WWE’s first transgender star Gabbi Tuft calls out Vince McMahon as she reveals she was ‘blocked’ from going backstage at Smackdown at Madison Square Garden
- San Francisco-born Tuft, 44, openly transitioned two years ago after her professional wrestling job fighting as dreadlocked gladiator Tyler Reks
- She admitted that she ‘didn’t realize’ she would miss WWE as much as she would
WWE’s first transgender star Gabbi Tuft revealed that she was ‘blocked’ from going backstage at Smackdown at Madison Square Garden – while throwing shade at Vince McMahon.
San Francisco-born Tuft, 44, openly transitioned two years ago after her years-long professional wrestling job fighting as dreadlocked gladiator Tyler Reks.
Despite her stellar career, she was denied backstage tickets to the event on July 7.
She admitted to the NYTimes at the New York City event that she ‘didn’t realize’ she would miss WWE as much as she would. This was her first time attending a wresting match since her retirement a decade ago.
Tuft, who now lives in Austin, Texas, said: ‘Actually, I really miss it. I didn’t realize I would.’
Tuft now has 124,000 followers on Instagram, and shares her journey as well as her fitness and lifestyle tips with her fans
Gabbi Tuft, before (left) and after (right) her transition from male to female
The trans ex-WWE star found out that she wouldn’t be able to go backstage, to wish her former colleagues and friends well, right before leaving for NYC.
A representative for WWE told NYTimes that the issue was caused by a ‘shortage of tickets,’ but an exception still wouldn’t be made to go backstage.
Speaking about Vince McMahon, the former CEO and current executive chairman of WWE, after finding out she didn’t have access, Tuft said: ‘One never knows with Vince.’
Vince McMahon, the executive chairman of WWE
Heading to the event, the trans former fighter said that people were barely recognizing her, which meant she was ‘old news.’ But she was also met with fans who said they loved her TikToks.
Posting on social media at the event, she wrote: ’11 years since I’ve been in an arena.
‘Amazing to feel the energy of the crowd and see old friends who’ve come so far.’
Tuft now has 124,000 followers on Instagram, and shares her journey as well as her fitness and lifestyle tips with her fans.
During the event, she also admitted that when she was younger, she would play dress up in her mom’s clothes when left alone.
But it was only during the pandemic that she had time to fully reflect on her identity – and therefore started to cross dress.
Her true self, ‘Gabbi,’ was ‘screaming to be let out,’ she told NYTimes.
WWE’s first transgender star Gabbi Tuft revealed that she was ‘blocked’ from going backstage at Smackdown at Madison Square Garden. She is pictured at the event on July 7
Despite her career, she was denied backstage tickets to the event on July 7
The fitness guru – who wrestled under the ring name Tyler Reks – shared the news of her transition via a press release in 2021, calling Gabbi’s journey a ‘thrilling story of gender transitioning’
WWE dreadlocked gladiator Tyler Reks, before transitioning in 2021
Back in 2021, she made headlines with her transition from male to female.
The fitness guru – who wrestled under the ring name Tyler Reks – shared the news via a press release, calling Gabbi’s journey a ‘thrilling story of gender transitioning.’
‘Gabbi is about to share her thrilling story of gender transitioning from a former WWE Superstar, Body Builder, Fitness Guru, Motivational Speaker and Motorcycle Racer to a fun loving and fabulous female,’ the release read.
‘She has been finally set free and ready to rule her world.’
The release continued, saying: ‘Despite his successes during and after his WWE career, Gabe was still wrestling with a secret persona dwelling deep within him. This is a persona he has been hiding in the loud silence of his soul since childhood.
‘Finally, with the blessing of his loving wife Priscilla, Gabe is ready to reveal who he really is. “He” is now known as “She”: A beautiful, wise, witty and wonderful woman called “Gabbi.”
‘This is a story that wrestling and other sports fans, friends and followers must not miss, especially many in the LGBTQ community dealing with challenging transgender issues, who Gabbi and [wife] Priscilla are willing to help.’
Tuft’s professional wrestling career spanned from 2008 to 2012, boasting appearances at Smackdown, Raw and Wrestlemania.
She created a fitness company called Body Spartan with wife Priscilla after retiring, which focuses on ‘positively transform the body, mind and spirit of men and women through targeted video workouts, nutritional programs and motivational sessions.’
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