Leah Van Dale (October 23, 1987) is an American cheerleader, dancer, fitness trainer, model, professional wrestler and professional wrestling manager currently signed to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) on the Smackdown brand under the ring name Carmella. She is a one-time Smackdown Women's Champion.

In June 2013, Van Dale signed a contract with WWE and was assigned to their Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. In October 2014, she aligned herself with Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady, thus also becoming their manager.

Early life

Leah grew up in a very small town outside of Worcester, Massachusetts. She began dancing at the age of three. After graduating high school, Leah went on to the University of Rhode Island and later transferred to the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth where she graduated with her bachelor's degree in Marketing. While she knew it was important to get an education, she continued her love of performing with the New England Patriots Cheerleaders. Throughout her three-year term with the Patriots she traveled all over the world.

Throughout her time with the Patriots, Leah was featured in several world-renowned publications to include a National Visa commercial, Muscle and Fitness, Esquire, Maxim and many more. Her charity work was something she always enjoyed. She was fortunate enough to work with so many different charitable organizations and loved giving back to the community.

Leah's three-year term with the Patriots was up in early 2010. After graduating in May of the same year she knew she wanted to take her dancing career to another level. There's no better place for an entertainer than Los Angeles. On a whim, she decided to fly out to LA the day before the Back-to-Back Champion Lakers were holding auditions for their dance team. With over 600 girls in attendance, Leah danced her way to the final round. After a few trips back and forth between the east and west coast, she earned a coveted spot as a 2010-2011 Los Angeles Laker Girl. As a rookie, she was the cover girl of the 2011 Laker Girl Calendar. She was featured in numerous commercials, magazines, and game shows throughout her Laker Girl Career. Much like her time with Patriots, she loved working with charities. Fit For Life grew to be her favorite organization to work with. Seeing kids without any sense of healthy living, inspired her to show teach them everything she knew about being healthy and fit. Leah grew up around the fitness industry, as her father was a semi-professional boxer and WWF wrestler in the 1990s.

Professional wrestling career

World Wrestling Entertainment (2013-Present)

NXT (2013-2016)

In June 2013, Van Dale signed a contract with WWE, and she was assigned to the company's developmental territory WWE NXT in late September. In December, she announced that her new ring name was Carmella.

Carmella made her debut on the September 4, 2014, episode of NXT, portraying a hairdresser in a segment with Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady. Two weeks later on NXT, Carmella appeared in another segment with Amore and Cassady at the WWE Performance Center, announcing that she had lost her job as a hairdresser due to Amore and Cassady's actions, and asked for a job at NXT. She made her in-ring debut on the October 16 episode of NXT, fighting a local wrestler, whom Amore and Cassady dubbed Blue Pants. Carmella defeated Blue Pants on two occasions, while portraying a villainous character despite her alliance with Amore and Cassady, but lost to her on the January 1, 2015, episode of NXT after Amore accidentally caused a distraction. In March, Amore and Cassady began a rivalry with the NXT Tag Team Champions Blake and Murphy, while Blake and Murphy attempted to woo Carmella on several occasions, becoming an fan favorite in the process. On the May 13 episode of NXT, Blake and Murphy distracted Carmella during her match with Alexa Bliss, causing her to lose. A week later, at NXT TakeOver: Unstoppable, Bliss attacked Carmella, during Amore and Cassady's title match, ensuring the win for Blake and Murphy. While continuing to manage Amore and Cassady, Carmella began feuding with Eva Marie, which led to a match between the two, on the August 26 episode of NXT (taped at the NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn event), which Carmella lost. On the September 23 episode of NXT, in a rematch, Carmella lost via count–out, and their rivalry quietly ended.

In the beginning of January 2016, Carmella received her first singles push as she won a battle royal to become the number one contender to Bayley's NXT Women's Championship. Carmella received her championship match against Bayley, on the February 10 episode of NXT, but she was unsuccessful in capturing the title. After the match, Eva Marie and Nia Jax attacked the two, which led to a tag team match, on the February 24 episode of NXT, where Carmella and Bayley were on the losing side. Carmella made her first appearance on WWE's main roster on March 12 at Roadblock, accompanying Amore and Cassady to their match against The Revival for the NXT Tag Team Championship. On the May 25 episode of NXT, Carmella competed in a triple–threat match against Nia Jax and Alexa Bliss to determine the number one contender to Asuka's NXT Women's Championship at NXT TakeOver: The End, which was won by Jax.

