Anna Bogomazova (WWE

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Anna Bogomazova

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Anna Bogomazova
Born (1990-04-07) 7 April 1990 (age 27)[1]
Voronezh, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union[1]
Other names The Master of Sports
Residence Miami, Florida
Nationality Russian
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)[2]
Weight 155 lb (70 kg)
Division Middleweight
Style Kickboxing, Taekwondo
Fighting out of Miami, Florida
Rank Black belt in Taekwondo
Years active 2004–present
Website www.annabogomazova.com

Anna Bogomazova[1][3] (born 7 April 1990)[1][2] is a Russian kickboxer, martial artist, professional wrestler and valet. She worked in WWE competing in their developmental territory NXT Wrestling, under the ring name Anya.

Early life[edit]

Bogomazova was born on 7 April 1990 in Voronezh, Russia.[1] At the age of 5 she took up calisthenics, which she studied for seven years.[1] Her parents insisted that she should quit because of her height.[1] From 2003 till 2004, Anna played tennis.[1] At the age of 14 she took up kickboxing.[1] Her styles consist of kickboxing and taekwondo. She eventually earned her black belt in taekwondo.[1]

She graduated from the Voronezh Cooperative Institute and Voronezh State University with the qualifications of a lawyer and a translator in the field of professional communications.[1]

Martial arts career[edit]

Kickboxing[edit]

Bogomazova began her career in competitive kickboxing in 2004 with Aleksei Dedov as her coach.[1] She has placed second in the Kickboxing World Championship in 2006 and 2008.[3] She has also placed first in the Kickboxing Russian Championship in 2008 and the Kickboxing World Cup in 2011.[4]

Since November 2010, she has been training in the USA.[1]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Anna Bogomazova
Born (1990-04-07) 7 April 1990 (age 27)[2]
Voronezh, Russia[2]
Residence Miami, Florida
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Anya[2]
Billed height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)[2]
Billed weight 155 lb (70 kg)
Billed from Voronezh, Russia[2]
Trained by FCW Staff[2]
Debut 2012

WWE (2012–2013)[edit]

In August 2012, Bogomazova signed a developmental contract with World Wrestling Entertainment and was assigned to its developmental territory NXT Wrestling (NXT).[3]

In early 2013, she broke her arm during a training session which she claimed lead to being released from her developmental contract on May 17, 2013.[5] She plans on suing WWE for injury and extra for damages due to having two surgeries and now she has a scar on her hand.[6] Bogomazova filed suit against Steve Keirn Inc. and World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. d/b/a Florida Championship Wrestling in Hillsborough County, Florida Circuit Court on March 8, 2017, claiming that the defendants did not properly train other amateur wrestlers, who ran into plaintiff while she warmed-up.[7] On June 23, 2017, the lawsuit was voluntarily dismissed.

In wrestling[edit]

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Kelly Kelly

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Kelly Kelly

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Kelly Kelly
Kelly Kelly 133874.jpg

Kelly during the Tribute to the Troops show in December 2008
Birth name Barbara Jean Blank[1]
Born (1987-01-15) January 15, 1987 (age 30)[2]
Jacksonville, Florida, U.S.[2][3]
Residence Malibu, California, U.S.[4]
Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Spouse(s) Sheldon Souray (m. 2016)[5][6]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Barbie Blank[7]
Kelly Kelly
Billed height 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)[7]
Billed weight 108 lb (49 kg)[7]
Billed from Jacksonville, Florida[8]
Trained by Ohio Valley Wrestling[7]
Debut June 13, 2006[7]
Retired December 4, 2012

Barbara Jean Blank-Souray[9] (born January 15, 1987) is an American model, reality television star, and former professional wrestler, better known by her ring name Kelly Kelly.

Blank made her debut on WWE television when she was 19 in 2006 and stayed with the company until 2012.[10] Since 2015, Blank has appeared in the reality television show WAGS.[10]

Early life

Barbara Jean Blank was born in Jacksonville, Florida. Blank was a fan of professional wrestling as a child, and cites Stone Cold Steve Austin as her favorite wrestler.[11] While growing up, Blank participated in gymnastics for ten years, before she was forced to quit due to an injury.[2] She later took up cheerleading.[2] Blank studied broadcast journalism, hoping to become a news anchor.[2][12] She was also a Hawaiian Tropic and Venus Swimwear bikini model.[2][12]

Professional wrestling career

World Wrestling Entertainment/WWE

Developmental territories (2006–2007)

In 2006, while working as a model, Blank was scouted by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) official John Laurinaitis, who was interested in signing her to a contract.[2] As a result, WWE contacted her modeling agency and invited her to their then-developmental territory, Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), for a tryout. Despite having no previous wrestling experience, she was offered a contract, which she signed in May 2006.[7][2][12] Even after being called up to WWE’s main roster, she continued to fly back and forth to OVW’s base of Louisville, Kentucky once a week to work shows; first as a ring announcer and referee, then as a wrestler.[13] One of her first matches took place at the September 6 television tapings, where she participated in a Divas battle royal, which was won by ODB.[2][13] In late 2007, she also made appearance in Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW), another developmental territory.[7]

Extreme Exposé (2006–2008)

Matt Striker and Kelly (right) during an ECW live event

Blank debuted for the ECW brand as Kelly Kelly. Originally, she was to be named just ‘Kelly’, but her ring name was expanded to ‘Kelly Kelly’ by WWE chairman Vince McMahon.[14] She made her debut on the first episode of ECW on June 13, 2006, becoming the youngest Diva on the WWE roster at the age of 19.[1][3][15] Her character, an exhibitionist, was introduced performing a striptease for the crowd.[12][15] The next week, while performing another striptease, Kelly was interrupted by her on-screen boyfriend, Mike Knox, who came to the stage and covered her with a towel before dragging her backstage.[12][16] Her stripping became a weekly segment known as Kelly’s Exposé and usually followed the same routine; Kelly would dance and strip until she was interrupted by Knox, who was upset by her exhibitionism and showing off her body to others.[17][18] Originally a solo segment, Kelly was joined by the villainous Candice Michelle on the July 11 edition of ECW.[7]

Knox began forcing Kelly to accompany him to ringside so he could keep an eye on her, making her his de facto valet.[17] As a result, she found herself involved in the feud developing between Mike Knox and partner Test with Tommy Dreamer and his partner The Sandman, including being inadvertently hit with a cane by Sandman when Knox used her as a shield.[19] She made her in-ring debut for the brand on the August 22, 2006 episode of ECW on Sci-Fi in a losing effort, as part of a six-person mixed tag team match which saw herself, Knox, and Test lose to Dreamer, Sandman and Torrie Wilson, in what was the last match of the feud.[20]

Following the feud, Kelly and Knox were moved into a storyline with CM Punk in September, in which Kelly was shown to have developed a liking for Punk, and Knox was shown to be increasingly protective and jealous.[21] During the next month, Kelly continuously flirted with Punk and was shown watching his matches from the crowd, until Knox stopped her.[22][23] Subsequently, Kelly’s character dressed as Punk for ECW’s Halloween Costume Contest, enraging Knox and leading to a match between the two, during which Kelly cheered for Punk.[24][25] At December to Dismember, Kelly and Knox took on the team of Ariel and Kevin Thorn in a mixed tag team match, during which Knox refused to tag in before abandoning Kelly, leaving her to be beaten down by Ariel.[26] On the following episode of ECW, Kelly defeated Ariel with a roll-up on her first ECW singles match, after which Knox came to ringside with flowers, only to throw them in Kelly’s face and perform his signature swinging reverse STO on her, ending their relationship and giving her a scripted injury, removing her from the program for six weeks.[2][27]

She returned to television on January 16, 2007 and cut a promo announcing that she was newly single and bringing back Kelly’s Exposé.[28] The following week, she joined Layla and Brooke to form Extreme Exposé.[29] The trio performed a weekly dance segment on ECW for the next several months, as a successor to Kelly’s Exposé.[7] In June 2007, The Miz was moved to the brand, prompting a storyline in which all three members of Extreme Exposé were attracted to him.[7][30][31] When Kelly shifted her attentions towards Balls Mahoney, Layla, Brooke, and Miz mocked her, and Miz later prevented her from going on a date with Mahoney, stating that he owned her contract and would fire her if she did so.[32][33][34] On November 1, Brooke was released from her WWE contract, and Extreme Exposé dissolved as a group, leaving Kelly and Layla to enter an ongoing rivalry with more active wrestling roles.[12][35] On the October 29 episode of Raw, Kelly won a battle royal to earn a match against the WWE Women’s Champion, Beth Phoenix. After the match however, Kelly was attacked by Phoenix and lost the subsequent match between the two the following week on Raw.[36][37] Kelly continued to feud with Layla, and they were on opposite sides of a 10-Diva tag team match at Survivor Series, which Kelly’s team won.[2][38] In December, Layla formed an alliance with Victoria, which expanded to include Lena Yada in January 2008, and Kelly continued to feud with the trio.[7][39][40] At WrestleMania XXIV, Kelly was a “lumberjill” for the Divas’ tag team lumberjill match.[7] The following month, Kelly was part of the losing team in a five-on-five Divas tag team match at Backlash.[41]

Various feuds (2008–2011)

Kelly at a house show in 2008

Following the 2008 WWE Draft, Kelly was moved to the Raw brand on July 7. Kelly had her debut match as part of the brand that same night, teaming with Mickie James to defeat Layla and Jillian Hall.[42] She quickly became involved in a feud with Beth Phoenix, facing her on multiple occasions in both singles and tag team matches with a variety of opponents, including Mickie James and Candice Michelle.[7][43][44] During this time, Phoenix was aligned with Jillian Hall, and in late September, Kelly transitioned into a feud with Hall.[45][46][47] At Survivor Series in November, Kelly was part of the victorious Raw Diva team which defeated the SmackDown Divas in a five-on-five elimination match; she eliminated Victoria, before being eliminated by Maryse.[48] The following month at Armageddon, Kelly teamed with Maria, Michelle McCool and Mickie James in a winning effort against Jillian Hall, Maryse, Victoria and Natalya.[49]

On April 5, 2009, Kelly competed in a Divas battle royal at WrestleMania XXV, which was won by Santina Marella.[50] On the May 18 episode of Raw, Kelly won a battle royal by eliminating Beth Phoenix and Mickie James, to become the number one contender to the WWE Divas Championship.[51] The following week, she challenged Maryse for the championship and won by disqualification, allowing Maryse to retain.[52] Kelly lost a subsequent rematch on June 8.[53] Three weeks later, she competed in a fatal four-way match to determine the number one contender, but the match was won by Mickie James.[54] Throughout the remainder of mid-2009, Kelly unsuccessfully competed in several number one contender’s matches.[55][56] At Bragging Rights in October, Kelly, Gail Kim and Melina comprised Team Raw, but lost to Team SmackDown, consisting of Beth Phoenix, Natalya and Michelle McCool.[57] The following month at Survivor Series, Kelly participated in a five-on-five elimination match; she eliminated Layla before being eliminated by Phoenix, however her team went on to win the match.[58]

In January 2010, Kelly participated in the tournament to determine a new Divas Champion, after Melina was forced to vacate the championship due to injury, but was eliminated by Alicia Fox in the first round.[59] Throughout early 2010, Kelly was involved in several backstage segments with the guest hosts of Raw.[7] At WrestleMania XXVI, Kelly teamed with Beth Phoenix, Gail Kim, Mickie James and Eve Torres in a losing effort to Michelle McCool, Layla, Maryse, Alicia Fox and Vickie Guerrero.[60] The following night on Raw, the teams faced off in a rematch with the opposite result.[61] The following week, Kelly took part in a 10-Diva “Dress To Impress” battle royal, to determine the number one contender for Maryse’s Divas Championship, but the match was won by Eve Torres.[62]

A blonde, Caucasian woman smiles while raising both her hands above her head. She is wearing a red and white dress with a white fur trim.

Kelly at the 2010 Tribute to the Troops event

During the 2010 WWE draft on April 26, Kelly was drafted to the SmackDown brand.[63] She made her debut on the April 30 episode of SmackDown, teaming with Beth Phoenix to defeat LayCool (Michelle McCool and Layla).[64] She went on to feud with LayCool, gaining an ally in Tiffany. Over the next several weeks, Kelly and Tiffany faced LayCool in tag team matches, with LayCool winning on both occasions.[65][66] On the June 4 episode of SmackDown, Kelly made her singles debut for the brand, defeating Rosa Mendes, despite being distracted by Layla and McCool.[67] After defeating both Layla and McCool in singles matches, Kelly received a WWE Women’s Championship match at Money in the Bank in July, but was unsuccessful.[68][69][70] On August 31, Kelly announced that she would be a mentor on the all-female third season of NXT, with Naomi as her rookie.[71] Throughout the second half of 2010, Kelly continued to feud with LayCool, and gained an ally in Natalya in October.[72][73][74] In November, Kelly’s NXT rookie, Naomi, was named runner-up to the winner, Kaitlyn, during the season finale.[75]

In December, Kelly started a storyline with Drew McIntyre, who had developed an on-screen romantic interest in her.[7] She rebuffed his advances on several occasions, stating that he was too aggressive and vindictive.[76][77][78] On January 30, 2011, at the Royal Rumble, Kelly prevented the Acting General Manager Vickie Guerrero from interfering in the World Heavyweight Championship match between Edge and Dolph Ziggler.[79] On the following SmackDown, Kelly and Edge defeated LayCool and Ziggler in a two-on-three handicap match to retain Edge’s World Heavyweight Championship, with Kelly scoring the pinfall. Following the match, Guerrero fired Kelly in storyline.[80] At Elimination Chamber later that month, Kelly was re-hired by SmackDown General Manager Teddy Long, and made her return by attacking Guerrero. She was stopped by LayCool, who were in turn stopped by Trish Stratus.[81] On the following episode of SmackDown, Kelly gained revenge on Guerrero when Kelly and Edge defeated Guerrero and Drew McIntyre in a mixed tag team match, causing Guerrero to be fired in storyline per the pre-match stipulation.[82]

Divas Champion (2011–2012)

Kelly (back) and Maria Menounos at WrestleMania XXVIII

On April 26, Kelly was drafted back to the Raw brand as part of the 2011 supplemental draft.[83] On May 22 at Over the Limit, Kelly unsuccessfully challenged Brie Bella for the WWE Divas Championship.[84] The following month, on the Power to the People special edition of Raw on June 20, Kelly won a fan vote to determine the challenger for the Divas Championship that night; Kelly went on to win her first Divas Championship by defeating Bella.[85][86] Her win later garnered her a Slammy Award for “Divalicious Moment of the Year”.[87][88] At Money in the Bank in July, Kelly made her first title defense, successfully defeating Brie Bella in a rematch.[89] On August 1, Beth Phoenix won a battle royal to become the number one contender to Kelly’s championship, and afterward attacked Kelly to provoke a feud between the two.[90] Kelly went on to successfully defend her championship against Phoenix at SummerSlam on August 14.[91] Following SummerSlam, Kelly continued to feud with Phoenix, defeating her at Night of Champions, before dropping the championship to her at Hell in a Cell on October 2, ending her reign at 104 days.[92][93] She failed to reign the championship on the October 14 episode of SmackDown in a rematch.[94] Kelly again challenged Phoenix for the Divas Championship at Tables, Ladders & Chairs, but was unsuccessful.[95]

At WrestleMania XXVIII in April 2012, Kelly and Extra correspondent Maria Menounos defeated Beth Phoenix and Eve in a tag team match.[96] In June, WWE granted Kelly a period of time off, and she returned on Raw on August 6, defeating Eve in singles match.[97][98] On September 28, Blank was released from her contract.[99] In a December 2012 interview, Blank stated she needed time off to heal a neck injury, and had plans to be a model.[100]

Independent circuit (2012)

Blank was set to appear at her first independent wrestling show in Waterbury, Connecticut at a North East Wrestling event on November 4, 2012, followed by a house show event on November 5, but her appearances were canceled due to Hurricane Sandy.[101] Blank eventually made her first appearance for North East Wrestling on December 4.[101]

Return to WWE (2017–present)

Since February 2017, she has served as an ambassador for WWE. Blank visited backstage and was interviewed for WWE.com at the February 13 edition of Raw. She later appeared during Wrestlemania weekend at Axxess and the Hall of Fame induction ceremony. [102][103] She appeared on the June 19, 2017 edition of Table for 3 on the WWE Network along fellow wrestlers Maryse and Eve Torres. [104]

Media appearances and acting roles

In April 2007, Kelly, along with Ashley Massaro, Layla El, Brooke Adams, Torrie Wilson, and Maryse Ouellet, appeared in a music video for the Timbaland song “Throw It on Me“, featuring The Hives.[105] In August 2007, all three members of Extreme Exposé took part in a photo-shoot for FHM Online.[106]

On April 11, 2008, Blank along with Mickie James, Melina Perez, and Layla El appeared in an episode of Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp as trainers.[107] Six days later, she appeared as a “Soccerette” on the British football show Soccer AM.[108] She appeared a second time on Soccer AM in 2009.[109] On June 14, 2011, Kelly and The Bella Twins appeared on an episode of The Price Is Right.[110] Blank was nominated as ‘Favorite Butt Kicker’ for the 2012 Kids’ Choice Awards. [111]

In 2011, Blank was ranked number 82 in Maxim‘s Hot 100.[112] Blank was later featured on both the front and back covers of Maxim in December 2011.[14] In 2012, Blank ranked number 38 in Maxim‘s Hot 100.[113][114][115]

She has appeared in seven WWE video games. She made her in-game debut at WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2008 and appears in WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2009, WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2010, WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2011, WWE ’12 and WWE ’13 .

Blank is one of the cast members of the E! reality television series WAGS, which began airing in August 2015 and features a look into the personal lives of the wives and girlfriends of sportsmen.[116]

Blank made her acting debut on the January 30, 2017 episode of Days of Our Lives appearing in a scene as a waitress who gives information to one of the show’s main characters. [117]

TV roles and appearances
Year Title Role Notes
2007 Throw It on Me Herself Music video
2008 Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp Herself/Trainer April 11, 2008
2008-2009 Soccer AM Herself/Soccerette Two Episodes (British TV)
2011 WWE Tough Enough Herself/Kelly Kelly May 16, 2011
2011 The Price Is Right Herself/Kelly Kelly June 14, 2011
2012 2012 Kids’ Choice Awards Herself/Kelly Kelly March 31, 2012
2015-present WAGs Herself Main role (20 episodes)
2017 Days of Our Lives Waitress with information Episode: January 30, 2017

Personal life

While training at OVW, Blank lived in Kentucky.[11] Following this, Blank lived in Tampa, Florida prior to moving to Miami. She then returned to living in Tampa in 2010.[3] As of 2015, she resides in Malibu, California.[4] She describes Trish Stratus as her inspiration in wrestling.[11]

Blank was in a two-and-a-half year relationship with wrestler Andrew Martin, that had ended prior to his death in March 2009.[118][119] In August 2014, she became engaged to former ice hockey player Sheldon Souray.[120] The couple were married in Mexico on February 27, 2016.[121]

In wrestling

Kelly (left) along with Phoenix (right) in Adelaide, South Australia during the July 2011 Raw live event.

