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 Raw 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.
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)
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 heel 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.
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. On January 29, at the Royal Rumble event, Carmella forced a seemingly unwilling Ellsworth to compete in the Royal Rumble match, he only lasted 15 seconds before being eliminated by Braun Strowman. On the February 28 episode of SmackDown, Carmella & Ellsworth interrupted an interview with John Cena & Nikki Bella. This led to a Mixed Tag Team match the following week, with Cena & Bella easily defeating Ellsworth & Carmella. On April 2, at WrestleMania 33, Carmella competed in a Six-Pack Challenge for the SmackDown Women’s Championship held by Alexa Bliss. Naomi won the match by submitting Bliss.
On the April 11 episode of SmackDown, Charlotte Flair arrived on the blue brand via the Superstar Shake Up. This prompted Carmella to form an alliance with Natalya and other SmackDown newcomer Tamina known as The Welcoming Committee. The basis being the three of them (and Ellsworth) were unhappy with the perceived special privileges awarded to Flair, such as a SmackDown Women’s Championship match with Naomi on April 25 which the Committee would ruin. The following week, Carmella teamed with Natalya to face Flair & Naomi. Thanks to a distraction from Ellsworth, Carmella was able to pin Naomi. Two weeks later on May 16, following a contract signing for a 6-woman tag team match to take place at Backlash, in a non title match, Carmella was able to pin Naomi once again. On May 21, at Backlash, the Welcoming Committee were victorious over the team of Naomi, Flair & Becky Lynch when Natalya submit Lynch with the Sharpshooter.
On the May 30 edition of SmackDown, Carmella was to participate in a Fatal Five Way #1 Contender’s match against Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, Natalya & Tamina. However, the match never got underway due to the women brawling around ringside. SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon came out and announced that at the Money in the Bank Pay Per View, the five women would compete in the first ever women’s Money in the Bank Ladder match. One week later, Carmella was present for the unveiling of the Women’s MITB Briefcase; a white colored variation of the Men’s. Carmella then competed in a Six Woman Tag Team rematch from Backlash. The Welcoming Committee were again victorious, this time with Tamina pinning Naomi. On June 18th, at Money in the Bank 2017, Carmella won the inaugural Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder match under controversial circumstances; James Ellsworth had ascended the ladder and grabbed the briefcase on Carmella’s behalf. Referees argued at ringside over the decision, nonetheless Carmella celebrated as though her victory was legitimate.
Ms. Money in the Bank; SmackDown Women's Champion (2017-2018)
The June 20 episode of SmackDown opened with an in ring promo from Carmella. She was adamant that there is no disqualification in ladder matches and, therefore, she couldn’t break any rules if there aren’t any rules. Throughout the night, the rest of the SmackDown women’s division made their feelings known. After hearing what everyone had to say, SmackDown General Manager Daniel Bryan summoned the division to the ring. Bryan ruled that Carmella’s victory was tainted and stripped her of the briefcase. He announced a second Money in the Bank Ladder match would take place on next week’s SmackDown and that Ellsworth would be barred from ringside. On June 27, Carmella pleaded with Bryan not to ban Ellsworth from ringside. When Bryan wouldn’t comply, Ellsworth mocked Bryan for not being able to wrestle. Bryan informed Ellsworth he wouldn’t be barred from ringside tonight, rather, he was banned from the entire arena. Ellsworth was forcibly removed by security, leaving Carmella distraught. Later that night, during the ladder match main event, Ellsworth returned by jumping the barricade and attempted to grab the briefcase once again. Becky Lynch prevented this before security chased Ellsworth out of the building. But this was enough of a distraction for Carmella to take advantage, knock Lynch off of the ladder, climb it herself, and retrieve the briefcase. The next week on July 4, Carmella cut an in ring promo bragging about her victory. SmackDown Women’s Champion Naomi interrupted and warned Carmella she’s ready for her. Bryan would also join the fray, announcing the repercussions of Ellsworth’s interference last week. Ellsworth would be fined $10,000 and suspended for 30 days without pay. Furthermore, if he did not leave the arena immediately Carmella would again be stripped on the MITB briefcase. Hearing this, a panicked Carmella ushered Ellsworth away.