Main roster (2016–present)

On July 19, Carmella was drafted to SmackDown as a part of the 2016 WWE Draft. Carmella made her main roster debut for the brand on July 26, where she confronted the brand female talents before being interrupted by Eva Marie. Two weeks later, Carmella defeated Natalya on the August 9 episode of SmackDown, marking her first victory on the main roster. The following week, Carmella teamed with Becky Lynch in a successful victory against Natalya, and Alexa Bliss, after a distraction provided by Eva Marie, and Naomi. A six-woman tag team match was announced for SummerSlam between Carmella, Lynch, and Naomi against Natalya, Bliss, and Marie, but following Eva Marie's suspension on August 18, her place was taken by the returning Nikki Bella, and Carmella's team would ultimately lose the match at the pay-per-view, which would be also her debut on one of them.

On the August 23 episode of SmackDown, Carmella turned heel and attacked a returning Nikki Bella, canceling their scheduled singles match. At Backlash, on September 11, Carmella competed in a six-pack elimination challenge to determine the inaugural WWE SmackDown Women's Champion; Carmella would eliminate Nikki, but was eliminated by Becky Lynch, who ultimately won the title. Carmella would then start a feud with Nikki, attacking her from behind each week which would set up for a singles match between them at WWE No Mercy, in which Carmella was unsuccessful. The feud continued after the pay-per-view event, with Carmella stating the only reason Nikki got to where she is today is because of her sister Brie Bella, and boyfriend John Cena. After being revealed as one of the members on the SmackDown women's team on the November 1 episode of SmackDown, during a match against Nikki Bella on the November 15 episode of SmackDown, RAW Women's Champion Charlotte appeared at ringside, causing a distraction and a brawl between all members of the Raw women's team and the SmackDown women's team. At the Survivor Series pay-per-view, after Nikki Bella was mysteriously attacked backstage, which caused Natalya to become her replacement, the SmackDown women's team went on to compete against the Raw women's team, but was unsuccessful in winning the match. In an attempt to finally end her feud with Nikki Bella, Carmella competed in a no-disqualification match against Nikki at the TLC pay-per-view, but was defeated, and would afterwards reveal to Nikki that her attacker at Survivor Series was not her, but her fellow Total Divas co-star Natalya. Carmella would compete in multiple singles matches against Natalya to prove to Nikki Bella that Natalya was her attacker, and would come out victorious on the December 13 episode of SmackDown. On the December 20 episode of SmackDown, after Carmella again revealed more secrets about Natalya to Nikki, Natalya would attack Carmella then admit to attacking Nikki at Survivor Series, revealing her pent-up jealousy of her success for years, thus ending her feud with Nikki Bella.

On December 20, Carmella started a storyline with James Ellsworth, professing that she found him "uniquely attractive". On January 3, 2017, Ellsworth started accompanying Carmella to the ring during her matches.

Other media

Carmella made her video game debut as a playable character in WWE 2K17.

Personal life

Carmella is a certified fitness instructor and a personal trainer. She also has a background in dancing. She is the daughter of Paul Van Dale, a former professional wrestler who worked as a jobber for WWE in the 1990s and also wrestled independently. Her favorite wrestling personalities while growing up were Miss Elizabeth and Trish Stratus. Van Dale once dated fellow wrestler William Morrissey, better known by the ring name Big Cass. She is currently in a relationship with Corey Graves.

Quotes

Quote1.png
Mella is Money!
Quote2.png

In wrestling

  • Tag Teams & Stables
  • Nicknames
    • "The Staten Island Princess"
    • "Ms. Money In The Bank"
    • "The Crown Princess of Smackdown Live"
    • "The Moonwalking Trash-talking Chick"

