Dana Brooke has been with the main roster for almost three years now but has been in the background for the most part. She hasn't had any true feuds or storylines and never until recently when she took on Ronda Rousey.
Brooke was surprised as everyone else to be given the spotlight in a feud with Rousey considering she hadn't been used much before. She talked about being thrown into that feud when she joined Lilian Garcia's podcast.
"As you know, my career has been highs, lows, different variety of characters. I wasn't really expecting anything," Brooke said on how she felt before Rousey. "I realized that it was the perfect timing. I was very blessed and fortunate to really showcase truly how I feel and also to be able to step up to the champ, so it definitely was a great stepping stone for me.
"I have been off TV for so long, and I pitched constantly. I have always given ideas of things that I want to accomplish and how I want to springboard my character and launch my character, but truly it is not a character anymore, it is really how I feel. It really hurt my heart because WWE Fastlane was in Cleveland, Ohio and I was on the road shows on Friday and Saturday, and then Cleveland was my hometown and we had Fastlane there and I looked on my travel app and it said: Friday booked, Saturday booked and then Sunday not booked and I was like, you have got to be kidding me?"
Brooke said she had petitioned for months to be on Fastlane whether it be the main show, the pre-show or commentary. That never happened and she walked into Raw the next day totally defeated but still blessed to be alive and to still have a job.
"I walk through the door and Dana Warrior [who is a member of the WWE writing team] has this huge smile on her face and she was like, 'Are you ready to kick some ass?' I was confused," stated Brooke. "She continued; 'Yeah, you have a big thing tonight, it is really going to make you shine.' Nothing else said...
"All of a sudden, I am walking through the hall and Byron Saxton is like, 'Are you ready for your big night?' I was like, what? He continued; 'You're calling out the champ.' I'm like, I think you have this wrong, and he was swearing to God. I texted Dana Warrior if it was true, and she walked up to me and said that it was true. Her and [writing team member] Jenn got together with me and told me and I was like, I will believe it when I see it."
Brooke then talked about how a couple of weeks before she had a match rehearsal with Natalya, but nothing ever came of it and they were never used. Thus, she was still a bit skeptical that her planned angle with Rousey would ever come into fruition.
"Again, I was like, anything can change, anything can happen. Fast forward, we had our rehearsals and they were telling me that I was going to cut my promo, and I was thinking, okay, I still don't know what I am going to say yet," stated Brooke. "They were then talking about the physicality on the back-end. I was thinking, okay, fine. Whatever I have to do I will do and I will make it look great no matter what."
Brooke's scripted promo was her in her own words and was in response to Rousey calling out the locker room. She also talked with Paul Heyman about it who is also close to Rousey. When she went out for her promo on Raw, it was more "Ashley" than "Dana Brooke" and she intentionally toned down her look by not wearing makeup as to represent the real version of herself.
The emotional promo by Brooke was well received and led to a follow-up with Rousey the next week.
"Fast forward to last Thursday, I am in the gym and the text message from Jenn...she was telling me that I had a WWE Women's Championship match on Monday and I was like having to read it like four times, thinking you have got to be kidding me! I stopped the treadmill and I called everyone, including my parents. I couldn't believe it. This was amazing. Everyone was super excited. I was super excited as well," said Brooke.
"What happened last Monday I know was quick, but I can reassure you that everything that I did was for not only myself but anyone that supports, doubts me. Loves WWE, and loves the business that I am in. I did it for all of us. Yeah, I felt as though, what am I doing? Why am I going out there? What do I have to prove just to get dropped? But no, it was intense."
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Chasing Glory with Lilian Garcia with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.