For any champion, their is no doubt that the road to glory is paved in adversity, hard work, blood, sweat and tears. That is certainly the case with TNA Knockouts Champion Miss Tessmacher aka Brooke Adams. She is living proof that if you work hard enough, and want it bad enough, dreams do come true.
Adams grew up with her twin sister and mother in St. Louis, Missouri. After a turbulent period in that area, her mother moved the girls to Texas. Her life was far from charmed as the family struggled and experienced a period of homelessness. However, it was struggles such as these that would fuel the inner fire of this amazingly strong woman. As she got older, Adams began her career there as a model, modeling for various companies across the Texas region such as Hawaiian Tropic & Vertical Smiles. The stint as a model would lead her down and interesting path and she became involved in professional wrestling by trying out for the 2006 WWE Diva Search, for which she failed to make the top 8. Despite not making the cut, Adams was chosen to observe workouts in “development territory” Ohio Valley Wrestling, after which she was offered a developmental contract. She accepted and was assigned to Deep South Wrestling (DSW) to train, starting as the valet for Daniel Rodimer. This was a blessing in disguise. When Rodimer was called up to the main roster, she was left without a wrestler and focused on becoming a full-time wrestler herself — a development that would prove to be a true turning point in her life.
It wouldn’t be long before she would make her in-ring debut and would make her way to TNA Impact!. In March of 2010, edition of TNA Impact!, Adams made her Total Nonstop Action Wrestling debut in a backstage segment as Eric Bischoff’s assistant, under the ring name Miss Tessmacher, named after Lex Luthor’s girlfriend and assistant in the first two Superman movies. As time marched on, Brooke’s skills in the squared circle allowed her to move up the ladder and landed her a shot at the title. At “Slammiversary”, Tessmacher defeated Gail Kim to win the TNA Women’s Knockout Championship for the first time! Her meteoric rise has cemented her as a true talent in the sport and has established her as a fan favorite in the highly competitive world of professional wrestling.
Miss Tessmacher will face Madison Rayne at Hardcore Justice this Sunday August 12 for the TNA Knockouts Championship at the IMPACT Zone in Orlando, Florida. To find out details of the full card, visit hardcorejustice.com. To promote the big event, Brooke Adams recently took part in a teleconference with the media to discuss her career, upcoming title defense, what the future may hold for her and much more!
You have experienced a quick rise in your sport. To what do you attribute that success?
It has been a long road and I have been giving it everything I have in the last couple of months. When I first came into Impact! Wrestling, playing Miss Tessmacher, the secretary, it really wasn’t fulfilling. I wasn’t utilizing my talents to do what I wanted to do. I knew that to make an impact, I had to quit everything else I was doing and focus. I gave up the Hooters pageant to start training and I gave up another pageant and some other modeling gigs because I realized that had wrestling becoming the most important thing in my life. It also ended up being the most difficult sport that I have ever been involved in. It is the most difficult and the biggest challenge I have ever faced. To face that challenge, I did have to give up a lot of things. As everyone knows, Tara did help me tremendously, both in the ring and out of the ring. Also, Booker’s school with Paul cook, down here in Houston has helped me a lot. They are phenomenal! They have done a lot of one-on-one training with me and without them, none of this would have been possible. Obviously, being on the road with such talented Knockouts like Mickie James, Gail Kim and Tara is amazing. Being able to sit back and get a bird’s eye view of them and how they perform has really, really helped me step up my game. I am constantly watching and taking notes. To be there to see them yourself, is the best way to climb up the ladder the quickest. I just took was watching home! I watched a lot of video and put in a lot of man hours! It has been tough but now I am living my dream and it is all paying off! It is very surreal to me!
You didn’t have the easiest of childhoods. How has that kept you grounded and fueled your fire?
When you haven’t had everything handed to you and have had to work so hard — I guess it is something that is expected of you when you come into this company, is that you come into the wrestling world and give it everything! I am used to that! I can wake up every day and appreciate that I did this.No one gave this to me! I had to sweat the sweat, bleed the blood and do everything it took to get here. If I was to lose my career tomorrow, obviously I don’t want that to happen, but I know I actually got here. It is something I hold close to my heart. I have had so many troubles and things happen in my life but it is a good story and a way to inspire others! No matter what you background is, where you came from, how much money you have, if you had parents or if you didn’t, that shouldn’t stop you from achieving your goals and achieving your dream. You can get there. It has helped me stay grounded and realize that everything can be gone tomorrow and it does take hard work to get there.