Championships and accomplishments

External links

2016 PWI Top 50 Females
Charlotte FlairSasha BanksAsukaBecky LynchBayleyJadeNatalyaGail KimSexy StarSiennaIvelisseMadison EaglesNicole SavoyRosemaryAllieNicole MatthewsKimber LeeCandice LeRaePaigeHeidi LovelaceEvieCheerleader MelissaNia JaxSantana GarrettNaomiDana BrookeMadison RayneKay Lee RayAlexa BlissLufistoAmber GallowsMarti BelleEmmaTaylor MadeVanessa KravenSu YungEmber MoonTessa BlanchardJessicka HavokShayna BaszlerCrazy Mary DobsonMalia HosakaThunder RosaCarmellaKC SpinelliVeda ScottJessica JamesXandra BaleKaitlin DiemondEva Marie
2017 PWI Top 50 Females
AsukaCharlotte FlairAlexa BlissSasha BanksBayleyIo ShiraiNatalyaSiennaNaomiKairi SaneMercedes MartinezShayna BaszlerRosemaryLuFistoMayu IwantaniMia YimAllieEmber MoonBecky LynchMadison EaglesNicole SavoyNia JaxCandice LeRaeToni StormHiroyo MatsumotoChelsea GreenSaraya KnightShazza McKenzieKay Lee RayMickie JamesDakota KaiNicole MatthewsAlex WindsorDeonna PurrazzoAbbey LaithRisa SeraViperCarmellaRuby RiotNikki CrossVanessa KravenSantana GarrettTessa BlanchardArisa NakajimaLady LoryShotzi BlackheartVeda ScottAlpha FemaleMarti BelleZoey Skye
2018 PWI Top 100 Females
Ronda RouseyAlexa BlissCharlotte FlairIo ShiraiAsukaShayna BaszlerCarmellaNia JaxMayu IwataniKairi SaneBecky LynchSumei SakaiSu YungSasha BanksTessa BlanchardAllieBayleyKagetsuToni StormNatalyaEmber MoonRosemaryLufistoNikki CrossNaomiNicole SavoyCharlie MorganKris WolfMercedes MartinezDakota KaiRuby RiottMomo WatanabeSarah LoganHiroyo MatsumotoSarayaTaya ValkyrieChihiro HashimotoMia YimKelly KleinShazza McKenzieVanessa KravenMickie JamesTsukasa FujimotoMadison EaglesCheerleader MelissaMeiko SatomuraDelilah DoomJordynne GraceDeonna PurrazzoKimber LeeStarlight KidChelsea GreenLiv MorganViperSantana GarrettZoey SkyeNicole MatthewsFaby ApacheIvelisseHana KimuraJungle KyonaCandice LeRaeRhea RipleyTenille DashwoodKC SpinelliJessicka HavokKiera HoganLeva BatesMandy RoseDalys La CaribeñaBritt BakerSonya DevilleRisa SeraMadison RayneMari ApacheKaitlin DiemondJinnyShotzi BlackheartSammii JayneBea PriestleyKay Lee RayRhia O'ReillyXandra BaleBrandi RhodesBianca BelairKaren QMelanie CruiseNevaehKikyoRachael ElleringGisele ShawPeyton RoyceAlicia FoxHudson EnvyVeda ScottZoe LucasAlexia NicoleSamantha HeightsJewells MaloneSkylar
2019 PWI Top 100 Females
Becky LynchCharlotte FlairRonda RouseyShayna BaszlerTessa BlanchardBayleyNatalyaIo ShiraiMercedes MartinezNicole SavoyAsukaAlexa BlissToni StormSasha BanksTaya ValkyrieMayu IwataniAllieNikki CrossAllysin KayBea PriestleyRosemaryKagetsuLacey EvansCarmellaMia YimJordynne GraceEmber MoonArisa HoshikiKelly KleinJessicka HavokSu YungMomo WatanabeBritt BakerLuFistoRhea RipleyBianca BelairHiroyo MatsumotoShazza McKenzieSaraya KnightLady ShaniNaomiRuby RiottRihoFaby ApacheJinnyUtami HayashishitaKay Lee RayCheerleader MelissaPeyton RoyceBrandi RhodesSarah LoganDana BrookeAngelina LoveKiera HoganSumie SakaiSamantha HeightsBillie KaySantana GarrettMadison RayneSonya DevilleHana KimuraHikaru ShidaKacy CatanzaroJungle KyonaCandice LeRaeNyla RoseMandy RoseKonamiJessamyn DukeLiv MorganJazzy GabertMarina ShafirMickie JamesNicole MatthewsPiper NivenTam NakanoLeva BatesShotzi BlackheartRhia O'ReillyNevaehLady MaravillaMaya YukihiZoey SkyeSolo DarlingDeonna PurrazzoZoe LucasRachael ElleringKC SpinelliScarlett BordeauxKimber LeeXia BrooksideGisele ShawMaddison MilesAlexia NicoleHolideadIsla DawnThunder RosaVeda ScottJody ThreatKris Statlander
WWF/WWE Divas (1985 - 2015)
AJ LeeAksanaAlicia FoxAlundra BlayzeAmy WeberAshley MassaroBeth PhoenixBobcatBrie BellaBrookeCameronCandice MichelleCarmellaCarmella DeCesareCharlotteCherryChristy HemmeChynaCyndi LauperDana BrookeDasha KuretDawn MarieDebbie CombsDebraDevin TaylorEmmaEva MarieEve TorresThe Fabulous MoolahGail KimIvoryJackieJamieJessie McKayJoJoJoy GiovanniKaitlynKatie Lea BurchillKelly KellyKharmaKristalLanaLauren JonesLaylaLeilani KaiLilian GarciaLinda MilesLitaLuna VachonMaria KanellisMaryseMaxineMelinaMichelle McCoolMickie JamesMiss ElizabethMiss JackieNatalyaNicole BassNidiaNikki BellaNaomiPaigeRenee YoungRockin' RobinRosa MendesRyan ShamrockSableSapphireSasha BanksSensational SherriSerenaSharmellStacy KeiblerStephanie McMahonSummer RaeSunnyTaminaTerri RunnelsThe KatTiffanyToriTorrie WilsonTrinityTrish StratusVelvet McIntyreVickie GuerreroVictoriaWendi Richter
Wwe2014.pngWWE RosterWwe2014.png
Raw

