This blonde bombshell was born Barbara Jean Blank on January 15, 1987 in Jacksonville, Florida. The now 30-year-old participated in gymnastics as a child and also became a cheerleader.
She graduated from college with a journalism degree and also had the distinction of becoming a bikini model for a period.
When working as a model, she was spotted by WWE talent agents and she was offered an opportunity to train in the developmental territory of Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW). Here, Blank started off as a ring announcer and referee before becoming an active in-ring competitor herself.
In 2006, Blank officially debuted as Kelly Kelly on the Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) brand. She was marketed as being an exhibitionist, taking every opportunity she could to show of her stunning body to the adoring males in the crowd. She would perform a striptease of sorts week after week when as soon as she was about to reveal herself bare, her kayfabe boyfriend Mike Knox would interfere and cover her up and take her backstage.
Kelly appeared as Knox’s valet and the two along with Knox’ tag team partner Test (The late Andrew Martin) would feud with Tommy Dreamer, The Sandman and Torrie Wilson.
A storyline was developed whereby Kelly started developing affections for CM Punk, infuriating Knox. When Knox and Punk faced one another, Kelly cheered for Punk. The angle effectively ended when Knox and Kelly faced Kevin Thorn and Ariel. Knox abandoned Kelly, leading to Kelly’s beat down by Ariel.
After her “breakup” with Knox, Kelly started her stripping gimmick again, this time with accomplices Layla and Brooke (collectively called Extreme Expose). A storyline was developed when all three members took a liking to the debuting Miz. The angle effectively dissolved when Kelly started gaining affections for the late Balls Mahoney and Brooke was released from the WWE.
For the year 2007 and into 2008, Kelly did not have a great deal of noteworthy success other than winning a Diva’s battle royal to challenge WWE Women’s Champion Beth Phoenix, whom Kelly lost to. She also lost at the “Survivor Series” Pay-Per-View event and lost a Diva’s tag team match at the “Backlash” Pay-Per-View event.
She was then moved from the Raw brand and became involved in a series of feuds/partnerships with almost every Diva on the roster including Phoenix, Jillian Hall and Mickie James.
Kelly did win a Diva’s battle royal to gain a shot at the Diva’s Championship from Maryse. Kelly won the bout by disqualification and a lost a follow-up match, thus never gaining the title.
Kelly lost in later Diva’s tag team matches and was eliminated at the Survivor Series, despite her team being victorious. She also ended her real-life romance with Andrew “Test” Martin prior to his death in 2009. Come 2010, she did more of the same, losing mostly in tag team bouts, battle royals and contender matches.
Kelly was then shifted back to SmackDown! to some greater success. She and formal rival Phoenix now became a team feuding with LayCool (Michelle McCool and Layla) mostly to winning efforts. She also defeated Rosa Mendes in singles competition.
She won a qualifying match to be the number one contender to face champion Layla at the “Money in the Bank” Pay-Per-View event, but ultimately lost the bout.
In 2011, Kelly got on the bad side of Smackdown! Acting General Manager Vicki Guerrero by preventing her from interfering in a match between WWE Heavyweight Champion Edge and challenger Dolph Ziggler. Later, Kelly and Edge would defeat Ziggler and LayCool. Guerrero was infuriated and kayfabe fired Kelly.
She was hired back by General Manager Theodore Long and with partner Edge, defeated Guerrero and Drew McIntyre resulting in Guerrero’s kayfabe firing.
With Kelly’s popularity rising amongst the fans, Kelly was voted to be the contender for the WWE Diva’s Championship by facing Brie Bella whom Kelly defeated for her first title run.
Kelly would successfully defend the title for more than 3 months and ultimately drop the strap to Beth Phoenix. She was unsuccessful at gaining the title back and had an unremarkable career thereafter. She was released from the WWE in September 2012.
Kelly is currently a member of a reality TV series known as WAGS (Wives And Girlfriends of Sportsmen) as she is married to hockey player Sheldon Souray.
This Diva’s beauty and charm cannot be denied and one can only hope that she will eventually return to the squared circle and entertain us once again.
Special thanks to Dr. Stephen Balsky for contributing the above wrestler profile.
Dr. Stephen Balsky is a chiropractor currently in practice in his native Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He has been a wrestling fan since age 13 and is very passionate about the product, especially the “old-school” 80’s – 90’s era. He completed his Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree in 2015 and currently is also working part-time as a professor in both business and healthcare.