Championships and accomplishments

Lisa Marie Varon

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Lisa Marie Varon

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Lisa Marie Varon
Lisa Marie Varon comic con 2013.jpg

Varon in April 2013
Birth name Lisa Marie Sole
Born (1971-02-10) February 10, 1971 (age 46)[1]
San Bernardino, California, U.S.[2]
Residence San Diego, California, U.S.[3]
Spouse(s) Lee Varon
(m. 1994; div. 2015)
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Head Bitch in Charge[4]
Queen “Tara” Victoria[4]
Tara[4]
Victoria[4]
Lisa Marie Varon
Billed height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)[5]
Billed weight 155 lb (70 kg)[6]
Billed from Chicago, Illinois
Los Angeles, California
Louisville, Kentucky
Trained by Ultimate Pro Wrestling
Memphis Championship Wrestling
Ohio Valley Wrestling
Dave Finlay[7]
Debut 2000[1]

Lisa Marie Varon[2] (née Sole; born February 10, 1971) is an American professional wrestler, fitness competitor, and bodybuilder.

Varon began competing in fitness competitions and won ESPN2‘s Fitness America Series in 1997.[8][9] In 1999, she placed second at a fitness event in New York City to earn her International Federation of BodyBuilders (IFBB) Professional Fitness Card.[1][6][9]

Through a chance meeting, Varon met World Wrestling Federation (WWF) performer Chyna, who encouraged her to become a professional wrestler.[1][6][8] She trained in the WWF’s developmental territories for three years before being moved to the main roster to compete full-time under the ring name Victoria.[8] Her first television appearance came at WrestleMania 2000, where she portrayed one of The Godfather’shos“. She debuted in June 2002, and four months later she was pushed to win the WWE Women’s Championship, a title she would go on to hold twice in her wrestling career. After leaving WWE in 2009, Varon debuted in TNA later that year as Tara. In TNA, she became a five-time TNA Knockouts Champion, making her a seven-time Women’s Champion overall.[4] She was also a one-time TNA Knockouts Tag Team Champion, with Brooke Tessmacher, collectively known as TnT.

Early life[edit]

Varon was born in San Bernardino, California, to a Puerto Rican father (who is a Vietnam veteran) and a Turkish mother who worked as a singer in Japan.[10][11] She grew up with three older brothers, all of whom became amateur wrestlers, with her oldest brother, Bobby, winning a gold medal at the 1983 Pan American Games.[1][2][12] Varon attended Eisenhower High School in Rialto, California. During high school, she was active in cheerleading, a sport in which she competed since the sixth grade.[1][2]

During her senior year in high school, she was nationally recognized by the National Cheerleading Association, earning an All-American award and being chosen to cheer at half-time of the NFL 1989 Pro Bowl, alongside 70 other women.[2][12][13] She participated in track and field events in the ninth grade.[1] After graduating, she studied biology at the University of California, Los Angeles and medicine at Loma Linda University, with the intent on becoming a physician.[6][8][12] She worked as a human tissue coordinator at the Inland Eye and Tissue Bank in Redlands, California, where she was involved in the process of organ donation.[6][2][7][8][12]

Bodybuilding and fitness career[edit]

While working at the eye and tissue bank, Varon became a personal trainer and taught aerobics. While training at a gym, she was offered an opportunity to compete in a bodybuilding competition, a contest she won as a middleweight.[6][8] She competed in fitness competitions, such as ESPN2‘s Fitness America Series in 1997 and 1998, winning the former, and the Miss Galaxy Competition in 1998, where she met and befriended Torrie Wilson.[1][8] After Wilson moved to Los Angeles, California and signed with the professional wrestling promotion World Championship Wrestling (WCW), she invited Varon to one of the shows. While backstage, an agent asked her to appear in a segment with Scott Hall.[1][8][12] Through Wilson, Varon unsuccessfully attempted to obtain a contract with WCW.[1] She later moved to Los Angeles to find work in televised news fitness segments.[1] In 1999, she earned her International Federation of BodyBuilders (IFBB) Professional Fitness Card after placing second at the National Physique Committee (NPC) Team Universe show in New York City.[1][6][2][9][12] It was during her time working in fitness competitions that Varon also first met Trish Stratus.[6]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment[edit]

Training and debut (2000–2001)[edit]

After moving to Los Angeles, Varon worked as a trainer at the gym Crunch Fitness, where she met World Wrestling Federation wrestler Chyna, who complimented Varon on her appearance and encouraged her to become a wrestler.[1][6][8] Varon would then put together a biography package and sent it to the WWF.[1][6][12] She heard from Kevin Kelly two days later, who invited her to an interview in a month’s time. With no previous wrestling experience, she looked up professional wrestling schools, and eventually began training at Ultimate Pro Wrestling (UPW) in Southern California in June 2000.[1][6][14] She wrestled under the ring name Head Bitch In Charge (HBIC), and appeared in a cheerleading outfit, with a snooty gimmick, similar to WCW Nitro Girl Miss Hancock.[1][14][15] She impressed WWF talent scout Bruce Prichard during her first UPW show.[1][12]

Varon made her on-screen debut in the WWF portraying one of The Godfather’shos“. She was referred to as the “head ho”, and led the “Save the Hos” campaign.[2][16] On the August 7 episode of Raw, Varon took a bump by being powerbombed through a table by The Godfather’s next persona, The Goodfather.[1][2][14] After this, she was given the name Victoria.[2][14] She was removed from television in November, and sent to WWF’s then-developmental territory Memphis Championship Wrestling (MCW) for extensive training.[2][12][14] Victoria briefly acted as the commissioner for MCW, and was involved in storyline feuds with Stacy Carter and Ivory.[12][14] She also managed Steve Bradley before MCW closed in 2001.[1] Varon later relocated to Louisville, Kentucky to train in Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), using the ring name Queen Victoria.[1][2][8][14] She was placed as the manager of the tag team the Basham Brothers, and managed one of the team members, Doug Basham, to win the OVW Heavyweight Championship on July 25, 2001.[14]

Women’s Championship reigns (2002–2004)[edit]

Varon returned to the renamed World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) as Victoria on the July 7, 2002 episode of Sunday Night Heat, in an angle with Trish Stratus, who Victoria claimed had betrayed her when they worked together as fitness models.[14][17] The storyline had her character become a demented, sadistic villain, as she and Stratus feuded for months.[14][18] Her first pay-per-view match came at No Mercy, where she was defeated by Stratus. The following month at Survivor Series, Victoria defeated Stratus in a hardcore match, to win the WWE Women’s Championship for the first time.[19][20] Victoria would go on to successfully retain her championship against Stacy Keibler, with the debut of her finishing move, the Widows Peak. The following night on Raw, Victoria was attacked in the ring by Stratus. Steven Richards came to her aid, establishing an on-screen relationship between Victoria and Richards.[14][21][22]

Victoria continued to feud with Trish Stratus into 2003, competing against her in successful title defenses and mixed tag team matches, during which Victoria teamed with Richards.[14] At WrestleMania XIX, Victoria dropped the Women’s Championship back to Stratus during a Triple Threat match that also involved Jazz.[23][24] Throughout the rest of the year, Victoria was involved in matches against other Divas, such as participating in a Fatal Four-Way match for the Women’s Championship at Judgment Day, and defeating Lita in the first women’s steel cage match in WWE history on November 24.[25][26] Victoria also defeated Ivory in a number one contender’s match for the Women’s Championship on the last episode of Sunday Night Heat of 2003. After the match, Women’s Champion Molly Holly struck Victoria in the head with the title belt.[27]

The next week on Raw, Victoria became a fan favorite for the first time in her WWE career, when she attacked Holly after the two women were placed in a team, along with Miss Jackie, for a six-woman tag team match. During her face run, she abandoned her sadistic and unstable personality, and began wearing hippie shorts and performed a gyrating moonsault. On January 5, 2004, Victoria was set for a title match with Molly Holly, however she was attacked by Test before the match.[18][28][29]

The angle with Molly Holly continued into the next year, with Victoria defeating Holly in tag team matches.[30][31] On February 23, 2004, Victoria defeated Holly, Lita and Jazz in a fatal four–way elimination match, to win her second Women’s Championship.[32] After defeating Holly in a tag team match the next week, Victoria was challenged by Holly to a rematch for the title at WrestleMania XX, which later became a hair vs title match.[33][34] At the pay-per-view, Victoria won the match, and shaved Holly’s head bald.[34][35] She held the Women’s Championship until June 13, when she dropped the title to the villainous Trish Stratus during a Fatal Four-Way match at Bad Blood, that also included Lita and Gail Kim, and was unsuccessful in regaining it in a rematch a week later.[35][36][37] After defeating Molly Holly at Vengeance to become the number one contender,[38] Victoria lost to Stratus at Unforgiven for the championship.[39][40] Prior to Unforgiven, several of Victoria’s matches were interrupted by a mysterious person in drag, who was later revealed to be Steven Richards, with whom she was previously allied.[40] After the match with Stratus, the storyline culminated when Richards challenged Stratus’ ally Tyson Tomko to a match, which Richards lost.[41]

Vince’s Devils (2005–2006)[edit]

Victoria during a WWE house show in 2006

On the May 30, 2005 episode of Raw, Victoria participated in a swimsuit contest, losing to Christy Hemme. Following the loss, the storyline had Victoria become a villainess by attacking the other contestants, as well as host Jerry Lawler, claiming that she had enough of the attention Hemme was receiving.[18][42] The two engaged in a short feud which culminated in a match at Vengeance, which Victoria won.[43] During her heel run, Victoria adopted the gimmick of a bully-like enforcer, when she was placed in an angle alongside Torrie Wilson and Candice Michelle (collectively known as the Ladies in Pink, and later Vince’s Devils) on August 29, portraying the role of the group’s enforcer, as the three women joined forces against the 2005 Diva Search winner Ashley Massaro.[44] Massaro was assisted in the storyline feud by Trish Stratus, and at Unforgiven, Victoria and Wilson were defeated by Stratus and Massaro.[45] The angle continued into WWE Homecoming, where the Ladies in Pink lost a Handicap Bra and Panties match to Stratus and Massaro. The three of them competed in the first ever Bra and Panties gauntlet match, where Ashley was declared the winner by last eliminating Victoria. At the 2006 Royal Rumble, they appeared flirting with Vince McMahon.

On the March 6, 2006 episode of Raw, Victoria and Candice turned on Wilson during Candice’s Playboy cover unveiling, starting an angle between the former teammates.[46] A scheduled match was set to take place at WWE Saturday Night’s Main Event on the March 18 episode with Victoria and Candice against Wilson and Stratus. As part of the storyline, however, on the episode of Raw prior to the event, Wilson was found unconscious, with the implication being that Victoria and Candice had attacked her.[47][48] The match eventually took place on March 27, with Victoria and Candice being defeated.[49] The alliance of Victoria and Candice fell apart during a tag team match on July 17, in which Victoria and Mickie James were defeated by Wilson and Trish Stratus, with Candice as the special guest referee.[50]

SmackDown and departure (2007–2009)[edit]

Victoria was given a push on November 27, after she won a number one contender’s battle royal.[51] Varon gained notoriety from the match when it was reported that her kick to Candice Michelle‘s face had resulted in a legitimate broken nose that required surgery.[52][53] Following the victory, the angle had her carry a checklist to the ring which contained the names of other Divas.[54] Each week, she checked a name off the list after defeating them in matches.[55] She also defeated WWE Women’s Champion Mickie James in a non-title match.[56] Victoria lost the championship match against James at New Year’s Revolution, and a rematch on January 15, 2007.[57][58]

On June 17, Victoria was moved to the SmackDown brand as part of the WWE Supplemental Draft.[59] Victoria became involved in an on-screen relationship with Kenny Dykstra,[60] and the duo was placed in feuds against Torrie Wilson and Jimmy Wang Yang,[61][62] as well as Michelle McCool and Chuck Palumbo.[63] While on a tour of Europe with WWE in December 2007, Varon claimed to have legitimately broken McCool’s nose.[64]

Victoria alongside Natalya during an SmackDown house show in 2008

Victoria later allied herself with the debuting Natalya in April. At the Backlash pay-per-view on April 28, Victoria teamed up with Natalya, Beth Phoenix, Jillian Hall, Layla and Melina to defeat Mickie James, Maria Kanellis, Ashley, Michelle McCool, Cherry and Kelly Kelly.[4] On the May 2 episode of SmackDown!, Victoria and Natalya defeated McCool and Cherry.[65] In October, Victoria lost to the debuting Brie Bella, when Brie disappeared under the ring during the match, emerged appearing refreshed, and won. On the September 26 episode of SmackDown, Victoria and Natalya lost to Maria and Brie.[4] On the October 31 episode of SmackDown, Victoria teamed up with Natalya and Maryse in losing effort to Michelle McCool, Maria and Brie.[4] On the November 7 episode of SmackDown!, Victoria was accompanied by Natalya, where she was once again defeated by Brie. After the match, it was revealed that Brie had been switching places under the ring with her twin sister, Nikki Bella, and the twins proceeded to attack Victoria and Natalya.[4] On the November 21 episode of SmackDown, Victoria teamed up with Natalya in losing effort to The Bella Twins (Nikki and Brie).[4] On the November 28 episode of SmackDown, Victoria teamed up with Natalya and Maryse to defeat the Bella Twins and Michelle McCool.[4] Following a loss in a singles match to a McCool which aired on the January 16, 2009 episode of SmackDown, Victoria announced that she would be retiring from WWE. She then thanked the fans, and gave farewell to staff at ringside.[4]

After leaving WWE, Varon began training for a career in mixed martial arts, and practiced Jiu Jitsu.[66][67] She returned to WWE for one night only in April 2009, when she was part of the 25 Divas battle royal at WrestleMania XXV, outlasting the five other former WWE Divas. She eliminated Maria, but was eliminated by The Bella Twins.

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling[edit]

Debut and Knockouts Champion (2009–2010)[edit]

Varon signing autographs at the Chicago Comic Con in August 2009

On May 24, 2009, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) confirmed that Varon had signed a contract with the company.[68] She debuted on the May 28, 2009 episode of TNA Impact!, under the ring name Tara, later revealed to be short for “Tarantula“. She made her intentions known by attacking The Beautiful People (Angelina Love, Velvet Sky, and Madison Rayne) after Love’s match with Sojournor Bolt, establishing herself as a fan favorite. On the June 11 episode of Impact!, Tara won her debut match against Madison Rayne. On the July 1 episode of Impact!, Tara began bringing her pet tarantula, named Poison, with her to the ring. After winning a tag team match against The Beautiful People, she put the spider on the unconscious body of Velvet Sky. On the July 9 episode of Impact!, after Tara threatened to put her spider on Sky once again, Angelina Love agreed to put her TNA Knockouts Championship on the line, which Tara ultimately won,[69] only to lose the title back to Love two weeks later at Victory Road.[70]

On the September 24 episode of Impact!, Tara teamed with the new Knockouts Champion ODB to challenge Sarita and Taylor Wilde for the TNA Knockouts Tag Team Championship, but they lost after Awesome Kong interrupted and distracted her during the bout.[71] During the following two weeks of Impact!, Tara and Kong both received one-on-one Knockouts Championship matches from ODB, but both of them ended up losing after the other interfered in the match.[72][73] At Bound for Glory, ODB defeated both Tara and Kong in a three-way match to retain the title.[74] During the match, Tara was confronted by mixed martial artist Kim Couture to set up an MMA fight between the two, which, however, never came to fruition.[75][76] At Turning Point, Tara defeated Kong in a Six Sides of Steel match.[77] On November 26, Tara won a ten-woman battle royal to earn a shot at the Knockouts Championship at Final Resolution.[78] At the event, she defeated ODB to win the Knockouts Championship for the second time.[79] On the January 4, 2010 episode of Impact!, Tara lost the title back to ODB.[80] Two weeks later at Genesis, Tara defeated ODB in a two out of three falls match to regain the title, making her a three-time champion.[81]

On the February 18, 2010 episode of Impact!, Tara defeated Daffney by disqualification, after she hit Tara with a toolbox.[82] At Destination X, Tara successfully defended her title against Daffney, who stole Poison the tarantula from her after the match.[83] On the March 29 episode of Impact!, Tara retained her title against Daffney for a second time, this time in the first ever women’s First Blood match in TNA.[84] On the April 5 episode of Impact!, Tara was one of the four winners in an eight-Knockout Lockbox match. The box she opened contained her pet tarantula, Poison. At the same time, however, Tara lost the Knockouts Championship to Angelina Love.[85] After losing the title, Tara began turning villainous due to her friction with Love heading into their match against The Beautiful People (Madison Rayne and Velvet Sky). At Lockdown, Tara cemented her heel turn by attacking Love after losing a tag team steel cage match against Rayne and Sky.[86]

Alliance with Madison Rayne (2010–2011)[edit]

On April 28, 2010, Varon announced on her MySpace blog that she would be leaving TNA the following month, after refusing to re-sign with the company, due to not receiving a pay increase.[87] On the May 3 episode of Impact!, Tara challenged Madison Rayne to a match at Sacrifice, where she would put her career on the line against Rayne’s Knockouts Championship.[88] At Sacrifice on May 16, Tara failed to win the match, and as a result her TNA career came to an end.[89] After her TNA career came to a halt, she continued to discuss a new contract with Dixie Carter.[90]

Tara upon her return to TNA while wearing a motorcycle helmet in 2010

She returned to the company on July 11 at Victory Road as a villainess, disguising herself by wearing a motorcycle helmet and attacking Angelina Love during her match for the Knockouts Championship.[91][92] In the following weeks, she aligned herself with Madison Rayne against Love and Velvet Sky.[93][94] Tara was ultimately unmasked on the September 2 episode of Impact!, when she and Rayne defeated Love and Sky in a tag team match, after hitting Sky with the motorcycle helmet.[95] On the September 30 episode of Impact!, Rayne signed a waiver to allow Tara to return to in-ring competition.[96] At Bound for Glory, Tara defeated Angelina Love, Velvet Sky, and Madison Rayne in a Four Corners match to win the Knockout Championship for the fourth time, much to the dismay of Rayne, who thought Tara’s intention was to help her regain the title.[97] On the following episode of Impact!, Tara laid down for Rayne and allowed her to pin her to regain the Knockouts Championship, giving Tara the shortest reign in the title’s history. The following week, Tara attacked Mickie James after her victory over Sarita.[98][99] At Turning Point, Tara wrestled James to a double disqualification, after James pushed the referee, and they began brawling.[100] On the December 2 Impact!, Tara attacked James while she was singing her single “Hardcore Country”, which later led to James attacking her.[101][102] At Final Resolution, Tara defeated James in a Falls Count Anywhere match, following interference from Madison Rayne.[103] On the following episode of Impact!, James defeated Tara in a steel cage match.[104] During the match, Tara legitimately tore a ligament in her elbow, but the injury did not require surgery.[105][106] On the December 16 episode of Impact!, Tara and Rayne defeated James and Ms. Tessmacher to advance the finals of a tournament for the vacant TNA Knockouts Tag Team Championship.[107] The following week, they were defeated in the finals by Angelina Love and Winter.[108]

In 2011, Madison Rayne would start a rivalry with Mickie James over the Knockouts Championship, and would successfully defend the title against her at Genesis and Against All Odds, after Tara interfered in both matches.[109][110] During the feud, Tara began claiming that Rayne had gone too far in her brutality towards Mickie James, but was forced to follow her orders due to being under exclusive contract with her, and not TNA.[111] After Rayne lost the Knockouts Championship to James at Lockdown, James agreed to give her a rematch on the condition that if she is unable to regain the title, Tara would be released from her contract with Rayne.[112][113] On May 15 at Sacrifice, Tara became a fan favorite after knocking out Rayne during her match with James, costing her the Knockouts Championship and guaranteeing herself a release from her contract with Rayne.[114]

TnT and relationship with Jesse (2011–2013)[edit]