A.J. StylesAkira TozawaAlexa BlissAngel GarzaArturo RuasAsukaBecky LynchBobby LashleyBray WyattCedric AlexanderCharlotte FlairDamian PriestDana BrookeDrew GulakDrew McIntyreEliasErikEva MarieGran MetalikHumberto CarrilloIvarJaxson RykerJeff HardyJinder MahalJohn MorrisonKeith LeeKofi KingstonLacey EvansLince DoradoMandy RoseMansoorMatt RiddleMustafa AliMVPNaomiNia JaxNikki CrossOmosR-TruthRandy OrtonRhea RipleyRicochetRiddick MossShayna BaszlerSheamusShelton BenjaminThe MizTitus O'NeilXavier Woods

SmackDown

Angelo DawkinsApollo CrewsBaron CorbinBayleyBianca BelairBig ECarmellaCesaroChad GableCommander AzeezDaniel BryanDolph ZigglerDominik MysterioJey UsoJimmy UsoKevin OwensLiv MorganMontez FordNatalyaOtisReginald Rey MysterioRobert RoodeRoman ReignsSami ZaynSamir SinghSasha BanksSeth RollinsShinsuke NakamuraSonya DevilleSunil SinghTamina

NXT

Adam ColeAliyahAustin TheoryBobby FishBronson ReedCameron GrimesCandice LeRaeDanny BurchDakota KaiDexter LumisDrake MaverickEmber MoonEric BugenhagenFabian AichnerFandangoFinn BálorFranky MonetIndi HartwellIo ShiraiIsaiah ScottJake AtlasJoaquin WildeJohnny GarganoKacy CatanzaroKarrion KrossKayden CarterKillian DainKona ReevesKyle O'ReillyKUSHIDALA KnightLeon RuffMarina ShafirMercedes MartinezNash CarterOney LorcanPete DunneRaquel GonzálezRaul MendozaRoderick StrongSantos EscobarSarrayScarlettShotzi BlackheartTegan NoxTimothy ThatcherTommaso CiampaToni StormTrent SevenTyler BateTyler BreezeWes LeeXia LiZoey Stark

205 Cruiserweights

Ariya DaivariCurt StallionNoam DarOney LorcanRaul MendozaThe Brian KendrickTony Nese

NXT UK

Aleah JamesAmir JordanAoife ValkyrieAshton SmithDave MastiffEddie DennisFabian AichnerFlash Morgan WebsterIlja DragunovIsla DawnJames DrakeJinnyJoe CoffeyJoseph ConnersJordan DevlinKay Lee RayKenny WilliamsMarcel BarthelMark AndrewsMark CoffeyMeiko SatomuraMike HitchmanNina SamuelsNoam DarSam GradwellSaxon HuxleyTrent SevenTyler BateTyson T-BoneWALTERWolfgangXia BrooksideZack Gibson

Stables & Tag Teams

BreezangoBrendan Vink & Shane ThorneDana Brooke & Mandy RoseGallusImperiumLegado Del FantasmaLucha House PartyMoustache MountainStreet ProfitsThe Hurt BusinessThe New DayThe Singh BrothersThe UsosThe Viking RaidersThe Way

Commentators & Interviewers

Alyse AshtonByron SaxtonCarlos CabreraCorey GravesKayla BraxtonKevin PatrickMarcelo RodríguezMcKenzie MitchellMichael ColeNigel McGuinnessPat McAfeeSarah SchreiberVic JosephWade Barrett

Ring announcers

Greg Hamilton (SmackDown) • Mike Rome (Raw) • Alicia Taylor (NXT)

Referees

Aja SmithChad PattonCharles RobinsonDan EnglerD.A. BrewerDanilo AnfibioDarrick MooreDarryl SharmaEddie OrengoJason AyersJessika CarrJohn ConeShawn BennettRod ZapataRyan Tran

Pre-Show Panel

Booker TDavid OtungaJerry LawlerJonathan CoachmanPete RosenbergSam Roberts

NXT Trainers

Matthew BloomNorman SmileyRobbie BrooksideSara Del ReyShawn MichaelsTerry Taylor

General Managers

Shane McMahon (Smackdown)Stephanie McMahon (Raw)William Regal (NXT)Johnny Saint (UK Brand)

Wwe2014.pngCurrent ChampionsWwe2014.png
New WWE World Heavyweight Title.png WWE Championship New WWE World Heavyweight Title.png
Bobby Lashley
Universal Championship SDblue.png WWE Universal Championship Universal Championship SDblue.png
Roman Reigns
WWE Intercontinental Title Nov2019.pngWWE Intercontinental ChampionshipWWE Intercontinental Title Nov2019.png
Apollo Crews
WWE United States Championship 2020.pngWWE United States ChampionshipWWE United States Championship 2020.png
Sheamus
20140811 belts tag 0.pngWWE Raw Tag Team Championship20140811 belts tag 0.png
A.J. Styles & Omos
WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship.pngWWE SmackDown Tag Team ChampionshipWWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship.png
Rey Mysterio & Dominik Mysterio
WWE Women's Tag Team Championship.pngWWE Women's Tag Team ChampionshipWWE Women's Tag Team Championship.png
Natalya & Tamina
New WWE Women's Championship 1.pngWWE Raw Women's ChampionshipNew WWE Women's Championship 1.png
Rhea Ripley
WWE Smackdown Women's Championship.pngWWE SmackDown Women's ChampionshipWWE Smackdown Women's Championship.png
Bianca Belair
WWE 24 7 Championship.pngWWE 24-7 ChampionshipWWE 24 7 Championship.png
Akira Tozawa
NXT Championship (2017).pngNXT ChampionshipNXT Championship (2017).png
Karrion Kross
NXT North American Championship.pngNXT North American ChampionshipNXT North American Championship.png
Bronson Reed
NXT CRUISERWEIGHT 2020.pngNXT Cruiserweight ChampionshipNXT CRUISERWEIGHT 2020.png
Kushida
NXT Tag Team Championship (2017).pngNXT Tag Team ChampionshipNXT Tag Team Championship (2017).png
MSK (Nash Carter & Wes Lee)
NXT Women's Championship (2017).pngNXT Women's ChampionshipNXT Women's Championship (2017).png
Raquel González
NXT Women's Tag Team Championship.pngNXT Women's Tag Team ChampionshipNXT Women's Tag Team Championship.png
The Way (Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell)
NXT UK Championship.pngNXT UK ChampionshipNXT UK Championship.png
WALTER
WWE UK Women's Championship.pngNXT UK Women's ChampionshipWWE UK Women's Championship.png
Meiko Satomura
WWE UK Tag Team Championship.pngNXT UK Tag Team ChampionshipWWE UK Tag Team Championship.png
Pretty Deadly (Lewis Howley & Sam Stoker)
NXT UK Heritage Cup Championship.pngNXT UK Heritage Cup ChampionshipNXT UK Heritage Cup Championship.png
Tyler Bate
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.