What made you decide to pursue a career as a professional wrestler full-time?
When Tara and I won the Knockouts Championship, that is when it became very real to me. I don’t want to say she completely carried us but she carried us a lot. I wasn’t experienced enough to do that. I felt like I brought things to the table but not as much as I could have. In that moment, I realized I had to get better. I wanted to get out there and defend us as much as she defended me and I wanted to stand on my own. To get that feeling when we won, that is what made me hungry to become the Knockouts Champion. I knew I had to go home and train to get a lot better as a performer.
With your improvement in the ring, do you think people are starting to take you more seriously as a women’s wrestler as opposed to viewing you as a model in wrestling?
I do think they are taking me a little bit more seriously. I think I came in and really shocked people. I think that I did improve a tremendous amount in a short period of time, but that’s just all the work I’ve been putting in. I think for a while, still, I fought the whole stereotypical, ‘Oh, she’s just a model,’ and that’s fine and I’ll continue to keep improving and proving everyone wrong, but I think I finally opened everyone’s eyes to say, ‘Oh, wow, this girl can work and can get in there and isn’t scared.’ I’m a fighter; I’m a little firecracker, I can only go up.
A career in professional wrestling is not for the faint of heart. Do you feel it is any easy for women in the world of professional wrestling to carve out a career for themselves today than it has been on years past or is it still an uphill battle?
I don’t think it is easier. That is a tough question. When I got into the business, I came through the WWE Diva Search. I don’t even know if they have that anymore. I think it is easier in the sense that women are getting looked at more and are getting taken seriously. There still isn’t a massive amount of try-outs, but we do have “Gut Check,” so that is awesome, where people can come in and get recognized. It is still quite a bit challenging because you have to find where to look and find your place to shine. With women’s wrestling, we are proving ourselves every week, every month. It still takes time but we are doing that! So I am not sure if it is easier or harder but it is really all about getting yourself out there where you will get seen.
There is such a premiere line of talent in the company and you have had the opportunity to rub elbows with many legends of the sport. What is the best piece of advice someone has given you along the way?
To be patient! Be patient and to slow down! It is very difficult to get out there and get lost. You can get so freaked out and your emotions can start to control you. This is not something you will get overnight. I have always been really good at everything I have done as far as sports and being an athlete. I have really had to take a step back and suck everything in, keep my mouth closed and be patient. Like I said, it isn’t something you will get overnight and something you will achieve over time.
Who did you look to for inspiration as a performer?
I watch a lot of Trish Stratus, although I watch both men and women. I watch a lot of Shawn Michaels and Trish. She came into the business as a model and not taken seriously. So to watch her grow and having compared to her a lot I hope to be like her. I learn from Tara and Mickie James too. I hope my career will be as long and as fulfilled as theirs.
What have you found to be the biggest challenge of stepping up your game in the ring and out?
Talking in front of a crowd can be difficult but at the end of the day, is that going to win you a championship? No.The toughest part is learning the moves and learning foot work so that you aren’t getting caught up and getting taken advantage of and losing. That was the most difficult part. Coming up with reversals and outsmarting my opponents. That has been very hard for me. There are so many ways to get in and out of things. That is why I am training and I will continue to train.
What is on your short list to accomplish outside of the world of professional wrestling?
I’m working with a company in Dallas to have my own workout videos. I’m passionate about health and teaching others about how I have gotten to where I have. I have worked my whole life doing Richard Simmons workouts! I have been doing his ab routine since I was seven! [laughs] I wanted abs at seven, which is a little unrealistic! I started training and I want to tell the world how I have gotten here and how to be healthy. I would like to step into acting a little bit. i have been working with a company to improve my speaking skills and acting skills. Acting for me is not natural! I would like to do that as well as a few more music videos. That is a little more of the mainstream that I am looking for! That being said, maintaining my career with Impact! Wrestling is the most important aspect of my career!
Thank for you time, Brooke! We look forward to the evolution!
Jason Price founded the mighty Icon Vs. Icon more than a decade ago. Along the way, he’s assembled an amazing group of like-minded individuals to spread the word on some of the most unique people and projects on the pop culture landscape.