On the August 1 episode of SmackDown, Carmella teamed with Natalya in a losing effort to Naomi & Becky Lynch. Naomi forced Carmella to submit to the FTG. The following week, Ellsworth made his return from suspension, jumping the barricade and pushing Naomi off the top rope, allowing Carmella to hit a Superkick for the victory. Despite Naomi’s vulnerability, Carmella did not even contemplate cashing in, instead she and Ellsworth celebrated up the ramp, holding her briefcase aloft. On the August 15 episode of SmackDown, Carmella appeared on stage, interrupting a confrontation between Naomi & Natalya who were set to wrestle for the SmackDown Women’s Championship at SummerSlam. Carmella informed them that no matter who wins on Sunday, she may just cash in. At SummerSlam 2017, Carmella was a guest on the Kick Off Show and later that night, was shown observing the title match from backstage; Natalya won to become the new champion. On the August 22 episode of SmackDown, Carmella teamed with Natalya to face Naomi & Lynch. In a pre match promo segment, Ellsworth let slip of Carmella's plan to not tag into the match and then capitalize on a vulnerable Natalya. Carmella still tried to execute the plan but late in the match Natalya tagged Carmella in forcibly which eventually led to Carmella being pinned by Naomi. Two weeks later, Carmella faced Natalya in a non title match, Carmella was in control when Ellsworth jumped on the apron and attempted to hand the referee the briefcase for a cash in, Carmella called it off, saying it was too soon. This provided Natalya the opportunity to roll-up Carmella for a 3 count. In the aftermath, Carmella cut a scathing promo on Ellsworth, belittling him for his incompetence and physical appearance. Seemingly ending their partnership. However, later that same night, Ellsworth attempted to reconcile in the backstage area. Carmella adamantly told him that she’s in charge and aggressively kissed him, leaving Ellsworth confused.
From the September 12 episode of SmackDown, Carmella began to lead Ellsworth around by a leash, with each passing week, he began to exhibit more canine like qualities; losing the ability to speak outside of barking as well as drinking water from dish. For her matches, Carmella would tie Ellsworth’s leash to the ring post. On the October 3 episode of SmackDown, Carmella struck Becky Lynch with the Money in the Bank briefcase in the midst of a tag team match. The distraction allowed Carmella’s tag team partner Natalya to defeat Charlotte Flair. The following week, Lynch got her revenge by submitting Carmella in a singles match. On the October 24 edition of SmackDown, Carmella competed in a Fatal Five Way against her Survivor Series teammates to determine who would captain Team SmackDown. Lynch won by submitting Carmella with the DisArmHer once again. In the week leading to the November 7 SmackDown, Ellsworth, in character, posted sexist comments on Twitter about Lynch & the women’s division in general. On that night’s show, Ellsworth, back to speaking English and with no dog like tendencies for no explained reason, continued to talk down to Lynch, and, behind Carmella’s back, claimed he let’s Carmella think she calls the shots. Lynch would defeat Ellsworth in a match with the other women at ringside. Carmella would then deliver a Superkick to Ellsworth, ending their partnership. Just over a week later, Ellsworth was released by WWE. On November 19, Carmella competed at Survivor Series 2017, representing Team SmackDown in a Five on Five elimination tag team match. Carmella was the third member of her team to be eliminated, falling to a spin kick from Asuka. Asuka would go on to eliminate both Tamina & Natalya to earn Team RAW the victory. On December 17, at Clash of Champions, Carmella was a lumberjack for a SmackDown Women’s Championship match between Charlotte Flair & Natalya. Carmella attempted another sneaky cash in mid match.
At the beginning of 2018, Carmella would participate in the inaugural Mixed Match Challenge, a tournament involving teams of one man and one woman. She was paired with a member of the New Day, with fans voting for which member would be Carmella’s partner. Big E won the poll. On January 23, Carmella & Big E were eliminated in the first round by eventual tournament winners Awe-suka (The Miz & Asuka). On January 28th, at Royal Rumble 2018, Carmella participated in the first ever Women’s Royal Rumble match. She entered at #17, lasting 18 minutes and 45 seconds. On the January 30 edition of SmackDown, Carmella attempted to cash in her Money in the Bank contract after champion Charlotte had been attacked by the Riott Squad but Carmella inadvertently attacked the referee, thus the match never officially began. On March 11th, at the Fastlane Pay Per View, Carmella teamed with Natalya to defeat the pairing of Becky Lynch & Naomi. Two days later on SmackDown, Carmella defeated Naomi in a singles match. The following week, Carmella attempted another cash in on Charlotte Flair, but Flair hit a big boot on Carmella before the referee could make it official so Carmella kept her briefcase. On April 8th, at WrestleMania 34, Carmella participated in the Women’s Battle Royal on the Kick Off Show. She paraded around the ring with her briefcase which prompted all of the other competitors to gang up on her and throw her out of the ring, making her the first to be eliminated.
On the April 10 episode of SmackDown, the debuting IIconics (Billie Kay & Peyton Royce) beat down SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair. Carmella seized this opportunity and successfully cashed in her Money in the Bank contract, pinning a weakened Flair following a Superkick. The following week on April 17, Carmella hosted a “Mellabration” in honor of her triumph. On the April 24 episode of SmackDown, Carmella & Flair signed the contract for their match at Backlash. On the May 1 SmackDown, Carmella competed in the main event, teaming with The IIconics to face the team of Flair, Asuka & Becky Lynch. Flair won the match for her team by submitting Royce. Five days later, at Backlash 2018, Carmella retained over Flair, taking advantage of a (kayfabe) knee injury sustained by Flair.