Tara and Madison Rayne had their first match against each other since the break–up of their partnership on the May 19 episode of Impact Wrestling, where Tara teamed with Mickie James and Ms. Tessmacher against Rayne, Sarita and Rosita. Tara won the match for her team by pinning Rosita, after Rayne, who avoided her former partner throughout the match, sacrificed her in order to get away from the ring.[115] Tara and Rayne faced each other again on the July 14 episode of Impact Wrestling, where Tara was victorious after distracting Rayne with her tarantula.[116] On the July 21 episode of Impact Wrestling, Tara and Ms. Tessmacher, later named TnT, defeated Mexican America (Rosita and Sarita) to win the TNA Knockouts Tag Team Championship.[117][118] Tessmacher and Tara made their first title defense on August 7 at Hardcore Justice, defeating Mexican America in a rematch.[119] On the September 29 episode of Impact Wrestling, Tara was defeated by her former partner Madison Rayne in a match to determine the third and final challenger for the TNA Knockouts Championship at Bound for Glory.[120] On the November 3 episode of Impact Wrestling, Tara and Tessmacher lost the Knockouts Tag Team Championship to Gail Kim and Madison Rayne.[121] On the January 26, 2012 episode of Impact Wrestling, Tara defeated Mickie James and Velvet Sky in a three-way match to earn a match for the Knockouts Championship.[122] On February 12 at Against All Odds, Tara was unsuccessful in her title challenge against Gail Kim.[123]

On the August 23 episode of Impact Wrestling, Tara defeated the new Knockouts Champion and TnT partner Miss Tessmacher in a non-title match, and was subsequently named number one contender for her title.[124][125] On September 9 at the No Surrender, Tara challenged Tessmacher for the Knockouts Championship, but failed to capture the title.[126] On the following episode of Impact Wrestling, Tara congratulated Tessmacher on her victory, only to attack Tessmacher shortly afterwards, turning Tara into a villainess and effectively disbanding TnT.[127] On the September 27 episode of Impact Wrestling, Tara defeated ODB in a number one contender’s match to earn another shot at Miss Tessmacher’s Knockouts Championship.[128] On October 14 at Bound for Glory, Tara defeated Tessmacher to win the TNA Knockouts Championship for a record-tying fifth time. Afterwards, Tara introduced her “Hollywood boyfriend”, the debuting Jesse.[129] Tara made her first successful title defense on the October 25 episode of Impact Wrestling, defeating Tessmacher in a rematch following interference from Jesse.[130] On November 11 at Turning Point, Tara and Jesse were defeated by ODB and Eric Young.[131] On December 9 at Final Resolution, Tara successfully defended her Knockouts Championship against Mickie James after a distraction from Jesse.[132] On the December 20 episode of Impact Wrestling, Tara defeated James again to retain her title.[133] Tara went on to have another successful title defense on the January 25, 2013, episode of Impact Wrestling, defeating Velvet Sky.[134] On the February 21 episode of Impact Wrestling taped in London, England, Tara lost the championship to Sky in a fatal four–way elimination match, also involving Gail Kim and Miss Tessmacher, ending her reign at 104 days.[135] Tara received her rematch on the February 28 episode of Impact Wrestling, but was again defeated by Sky.[136] The following months, Tara would make increasingly fewer appearances, and would be rarely used competing in matches.[137][138][139] On the July 14 episode of TNA Xplosion, Tara would wrestler her final match in TNA losing to ODB. Two days later on July 16, Tara was released from her TNA contract.[140][141]

Varon later stated in an interview that she was close to leaving TNA prior to her release, and that she would never return to TNA.[142] She also stated that her tenure in TNA was great, but different from WWE and made her “appreciate WWE a lot”.[143]

Independent circuit (2011–present)[edit]

Tara took part of Family Wrestling Entertainment‘s FWE: Fallout pay-per-view on November 15, 2011, defeating Madison Rayne with Christy Hemme as the special guest referee. Tara returned to the promotion on February 25, 2012, taking part of a tournament to determinate the inaugural FWE Women’s Champion at FWE: No Limits, losing to Maria Kanellis. Tara then helped Maria defeat Winter to win the championship alongside her partner Ms. Tessmacher.[144] On November 9, 2013, Varon debuted at House of Hardcore 3, where she and Stevie Richards were defeated by Carlito and Rosita.

On June 19, 2015, Varon returned to the independent circuit at Maryland Championship Wrestling‘s Ladies Night event, serving as the special guest referee for the MCW Women’s Championship main event match between Mickie James and Amber Rodriguez. Varon attacked the villainous enforcer, Melina, after Melina interfered and attacked James, who went on to capture the title.[145]

On September 2, 2016, Victoria made her debut for Chikara, when she entered the 2016 King of Trios tournament as part of Team Original Divas Revolution, alongside Jazz and Mickie James. They defeated Team Shimmer (Candice LeRae, Crazy Mary Dobson and Solo Darling) in their first round match.[146] The following day, Team Original Divas Revolution was eliminated from the tournament by The Warriors Three (Oleg the Usurper, Princess KimberLee and ThunderFrog).[147]

Ring of Honor (2013)[edit]

Varon debuted for Ring of Honor on October 26, 2013, under her real name. She made an FAQ before Glory by Honor XII. At the event, she attacked Maria Kanellis with a Widow’s Peak.[148]

Business ventures[edit]

Varon owned a restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky named Fat Tony’s Pizzeria, but sold it in May 2007.[149] In May 2008, she and her husband opened a custom car shop, Black Widow Customs, in Louisville.[150][151] The shop was destroyed on December 16, 2010, in a fire, which the authorities deemed suspicious.[152] This occurred the day after a local TV show’s “Consumer Watch” segment. Antwane Glenn, a football player at the University of Kentucky, wanted a refund after claiming his car was left un-drivable following Black Widow Customs’ work on it. He contacted WHAS11 and the story was profiled on the show.[153]

In March 2013, Varon opened a wrestling themed restaurant in Chicago, Illinois named The Squared Circle.[154][155] In January 2015, Varon announced that she would be moving back to California, leaving the restaurant under her husband and a friend. Despite this, Varon continues to make regular visits to the restaurant.[156]

Other media[edit]

Varon has made guest appearances on television shows V.I.P. and Nikki, as well as participated in two fitness competitions for the Univision program Sábado Gigante.[2][13] In November 2010, she was a contestant on an all-TNA week of Family Feud, teaming with Angelina Love, Christy Hemme, Lacey Von Erich and Velvet Sky against Jay Lethal, Matt Morgan, Mick Foley, Mr. Anderson and Rob Van Dam.[157] On November 10, 2012, Varon, along with several other TNA employees, were featured in an episode of MTV‘s Made.[158]

Personal life[edit]

Varon was married to Lee Varon from 1994 to 2015.[159][160][161]

Varon has a tattoo of a heart on her ankle, which she got in high school and hid from her parents.[162] She is a fan of motorcycles and owns a Suzuki Hayabusa.[7][149]

In an interview for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Varon was quoted as saying she was legitimately jealous of the 2004 WWE Diva Search winner Christy Hemme. She retracted the statement on her website, claiming the reporter had misquoted her when she mentioned that she was jealous of Hemme’s paycheck, as it was a lot higher than what Varon received in her rookie year.[163]

In wrestling[edit]

Tara setting up to perform the Widow’s Peak on Gail Kim

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Victoria is a two-time WWE Women’s Champion

Tara is a five-time TNA Knockout’s champion

Cheerleading[edit]

  • National Cheerleading Association
    • NCA All-American Award

Fitness and figure competition[edit]

  • Debbie Kruck Fitness Classic
    • 1st (Tall Class; 1999)[9]
  • ESPN2 Fitness America Series
    • 1st place (1997)[9]
    • 2nd place (1998)[9]
  • Lifequest Triple Crown
    • Top 20 (1997)[9]
  • National Physique Committee
    • NPC Inland Empire – 1st (MW; 1995)[9]
    • NPC Team Universe – 2nd (Tall Class; 1999)[9]
  • Women’s Tri-Fitness
    • Ironwoman Tri-Fitness – 4th (1998)[9]
    • Tri-Fitness Hall of Fame (2012)[189]

Professional wrestling[edit]

Luchas de Apuestas[edit]

Winner (wager) Loser (wager) Location Event Date Notes
Victoria (championship) Molly Holly (hair) New York City, New York WrestleMania XX 000000002004-03-14-0000March 14, 2004 [34]
Madison Rayne (championship) Tara (career) Orlando, Florida Sacrifice 000000002010-05-16-0000May 16, 2010 [89]

Trish Stratus

Image result for TRISH STRATUS GIFS

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Image result for TRISH STRATUS GIFS

Image result for TRISH STRATUS GIFS

Image result for TRISH STRATUS GIFS

Image result for TRISH STRATUS GIFS

Image result for TRISH STRATUS GIFS

Image result for TRISH STRATUS GIFS

Image result for TRISH STRATUS GIFS

Trish Stratus

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Trish Stratus
Trish Stratus April 2014.jpg

Stratus in 2014
Birth name Patricia Anne Stratigeas[1][2]
Born (1975-12-18) December 18, 1975 (age 41)
Flemingdon Park, Ontario, Canada
Residence Toronto, Ontario, Canada[1]
Spouse(s) Ron Fisico (m. 2006)
Children 2
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Trish Stratus
Billed height 5 ft 3 in (1.60 m)[3][4]
Billed weight 125 lb (57 kg)[3]
Billed from Toronto, Ontario, Canada[4][5]
Trained by Ron Hutchison
Dave Finlay[6][7]
Debut March 19, 2000
Retired September 17, 2006

Patricia Anne Stratigeas (/ˈstrætɪəs/; born December 18, 1975) is a Canadian retired professional wrestler, former fitness model, fitness master, actress, television personality, and best known for her time in WWE under ring name Trish Stratus.

After beginning her career as a fitness model, Stratus began working for the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), which was later renamed World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). Early in her career, she was mostly involved in sexually themed storylines, such as managing the team T & A and an affair with Vince McMahon‘s Mr. McMahon character. As Stratus spent more time in the ring, her perceived wrestling skills strengthened and her popularity increased. Because of this, she was made a one-time WWE Hardcore Champion, three-time “WWE Babe of the Year” and was proclaimed “Diva of the Decade”. After nearly seven years in the business, Stratus retired from professional wrestling at WWE Unforgiven on September 17, 2006 after winning her record-setting seventh WWE Women’s Championship. In 2011, Stratus was a trainer for WWE Tough Enough. She was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013 at age 37, which made her at the time the youngest person to ever be inducted.

Aside from professional wrestling, Stratus is considered to be a sex symbol, appearing on a number of magazine covers and has been involved in charity work. She has also hosted several award and television shows, and owns a yoga studio.

Early life and fitness modelling[edit]

Stratigeas grew up in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada where she attended Bayview Secondary School.[8][9] She enrolled at York University, where she studied biology and kinesiology and played soccer and field hockey.[4][7][10] Due to a faculty strike in 1997, she was forced to change her plans.[4][7][8][9][10] She was working as a receptionist at a local gym when she was approached by the publisher of MuscleMag International to do a test shoot for the magazine.[9][11] She later appeared on the cover of the May 1998 issue and was signed to a two-year contract.[11] For the next six months, she worked on her body and appeared on numerous magazine covers.[9] During this time, she joined Big Daddy Donnie & Jeff Marek as the third host of Live Audio Wrestling on Toronto Sports Radio, The FAN 590.[4][12][13]

Stratigeas had been a fan of wrestling since childhood and was especially fond of wrestlers Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage, among others.[14] Her modelling work caught the attention of the World Wrestling Federation (WWF).[4][8][12][13][15] In November 1999, she was signed to a multi-year contract with the company, who sent her to Sully’s Gym where she was trained by Ron Hutchison.[4][8][9][13]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment/WWE[edit]

Managing and T & A (2000–2001)[edit]

Stratigeas made her debut as a villainous character on the March 19, 2000 episode of Sunday Night Heat, under the ring name Trish Stratus.[4] She appeared on stage to scout Test and Prince Albert. The next night on Raw, Stratus began her first role in the company, managing Test and Albert in the tag team T & A.[4][16] It was during her stint managing T & A that Stratus took her first major bump in the ring, by being driven through a table by the Dudley Boyz at Backlash, after she had been taunting Bubba Ray Dudley for several weeks.[17] In June, she was on the receiving end of a stink face from Rikishi on Raw.[18]

Stratus as Val Venis‘ manager during the 2000 King of the Ring event

She also began managing then-heel, Val Venis to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship, but their partnership ended at SummerSlam after Venis lost the title.[8] Stratus made her in-ring debut at the June 22 taping of SmackDown!, winning a tag team match with T & A against the Hardy Boyz and Lita. A storyline feud between Stratus and Lita developed after the match with Stratus attacking Lita on episodes of Raw and SmackDown!. This led to an Indian Strap match between the two women on the July 24 episode of Raw, which Stratus won with help from Stephanie McMahon.[3] She finished the year competing unsuccessfully for the WWF Women’s Championship numerous times, and separating from Test and Albert when the team disbanded.[19]

In early 2001, Stratus became involved in an angle with WWF Chairman Vince McMahon, during a time when Vince’s wife Linda was kayfabe institutionalized following a demand Vince had made for a divorce during an episode of SmackDown! on December 7, 2000.[8][20] Vince and Stratus’ relationship increasingly angered the boss’ daughter, then-heel, Stephanie McMahon.[4][5] On the February 19 episode of Raw, Stephanie and Trish were scheduled for a match, but it quickly got cancelled due to Stephanie getting stunned by Steve Austin. At No Way Out on February 25, Stratus and Stephanie squared off, with Stephanie scoring the victory after a run-in by William Regal.[21] In the midst of a tag team match that pitted Vince and Stratus against Regal and Stephanie the next night on Raw, Stratus was the victim of a set-up by Vince, Stephanie and Regal. Regal executed his finisher, the Regal Cutter, on Stratus and Stephanie then dumped sewage over Stratus’ body. Vince stood over Stratus, and he told her she was a “toy” with which he had “grown tired of playing with”.[22] The angle continued the next week on Raw, with Vince forcing Stratus to strip down to her black bra and panties in the ring and bark like a dog.[23] The storyline came to an end at WrestleMania X-Seven, when Stratus slapped Vince during his match against his son Shane,[4] becoming a fan favorite in the process.[8][24][25]

Women’s Champion (2001–2003)[edit]

Following her first face turn, Stratus began wrestling part-time. She teamed up with Lita against then-heels, Stacy Keibler and Torrie Wilson at InVasion.[5] After suffering an ankle injury in the summer, however, she was sidelined for the following three months. This interrupted not only her recent venture into wrestling, but also an on-screen romance with Jeff Hardy and budding storyline with Team Xtreme.[26] As she rehabilitated, she kept herself visible by co-hosting Excess on TNN.[5] After returning in autumn, Stratus appeared at Survivor Series where she won the WWF Women’s Championship for the first time in a six-pack challenge.[4][27][28] Stratus was next involved in a feud with Jazz over the Women’s Championship, where she retained the championship at the Royal Rumble, but dropped the championship to Jazz two weeks later on the February 4, 2002 episode of Raw.[29][30] Stratus then attempted to regain the title for several months, including competing in a triple threat match at WrestleMania X8 against Lita and Jazz in her hometown of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, but failed to win the match.[7][31] While chasing after the Women’s Championship, Stratus won the WWE Hardcore Championship on May 6, pinning Crash Holly after Bubba Ray Dudley hit him over the head with a trash can.[8][27] She lost the title to Steven Richards soon afterward however, due to the stipulation that the belt was to be defended 24/7 as long as there was a referee present.[8][27] One week later, she regained the Women’s Championship in a tag team match with Bubba Ray Dudley.[32] During this time, Stratus began wrestling solely on the Raw brand after being drafted in the WWF Brand Extension.[33]

Trish celebrating after winning the Women’s Championship at WrestleMania XIX in 2003

Stratus’ second reign as champion came to an end on June 23, when she was defeated at King of the Ring by Molly Holly.[34] The two Divas continued their storyline feud for the next three months. After a failed attempt to win the title in July, Stratus won the championship back at Unforgiven.[35][36] While feuding with Holly, Stratus was also involved in an angle with new Diva Victoria, who held a storyline grudge against Stratus, claiming she was betrayed by Stratus when they both worked as fitness models.[8] The two competed in several title matches, with Stratus retaining until Survivor Series, where Victoria won the title in a Hardcore match.[37][38] On March 17, 2003, Victoria and Steven Richards defeated Jazz and Stratus in a tag team match when Jazz walked out on Stratus. After the match, Jeff Hardy saved Stratus from an attack by Victoria and Richards and then kissed her, resulting in Stratus becoming Hardy’s on-screen girlfriend once more.[39] The two would talk and kiss backstage, compete as an intergender tag team, and come to each other’s aid when in danger during singles competition. At no point was their previous relationship acknowledged.[40] The storyline was suddenly dropped when WWE released Hardy in April. This marked the second time in two years that a romance between Stratus and Hardy was abruptly scrapped due to a setback in one of their personal lives. In neither instance did the angle fully play out or reach a conclusion.[8]

At WrestleMania XIX, Stratus ended her feud with Victoria by defeating her and Jazz to capture her fourth Women’s Championship, only to lose the title to Jazz at the following pay-per-view, Backlash.[41] The Raw after Backlash, Eric Bischoff ordered a No Disqualification match between him and Stratus. If Stratus won, she would get a championship rematch the next week; if Bischoff won, he would get to spend a night with her. Bischoff would go on to win the match, though the stipulation was nulified when Linda McMahon confronted him after the match.

Teaming and feuding with Lita; Heel Turn (2003–2005)[edit]

In the following months, Stratus was placed into an alliance with Gail Kim. It was short-lived, however, as Kim turned on Stratus and teamed with Molly Holly, putting the women in a storyline feud.[8] The duo defeated Stratus and several tag team partners until Stratus allied herself with a returning Lita.[42][43][44] The team defeated Kim and Holly in several matches, including a match at Unforgiven.[45] Stratus began an on-screen romance with Chris Jericho during the November 10 episode of Raw when she agreed to go on a date with him.[46] Subsequently, they participated in an intergender tag team match as partners on December 1. After the match, Stratus overheard Jericho talking to then-heel, Christian, who was involved in an on-screen romance with Lita at the time, about who could sleep with their respective woman first.[47] One week later, Stratus and Lita confronted the men about their actions, leading to a feud between the two men and women which resulted in a “Battle of the Sexes” tag team match at Armageddon, which the women lost.[48] A rematch the next night ended in a no contest.[49] Her relationship with Jericho continued into the next year with a new angle of Stratus developing feelings for Jericho. Christian would also briefly turn face once again, but only revealed to be a hoax as he would attack and defeat her in a match ordered by Eric Bischoff. This would start a feud between Christian and Jericho, who was defending Stratus. During their match at WrestleMania XX, however, Stratus became a villainess for the first time since her debut by betraying Jericho and siding with Christian. Stratus claimed her reasons for siding with Christian were that he was a “real man”, and Jericho was a “love sick puppy”.[5][12] The duo feuded with Jericho for several months and competed in a 2-on-1 Handicap match at Backlash.[50] The team of Stratus and Christian were joined by “problem solverTyson Tomko the next night on Raw.[51]

Trish Stratus along Molly Holly during a WWE house show in October 2004

Stratus won the WWE Women’s Championship for a fifth time at Bad Blood on June 13.[52] She defended the title until she suffered a legitimate broken hand in July that caused her to be out of action for approximately a month.[53] Upon her return, she continued to defend the title against numerous challengers before losing the championship to Lita on December 6, when both women wrestled in the main event of Raw for the championship.[5] Stratus recaptured the title a month later at New Year’s Revolution, after Lita suffered a legitimate knee injury during the match.[54] Stratus was originally booked to lose the championship back to Lita at WrestleMania 21, but due to Lita’s injury, she wasn’t cleared to wrestle. A new angle was then developed between Stratus and 2004 Raw Diva Search winner Christy Hemme over jealousy of Hemme’s Playboy magazine exposure, with Stratus attacking Hemme and spray painting the word “slut” across her back.[55] Stratus was challenged by Hemme, who later revealed she was being trained by Lita, for a championship match at WrestleMania 21, where Stratus successfully retained her championship.[55] Stratus would then demand a rematch against Hemme the next night on Raw; before the match started, Stratus hit Hemme with the Chick Kick, and re-injured Lita’s knee. The next week, after losing a tag team match, Stratus was chased around the arena by Lita’s storyline husband, Kane, narrowly escaping. The week after, Stratus almost got chokeslammed onto the stage, but Viscera saved her. Stratus would then form a short-lived alliance with Viscera, who was ordered to protect her.

Storyline with Mickie James and retirement (2005–2006)[edit]

Trish Stratus at the 2005 Tribute to the Troops event

In May 2005, Stratus was sidelined with the Women’s Championship after suffering a herniated disc, with the storyline explanation that Viscera had injured her at Backlash after she insulted him for losing to Kane.[5][26] This left the company without a Women’s Champion for four months, as Stratus remained the champion during the time of her injury, thus ignoring the 30 day clause stating that a champion must defend their respective title at least once every 30 days. She returned to Raw on September 12, 2005 as a face by siding with Ashley Massaro against Vince’s Devils (Candice Michelle, Victoria and Torrie Wilson).[56] The feud also involved the debuting Mickie James, who introduced herself as Stratus’ biggest fan.[5] In November, during the Eddie Guerrero Tribute Show, Stratus took part in an inter-promotional Divas battle royal that was won by SmackDown! Diva Melina.[57] The next week, MNM (Joey Mercury and Johnny Nitro) kidnapped Stratus for Melina, who challenged a tied up and gagged Stratus to a match for the Women’s Championship.[58] The two fought at Survivor Series, with Stratus defeating Melina.[59][60] Stratus and Mickie James continued teaming together in late 2005, while James became increasingly obsessed with Stratus.[61] On the December 26 episode of Raw, the storyline between Stratus and James developed into a lesbian one, when James initiated an intimate kiss with Stratus under a sprig of mistletoe, causing a surprised Stratus to flee the locker room.[62]

The odd relationship between Stratus and James continued into 2006, with the two Divas competing against each other in a title match at New Year’s Revolution, where Stratus emerged victorious.[63] Despite the defeat, James continued to be enamored of Stratus which made her feel uncomfortable, and on March 6, Stratus confronted James, telling her that she needed space.[64][65] The duo briefly reconciled on the March 18 episode of Saturday Night’s Main Event, teaming together to defeat Candice Michelle and Victoria; however, after the match, James turned on Stratus and attacked her.[66] A match at WrestleMania 22 saw Stratus lose the Women’s Championship to James, ending her 448-day reign.[67] The match, at the time, was widely recognized as one of the best women’s matches in the company. During a rematch at Backlash, Stratus suffered a legitimate dislocated shoulder after taking a bump to the outside of the ring.[68] While she was rehabilitating for six weeks, she continued to appear on-screen.[8][69]

Stratus returned to the ring on June 26, where she had a Women’s Championship match with Mickie James. Stratus would go on to lose the match, thus finally ending their nine-month long storyline. On the same night, she started a romantic angle with Carlito after he saved her from a double team attack by Melina and Johnny Nitro.[70] They competed as a team, and won a mixed tag team match against Melina and Nitro at Saturday Night’s Main Event on July 15.[71] As a couple, Stratus and Carlito briefly feuded with WWE Champion Edge and Lita (who turned heel) after the pair interrupted Stratus’ title match with Mickie James. The two couples competed in several tag team matches, including a six-person tag team match where Edge, Lita and Randy Orton defeated Stratus, Carlito and John Cena after Orton RKO‘d Stratus and Lita followed up with the pin. Stratus’ last match on Raw occurred on September 11, 2006 where she defeated former rival Mickie James.[72][73] In late August, Lita stated that Stratus would retire following the Unforgiven pay-per-view, which was later confirmed by Stratus.[74] At Unforgiven on September 17, in her hometown of Toronto, Stratus won against Lita with fellow Canadian Bret Hart‘s signature submission maneuver, the Sharpshooter.[75][76][77] Her victory earned her a seventh Women’s Championship, the most in WWE history, and she retired as the champion.[78]

Part time appearances and second retirement (2007–2011)[edit]

Trish making her entrance at WrestleMania XXVII in April 2011

Stratus and Lita made a special appearance on December 10, 2007 during Raw’s 15th Anniversary special, attacking Jillian Hall.[79] The following year, Stratus appeared on Raw in Toronto on May 5, in a backstage segment involving Ron Simmons and Trevor Murdoch.[80]

Stratus wrestled her first match in over two years on the December 22, 2008 episode of Raw, when she and John Cena defeated Santino Marella and his former on-screen protégé Beth Phoenix in a mixed tag team match.

On September 14, 2009, Stratus served as the guest hostess of Raw, and participated in a six-person tag team match, teaming with Montel Vontavious Porter and Mark Henry to defeat Phoenix, Chris Jericho, and Big Show.

Stratus made a surprise appearance at the 2011 Elimination Chamber pay-per-view to announce that she would be a trainer on the revival of WWE Tough Enough, and stopped LayCool (Layla & Michelle McCool) from attacking Kelly Kelly. The following month, on March 14, she lost a match to Vickie Guerrero due to interference from LayCool and Dolph Ziggler. After the match, John Morrison and Raw guest star Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi came to her aid.[81] At WrestleMania XXVII, Stratus, Snooki, and Morrison defeated the team of Ziggler and LayCool. The night after WrestleMania, on Raw, Stratus and Morrison defeated Guerrero and Ziggler.[82] She also appeared on Raw on June 6 and SmackDown on September 16.

WWE Hall of Famer and Sporadic appearances (2012–present)[edit]

The following year, on July 23, 2012, she made a guest appearance on Raw‘s 1000th episode.

On the January 28, 2013, episode of Raw, Stratus was announced as a WWE Hall of Fame inductee as part of the 2013 class, which made her, at the time, the youngest person to ever be inducted. Stratus chose Stephanie McMahon to induct her into the Hall of Fame in April.[83] That record has been broken by Beth Phoenix, who has been inducted in 2017 at age 36.[84][85]

The following year, Stratus inducted Lita into the WWE Hall of Fame.[86]

On August 16, 2016, Trish Stratus appeared on WWE Network special WWE 24: Women’s Evolution, discussing the history of the women back in her era known as the Attitude Era and Golden Era and also her rivalry with Lita.

Legacy[edit]

Stratus is widely regarded the greatest WWE Women’s Champion of all time and a trailblazer for females in the sport. Trish’s sixth reign as WWE Women’s Champion is the title’s longest reign in the 2000s with 448 days. In 2017, Mickie James referred to Trish as the greatest Women’s Champion of all time. She is also the woman who had the most reigns in WWE history, with eight; seven-times Women’s Champion and one-time Hardcore Champion.[87][88]

She, along with Lita, was the first woman to wrestle in the Raw main event when she unsuccessfully defended the Women’s Championship on December 6, 2004. Two women would not main event Raw again until 12 years later, when Charlotte and Sasha Banks competed in the main event.[89][90] She is also the female wrestler with the most appearances on Raw, and the third overall with 278 appearances.[91]

Trish Stratus is cited as inspiration for several women, such as: Kia Stevens,[92] Natalya, Rosa Mendes,[93] Kelly Kelly,[94] Emma,[95] Taryn Terrell,[96] Shazza McKenzie,[97] Maria Kanellis,[98] Alexa Bliss,[99] Carmella,[100] Deonna Purrazzo,[101] Santana Garrett,[102] Sasha Banks,[103] and Bayley.[104]

Other media[edit]

On June 3, 2006, she hosted the Canada’s Walk of Fame induction ceremony and performed a song and dance number inspired by the soundtrack from the film Chicago at the event.[105][106] During the show, Stratus ad libbed a kiss with fellow Canadian actress Pamela Anderson.[75][105][107]

From late November 2006 to mid-January 2007, Stratus temporarily moved to Muncie, Indiana for the CBS reality show Armed & Famous.[108][109][110] She was given a spot in the series after Paul Heyman had mentioned her name to CBS.[108] The concept was that she was one of five celebrities who trained as volunteer officers with the Muncie Police Department.[111] After finishing her training, Stratus and her real life officer partner were followed around by a camera crew while going on legitimate police calls.[109] Although the show was scheduled to broadcast seven episodes starting on January 10, 2007, CBS canceled the series after just four of the episodes were aired.[108][111][112] After the cancellation of Armed & Famous, Stratus hosted The Second City’s Next Comedy Legend.[108] The contest was similar to the style of America’s Next Top Model, with Stratus portraying the “Tyra Banks” role as contact between the contestants and judges.

Stratus is the host and subject of the show Stratusphere, which debuted in 2008 on the Travel + Escape television channel. The show follows Stratus as she visits different locations around the world to participate in local sports and adventure. Bill Harris wrote that, “Every week, Stratus embarks on a trip in search of exotic locations and daring physical challenges. In the first episode, for example, Stratus is in Kochi, India, where she learns the ancient martial art of kalarippayattu, progressing from fighting with sticks to fighting with metal swords. Through the 10-episode run of Stratusphere, Stratus does everything from reindeer racing in Norway to bungee jumping in Bali. Her athleticism obviously sets Stratusphere apart from most travel shows.”[113] Stratus also guest-starred in the Canadian show Da Kink in My Hair new season, which started on February 12, 2009.[114] In 2009, Stratus became a spokesperson for sports betting website, Sports Interaction.[115]

Stratus starred in the Canadian independent movie, Bail Enforcers, which marked her acting debut. She played a bounty hunter named Jules Taylor, which released on April 19, 2011, premiering at ActionFest 2011.[116] The movie was then released on DVD as “Bounty Hunters”.

Stratus co-starred in the 2015 film, Gridlocked, as the villainous Gina.[117]

Video games[edit]

Stratus has appeared in twenty WWE video games. She made her in-game debut at WWF SmackDown! 2: Know Your Role and appears in WWF No Mercy, WWF SmackDown! Just Bring It, WWE Raw, WWE WrestleMania X8, WWE SmackDown! Shut Your Mouth, WWE WrestleMania XIX, WWE Raw 2, WWE SmackDown Here Comes the Pain, WWE Day of Reckoning, WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw, WWE WrestleMania 21, WWE Day of Reckoning 2, WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2006, WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007, WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2010, WWE 12 (DLC), WWE 13,[118] WWE 2K16 (DLC), WWE 2K17 and WWE 2K18.[119]

Yoga studio[edit]

In 2008, Stratus opened a yoga studio named Stratusphere in the suburbs of Toronto, Ontario.[120] The studio is billed as “Canada’s largest eco-friendly yoga studio”.[121] In 2009, Stratusphere was awarded Top Choice Awards’ Best New Business award, and the following year, Stratus won the award for Business Woman of the Year. The studio won Top Choice Awards’ Best Yoga Studio award in 2013.[122]

Personal life[edit]

Stratigeas is of Greek and Polish descent[123] and is the eldest daughter of John and Alice Stratigeas.[1][15] Her sisters are named Christie and Melissa.[15] Stratigeas married her high school sweetheart and boyfriend of fourteen years, Ron Fisico, on September 30, 2006.[75][108][111] Several WWE Divas were in attendance at the wedding, and her bridal gown was featured on a cover of Today’s Bride magazine.[1][11] Shortly after the wedding, Stratus got the call to be a part of Armed & Famous, so she filmed the show instead of going on her honeymoon. In 2013, Stratigeas announced her pregnancy at the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony, and her first child, a son named Maximus Stratus Fisico, was born on September 30, 2013.[124][125] Stratigeas is best friends with former wrestler Amy Dumas, a.k.a. “Lita”, even naming Dumas as the godmother to her son. In October 2016, Stratigeas announced on Twitter that she was expecting her second child. On December 6, 2016, Lilian Garcia announced on her podcast that Trish is expecting a baby girl in early 2017. On January 14, 2017, Trish gave birth to baby girl named Madison-Patricia Fisico, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Stratigeas has also been involved with numerous charities such as Ronald McDonald House, Dreams Take Flight, and the Special Olympics.[126] From 2001, she was a spokesperson for the World Natural Sports Association.[4][127] On March 29, 2008, she participated in the Island Triathlon Series as part of a celebrity relay team to help raise money for Dignitas International.[128]

Filmography[edit]

Film
Year Film Role Notes
2011 Bail Enforcers Jules
2015 Gridlocked Gina
Television
Year Title Role Notes
2007 Armed & Famous Herself
The Second City’s Next Comedy Legend Host
2008 Stratusphere Herself Aired on Travel + Escape
2009 Da Kink in My Hair Herself Season 2, Episode 1: “Everything In Its Right Place” [129]

In wrestling[edit]

Stratus performing the Stratusfaction on Victoria
Stratus wrestling Ivory during a WWE Raw show in 2003

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Stratus as WWE Women’s Champion celebrating after wrestling her final match in 2006

Beth Phoenix

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Beth Phoenix

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Beth Phoenix
Beth-Phoenix-T4.jpg

Phoenix in December 2011
Born Elizabeth Kociański[1]
(1980-11-24) November 24, 1980 (age 36)[1]
Elmira, New York, United States[1]
Residence Asheville, North Carolina, United States
Spouse(s) Joey Knight (m. 2001; div. 2010)
Edge (m. 2016)
Children 2
Ring name(s) Beth Phoenix
Fabulous Firebird[2]
Firebird[1]
Phoenix[2]
Billed height 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)[3][4]
Billed weight 150 lb (68 kg)[2]
Billed from Buffalo, New York[4][5]
Trained by Ron Hutchison[2]
Joey Knight[1]
Robin Knightwing[1]
Ohio Valley Wrestling
Debut May 2001[2]
Retired October 2012

Elizabeth Kocianski-Copeland (born November 24, 1980) is a retired American professional wrestler, better known by her ring name Beth Phoenix. She is best known for her time with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), where she is a former WWE Divas Champion, a three-time WWE Women’s Champion and the youngest person to ever be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.

Kocianski had a successful amateur wrestling career in high school, before being trained by the All Knighters. After her debut in May 2001, she wrestled for numerous independent promotions, and was the inaugural GLORY Champion. She also appeared at the inaugural Shimmer Women Athletes shows. In 2004, she began working for Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), and signed a developmental contract with WWE in October 2005. She debuted on WWE’s Raw brand in May 2006, but suffered a legitimate broken jaw the following month. As a result, she had numerous surgeries and returned to OVW for further training. While there, she won the OVW Women’s Championship twice, although her second reign is not officially recognized by OVW.

She returned to the Raw brand in July 2007, and was heavily pushed, dominating the other WWE Divas and gaining the nickname, “The Glamazon”. She won her first WWE Women’s Championship at the No Mercy pay-per-view in October, and held it for six months. She then developed an on-screen relationship with Santino Marella, dubbed “Glamarella”, and won the Women’s Championship for a second time in August 2008, holding it until January 2009. In January 2010, at the Royal Rumble, she became the second woman in the history of the event to enter the Royal Rumble match, and went on to win the Women’s Championship for the third time in April, holding it for a month. In October 2011, Phoenix won the WWE Divas Championship for the first time and lost it in April 2012.

Phoenix retired and left WWE on October 2012 to focus on her family life with boyfriend and later husband Adam Copeland, famous in WWE as Edge, with whom she subsequently had two daughters.[6][7][8][9] On February 27, 2017, she was announced as an inductee in the WWE Hall of Fame.[10] Her induction made her the quickest female to be inducted after her retirement.[11][12] Additionally, she and Edge became the first real-life couple to both be inducted.[13]

Early life[edit]

Elizabeth Kocianski was born in Elmira, New York and raised by Polish parents.[3][14] When she was eleven years old, she won a coloring contest with a prize of tickets to a television taping for the World Wrestling Federation.[3] Kocianski credits this as when she fell in love with professional wrestling.[3] She cites Bret Hart, Owen Hart, and Ted DiBiase as her favorite wrestlers.[15] Kocianski attended Notre Dame High School in Elmira, where she played tennis and ran track.[15] She was voted prom queen in her senior year.[16] Kocianski is a graduate from Canisius College in Buffalo, New York with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and Public Relations.[16][17] While wrestling in OVW, Kocianski also worked as a waitress at a local restaurant known to Elmira natives as Lights Bakery and Coffee Shop.[18]

Amateur wrestling career[edit]

Elizabeth Kocianski began wrestling on the Notre Dame High School scholastic wrestling team. She was the first female varsity wrestler in the school’s history.[1][3][4] She became the North-East freestyle women’s champion in 1999, and also won at the New York State Fair Tournament the same year.[1] At the time, she was also a member of USA Wrestling, a freestyle wrestling association.[3][15] Her life goal was, according to her, to become a professional wrestler, and she believed that having a solid amateur background would help her reach it.[15]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Training and independent circuit (2001–2005)[edit]

After graduating from high school in 1998, she enrolled in both a professional wrestling school and Canisius College in Buffalo, New York. Her first choice for wrestling school was Stu Hart‘s Dungeon, but because of the location, she decided on a more local school. At the school, she was trained by the All Knighters (Joey Knight and Robin Knightwing), who themselves had trained in the Hart Dungeon.[15] She later stated that Nora Greenwald, who was known in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) as Molly Holly, had paid for her to attend wrestling school after Carolan had given her a demo tape of her work.[19] Her professional wrestling debut match was against Alexis Laree.[15] She then worked for various independent promotions, including Cleveland All Pro Wrestling and Apocalypse Wrestling, against both male and female wrestlers, using the name “Phoenix”.[15][20] In 2002, she was one of the first wrestlers in GLORY, an independent organization for women, and was the inaugural champion.[1][20] She then joined Far North Wrestling (FNW), and was the only female wrestler in the promotion.[1] She defeated Joey Knight and Kevin Grace in 2003 to become the FNW Cruiserweight Champion.[1][15] Later in 2003 she took part in World Xtreme Wrestling’s annual Women’s Elite 8 tournament where she made it to the final, before losing to April Hunter. She returned two years later and defeated Nikki Roxx, but was bested in the second round by eventual winner Alicia.[21] The following month, Phoenix appeared at the inaugural taping for the Ring of Honor sister promotion Shimmer Women Athletes; during Volume 1 she was pinned by Shimmer founder Allison Danger but scored an upset victory in a non-title match against NWA Midwest Women’s Champion MsChif.[22]

World Wrestling Entertainment/WWE[edit]

Ohio Valley Wrestling (2004–2007)[edit]

A blond woman pouts while wearing a white halter-neck top. She is standing in front of a red brick wall.

Phoenix during an OVW show in July 2005

Kocianski was invited to a tryout with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) in May 2004, and then relocated to Louisville, Kentucky to work for their then-developmental territory, Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW).[1][15] She debuted on OVW television in July 2004, having changed her ring name to “Beth Phoenix”, and became the on-screen girlfriend and valet of Chris Masters.[1][15] The storyline was short lived, and the following month Phoenix was repackaged as the manager of Aaron “The Idol” Stevens.[1] She signed a developmental contract with WWE on October 20, 2005, the same month that she broke her hand.[1][15] The duo was then joined by Shelly Martinez, who Phoenix soon feuded with in early 2006.[1] Phoenix then stopped appearing regularly on OVW after debuting on WWE’s Raw television show.

After sustaining an injury, Phoenix returned to action in OVW on August 16, 2006, defeating Serena. Phoenix began regularly competing for the OVW Women’s Championship, unsuccessfully challenging the champion ODB in a battle royal and a four-way match, which was won by Serena. At the October 4 OVW television tapings, however, Phoenix defeated Serena to win the championship.[23] She lost the championship to Victoria Crawford in a gauntlet match on October 20, and won it back the next day; however, Crawford’s title reign is not officially recognised, and as a result, neither is Phoenix’s second reign.[23][24] Phoenix officially dropped the championship in a gauntlet match at the November 1 television taping, after she was eliminated by Katie Lea, who eventually won the match.[23]

On the November 6 episode of OVW, Phoenix came out with her own championship, and claimed to still be the women’s champion.[2] As a result, a ladder match was set up, where the winner would become the undisputed OVW Women’s Champion. Lea won the match and was presented with the title belt on the first show of 2007.[23] Throughout 2007, Phoenix continued to wrestle in numerous women’s matches in OVW.[2] Phoenix made her last appearance in OVW at their August 15 television tapings where she lost to Lea in a number one contenders match.[2][25]

Trish Stratus’ ally (2006)[edit]

Phoenix debuted on WWE’s main roster on the May 8, 2006, episode of Raw as a face by attacking Mickie James while James was assaulting Trish Stratus.[4] After this incident, James berated Phoenix for “ruining everything” and questioned why she showed up in the first place.[26][27] A week later, Phoenix was formally introduced by Stratus and then attacked a distracted James on Stratus’s behalf. When James finally escaped, Phoenix claimed that James had “ruined her life”, and would not let her get away with it, before calling her a “psycho”.[28] On the following episode of Raw, Phoenix attacked James after her match with Torrie Wilson.[29] Then, on the May 29 episode of Raw, Phoenix and Wilson, with Stratus in their corner, teamed together to defeat Candice Michelle and Victoria, who had James in their corner.[30] During the June 5 episode of Raw, Phoenix suffered a legitimately fractured mandible during a match with Victoria, but was able to continue the match, and emerged victorious despite the injury.[4][31][32] She spent a year having surgeries and recovering, including getting a titanium plate and nine screws placed in her jaw, but she was only out of action for two months, as she returned to action in OVW instead of on the main roster.[3][5]

The Glamazon (2007–2008)[edit]

On the July 9, 2007, episode of Raw, Phoenix returned as a villain, when Melina claimed to be injured. Phoenix replaced Melina in a tag team match as Jillian Hall‘s partner, and the two lost to Candice Michelle and Mickie James.[33] At the SummerSlam pay-per-view, Phoenix won the Interpromotional Divas battle royal to become the number one contender for Michelle’s WWE Women’s Championship.[34] Phoenix was then pushed as a dominating Diva, dubbing herself “The Glamazon” and attacking James, Hall, and Michelle on the September 10 episode of Raw.[35][36] At Unforgiven, however, she failed to capture the Women’s Championship from Michelle.[37] Their storyline rivalry continued when Phoenix pinned Michelle during a non-title mixed tag team match on Raw on September 24.[38]

Phoenix with the Women’s Championship at No Mercy

At No Mercy in October, Phoenix defeated Michelle to win her first WWE Women’s Championship.[39][40] She retained the title on the October 22 episode of Raw in a two out of three falls match, in which Candice Michelle was injured by Phoenix shaking the rope, causing her to fall off the top turnbuckle and legitimately break her clavicle.[41][42]

During a 10-Diva tag team match at Survivor Series, Phoenix’s team lost after Melina was pinned by Mickie James.[43] On the November 26 episode of Raw, James defeated Melina in a number one contenders match for Phoenix’s Women’s Championship, setting up a title match between the two at Armageddon, a match in which Phoenix successfully defended her Women’s title.[44][45] On New Year’s Eve 2007, Phoenix successfully defended her title in a Triple Threat match against Melina and James, after pinning Melina.[46]

Phoenix, along with then-ally Melina, took part in the Playboy BunnyMania Lumberjack match at WrestleMania XXIV, where she defeated the team of Ashley and Maria.[47] On April 14, 2008 Phoenix faced Mickie James with her Women’s Championship on the line and lost, ending her reign as champion.[48] Phoenix received a rematch on the May 5 episode of Raw in a lumberjill match, but lost after Melina unintentionally hit her in the face with her boot.[49] On the May 12 episode of Raw, Melina and Phoenix partnered to face Maria and James. During the match, Melina unintentionally knocked Phoenix off of the ring apron, resulting in Phoenix abandoning Melina, which allowed James and Maria to pick up the win. Later that night, Melina and Phoenix brawled in a backstage segment, ending their alliance.[50] At Judgment Day, Phoenix failed to regain the Women’s Championship in a Triple Threat match after James pinned Melina to retain the title.[51] At One Night Stand, Phoenix defeated Melina in the first women’s “I Quit” match in WWE history.[52] The next night on Raw, Phoenix teamed with Katie Lea Burchill to defeat Melina and James in a tag team match.[53] She was pinned by James one week later in a non-title match, and was once again attacked by Melina post-match.[54]

Glamarella (2008–2009)[edit]

A man and a woman pose together. The dark-haired man is standing on the left and is wearing a blue T-shirt with the Italian flag and the word 'Santino' written upon it, blue wrestling tights, and red kneepads. He is wearing a gold wrestling championship around his waist. The blond haired woman is standing on the right, wearing a black catsuit with the sides of the torso removed to bare part of her midriff. She is holding a wrestling championship upon her left shoulder and has her right arm outstretched.

Phoenix (right) and Santino Marella in November 2008 as the Women’s and Intercontinental champions, respectively.

After a month absence from television, Phoenix returned on the July 14 episode of Raw, where she defeated Santino Marella after he issued an open challenge to any WWE wrestler backstage.[55] The storyline continued the following week after Marella lost to the returning D-Lo Brown. Phoenix confronted Marella after the match, and they briefly grappled with each other before unexpectedly sharing a kiss, to which both expressed considerable confusion.[56]

The two then became an on-screen power couple, and the pairing of Phoenix and Marella later became known by the portmanteau Glamarella.[57] Within the team, she acted as the “straight-woman” of sorts, berating Marella or reacting in disbelief to his over-the-top, embarrassing antics. At SummerSlam, they defeated Kofi Kingston and Mickie James in an intergender tag team match. Phoenix pinned James, winning the Women’s Championship, while Marella won Kingston’s Intercontinental Championship.[4][57] She successfully defended the Women’s Championship against Candice Michelle at No Mercy.[58] At Survivor Series in November, Phoenix was team captain of the victorious Raw Diva team which defeated the SmackDown Divas in a five-on-five elimination match; she eliminated Maryse and became the sole survivor of the team.[59]

On December 8, 2008, Phoenix received the “Slammy Award” for Diva of the Year.[60] Phoenix then began feuding with Melina, who had returned from injury in November. This storyline included the debut of Rosa Mendes, who was introduced as Phoenix’s “superfan”. At the Royal Rumble in January 2009, Phoenix lost the Women’s Championship to Melina.[61] At WrestleMania XXV, Phoenix competed in the 25-Diva “Miss WrestleMania” battle royal; despite scoring 12 eliminations, more than any other participant, she lost when Marella, who competed in drag, claiming to be his twin sister “Santina”, last eliminated her.[62] After WrestleMania, Glamarella separated, as Phoenix was unhappy with Santino pretending to be “Santina”. Phoenix had a brief scripted rivalry with both “Santina” and Marella, and challenged “Santina” for the “Miss WrestleMania” title at Backlash, but was unsuccessful.[63][64][65]

Feuding with LayCool (2009–2011)[edit]

After a brief hiatus, Phoenix returned on the July 27 episode of Raw, teaming with Alicia Fox and Rosa Mendes in a losing effort to Mickie James, Gail Kim, and Kelly Kelly.[66] Phoenix had her first opportunity for the WWE Divas Championship, being narrowly defeated by the defending champion, Mickie James, on the August 31 episode of Raw, after winning a number one contender’s battle royal that same night.

On the October 12 episode of Raw, it was announced that Phoenix had been traded to the SmackDown brand.[67] Phoenix made her in-ring debut for the brand on the October 30 episode of SmackDown, defeating Jenny Brooks, an “enhancement talent“.[68] In January 2010, at the Royal Rumble, she entered the Royal Rumble match and eliminated The Great Khali, before she was eliminated by CM Punk. With her entry, she became the second woman in history to enter the Royal Rumble match, the first being Chyna.[69]

After being told by Vickie Guerrero, the SmackDown consultant, that she would not be receiving a Women’s Championship opportunity, Phoenix turned face after she saved Tiffany from an attack by Guerrero and LayCool (Michelle McCool and Layla) on the March 12 episode of SmackDown. She then went on to defeat McCool and Layla in a tag team match involving Tiffany. The feud with McCool continued at WrestleMania XXVI, where they were on opposing teams in a 10-Diva tag team match, which Phoenix’s team lost, although they won a rematch the following night on Raw. Phoenix received a match for the Women’s Championship against McCool at Extreme Rules in April, where she defeated McCool in an “Extreme Makeover” match to win her third Women’s Championship.[70][71] On the May 6 episode of Superstars, Phoenix tore her ACL in a match against Rosa Mendes, and as a result, one week later on SmackDown, McCool invoked her rematch clause to face Phoenix in a two-on-one handicap match along with Layla, where Layla pinned Phoenix to become the new Women’s Champion.[72]

Phoenix returned from her injury at November’s Survivor Series pay-per-view, and attacked the former co-Champions Michelle McCool and Layla, after they lost the WWE Divas Championship to Natalya.[73] Phoenix and Natalya then formed an alliance, and at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs in December, Phoenix and Natalya defeated LayCool in the first Divas Tag Team Tables match in WWE history.[74][75]

Divas Champion (2011–2012)[edit]

Phoenix wrestling Eve during a WWE house show in November 2011

As part of the 2011 Supplemental Draft on April 26, 2011, Phoenix returned to the Raw brand.[76] On the August 1 episode of Raw, Phoenix won a battle royal to become the number one contender to the WWE Divas Championship, and afterward attacked champion Kelly Kelly to provoke a feud and turning heel in the process.[77] Phoenix later declared that she was tired of the “perky bimbos” that comprised the rest of the Divas division, and was on a mission to make a mockery of the other Divas, and was joined by Natalya to form The Divas of Doom.[78] Phoenix went on to unsuccessfully challenge Kelly for the championship at SummerSlam.[79] Throughout September, The Divas of Doom feuded with Kelly and Eve Torres on Raw and The Chickbusters (AJ and Kaitlyn) on SmackDown.[80][81][82] Phoenix challenged Kelly for the Divas Championship again at Night of Champions, but was unsuccessful.[83] At Hell in a Cell in October, Phoenix defeated Kelly to win the Divas Championship for the first time, with help from Natalya.[84][85] In a rematch on the October 14 episode of SmackDown, Phoenix successfully retained the championship.[86] At Vengeance, Phoenix successfully defended the championship against Eve Torres, with both Natalya and Kelly banned from ringside.[87] Phoenix successfully retained her championship against Torres again at Survivor Series on November 20 in a Lumberjill match, and against Kelly at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs on December 18.[88][89]

Phoenix and Eve Torres at WrestleMania 28 in April 2012

Further successful defenses followed against Torres on the January 30, 2012, episode of Raw and Tamina Snuka at Elimination Chamber on February 19.[90] After this, Phoenix competed only sporadically for a few months, including a tag team match at WrestleMania XXVIII, where she and Eve Torres were defeated by Kelly Kelly and Maria Menounos.[91] On the April 6 episode of SmackDown, Phoenix lost to Nikki Bella in a non-title match, following Kelly’s interference.[92] On the April 23 episode of Raw, Phoenix lost her Divas Championship to Nikki Bella in a Lumberjill match, after suffering a storyline ankle injury.[93] At Extreme Rules, Phoenix was scheduled to face Nikki in a rematch for the Divas Championship, however she was not medically cleared to compete and was replaced by the returning Layla, who ended up winning the title.[94] Phoenix made two unsuccessful attempts at regaining the Divas Championship from Layla at Over the Limit in May and at No Way Out in June, respectively.[95][96]

In September, Kaitlyn was attacked by an unknown assailant prior to her championship match at Night of Champions. Upon her return, she announced her assailant had blonde hair, and Assistant SmackDown General Manager Eve Torres accused Phoenix before attacking her.[97] On the September 28 episode of SmackDown, Phoenix was suspended by Torres, but the suspension was later reversed by SmackDown General manager Booker T.[98] On the October 1 episode of Raw, Phoenix lost to Torres.[99] Phoenix reverted to her villainous persona on the October 18 episode of Superstars, when she berated Kaitlyn for thinking that Phoenix attacked her and demanded respect from Kaitlyn, before losing to her in a singles match.[100] On the October 29 episode of Raw, Phoenix was defeated by AJ Lee in a singles match, but the match was restarted by Raw Managing Supervisor Vickie Guerrero, allowing Phoenix to win. After the match, in storyline, Guerrero fired Phoenix for her poor performance.[101] In reality, Phoenix had given her notice to WWE in September and left the company for family reasons.[102][103]

WWE Hall of Fame (2017)[edit]

On February 27, 2017, WWE announced that Phoenix would be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.[104]

Her introduction makes her the youngest inductee of all time at age 36, breaking the record of Trish Stratus who was inducted in 2013 at age 37. She is also be the first inductee to be born in the 80s, and the quickest female to be inducted after her retirement, which happened less than five years prior.[105][106] Additionally, she and her husband Edge became the first real-life couple to both be inducted.[107]

Other media[edit]

Phoenix, along with Candice Michelle and Layla El, appeared in the February 2009 issue of FLEX Magazine.[108] Phoenix has appeared in 6 WWE video games. She made her in-game debut in WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 and appears in WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2010, WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2011, WWE 12, WWE 13 and WWE 2K18 (DLC).

Personal life[edit]

In 2001 she was married to Joey Carolan, known by the ring name Joey Knight,[1][109] but they divorced in 2010.[110] She and CM Punk also had a relationship.[111]

Later, she began a relationship with Adam Copeland, known in WWE as Edge, and on December 12, 2013 their daughter Lyric Rose Copeland was born.[112][113][114][115] Their second child, a girl named Ruby Ever Copeland, was born on May 31, 2016.[116] The couple married on October 30, 2016, Copeland’s 43rd birthday.

In wrestling[edit]

Phoenix setting up to perform the Glam Slam on Eve Torres
Phoenix setting up to perform a Military press on Eve Torres

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

A blond woman sits on the turnbuckle of a wrestling ring, while facing away from the ring, with her legs on either side of the ring post. She is wearing a black and gold catsuit with the sides of the torso removed to bare part of her midriff, and is holding a wrestling championship in the air above her head.

Phoenix is a three-time WWE Women’s Champion

A blond woman, wearing a black and blue catsuit with the sides of the torso removed to bare part of her midriff, standing with both arms in the air while holding a gold statuette in her right hand and a wrestling championship in her left.

Phoenix posing with the Women’s Championship and her Slammy Award in 2009

Amateur wrestling[edit]

  • North-East Wrestling
    • Women’s Champion (1999)[1]
  • New York State Fair
    • Women’s Champion (1999)[1]

Professional wrestling[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

a Phoenix lost and regained the championship from Victoria Crawford during her second reign; neither reigns are officially recognized by OVW.[24]

A TRIBUTE TO BOBBY “THE BRAIN” HEENAN

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Bobby Heenan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Bobby Heenan
Bobby Heenan and Larry Zbyszko.jpg

Heenan (left) signing autographs alongside Larry Zbyszko.
Birth name Raymond Louis Heenan
Born (1944-11-01)November 1, 1944
Chicago, Illinois
Died September 17, 2017(2017-09-17) (aged 73)
Largo, Florida
Spouse(s) Cynthia Jean (m. 1974; his death 2017)
Children 1
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Bobby Heenan
Billed height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)[1]
Billed weight 190 lb (86 kg)[1]
Billed from Beverly Hills, California[2]
Debut 1960
Retired 2000

Raymond Louis Heenan (November 1, 1944 – September 17, 2017[3]), better known as Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, was an American professional wrestling manager, wrestler and color commentator, best known for his time with the American Wrestling Association (AWA), the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and World Championship Wrestling (WCW). He was known for his skill in drawing heel heat for himself and his wrestlers, and for his on-screen repartee with Gorilla Monsoon as a color commentator. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2004, by Blackjack Lanza.

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Early life and career[edit]

Heenan was born in Chicago on November 1, 1943.[4] Always a fan of wrestling growing up in Chicago and Indianapolis, he started in the wrestling profession early on, carrying bags and jackets for the wrestlers, and selling refreshments at the events.[5] Dropping out of school in the eighth grade to support his mother and grandmother, his first break in the wrestling business was as a heel manager and wrestler in 1965 when he was known as “Pretty Boy” Bobby Heenan. His gimmick over the years more or less remained the same; a tough talking big mouth who cowered in fear when being physically confronted.[2] At the time, heels were often given managers to speak for them in interviews, rile up the crowd during matches, and cheat on their behalf. He went on to manage some of the most successful wrestlers in the world, creating “The Heenan Family“, a stable that existed in several different incarnations and wrestling promotions for over 20 years.[6]

World Wrestling Association (1967–1974)[edit]

In 1967, Heenan became a regular in the Indianapolis-based WWA promotion both as wrestler and manager. He initially managed Angelo Poffo and Chris Markoff. He later managed the Assassins (Guy Mitchell and Joe Tomasso), The Valiant Brothers and The Blackjacks. He also occasionally wrestled with a storyline “brother” Guy Heenan, the aforementioned Guy Mitchell. Starting in 1969, he also made occasional appearances in the American Wrestling Association. In 1974, he left the WWA. He attributed his departure from the WWA to a dispute with owner Dick the Bruiser over his pay for his participation in the first-ever wrestling event held at Market Square Arena, emphatically stating that he never returned to the promotion as a result.[7]

American Wrestling Association (1974–1984)[edit]

In his first appearance in the AWA in 1974, Heenan announced he was now to be known as “The Brain”. He took up managing the team of Nick Bockwinkel and Ray “The Crippler” Stevens, a duo which became several-time AWA World Tag Team Champions under his leadership.[7] While Bockwinkel and Stevens feuded with The Crusher and Dick the Bruiser, Bruiser famously called Heenan “Weasel”; this led to faces calling him “Weasel” throughout the rest of his wrestling career.[8] The AWA was the starting point for his first Heenan Family, which consisted of Bockwinkel, Stevens, Bobby Duncum Sr., and Blackjack Lanza.[2]

In 1975, with Heenan in his corner, Bockwinkel captured his first of several AWA World Heavyweight Championships, ending the seven-year reign of perennial champion Verne Gagne. While Bockwinkel was AWA Champion in 1976, Lanza and Duncum captured the AWA World Tag Team Championship, making Heenan the first manager in history to simultaneously manage both a major promotion’s singles and tag team champions.[4]

In early 1979, Heenan left the AWA (suspended one year, in storyline) to work in Georgia Championship Wrestling, a tenure he later said he did not enjoy due to his dislike of then booker Ole Anderson.[2] He returned in late 1979 and resumed managing Nick Bockwinkel to renewed championship success, including against a young Hulk Hogan in 1983. He also managed Ken Patera following his return to the AWA in 1982.[4] Patera later joined forces with Adnan Al-Kaissie when Heenan took some time off, a result of a serious neck injury he suffered in a match with Atsushi Onita while wrestling on an All Japan Pro Wrestling tour in 1983. Toward the end of his time in the AWA, he managed Masa Saito.

