Dana Brooke was this week’s guest on Chasing Glory With Lilian Garcia, and the WWE star spoke about getting her first title shot on RAW last week against Ronda Rousey.
Brooke talked about the positive things to take from her segment and match, saying she had been at a point of being down about being left off of shows, but made an effort to remain positive about her situation.
“Not even expecting anything from it, too. WrestleMania is very focused on what’s going to be happening there, as you know, my career has been highs and lows, ins and outs, a different variety of characters. I wasn’t really expecting anything, and I feel as though it was perfect timing. I had mentioned too—I was very blessed and fortunate to really showcase how I truly feel, and also to be able to step up to the champ. It was definitely a great stepping stone for me.
I’ve been off of TV for so long, and something we’ll get into a little later, but I pitch constantly. I’m always giving ideas and things that I want to accomplish, how I want to springboard my character, launch my character. It’s not a character anymore, it’s how I really feel. It really hurt my heart, honestly, because Fastlane was in Cleveland, Ohio, and I was on the road shows Friday, Saturday, and then Cleveland was my hometown, we had Fastlane there. I looked on my travel app and it [read] Friday – booked, Saturday – booked, Sunday – not booked, and I was like ‘you’ve got to be kidding me.’ For three months I’ve been just trying to get on the show—whether it be on the pre-show, whether it be on the panel, commentary, just something backstage—and I wasn’t booked. Wow, like this is really hitting home, I don’t know how much more I can hang on. I just felt defeated and then Monday [RAW] was in Pittsburgh, I remember I was driving and I was like ‘OK, Ashley, go into work, put a smile on your face. You never know who has it worse.’”
Brooke added that even after finding out she’d go toe-to-toe with Rousey, she had her doubts it would happen because she’d been dropped from other segments that were written into the schedule before. Brooke said her planned match with Natalya three weeks prior to her segment with Rousey had her down, and she contemplated leaving WWE over it:
“Three weeks prior to that, I was supposed to have a match with Nattie. We were segment ten, we got in the ring, we rehearsed for our match together, everything. Then I see the run sheet, and I’m like ‘what are you talking about? We’re not on?’ That just ripped my heart out of my chest, and I’m [thinking] ‘is it personal? Am I not good enough? Do they not believe in me?’ I will never forget I almost walked out of work that day. When I found out that me and Nattie weren’t doing anything, I was like ‘how am I always the one?’”
Later in the show, Lilian brought up Brooke’s comments about wanting to quit, and asked what made her stick around. Brooke said:
“In life, you’re always going to have obstacles put in your path and I am a prime example of from when I was a little girl to where I am now, you control your own destiny. As much as WWE guides you in the path of where you’re going to be led to and where your path is going to go, at that point in time I felt like when I first started WWE NXT it was like ‘go, go, go!’ and you control your own destiny and you control your own path. When I came up to the main roster, it was such a different transition in seeing people pass you before your eyes. It just takes a toll on your heart because you’re like ‘what am I doing wrong? What can I do better? How can I be where they are?’ You feel defeated so many times because you think of it like a bench player—the coach calls you into play and you run as fast as you can, and you get one play and they’re like ‘go sit back on the baseline’. That’s truly how I’ve been feeling and I don’t know what more I can possibly do at this point. This is not me, WWE doesn’t define who Ashley is. I am a strong competitor inside the ring, outside the ring, in the journey through life.
When I had been told the match isn’t happening, at that point I was like ‘no, this place does not define who I am. I am stronger than this, I want to go and prove to the world that you can’t keep me down.’ And I went to Jen I was like ‘I can’t believe this. I need to better myself’ and this and that, then I went into the locker room. I put my head down and I thought through everything that I had been through—I’ve been through injuries, I’ve been through deaths in my life, I’ve been through personal experiences growing up through my childhood—and I said ‘you know something, if I quit now, what kind of example am I going to be for everyone who supported me, who followed me, who’s been my backbone through the hardest times? I cannot give up now, I can only pick myself up and put my head up and put a smile on my face because there are millions of people in this world that would die to walk a mile in your shoes.’”
During the interview, Brooke also confirmed reports that Dana Warrior is working with the WWE creative team, calling Warrior one of her mentors and supporters.
Check out the full interview below: