controversy, but it's a controversy that WWE would like all us to forget sooner rather than later for the sake of Dana Brooke's rising career.

3 She Stole Lana's Move...Or Did She?

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Despite the fact that she used to call herself The Total Diva, Dana Brooke probably isn't a big fan of the show Total Divas after the show lambasted her not too long ago. As some of us may be able to recall, the show ran an episode where as Lana was training to become a wrestler with Dana Brooke, Lana watched Monday Night Raw in horror as she saw Brooke hit one of "her" moves that she practiced with Brooke. The move itself wasn't anything wholeheartedly original. It was just a cartwheel moonsault so Lana calling it "her" move was a bit of a stretch. Hell, if you go back in time far enough, you'd see Rob Van Dam doing that move. Needless to say, Brooke was reasonably heated when the show portrayed Brooke as a bad guy and move thief for her "betrayal" against Lana. She was so heated that she took to Twitter to point out how "they did play [her] dirty" and pointed out how Brooke had been using the cartwheel moonsault since her early days in NXT. She even pointed out that the move has a long history and has been used by many of the years.

2 Called Up With Emma To Replace Tamina & Naomi

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Many found it odd when in May 2016, Emma and Dana Brooke were called up to the main roster while bigger stars like Bayley and Asuka remained down in NXT. The reason for this, as rumor has it, is because they were meant to fill a void left by for Team B.A.D. teammates, Naomi and Tamina. Before Emma and Brooke came around, Naomi and Tamina were filling the roles of the resident heel duo of the Women's division. When both suffered long term injuries at the same time, WWE went into panic mode when trying to figure out who should replace them. Then, it was decided that since Emma and Dana Brooke were already playing a similar bad girl type of role in NXT, they might as well get called up to do their schtick on the main roster. And so they were. Unfortunately, it didn't last long since Emma quickly sustained an injury of her own. From there, plans were changed for Brooke to start doing her bad girl schtick with Charlotte Flair.

1 Her Father Started Her Love of Wrestling

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When a WWE Superstar's wrestling career begins in WWE rather than on the underground scene like so many of the general audience's favorite indie darlings, they're usually marked with a stigma or perception that they may not love the business as much as the next superstar. Or that they came into the business not loving it, but for the money. Dana Brooke is one of those wrestlers with that sort of stigma, but she shouldn't because she has loved wrestling ever since she was a little girl. As she explained in an interview with Miami Herald, Brooke's love for wrestling began when her father turned her on to the sport and they used to watch it together. A young Dana Brooke was so enamored with the sport that she used to pretend to wrestle her stuffed animals while in the confides of her bedroom. Even being managed by a stuffed animal named Mr. Wizard. If that's not a sign for Brooke's love for the sport, I don't know what is. Now, she's living a childhood dream and couldn't be happier.

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