In September 1984, Heenan came out during an AWA interview with the Fabulous Ones and initiated a kayfabe brawl in the TV studio with them. Wally Karbo announced on the September 28th AWA broadcast that Heenan had been (kayfabe) suspended indefinitely from the AWA as a manager and wrestler by AWA President Stanley Blackburn. In reality, he was leaving the AWA.[4]

World Wrestling Federation[edit]

Manager (1984–1993)[edit]

In 1984, Vince McMahon lured Heenan away from the AWA to manage Jesse “The Body” Ventura; however, after Ventura developed blood clots in his lungs, he was forced to end his active wrestling career. While most of the AWA talent left for the WWF in this time without giving proper notice (the AWA required departing talent to work a six-week notice for booking and syndication-based reasons, with most talent claiming that McMahon paid them extra not to work out their notices with the AWA), only Heenan worked out his notice in good faith to the Gagne family.[9]

With Ventura unable to wrestle, Heenan instead became Big John Studd‘s manager in matches first against WWF Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan and then in Studd’s feud with André the Giant. He soon reformed the Heenan Family,[2] which over the years in the WWF would include Studd, “Olympic Strong Man” Ken Patera, “Playboy” Buddy Rose, “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff, King Kong Bundy, André the Giant, High Chief Sivi Afi, the Brain Busters (former Four Horsemen members Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard), “Ravishing” Rick Rude, “King” Harley Race, the Islanders (Haku and Tama), Hercules, The Barbarian, Mr. Perfect, The Red Rooster, and The Brooklyn Brawler. As a manager, he was always one of the most hated men, often the most hated man, in the promotion.

Heenan once had a famous feud with André the Giant while managing Big John Studd about who was the true giant in professional wrestling (André was billed as being 7’4″ (224 cm) while Studd was 6’10” (208 cm)), and famously challenged André to a US$15,000 bodyslam match against Studd at the first WrestleMania, where André had to retire from wrestling if he had lost the match. André dominated the Wrestlemania match with Studd, body slamming him at 5:54. André then took the bag with the $15,000 and started to throw it out to the crowd at Madison Square Garden before Heenan rushed in and snatched the bag before scampering away to the safety of the dressing rooms.[10][4]

Heenan (left) managed many of the WWF’s top stars, notably leading André the Giant. (right)

Heenan and the Heenan Family had a monumental feud with wrestling icon Hulk Hogan in the ’80s, and Heenan managed two WrestleMania challengers to Hogan’s title, King Kong Bundy in 1986, and André the Giant in 1987. While neither Bundy nor André would win the title at that time, André later bested Hogan for the championship on The Main Event on February 5, 1988, in a controversial win after he aligned himself with “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase. Mike Johnson of Pro Wrestling Insider reported that Heenan had received a six-figure payoff for his work in promoting the event—arguably the largest pay day in any managerial career.[7]

After being derided by announcers for his first five years in the WWF (mostly by Gorilla Monsoon) for never managing a champion, WrestleMania V was promoted (mostly by Jesse Ventura and later Gorilla Monsoon) as Heenan’s quest, and best chance since WrestleMania III to manage a champion. Heenan finally managed his first champion in the WWF when “Ravishing” Rick Rude upset The Ultimate Warrior for the WWF Intercontinental Championship, a match Heenan insured Rude would win by holding Warrior’s leg down so he could not break the pin.[1] Shortly thereafter, he led the Brain Busters to the WWF World Tag Team championship. A few months later after the Busters had lost the titles back to Demolition, he led the Colossal Connection (André and Haku) to the Tag Team Championship when they defeated Demolition. Demolition would win the titles back in WrestleMania VI. Immediately after the loss, Heenan began blaming the loss to Andre the Giant going as far as slapping him.[11] A few months after that, he led Mr Perfect to the first of two Intercontinental Championships.[6]

Heenan also wrestled sporadically in his WWF run. In his in-ring debut at Madison Square Garden in November 1984, he pinned Salvatore Bellomo. Heenan’s most notable victory came at WrestleMania IV, teaming with The Islanders to defeat The British Bulldogs and Koko B. Ware. The following year, he was defeated in 30 seconds by former client The Red Rooster at WrestleMania V. Heenan also had a famous feud with The Ultimate Warrior, who reintroduced Heenan to Weasel Suit matches, which Heenan had during his time in the AWA.[2]

Heenan also had a parody talk show known as The Bobby Heenan Show, which was broadcast in four segments during the second half of WWF’s regular weekly program Prime Time Wrestling. It was co-hosted by Jamison Winger and featured several overweight women known as The Oinkettes.[12]

As neck injuries prevented him from taking bumps the way he used to, Heenan retired from managing in 1991 to become a full-time “broadcast journalist”. Nonetheless, Heenan crossed the line to managing sporadically. When the WWF signed Ric Flair, Heenan spent several weeks talking Flair up as “The Real World’s Heavyweight Champion”. He continued to act as an advisor to Flair during his 1991-93 WWF run (and coined the phrase, “That’s not fair to Flair” and “You got to be fair to Flair”). Though he nominally managed Flair, Heenan’s former protégé Mr. Perfect, who temporarily retired due to injury, would regularly accompany Flair to ringside as his “Executive Consultant”. At the 1993 Royal Rumble, he introduced Lex “Narcissist” Luger to the WWF to exact revenge on his former protégé, Mr. Perfect.[2]

Commentator (1986–1994)[edit]

Heenan became a commentator while in the World Wrestling Federation, but continued to manage various wrestlers, such as The Brooklyn Brawler.

In 1986, WWF owner Vince McMahon took full advantage of his microphone and comedic skills and Heenan became a color commentator in addition to his managing duties. He replaced Jesse Ventura on Prime Time Wrestling and All American Wrestling, aired on the USA Network, teaming up with Gorilla Monsoon. He also replaced Ventura to team up with Monsoon on the syndicated All-Star Wrestling, which was replaced in the fall of 1986 with Wrestling Challenge. Heenan and Monsoon’s usually-unscripted banter was very entertaining, and inspired many classic moments. Heenan, calling himself a “broadcast journalist”, openly rooted for the heels while they cheated or did something under-handed and referred to the fans of the face wrestlers as the humanoids, and babyface wrestlers, especially jobbers, as “ham-and-eggers.”[2] Another classic moment between Heenan and Monsoon occurred repeatedly when Heenan went on a long rant supporting the heel wrestlers, until an exasperated Gorilla Monsoon would say either, “Will you stop?”, “Give me a break!”, or a sarcastic, “Please!”.[7]

Heenan, still suffering from the broken neck he received ten years earlier and unable to cope with the long working hours, decided to leave the WWF at the end of 1993. He was given an on-air farewell by Gorilla Monsoon on the December 6, 1993 edition[13] of Monday Night Raw, broadcast from the Westchester County Center in White Plains, New York. Monsoon who, in kayfabe, was fed up by Heenan’s constant insults, literally threw him and his belongings out of the arena and onto the street. Heenan mentioned that the idea was his and Monsoon’s. Afterwards, Heenan stated that he and Monsoon embraced each other and wept for over an hour in the hotel where they both were staying.[14] Later, in an interview, Heenan recalls the incident saying he chose Monsoon to throw him out of the WWF seeing it as appropriate. He also poked fun at Monsoon saying he ate the bananas that Monsoon brought as a going away gift for Heenan.[4]

Heenan’s original plan was to retire, spend time with his family, and relax, but he was contacted by WCW soon after he left the WWF. He was unsure at first, but accepted their offer once he found out that WCW provided lighter work schedules and health insurance. Heenan also cited the short driving distance between WCW’s home base of Atlanta and his daughter’s school in Alabama.[15][16]

World Championship Wrestling (1994–2000)[edit]

On January 27, 1994, Heenan made his debut in World Championship Wrestling (WCW). He was originally brought in to replace Jesse Ventura, his former client, as the color commentator for WCW Saturday Night and eventually took over Ventura’s position as the company’s lead commentator, replacing him for pay-per-view events and on the syndicated WCW Worldwide and Clash of the Champions events produced for TBS. When WCW Monday Nitro premiered in September 1995, Heenan left Saturday Night to work on the new show full-time and joined former Chicago Bears defensive lineman Steve McMichael as an analyst alongside play-by-play man Eric Bischoff. Heenan said he was uninspired in WCW due to the negative work environment, which he later described as night and day compared to the WWF, and due to conflicts with Bischoff and Tony Schiavone.[17][4]

Heenan (right) with fellow WCW announcer Lee Marshall

In 1996, Heenan made a one-off return to ringside at The Great American Bash as the manager of two of his former clients, Ric Flair and Arn Anderson, in a tag team match against his broadcast colleague McMichael and then-Carolina Panthers linebacker Kevin Greene. Heenan was instrumental in convincing McMichael to turn on his partner, which enabled Flair and Anderson to win the match, and fill the open spot in The Four Horsemen that Brian Pillman left behind when he departed the company earlier in the year.[18]

Starting in late January 2000, WCW replaced Heenan on Monday Nitro and pay-per-view events with Mark Madden. Heenan continued to commentate on Thunder along with Mike Tenay until April 2000. The two were then joined by Tony Schiavone in April 2000. Heenan was then replaced by Stevie Ray beginning in July 2000 on Thunder. Heenan was then only seen with Scott Hudson on Worldwide until he was released by WCW in November 2000.[1]

Later career[edit]

Heenan provided commentary to the Gimmick Battle Royal match at WrestleMania X-Seven alongside “Mean” Gene Okerlund.[6]

In 2001, Heenan worked briefly as a “sports agent” in the Xcitement Wrestling Federation with Curt Hennig under his tutelage.[7]

In 2004, Heenan was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame on the eve of WrestleMania XX.[2]

In February 2001, Heenan did color commentary for the WOW Unleashed pay-per-view. In 2004 he feuded with fellow managerial legend Jim Cornette in Ring of Honor.[19]

Heenan appeared for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) towards the end of 2005 on the December 3 episode of TNA Impact! Heenan made a brief appearance to start the show saying he came to watch TNA. then on the December 8 episode of TNA Impact, Heenan appeared alongside Chicago White Sox catcher A. J. Pierzynski and strength coach Dale Torborg when they presented TNA wrestlers A.J. Styles, Chris Sabin, and Sonjay Dutt with autographed gifts from the team. They were interrupted by The Diamonds in the Rough.[20] At the Turning Point pay-per-view, Heenan provided commentary for the Six Man Tag Team Basebrawl match between The Diamonds in the Rough and the team of Sabin, Torborg and Dutt. on the September 7, 2006 episode of Impact! making a bid to manage “free agent” Robert Roode.[21]

Heenan was honored by the Pro Wrestling Report at the annual Blizzard Brawl event on December 5, 2009 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin as he was given their Lifetime Achievement Award. In addition to this, The mayor of Milwaukee, Tom Barrett, declared December 5, 2009 to be “Bobby Heenan Day”.[22]

Other media[edit]

He has written two career memoirs, 2002’s Bobby The Brain: Wrestling’s Bad Boy Tells All, and 2004’s Chair Shots and Other Obstacles: Winning Life’s Wrestling Matches which has an introduction by Ric Flair. Both books were co-written by Steve Anderson.[4]

In 2004, he joined former WCW commentators Tony Schiavone and Larry Zbyszko in providing commentary for the video game Showdown: Legends of Wrestling.[23] After his Hall of Fame induction, Heenan provided comments for use in WWE documentary releases. In December 2010, WWE released a retrospective two-disc DVD on Heenan’s career.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Family and friends[edit]

Heenan was married to Cynthia Jean (known as Cindy) from 1974 until his death in 2017. Together they had a daughter, Jessica Ida Heenan (married name Solt, born 1978).[24] He became a grandfather when his grandson Austin was born in 2008.

Although on-screen they were often at odds, Heenan was actually very close with his WWF broadcast partner Gorilla Monsoon. During his WWE Hall of Fame induction speech, he said Monsoon’s presence was the only thing missing from the occasion.[7]

Health[edit]

In January 2002, Heenan announced that he had throat cancer.[2] Heenan later recovered from throat cancer, but lost a great deal of weight, dramatically changing his appearance and voice. Following early treatments, he spoke in a soft, high-pitched tone which contrasts noticeably with the tone fans were accustomed to hearing him use as a color commentator. He went from 231 pounds (105 kg) to 190 pounds (86 kg) or even less.

In December 2007, Heenan had reconstructive surgery on his jaw, after the first surgery was unsuccessful. He was placed in a medically-induced coma and was slowly brought out.[25] In the second half of January 2008, he had come out of his medically induced coma. Though not yet able to speak, he was communicating with his eyes. He had several more surgeries to reconstruct facial features. In October 2008, it was reported that he was able to speak a few sentences before getting tired. In February 2009, it was reported that he was still relearning how to speak clearly and out of the hospital.

On December 11, 2009, Heenan was hospitalized at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida after an examination of his rebuilt jaw found an infection that needed to be treated. By 2010, his jaw infection was completely eradicated. In 2010, he broke a hip and his shoulder in a fall and recovered within a few months.[26]

According to an interview given by Jim Ross in October 2013, Heenan was “hanging in there” and continuing to have trouble speaking as a result of tongue cancer treatments.[27] In April 2014, while in Las Vegas to attend a wedding, he fell out of bed and broke a shoulder. In May 2016, he suffered another fall and broke a hip.[28]

Death[edit]

On September 17, 2017, Heenan died at the age of 73 while surrounded by family at his home in Largo, Florida after a long battle with throat cancer.[29][30]

In wrestling[edit]

  • “The Chair” (early career, wrestling on studio broadcasts televised by KETV in Omaha)
  • “Pretty Boy”[2]
  • “The Brain”[31]
  • “The Weasel”[31]
  • Wrestlers managed
  • Tag team managed

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Bobby Heenan with Steve Anderson. Bobby The Brain: Wrestling’s Bad Boy Tells All. Triumph Books. 2002. ISBN 1-57243-465-1
  • Bobby Heenan with Steve Anderson. Chair Shots and Other Obstacles: Winning Life’s Wrestling Matches. Sports Publishing. 2004. ISBN 1-58261-762-7

Alicia Fox

Alicia Fox

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Alicia Fox
Alicia Fox WrestleMania 32 Axxess.jpg

Fox in April 2016
Birth name Victoria Elizabeth Crawford[1]
Born (1986-06-30) June 30, 1986 (age 31)[2]
Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, United States[1]
Residence Jacksonville, Florida,
United States
Family Christina Crawford (sister)
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Alicia Fox[1]
Tori[1]
Victoria Crawford[1]
Billed height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)[3]
Billed weight 120 lb (54 kg)[1]
Billed from Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida[3]
Trained by Ohio Valley Wrestling[1]
Florida Championship Wrestling[1]
Debut July 1, 2006[1]

Victoria Elizabeth Crawford[1] (born June 30, 1986)[2] is an American model, actress, and professional wrestler currently signed to WWE under the ring name Alicia Fox,[1] performing on the Raw brand. She is currently the longest tenured female performer, having been with the company since 2006 while being on the main roster since 2008.

Crawford debuted on SmackDown in June 2008, using the Alicia Fox name and the gimmick of a wedding planner.[4] In November, she moved to the ECW brand, where she managed DJ Gabriel.[5] The following year, Fox began challenging for the WWE Divas Championship,[6] which she won in June 2010, holding the title for two months,[7] becoming the first and only African American Divas Champion in WWE history.[8] In October 2014, she began starring in the reality television series Total Divas on E! as part of the main cast.[9]

Early life[edit]

Crawford was born in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, on June 30, 1986.

Professional wrestling career[edit]

World Wrestling Entertainment/WWE[edit]

Brand switches (2008–2010)[edit]

Crawford debuted on WWE’s main roster on the June 13, 2008 episode of SmackDown, as Alicia Fox, in a backstage segment with Vickie Guerrero, which saw her portraying Guerrero and Edge‘s wedding planner.[4] During their wedding reception the following month, Triple H revealed Edge kissing Fox the day before the wedding on camera.[10] Fox involved herself in the WWE Championship match at The Great American Bash when she attempted to help Edge, but she was stopped by Guerrero.[11] The confusion surrounding her interference caused Edge to accidentally spear Guerrero.[11]

Fox at the WrestleMania XXV event in April 2009

After a three-month hiatus from television, Fox resurfaced on the November 18 episode of ECW, managing English wrestler DJ Gabriel, in a fan favorite role.[5] Their on-screen association was explained by WWE claiming that Fox had moved her wedding planning business to England during her hiatus from WWE television, where she had met Gabriel.[3] Gabriel and Fox began feuding with the Burchill siblings (Paul and Katie Lea) in late December 2008. Fox made her ECW in-ring debut on January 6, 2009, in a loss to Katie Lea.[12] The following week, Gabriel and Fox defeated the Burchill siblings in a mixed tag team match, giving Fox her first win as part of the brand.[13] In March, Fox and Gabriel feuded with Tyson Kidd and Natalya, with Natalya defeating Fox on March 3 episode of ECW.[14] Fox competed in the 25 Diva battle royal at WrestleMania XXV, which was ultimately won by Santina Marella.[2][15]

Fox was drafted to the SmackDown brand as a part of the 2009 Supplemental Draft on April 15.[16] She made her in-ring debut as a villainess on the April 30 episode of WWE Superstars, teaming with Michelle McCool to defeat Maria and Gail Kim.[17] After winning her debut match, Fox aligned herself with Michelle McCool, with the pair teaming together in tag team matches as well as accompanying each other to the ring for singles matches.[18][19] Fox was in the corner of McCool when McCool won the WWE Women’s Championship at The Bash.[20] Fox then went on to have a several week feud with SmackDown Diva Maria Kanellis. However, the rivalry wasn’t aired due to time difficulties. It was mostly Fox who won most of the matches, proving to be the best of the two Divas. The rivalry came to an end after a No. 1# Contenders match won by Fox. The main reason the rivalry didn’t continue was because Michelle McCool was the champion at the time and Fox was in an alliance with her.

On June 29 it was announced that Fox had been traded to the Raw brand.[21] The following week, she made her Raw debut in a tag team match, teaming with Maryse against Gail Kim and Mickie James in a losing effort.[20] She gained her first victory on Raw on July 13, when Fox, Maryse, and Rosa Mendes won a six-Diva tag team match.[22] Fox picked up her first pinfall victory by defeating Kelly Kelly during a tag team match on the July 20 episode of Raw.[23] On the August 10 episode of Raw, Fox was involved in a fatal four-way match to determine the number one contender for the WWE Divas Championship, but was unsuccessful.[6] The following month, on September 14, she defeated Gail Kim to become the number one contender to the Divas Championship.[24] She received a match for the championship at Hell in a Cell against Mickie James on October 4, but was unsuccessful.[25] Fox became the number one contender to the Divas Championship again on the November 2 episode of Raw, by winning a battle royal which involved The Bella Twins, Eve Torres, Gail Kim, and Kelly Kelly.[26] She challenged Melina two weeks later for the championship, but was unsuccessful.[27] Melina then vacated the Divas Championship due to injury, and a tournament was set up to determine the new champion in early January 2010.[28] Fox defeated Kelly Kelly in the first round of the tournament, but later lost to Gail Kim in the semi-finals.[29][30] Fox was on the winning team in a 10-Diva tag team match at WrestleMania XXVI, but on the losing side the following night in a rematch on Raw.[31][32] On the April 5 episode of Raw, Fox was involved in a “Dress to Impress” battle royal to determine the number one contender to the WWE Divas Championship, but was unsuccessful, and the match was won by Eve Torres.[33]

In May 2010, Fox began a storyline with Zack Ryder, after he requested that she and Gail Kim be ringside on several occasions to watch his matches, so he could impress them and find a new valet.[34] During his match with Evan Bourne on May 10, Fox interfered on Ryder’s behalf, but was stopped by Gail Kim.[35] The following week, Bourne and Kim defeated Ryder and Fox in a mixed tag team match.[36] After the match, the evil Fox attacked Ryder in order to collect a “bounty” from the Raw guest host, Ashton Kutcher.[37]

Divas Champion and NXT (2010–2011)[edit]

An African-American woman with dark curly hair, wears a camouflage dress with a red belt and fur trim on the shoulders, white wrestling boots and knee-high red stockings. A blonde woman, wearing a black hooded jacket is visible in the background, standing with her back to the camera.

