Kelly Kelly

American professional wrestler, model, dancer and television personality

Barbara Blank Coba (born Barbara Jean Blank; January 15, 1987[5]) is an American female professional wrestler, model and dancer. She is best known for working with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) for six years using the ring name Kelly Kelly. During her time in WWE she won the WWE Divas Championship and the WWE 24/7 Championship one time each. Kelly used to have a weekly segment known as Kelly's Exposé where she would dance for the WWE Universe.

Kelly Kelly
Kelly Kelly at Tribute to the Troops in 2010
Birth nameBarbara Jean Blank[1]
Born (1987-01-15) January 15, 1987 (age 37)[1]
Jacksonville, Florida, U.S.[1][2]
Spouse(s)
Children2
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Kelly Kelly
Billed height5 ft 5 in (165 cm)[1]
Billed weight108 lb (49 kg)[1]
Billed fromJacksonville, Florida[3]
Trained byOhio Valley Wrestling[1]
DebutJune 13, 2006[4]

World Wrestling Entertainment / WWE change

Ohio Valley Wrestling (2006) change

In 2006, while working as a model, Blank was seen by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) official John Laurinaitis, who was interested in signing her to a contract.[1] As a result, WWE contacted her modeling agency and invited her to their developmental territory, Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), for a try-out. Despite having no previous wrestling experience she was offered a contract, which she signed in May 2006.[1][4][6] Even after being called up to the main roster she continued to fly back and forth to OVW's base city Louisville, Kentucky once a week to work shows; first as a ring announcer and referee, then as a wrestler.[7] One of her first matches took place at the September 6 OVW TV tapings where she participated in a Women's battle royal won by ODB.[1][7]

Main roster (2006–2012) change

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 Vince McMahon.[8] She made her debut on the first episode of the weekly television program on June 13, 2006, becoming the youngest Diva on the WWE roster at the age of 19.[2][9][10] Her character, an exhibitionist, was introduced performing a striptease for the crowd.[6][10] 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.[6][11] 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.[12][13] Knox began forcing Kelly to accompany him to ringside so he could keep an eye on her, making her his de facto valet.[12] 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.[14] She made her ECW in-ring debut 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.[15]

Following this 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.[16] During the next month, Kelly continuously flirted with Punk and was shown watching his matches from the crowd, until Knox stopped her.[17][18] 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.[19][20] 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 badly by Ariel.[21] On the following episode of ECW, Kelly defeated Ariel with a roll-up on her first ECW singles match, after which Knox made his way to the ring 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.[1][22]

She returned to television on January 16, 2007 and cut a promo announcing she was newly single and bringing back Kelly's Exposé.[23] The following week, she joined forces with Layla and Brooke to form Extreme Exposé.[24] The trio performed a weekly dance segment on ECW for the next several months, as a successor to Kelly's Exposé segment.[4] 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.[4][25][26] When Kelly shifted her attentions towards Balls Mahoney, Layla, Brooke, and The Miz openly mocked her, and The 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.[27][28][29] 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.[6][30] 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.[31][32] 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.[1][33] 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.[4][34][35] At WrestleMania XXIV, Kelly was a 'lumberjill' for the Divas' tag team lumberjill match.[4] The following month, Kelly was part of the losing team in a five-on-five Divas match at the Backlash pay-per-view.[36] Kelly Kelly was released from her WWE contract on September 28, 2012.[37]

Guest appearances (2017–present) change

Kelly returned to WWE on February 13, 2017, in a backstage interview for WWE's official website during Raw.[38][39] She later appeared during WrestleMania 33 weekend, including at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony, and on an episode of the WWE Network exclusive Table for 3 alongside Maryse and Eve Torres.[40][41]

On January 22, 2018, Kelly appeared at the Raw 25 Years special as one of the historic women of WWE.[42] On January 28 at Royal Rumble, she competed in the first women's royal rumble match, where she entered at number 19, and was eliminated by Nia Jax.[43] In October 2018, she was in a battle royal at WWE's first all-female pay-per-view Evolution. She was eliminated by Mandy Rose.[44]

On July 22, 2019, Kelly returned during Raw Reunion. She pinned Gerald Brisco backstage to become the first female 24/7 Champion. Kelly then lost the title to Candice Michelle, with Melina as the special guest referee.[45] She returned to the ring on January 26, 2020, at Royal Rumble, entering at number 21 before being eliminated by Charlotte Flair.[46] That year, she also appeared backstage with The Street Profits the following night on Raw[47] and on the November 22 edition of Watch Along.[48][49]

On the January 7, 2022, episode of SmackDown, Kelly was announced for the Women's Royal Rumble match at Royal Rumble.[50] She entered the match at number 4 and was quickly eliminated by Sasha Banks.[51]

Championships and accomplishments change

 
Kelly as Divas Champion

References change

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