There has been much speculation online over the identity of Rebel, the new female face in TNA Wrestling that has been hanging around with Knux as part of the carny-inspired stable The Menagerie. She is Tanea Brooks, a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader.
Brooks is a friend of Knockout and creative writer Christy Hemme as they previously tagged along together for the dance group “The Purrfect Angelz.” Fans may also recognize Brooks from country musician Trace Adkins’ “Honkey Tonk Badonkadonk” music video.
Brooks apparently has plans to wrestle as she recently stated on her Facebook account that she was moving to Louisville, Kentucky—presumably to train at the organization’s unofficial developmental promotion, Ohio Valley Wrestling.
Rebel, whose real name is Tanea Brooks, was born on September 8, 1978 in Owasso, Oklahoma. She became a cheerleader for the Dallas Cowboys at the age of 18 and appeared on the cover of the squad’s swimsuit calendar. She is an old friend of Christy Hemme as the two danced side-by-side for the burlesque troupe “Purrfect Angelz”. Brooks moved to Los Angeles, California to further her career in dancing, acting and modeling. She attended the Napoleon Perdis academy of makeup and became a licensed cosmetologist throughout the state of California. Like WWE Diva Summer Rae, she played for the Lingerie Football League before becoming a wrestler.
At the suggestion of long-time friend and former “Purrfect Angelz” teammate Christy Hemme, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling offered Tanea Brooks a contract to join the organization. Branded as Rebel, Brooks made her TNA debut on the May 8, 2014 episode of Impact Wrestling as part of a stable called The Menagerie, which was also composed of Knux, The Freak and Crazzy Steve. She made her wrestling debut on the September 10, 2014 edition of Impact Wrestling, where she teamed with Knux and Crazzy Steve against Jessie Godderz, Robbie E and Velvet Sky—they lost. During a Knockouts Battle Royal on the following week’s episode of Impact Wrestling, Rebel fractured her arm after HAVOK knocked her over the top rope and she landed on the steel steps.
Rebel made her return to the squared circle on the October 15, 2014 edition of Impact Wrestling, teaming with Knux and Crazzy Steve against Angelina Love and Jessie Godderz and DJ Z. She was slated to make her singles wrestling debut against Love on the following week’s episode of Impact Wrestling, but fell victim to a malicious attack from HAVOK. Rebel participated in a battle royal for the TNA Knockouts Championship on the premiere episode of Impact Wrestling on Destination America, but was the first competitor to be eliminated.