Alicia Fox at the 2010 Tribute to the Troops event

On June 20, 2010, at the Fatal 4-Way pay-per-view, Fox competed in a fatal four-way match for the WWE Divas Championship, which also involved Gail Kim, Eve Torres, and Maryse. Fox pinned Maryse to win the championship for the first time, and as a result became the first and only African American Diva to win the title.[7][8] In her first title defence, on the July 5 episode of Raw, Fox successfully defended the championship against Eve after feigning an ankle injury[38] and as a result, Eve was granted a rematch at Money in the Bank by Raw’s anonymous General Manager, where Fox was again able to retain the championship.[39][40] In August, Melina returned from an injury and attacked Fox, after the latter declared herself to be undefeatable and the greatest champion in history.[41] After defeating Fox in a non-title match on Raw,[42] Melina was granted a title shot, on August 15, at SummerSlam, which she won, ending Fox’s reign at 56 days.[43]

On August 31, Fox was announced as the mentor of Maxine for the all-female third season of NXT[44] but Maxine failed to win the competition, and was the second rookie Diva to be eliminated.[45] Fox received a rematch for the Divas Championship against Melina on the September 6 episode of Raw, which she lost.[46] In December, Fox competed in a battle royal to determine the winner of the “Diva of the Year” Slammy Award, but was eliminated by Natalya[47] and also took part of a triple-threat number one contender’s match, which was won by Melina.[48]

Various storylines (2011–2013)[edit]

On April 26, 2011, Fox was drafted back to the SmackDown brand as part of the 2011 supplemental draft[49] and in her first match back for the brand, acting as a villainess, she was defeated by Layla and suffered a shoulder injury.[50][51] On the May 27 episode of SmackDown, in her return, Fox and Tamina Snuka defeated the team of Kaitlyn and AJ Lee,[52] which later transitioned into a feud between the two sets of Divas, with Fox and Tamina regularly winning tag team matches and allying with Rosa Mendes.[53][54] The alliance between Fox and Tamina ended on the August 11 episode of WWE Superstars, when Fox defeated Tamina in a singles match.[55]

After a tag team match, which they lost, on the August 19 episode of SmackDown, Fox was attacked by Natalya, which provoked a feud between the two.[56] She began acting as a face while wrestling alongside several different Divas to face Natalya and Beth Phoenix, collectively known as The Divas of Doom, in tag team matches,[57] and also regularly competing against them in singles matches.[58][59] As part of the storyline, Fox also prevented Natalya and Phoenix from attacking other Divas, including Kelly Kelly[60] and AJ.[61] The storyline continued sporadically throughout the first half of 2012, with Fox losing tag team[62] and singles matches to Phoenix and Natalya.[63][64] Fox spent the remainder of 2012 and early 2013 competing in sporadic matches, usually on the losing side.[1] In mid–2013, Fox appeared on the rebooted WWE NXT, entering a tournament to determine the inaugural NXT Women’s Champion, where she defeated Bayley in the first round, but lost to Paige in the semi-finals.[65][66]

Total Divas storylines (2013–2016)[edit]

In September, Fox took part of the WWE Divas Champion AJ Lee’s team which feuded with the cast of the Total Divas reality television show, which led to a traditional seven-on-seven elimination tag team match, in which Fox was the first to be eliminated, courtesy of Naomi.[67]

“Foxsana” Aksana (left) and Alicia Fox (right) in April 2014

Since January 2014, Fox formed a tag team with Aksana, later dubbed “Foxsana”.[68][69][70] On April 6, Fox competed at WrestleMania XXX in the 14-DivaVickie Guerrero Invitational match” for the WWE Divas Championship, which was won by the defending champion AJ Lee.[71] After that, Fox started a feud with the newly crowned WWE Divas Champion Paige, losing to her in a series of matches on Raw,[72] Main Event,[73] and WWE Superstars.[74] Her losses provoked a storyline, in which she lost her temper after matches, taunting the ring announcers, ringside crew, and crowd and defacing the ringside area.[75][76] Fox was eventually able to defeat Paige on Raw on May 19 in a non-title match and celebrated by taking Jerry Lawler‘s crown afterwards.[77] Her victory set up a title match between the two at Payback, on June 1, which Fox lost.[78] Following a further loss to Paige on June 9, Fox attacked tag team partner Aksana, before defeating her in a match on SmackDown, officially disbanding Foxsana.[79][80]

After a hiatus, Fox returned to WWE television, on the September 29 episode of Raw, where she defeated AJ Lee, with the help of her former rival Paige[81] and subsequently, formed an alliance with her, and went on to pick up another win over AJ on October 20.[82] However, when Fox inadvertently cost Paige a title match at Hell in a Cell,[83] Paige dissolved the alliance by attacking her the following night on Raw.[84] This prompted a traditional four-on-four elimination tag team match, with each captaining a side, at the Survivor Series pay-per-view in November, where Fox’s team won the match with a clean sweep.[85] In January 2015, Fox developed a rivalry with Naomi, during which she formed a brief alliance with The Miz and Damien Mizdow, and the trio went on to defeat Naomi and The Usos in a series of mixed tag team matches.[86][87] On the April 13 episode of Raw, Fox competed in a number one contender’s battle royal for Nikki Bella‘s WWE Divas Championship, which would be won by Paige.[88]

On the June 15 episode of Raw, Fox was a part of the Divas that Paige tried to rally in an attempt to take a stand against The Bella Twins and join her, but no one accepted the offer.[89] Three days later on SmackDown, Fox assisted Brie Bella in her match against Paige, and thus aligning herself with The Bella Twins and formed “Team Bella”.[90][91] After weeks of Team Bella outnumbering Paige, Naomi, and Tamina, Stephanie McMahon called for a “revolution” in the WWE Divas Division by introducing the debuting Charlotte and Becky Lynch as Paige’s allies, and NXT Women’s Champion Sasha Banks aligning with Naomi and Tamina, leading to a brawl between the three teams.[92][93] The three teams would ultimately face off, on August 23, at SummerSlam in a three team elimination match. Team Bella would first eliminate Team B.A.D. when Brie Bella pinned Tamina, however Team PCB would win the match after Brie was pinned by Becky Lynch.[94][95] On the August 25 episode of Tough Enough, Fox make a special appearance on the finale of the sixth season, wrestling finalists Amanda and eventual winner Sara Lee.[96] While Nikki Bella was off television with an injury, Fox spent the remainder of 2015 competing occasionally in singles matches and tag team matches with Brie Bella.[97][98][99]

Fox (second left) celebrating with her fellow Total Divas co-stars in their victory at WrestleMania 32 in April 2016

On the March 14, 2016 episode of Raw, Fox and Brie were defeated by Team B.A.D. following a distraction provided by Lana.[100] After this match, Team Bella quietly disbanded and both Fox and Brie transitioned into fan favorites.[101][102] On the March 22 episode of Main Event, she and Natalya accompanied Paige to her match against Naomi, where Paige was defeated following a distraction provided by Summer Rae and a returning Emma.[103] The following week, Fox, Brie, and Natalya accompanied Paige to her rematch against Emma on the March 28 episode of Raw. After the match, she along her allies were attacked by Team B.A.D., before they were saved by a returning Eva Marie.[104] As a result, a 10-Diva tag team match between Team Total Divas (Bella, Fox, Natalya, Eva Marie and Paige) and the newly dubbed Team B.A.D. and Blonde (Naomi, Tamina, Lana, Emma, and Summer Rae) was announced for the WrestleMania 32 pre-show.[105] On April 3, Fox’s team emerged victorious at the event after Naomi submitted to Bella.[106][107]

Relationship with Noam Dar (2016–2017)[edit]

After being drafted to Raw as part of the 2016 WWE draft which took place on July 19,[108] Fox made her first appearance for the brand on August 15, where she was defeated by Charlotte Flair.[109] On the September 5 episode of Raw, Fox was involved in a backstage confrontation with Nia Jax,[110] resulting in a match between the two on the September 12 episode of Raw, which would end in a no contest after Jax speared Fox through the ringside barricade.[111] On September 25, a rematch took place at Clash of Champions, where Fox was defeated.[112] After suffering a streak of losses, Fox scored a victory over Dana Brooke on the November 4 episode of Superstars.[113] On the November 7 episode of Raw, Fox was announced as one of the participants in the 5-on-5 Traditional Survivor Series Women’s Elimination match at Survivor Series from her brand’s team, before winning a six-woman tag team match along with her fellow team partners.[114] At the event on November 20, Fox’s team emerged victorious after Bayley pinned Becky Lynch.[115]

On the December 6 episode of 205 Live, Fox started an on-screen relationship with Cedric Alexander by kissing him before his match against Noam Dar, in which Alexander was defeated. Dar dedicated his victory to Fox.[116] Two weeks later on Raw, Fox accompanied Alexander in a rematch against Dar, where he was victorious. Dar attempted to seduce her again afterwards.[117] On January 10, 2017, Alexander severed ties with Fox on 205 Live after she interfered during his match with Dar, costing him the match and turning into a villainess.[118] Subsequently, Fox became Dar’s new valet.[119] On June 4, Fox and Dar were defeated by Rich Swann and Sasha Banks in a mixed tag team match at Extreme Rules.[120] On the July 11 episode of 205 Live, Dar broke up with Fox after he lost to Alexander in an “I Quit” match.[121]

Various storylines (2017–present)[edit]

On the August 7 edition of RAW, Fox competed in a triple-threat match against Sasha Banks and Emma where the winner would advance to a number one contender’s match the following week. Banks won the match after making Emma submit to the Bank Statement.[122]

Other media[edit]

Fox made guest appearances for the reality television show Total Divas produced by WWE and E! during the first two seasons, which began airing in July 2013.[9] In October 2014, she joined the main cast of the program for the second half of the third season, which began airing in January 2015.[123] In 2013, she made an appearance on the television series Cupcake Wars, as a guest judge along with Layla.[124] The following year, Fox and The Miz presented an award at Cartoon Network‘s Hall of Game Awards.[125] Fox made her acting debut by guest starring in two episodes of Syfy series Dominion that aired in July 2015.[126]

Fox has appeared in five WWE video games. She made her in-game debut at WWE SmackDown vs Raw 2011 and appears in WWE ’12 (DLC), WWE 13,[127] WWE 2K16,[128] and WWE 2K17.[129]

In July 2017, it was revealed that Fox would feature in the debut line of WWE fashion dolls by toy brand Mattel.[130]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2017 The Jetsons & WWE: Robo-WrestleMania! Herself Film debut; straight-to-video

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2013–2017 Total Divas Herself Guest (season 1–2)
Main cast (season 3–5)
Recurring (season 6): 33 episodes
2013 Cupcake Wars Guest Judge[124]
2015 Dominion Harper Episodes: “Heirs of Salvation” and “Mouth of the Damned”[126]
WWE Tough Enough Herself Guest (season 6)

Personal life[edit]

Crawford has a younger sister named Christina, who was also a professional wrestler and is now a Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleader.[131] Prior to becoming a professional wrestler, Crawford was a model, and signed with WWE after being seen in a fashion catalogue by John Laurinaitis.[1][2]

In wrestling[edit]

Alicia Fox wrestling Natalya in 2012

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

WRESTLERS AND THEIR SIGNIFICANT OTHERS

Image result for JESSICA LOCKHART AND CHRIS JERICHO  JESSICA LOCKHART & CHRIS JERICHO
Image result for MICHELLE MCCOOL AND THE UNDERTAKER JESSICA McCOOL 7 THE UNDERTAKER
Image result for kimberly kessler and randy orton KIMBERLY KESSLER & RANDY ORTON
Image result for aj lee and cm punk A J LEE & CM PUNK
Image result for REBECCA CURCI AND SHAWN MICHAELS REBECCA CURCI AND SHAWN MICHAELS
Image result for samantha rotunda and bray wyatt SAMANTHA ROTUNDA & BRAY WYATT
Image result for BESS KATRAMADOS AND BIG SHOW BESS KANTRAMADOS & THE BIG SHOW
Image result for angie gutierrez and rey mysterio  ANGIE GUTIERREZ AND REY MYSTERIO
Image result for lauryn laine mcbride LAUREN McBRIDE AND JERRY LAWLER
Image result for KIRSTEN AND STEVEN AUSTIN KIRSTIN AND STEVE AUSTIN
Image result for BRIE BELLA AND DANIEL BRYAN BRIE BELLA AND DANIEL BRYAN
Image result for LAURA HASHIAN LAURA HASHIAN AND THE ROCK
Image result for BRANDI AND CODY RHODES BRANDI AND CODY RHODES
Image result for MARYSE OUELLET AND THE MIZ MARY OULETT AND THE MIZ
Image result for marissa mazzola-mcmahon MARISA MAZZOLA AND SHANE MCMAHON
Image result for MARIA KANELLIS AND MIKE BENNETT MARIA KANELLIS AND MIKE BENNETT
Image result for CATALINA WHITE AND JACK SWAGGER CATALINA WHITE & JACK SWAGGER
Image result for AJ STYLES AND WENDY JONES AJ STYLES AND WENDY JONES
Image result for ROCHELLE RONA AND BARON CORBIN ROCHELLE RONA AND bARON CORBIN

Candice LeRae

Image result for Candice LeRae GIFS

Image result for Candice LeRae GIFS

Image result for Candice LeRae GIFS

Image result for Candice LeRae GIFS

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Candice LeRae

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Candice LeRae
Candice LeRae at Smash Wrestling.jpg

LeRae in November 2014
Birth name Candice Dawson
Born (1985-09-29) September 29, 1985 (age 31)[1]
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada[2]
Residence Orlando, Florida, U.S.
Spouse(s) Johnny Gargano (m. 2016)
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Candice LeRae
Sweet Candy[1]
Candice LaRae
Robyn[3]
Billed height 5 ft 2 in (1.57 m)[4]
Billed weight 110 lb (50 kg)[4]
Billed from Anaheim, California[4]
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada[1]
Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride[5]
Trained by Bill Anderson[6]
Jesse Hernandez[4]
T.J. Perkins[2]
Debut 2002[2]

Candice Gargano (née Dawson; born September 29, 1985) is a Canadian-American professional wrestler better known by her ring name Candice LeRae. She is best known for her work on the American independent circuit, for promotions including Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG) and Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW). She is a former one-time PWG World Tag Team Champion with Joey Ryan as The World’s Cutest Tag Team.

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Early career (2002–2007)[edit]

LeRae spent the first two years of her career wrestling for the Empire Wrestling Federation (EWF) and the International Wrestling Council.[7] She appeared as a substitute in a round one match at the ChickFight tournament in 2004, replacing the injured Miss Chevius, but lost in the first round to Princess Sugey.[6][8] During 2005, LeRae was a mainstay in the EWF, facing wrestlers including Hurricane Havana, Kid Omega, and Amazing Kong. She continued competing for the promotion throughout 2006, while also wrestling for All-Pro Wrestling and Ground Zero Wrestling. 2007 saw LeRae branch out to the Midwestern United States, where she competed for Insanity Pro Wrestling and Ring of Honor (ROH). LeRae had two matches for ROH in August 2007, losing to Sara Del Rey and Daizee Haze in dark matches on August 10 and 24, respectively.[1]

Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (2006–2015)[edit]

LeRae wrestling Human Tornado in February 2008

LeRae debuted in Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG) in 2006, when she put together a team to face a team managed by Jade Chung in an eight-man tag team match, where her team was victorious. In April 2007, she returned as the valet of Human Tornado. Her first main storyline in the company began later that year in September; Tornado had been abusing LeRae, who stood up for herself and cost Tornado a match at the 2007 Battle of Los Angeles.[1][9] After the match, Tornado began to attack LeRae, who was saved by Chris Hero.[1] As a result, Hero and LeRae united to take on Tornado. In January 2008, Tornado, Claudio Castagnoli, and Eddie Kingston defeated LeRae, Hero, and Necro Butcher in a six-person match, which meant that LeRae was forced to face Tornado in a singles match the following night. LeRae lost the match by disqualification when Hero, who was banned from ringside, came to the ring to aid her.[10] LuFisto entered the feud in March when she teamed with Tornado in a loss to LeRae and Hero. The following night, LeRae defeated LuFisto in a singles match.[1] LeRae continued to be involved in the storyline between Hero and Tornado over the next few months.

