Over the years, Rebel has had her fair share of fun in wrestling. Currently appearing in All Elite Wrestling alongside Britt Baker, she is always big on presentation. Fans have seen that in TNA where the alum was a member of The Menagerie or the Dollhouse.
Most recently on the independent scene, she took on the persona of the Panda Doll. Think of a cross between a caped superhero, and, well, a panda. “Panda Power” was inspired by Impact Wrestling’s Fallah Bahh.
“He has the panda on his pants, on his gear. We were on this independent show and I wanted to do a mixed tag match with him. I said to him, ‘I could be your personal panda doll.’ He loved the idea,” she said.
“We did that for a mixed tag. The crowd loved it. I was getting ready to go to New York for a signing – that was in Texas. The fans said to come as Panda Doll. I came as Panda Doll, and I made a killing in pictures and merch sales. People just started asking me to come as Panda Doll. Everyone in the crowd followed when I said, ‘When I say panda, you say power. Panda. Power.’ It just caught on. I had so much fun being a panda doll. That is how it evolved.”
Last year, Rebel was able to step foot in a WWE ring on NXT. The former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader enjoyed the experience of teaming with Amber Nova to face Io Shirai and Kairi Sane.
“I had wrestled Io Shirai in Japan when I wrestled in Stardom, so it was cool to see her again, and Kairi. So, that in itself was neat. And also getting to [wrestle] was exciting. It was short and sweet,” she said.
“I think, for everyone, getting to be in an opportunity at any of the television wrestling shows is an opportunity. I was definitely grateful for the opportunity. I was grateful for my time at Impact Wrestling for three years. Now I’m over the moon getting to be with All Elite Wrestling and actually be on camera every Wednesday night on TNT at 8/7c.”
Rebel was also grateful for the time in Stardom and competing in Japan. Finding out about the untimely death of Stardom star Hana Kimura hit her hard.
“I had the most matches with Hana in Japan,” Rebel said. “So, I definitely bonded with her during that time I was there. It was devastating to hear she was going through such turmoil, and to hear what happened. It was definitely a sad day when it happened. She was beautiful and talented. She will be missed.”
On the topic of cyber-bullying, which has become an increasing concern following Kimura’s reported suicide, Rebel believes there is a certain way to approach social media.
“I feel pretty blessed that most people are pretty kind to me, so I’m thankful for that,” she said. “Second, I believe I have a pretty tough skin. Most of the people that I see tweet negative things or sexual things, I feel like I just look at them..I think, “You know what? This person must have a horrible life that they have to tweet something so negative.’ I just don’t put much value into the people who just don’t know me.
“A lot of them do it for attention. For me, I think that’s so pathetic they want this attention, and I don’t give that to them. When I see these tweets or posts or comments, they don’t know what they’re talking about. They may not be the sharpest tool in the shed. You don’t know other people’s circumstances. So, when people who don’t know me need to comment about me, they don’t know me. I try not to let it affect me. If people say you suck, I want to know why. I don’t mind constructive criticism. I’m always looking to grow as a person, as an artist. If you like something, just don’t say you suck. Say, ‘I didn’t like this because of this.’ We can take it and grow from this. Be better. Improve.”
Rebel’s full interview aired as part of a recent episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it’s released Monday – Friday afternoon by clicking here.