LeRae spent the rest of the year in intergender competition, facing wrestlers including TJ Perkins and Chuck Taylor.[11][12] In 2009, LeRae entered a feud with Christina Von Eerie when LeRae defeated Von Eerie in the first women’s match in PWG in more than a year.[13] Throughout early 2010, they teamed with a variety of male wrestlers to face each other, until LeRae defeated Von Eerie in a match in June to end the feud.[14][15][16] At Kurt RussellReunion 2 in January 2011, LeRae was on the winning side of an eight-person tag team match.[17] At PWG’s DDT4 event on April 3, 2011, LeRae won a Joey Ryan invitational gauntlet match to advance to a number one contenders match for the PWG World Championship against Ryan later that same night, which she lost.[18] She wrestled only sporadically in PWG in 2012 and 2013, mainly in six and eight-person tag team matches, which included being on the winning side of an eight-person tag team match at Kurt RussellReunion 3 in January 2012.[1][19]

LeRae began teaming with Joey Ryan in October 2013, with a loss to The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson), and in January 2014 they participated in the 2014 Dynamite Duumvirate Tag Team Title Tournament, but were eliminated in the first round by Adam Cole and Kevin Steen.[20][21] On March 28, 2014, at Mystery Vortex 2 LeRae unsuccessfully challenged Adam Cole for the PWG World Championship.[22] On July 27, LeRae and Ryan defeated The Young Bucks in a Guerrilla Warfare match to win the PWG World Tag Team Championship.[23] Known as the World’s Cutest Tag Team, LeRae and Ryan made their first title defense on August 29 in a three-way match, defeating The Inner City Machine Guns (Rich Swann and Ricochet) and the team of Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian.[24] The following night, LeRae entered the 2014 Battle of Los Angeles tournament, where she defeated Rich Swann in the first round before losing to Johnny Gargano in the quarter-finals.[25][26] LeRae and Ryan finished out the year with successful title defenses against Chuck Taylor and Johnny Gargano in October, and Daniels and Kazarian in December.[27][28] LeRae and Ryan lost the championships to Monster Mafia (Ethan Page and Josh Alexander) on May 22, 2015, in the opening round of the 2015 DDT4.[29]

Independent circuit[edit]

Alternative Wrestling Show (2007–2009)[edit]

LeRae began wrestling for the Alternative Wrestling Show (AWS) promotion in December 2007. In May 2009, she participated in a tournament for the AWS Women’s Championship; she defeated Kitana Vera and Christina Von Eerie en route to the final, where she defeated Erica D’Erico and Morgan in a three-way match for the vacant championship. She successfully defended the title against Carla Jade, Nikki, and Von Eerie until September 6, when she lost the championship to Von Eerie.[1]

LeRae alongside Joey Ryan as The World’s Cutest Tag Team in November 2014

National Wrestling Alliance (2008–2011)[edit]

She also appeared for the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), and unsuccessfully challenged Amazing Kong for the NWA Women’s Championship in 2008.[30] In 2011, LeRae began competing for NWA Championship Wrestling from Hollywood, where she developed a feud with Buggy.[1]

Combat Zone Wrestling (2013–2014)[edit]

In September 2013, LeRae debuted for Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW), teaming with Greg Excellent in a loss to Cherry Bomb and Pepper Parks.[2][31] She returned to CZW in February 2014, losing a singles match to Kimber Lee.[32] At Proving Grounds on May 10, she unsuccessfully challenged Shane Strickland for the CZW Wired Television Championship.[33]

Family Wrestling Entertainment (2013–2014)[edit]

LeRae first began appearing for Family Wrestling Entertainment (FWE) in late 2013 as the mystery tag team partner of Joey Ryan at the Open Weight Grand Prix Final event. On October 3, LeRae and Ryan defeated Ivelisse Vélez and Tommy Dreamer at Refuelled Night One following interference from Drew Galloway. The next night at Refuelled Night Two, LeRae and Ryan defeated Christina Von Eerie and Carlito. Later the same night, LeRae issued a challenge to Ivelisse Vélez, and defeated her to win the FWE Women’s Championship for the first time.[34] She successfully defended the title against Veda Scott at No Limits in February 2015.[35] The following month, LeRae and Ryan lost to Scott and Paul London in a mixed tag team match, in which LeRae lost the FWE Women’s title to Scott.[36]

WSU Queen and King of the RIng (2014)[edit]

On May 10, 2014, LeRae and Joey Ryan competed in the 2014 WSU Queen and King of the Ring tournament, defeating the teams of Drew Gulak and Kimber Lee, and JT Dunn and Shelly Martinez to advance to the final, before being defeated by Matt Tremont and Mickie Knuckles.[37] The following month, on June 7, 2014, she won Dream Wave Wrestling’s Tag Team Championship with Ryan, but they lost the title the next day.[1]

Shimmer Women Athletes (2014)[edit]

LeRae competed at Shimmer Women AthletesVolume 62 taping in April 2014, losing to Athena.[38] She returned to Shimmer in October, losing to Nikki Storm and Kay Lee Ray in singles matches on Volume 68 and Volume 70, respectively.[39][40]

Full Impact Pro (2014)[edit]

LeRae appeared for Full Impact Pro (FIP) on June 22, 2014, teaming with Ivelisse Vélez to unsuccessfully challenge The Lucha Sisters (Mia Yim and Leva Bates) for the Shine Tag Team Championship.[41] She then made her debut for Shine Wrestling at Shine 20 on June 27, defeating Neveah.[42]

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2013)[edit]

LeRae appeared for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) at Turning Point in 2013, wrestling in a losing effort to TNA Knockouts Champion Gail Kim.[43]

Ring of Honor (2016)[edit]

LeRae made her first appearance on the December 14, 2016 episode of ROH TV, in a losing effort against Deonna Purrazzo.[44]

Dramatic Dream Team (2016–present)[edit]

LeRae debuted for Japanese promotion DDT on January 3, 2016, teaming with Joey Ryan to defeat Golden Storm Riders (Daisuke Sasaki and Suguru Miyatake).[45] On January 10, LeRae teamed with the Golden Storm Riders in a losing effort against Happy Motel (Antonio Honda, Konosuke Takeshita and Tetsuya Endo).[46] The following day, LeRae teamed with Sasaki once again, this time defeating T2Hii (Kazuki Hirata and Sanshiro Takagi).[47] LeRae once again toured with DDT in March 2016, unsuccessfully challenging Sasaki and Shuji Ishikawa for the KO-D Tag Team Championship along with Joey Ryan on March 26[48] and defeating Makoto Oishi and Danshoku Dino the following day.[49] LeRae returned to DDT in January 2017, losing to Sasaki on January 3,[50] but teaming with Kouki Iwasaki and Kazusada Higuchi to defeat T2Hii (Sanshiro Takagi, Kazuki Hirata and Toru Owashi) on January 9.[51]

LeRae has also competed for DDT’s all-female sister promotion Tokyo Joshi Pro, defeating Yuka Sakazaki in her debut on January 4, 2016[52] and losing to Mil Clown exactly one year later on January 4, 2017.[53]

WWE[edit]

Mae Young Classic (2017–present)[edit]

On April 19, 2017 (aired on May 3, 2017), LeRae made her debut in WWE‘s developmental territory NXT, competing in a battle royal to determine the new #1 contender for Asuka‘s NXT Women’s Championship. In July 2017, it was announced LeRae would participate in the Mae Young Classic tournament. [54] On July 13, LeRae defeated Renee Michelle in her first round match.[55] The following day, LeRae defeated Nicole Savoy in the second round, before being eliminated in the quarterfinals by Shayna Baszler.[56]

Other media[edit]

LeRae and tag team partner Joey Ryan produce a weekly YouTube show titled The Candice & Joey Show, which highlights various aspects of their careers.

Personal life[edit]

LeRae married fellow professional wrestler Johnny Gargano at Disneyland on September 16, 2016.[57] They have been featured in a short-documentary on their dynamics as a wrestling couple.[58] She is an avid fan of Disney and the Anaheim Ducks.[2]

In wrestling[edit]

LeRae performing the Balls-Plex on Pepper Parks

LeRae performing a suicide dive onto Parks

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Rosa Mendes

Image result for ROSA MENDES WRESTLING GIFS

Image result for ROSA MENDES WRESTLING GIFS

Image result for ROSA MENDES WRESTLING GIFS

Image result for ROSA MENDES WRESTLING GIFS

Image result for ROSA MENDES WRESTLING GIFS

Rosa Mendes

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Rosa Mendes
Rosa Mendes At WrestleMania Axxess in March 2015.jpg

Mendes in March 2015
Birth name Milena Leticia Roucka
Born (1979-10-25) October 25, 1979 (age 37)[1]
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada[1]
Residence Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States[2]
Children 1
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Rosa Mendes
Melina Roucka
Roucka
Billed height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)[3]
Billed weight 132 lb (60 kg)[1]
Billed from San Jose, Costa Rica[3]
San Juan, Puerto Rico
San Mateo, California
Trained by Ohio Valley Wrestling[1]
WWE Performance Center
Debut November 2006[1]
Retired February 13, 2017[4]

Milena Leticia Roucka[1] (/ˈrkə/; born October 25, 1979)[1] is a Canadian model, retired professional wrestler and professional wrestling manager. She was known for her time in WWE under the ring name, Rosa Mendes. She managed former WWE Tag Team Champions Primo & Epico from 2011 to 2013. She was also a main cast member on the E! reality series Total Divas.

Early life[edit]

Roucka grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia and is of Czech and Costa Rican descent.[5] She was a self-described “tomboy” growing up, and was once suspended from school for fighting.[6] Roucka studied Business at the University of British Columbia, but dropped out to pursue a career in modeling. In 2004, she was the first North American to win the “Piel Dorada”, a major Latin American modeling contest.[5]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

World Wrestling Entertainment/WWE[edit]

Diva Search (2006–2008)[edit]

In the summer of 2006, Roucka competed in the WWE Diva Search and reached the final eight. She won the first round, a dance competition.[5][6] After she was eliminated on August 24, WWE then signed her to a developmental contract.[5][7]

Beth Phoenix’s intern (2008–2009)[edit]

On the November 24, 2008 episode of Raw, Roucka appeared as a planted fan, holding a sign proclaiming her WWE Women’s Champion Beth Phoenix‘s number one fan. Over the next few weeks, she continued holding signs supporting Phoenix.[3] On the December 22 Raw, Phoenix’s boyfriend/tag partner Santino Marella introduced her as Rosa Mendes. The next week, she jumped the guardrail and attacked the new number one contender, Melina, who was attacking Phoenix.[8] The next week, Stephanie McMahon said Mendes had been banned from WWE events after attacking Melina again.[9] Mendes evaded the ban by disguising herself as a paparazzo in Melina’s entrance and attacked her again.[10]

On the January 19, 2009 episode of Raw, Marella announced he had hired Mendes to be his and Phoenix’s intern.[11] Mendes accompanied Phoenix for her Women’s title match against Melina on the February 16 episode of Raw, and again in a dark match at No Way Out pay-per-view.[12] On the March 30 episode of Raw, Mendes made her in-ring debut in an 18-woman tag team match, which her team lost. At WrestleMania XXV, Mendes competed in a 25-woman battle royal, but was eliminated by Marella, who competed in drag, claiming to be his twin sister “Santina”.[13] Phoenix, with Mendes managing her, had a brief scripted rivalry with both “Santina” and Marella, and challenged “Santina” for the “Miss WrestleMania” title, but was unsuccessful.[14][15][16] On the June 11 episode of Superstars, Mendes got her first televised win when she teamed with Beth Phoenix against The Bella Twins where Phoenix pinned one of the Bellas.[17] Mendes made her singles debut against Mickie James on the June 15 Raw, in a losing effort.[18][19] After a brief hiatus, Mendes and Phoenix returned on the July 27 episode of Raw, teaming with Alicia Fox in a losing effort to Mickie James, Gail Kim, and Kelly Kelly.[20]

Mendes during a Raw live event in August 2009

In August 2009, she began managing Carlito after teaming with him on the August 13 episode of Superstars, to defeat Kofi Kingston and Mickie James in a mixed tag team match, and her association with Beth Phoenix quietly ended.[21] On the August 31 episode of Raw, Mendes lost a battle royal to determine the number one contender to the WWE Divas Championship when she was eliminated by Beth Phoenix.

Brand switches (2009–2011)[edit]

On October 12, 2009, Mendes was traded from Raw to the ECW brand.[22] She debuted on the October 20 episode of ECW, in a backstage segment with ECW general manager, Tiffany, who welcomed her to ECW.[23]

On the November 3 episode of ECW she began distracting Zack Ryder, who was infatuated with her, during his matches.[24][25] On the November 25 ECW, Mendes began a personal and managerial relationship with Ryder.[26][27][28] She managed him through various feuds, including one with Tommy Dreamer, culminating on December 29, when he defeated Dreamer to force him from WWE.[29] On the final episode of ECW on February 16, 2010, Ryder and Mendes interfered in the main event match, and Mendes was speared by Tiffany.[30]

Ryder and Mendes then moved to the Raw brand.[31] She made her in-ring return on the April 5 Raw, in a Divas Championship number-one-contender battle royal, which Eve Torres won.[32] On April 27, Mendes was drafted to the SmackDown brand as part of the 2010 Supplemental Draft, without Ryder.[33] She and Ryder reunited on the April 29 Superstars, where she managed him to a win over Primo.[34] In her debut match for SmackDown, she lost to Kelly Kelly.[35] On the May 6 episode of Superstars, Mendes faced Beth Phoenix in a non-title match in which Phoenix tore her ACL. As a result, one week later on SmackDown, Mendes received a WWE Women’s Championship match, though she was ejected from the match by Vickie Guerrero and replaced by Michelle McCool and Layla.[36]

In June 2010, Mendes tried to join LayCool (Michelle McCool and Layla), who refused and instead mocked her.[37] Over the next few months, Mendes exercised in backstage segments in an attempt to impress LayCool, and cost Layla a match by distracting her by skipping rope at ringside.[38][39][40] On the September 17 episode of SmackDown, Rosa Mendes turned face by teaming with Kelly Kelly to lose to LayCool.[41] In late 2010, Rosa Mendes appeared mainly in backstage segments with various wrestlers, including Kane and Hornswoggle.[42][43] On the February 25, 2011, Mendes won her first SmackDown singles match, over Layla by disqualification, after McCool attacked her outside the ring. The next week, Mendes reunited with Beth Phoenix, teaming to lose to LayCool. On the March 25 episode of SmackDown!, Mendes teamed with Kelly Kelly to again lose to LayCool.[44]

After some time away, Mendes returned on the May 27 episode of SmackDown as a heel, managing the team of Tamina and Alicia Fox to a win over The Chickbusters (AJ and Kaitlyn).[45] They also won the rematch a week later.[46] On the June 17 episode of SmackDown, Mendes teamed with Fox and Snuka to defeat The Chickbusters and Natalya. On the June 23 episode of Superstars, they lost a rematch. On the July 29 episode of Smackdown, they won the rubber match. On the July 15 episode of SmackDown, Mendes lost to Divas Champion Kelly Kelly in a non-title match. On the August 1 episode of Raw, Mendes competed in a Divas Championship number-one-contenders battle royal, which Beth Phoenix won.[47]

Managing Primo and Epico (2011–2013)[edit]

Mendes while managing the WWE Tag Team Champions Primo & Epico at WrestleMania XXVIII in 2012

Mendes started managing Primo & Epico on the December 1, 2011 Superstars.[48] On January 15, 2012, at a house show in Oakland, California, Primo and Epico defeated Air Boom (Evan Bourne and Kofi Kingston) for the WWE Tag Team Championship. On the WrestleMania XXVIII pre-show, they successfully defended the title against The Usos and Justin Gabriel and Tyson Kidd in a Triple Threat tag team match.[49] On the April 30 episode of Raw, Primo and Epico lost the title to R-Truth and Kofi Kingston.[50] Primo, Epico and Mendes then joined Abraham Washington‘s “All World Promotions” stable, until he turned on them at No Way Out, costing them the match and allying with their opponents, The Prime Time Players (Titus O’Neil & Darren Young).[51][52] The next night on Raw, Mendes, Primo and Epico turned face when they defeated the Prime Time Players by countout. after Young and O’Neil walked out of the match.[53][54] At Money in the Bank, Mendes managed Primo and Epico to a win over The Prime Time Players.[55][56] Following the release of A.W. they quickly returned as heels and from September till the end of the year, Primo and Epico had a losing streak.

On the November 19 episode of Raw, Hornswoggle squirted Mendes in the face with a fake bouquet of flowers,[57] with which she attempted to attack him on the December 6 episode of Superstars, but was assaulted by Natalya. The next night on SmackDown, Mendes managed Primo and Epico in a loss to The Great Khali and Hornswoggle. During the match, she tripped on Hornswoggle and was assaulted by Natalya once again. On the December 28 SmackDown, Mendes managed Primo in a loss to Brodus Clay. After the match, Mendes confronted Clay and was assaulted by The Funkadactlys (Naomi and Cameron). On the January 4 SmackDown, Mendes teamed with Primo and Epico and lost to Natalya, Hornswoggle and The Great Khali.[58] On the February 11 episode of Raw, Primo and Epico lost to Brodus Clay and Tensai. After the match, Mendes harassed Tensai and The Funkadactlys attacked her again.[59] On the February 18 Raw, Mendes, Epico and Primo lost to Brodus, Tensai, and Naomi. On the April 19 episode of Smackdown, they lost again to Natalya, Hornswoggle and Khali. This match was due to an argument over a parking spot. The next day, on Saturday Morning Slam, Mendes, Primo, and Epico were interviewed by Natalya. They insulted her, setting up another rematch with Natalya, Hornswoggle, and Khali the following week, which they lost again.

Various Alliances (2013–2015)[edit]

Roucka took a two-month hiatus to settle some personal issues at home. Mendes returned to television on the July 25 episode of NXT, though she did not wrestle. On August 26, Mendes returned to Raw as a face, dancing with The Miz to distract Fandango before managing him in his match against Fandango. Despite this, she teamed up with the other heel Divas (Aksana and Alicia Fox) on the October 7 episode of Raw in a losing effort against Natalya, Eva Marie and JoJo.

Mendes at WrestleMania XXX in April 2014

Mendes and other Divas began a feud with the cast Total Divas after the implosion on Raw, leading to them accompanying Tamina Snuka on the November 20 episode of Main Event, to defeat Naomi, who had the Total Divas in her corner.[60] At the Survivor Series pay-per-view, Mendes participated in her first pay-per-view match, a seven-on-seven traditional elimination tag team match as her team took on the Total Divas; Mendes managed to eliminate Cameron before she was eliminated, but her team ultimately lost the match.[61] The following night on Raw, they faced the Total Divas in an rematch, in a losing effort.[62][63] On April 6, Rosa competed at WrestleMania XXX in the 14–DivaVickie Guerrero Invitational match” for the WWE Divas Championship, which was won by the defending champion AJ Lee.[64] She returned on the June 23 episode of Raw, interfering on behalf of Stephanie McMahon, along with Layla and Alicia Fox, but was thrown into a mud pool by Vickie Guerrero during their match.[65] On July 8 episode of Main Event, Mendes participated in a six–on–one handicap match with Eva Marie, Summer Rae, Naomi and Natalya against Nikki Bella as part of Stephanie McMahon’s punishment against Nikki.[66] Mendes would transitioned into a fan favorite on the September 2 episode of Main Event, teaming with Natalya in a losing effort to Summer Rae and Layla because of a miscommunication.[67]

After two months of absence, Mendes returned as Fandango‘s new dance partner on the Survivor Series pre-show on November 23. Fandango defeated Justin Gabriel with a Salsa dancer gimmick and new theme music.[68] On the April 13, 2015 episode of Raw, Fandango dissolved his relationship with Mendes. Later that night, Mendes competed in a Divas battle royal to determine the #1 contender for the WWE Divas Championship. Mendes eliminated Natalya and Summer Rae before being eliminated by Emma.[69] Following the end of her association with Fandango, Mendes ended up costing him a match to Adam Rose, whom she subsequently went on to manage.

Correspondent and Retirement (2015–2017)[edit]

As she announced her pregnancy on August 6,[70] Mendes began serving as the WWE.com correspondent for SmackDown in October.[71] The same month, she went on maternity leave, and gave birth on February 13, 2016.[72] On February 13, 2017, one year after giving birth to her first child, Mendes announced her retirement from WWE.[73] In April, Mendes offered Brie Bella dietary advice on Total Divas.[74]

Other media[edit]

Roucka acted in Costa Rican commercials for Trident, Lux and Chrysler in 2004.[5]

She portrayed Isabel Díaz in the video game Need for Speed: Most Wanted. In September 2014, Mendes joined the main cast of Total Divas, a reality television show produced by WWE and E!,[75][76] in which she was a main cast member during the third and the fifth season.[77] Mendes appeared in one WWE video game. She made her in-game debut at WWE 2K16 as a selectable manager.

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2014–2017 Total Divas Herself Guest (season 2 & 6)
Main cast (season 3 & 5)
Recurring (season 4): 28 episodes

Personal life[edit]

Roucka has trained in kickboxing, Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.[7] She cites Trish Stratus as her inspiration for becoming a wrestler. She has a Chinese tattoo which consists of adorned wings and a halo, on the right side of her waist. On May 18, 2012, she suffered whiplash in a car accident.[78]

Roucka was previously engaged to fellow wrestler Steven Slocum, known as Jackson Andrews. On August 5, 2012, Roucka filed battery charges against Slocum with the San Antonio Police Department, over an earlier incident at their Las Vegas home. Roucka stated that she was afraid Slocum would kill her, and that abuse was an ongoing problem. Police photographed scratches and bruises on her body.

Roucka came out as bisexual in 2014.[79] On August 6, 2015, Roucka announced that she and her partner, musician and clothing company owner Bobby Schubenski, were expecting their first child, a girl, whom she planned to name Jordan Elizabeth.[70] On October 8, Roucka and Schubenski got engaged in Paris, France.[80] As part of the pregnancy, Roucka moved to Pittsburgh so that the baby could be closer to Schubenski’s family.[2] She gave birth to Jordan Elizabeth on February 13, 2016.[72]

In wrestling[edit]

Mendes managed several wrestlers. From top to bottom: Beth Phoenix (left), Primo & Epico and Fandango

Championships and accomplishments[edit]