On May 15, SmackDown emanated from London, England. Carmella hosted a “Royal” Mellabration in recognition of her victory at Backlash. SmackDown General Manager Paige interrupted the festivities to announce Carmella’s next challenger for the Money in the Bank Pay Per View: Asuka. On the May 22 edition of SmackDown, Carmella donned an Asuka mask before being interviewed backstage. She claimed that Asuka used to be a threat but Asuka was no longer the same woman after her undefeated streak ended at WrestleMania 34. On May 29, Carmella joined commentary to observe Asuka defeat Mandy Rose. Carmella remained confident that Asuka was not a threat to her. Carmella opened the June 5 episode of SmackDown in a promo segment. Things broke down and led to Asuka facing, and defeating, Fire and Desire (Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville) in a handicap match. On June 12, Carmella again opened the show with an in ring promo and competed in a 10 woman tag team main event. Asuka won the match for her team by submitting Carmella. On June 17, at Money in Bank 2018, Carmella retained over Asuka following a distraction from a masked figure wearing Asuka’s robe. The masked man was revealed to be Carmella’s former ally James Ellsworth. On June 19, Carmella opened SmackDown yet again, this time bragging about her and Ellsworth’s performance last Sunday. Asuka interrupted but Carmella won the confrontation. On the July 3 episode of SmackDown, Carmella joined commentary for a match between Ellsworth and Asuka. The match ended in a double count out as Ellsworth and Carmella ran out of the arena with Asuka in pursuit. The following week, Paige booked Ellsworth to face Asuka in a Lumberjack match with the rest of the women’s division at ringside to prevent Ellsworth from running away. It was a definitive victory for Asuka. Later that night, Paige revealed that Ellsworth would be locked in a Shark Cage when Carmella defends the SmackDown Women’s Championship against Asuka at Extreme Rules. On July 15, at Extreme Rules 2018, Carmella successfully retained her championship, after Ellsworth managed to free himself from the Shark Cage, albeit clumsily, but this provided Carmella the opportunity to take advantage of a distracted Asuka.
On the July 17 episode of SmackDown, Becky Lynch, who had been on a winning streak, added another victory to her name by defeating Mandy Rose. Post match, Lynch cut a promo calling Carmella out specifically. In the back, Carmella complained to General Manager Paige that Lynch wasn’t worthy of a title match. Paige booked a non title match for next week between Carmella & Lynch with the caveat being that if Lynch wins, she’ll become the #1 contender. On July 24, Paige fired Ellsworth leaving Carmella to face Lynch alone. Lynch defeated Carmella via submission when Carmella tapped to the DisArmHer. The next week, Carmella would get the better of Lynch in a physical confrontation until Charlotte Flair returned from a two month absence to make the save. This led to a main event match between Carmella & Flair; if Flair won, the SummerSlam match would become a Triple Threat. Flair submitted Carmella with the Figure Eight. On August 7, Carmella provided commentary for Lynch & Flair’s tag team victory over The IIconics. The next week, the three SummerSlam opponents had an in ring segment promoted as “Face to Face to Face”. Carmella put over the physical attributes she believed to hold over Lynch & Flair and proudly proclaimed to be a Diva. On August 19, at SummerSlam 2018, in the Triple Threat match, Carmella tried to turn Lynch & Flair against each other. This ultimately did happen but not before Flair pinned Lynch thus becoming champion, ending Carmella’s reign at 131 days. On the August 28 episode of SmackDown, Carmella received her one on one rematch for the SmackDown Women’s Championship. In a pre match interview, Carmella declared she'd reclaim her title and Flair & Lynch can settle their issues away from the prestige of herself. Ultimately, Carmella came up short, submitting to Flair’s Figure Eight.
Alliance with R-Truth (2018-2019)
Following the loss of her championship, Carmella aligned with R-Truth, turning babyface in the process. There was some backstory to their partnership; in the preceding months, under R-Truth’s confused gimmick, he was of the belief that if he pinned Carmella he would get a WWE United States Championship shot. On the September 4 episode of SmackDown, Truth mistook The Miz’s wife Maryse for Carmella. Maryse took offence to be mistaken for “Staten Island Trash”. Truth told the real Carmella about this and she agreed to be in Truth’s corner for his singles match against The Miz. Carmella & Truth would then begin to compete in the second Mixed Match Challenge tournament under the name The Fabulous Truth. On the September 25 episode of SmackDown, Carmella co hosted the debut of Truth’s in ring interview segment, Truth TV; a play on Miz TV. The segment included a “Seven Second Dance Break”, in which Carmella & Truth would dance for 7 seconds at random intervals, something that would become a memorable gimmick for the team. The Miz was none too pleased with the knock off of his show and gained a measure of revenge defeating Truth in singles action and again later that night on Mixed Match Challenge when he & Asuka defeated Fabulous Truth. On the October 2 episode of SmackDown, Fabulous Truth honed their chemistry by defeating Andrade & Zelina Vega in Mixed Tag Team action. But it wasn’t enough to overcome AJ Styles & Charlotte Flair on the October 9 episode of Mixed Match Challenge. Carmella would appear in the opening segment of the 1000th episode of SmackDown; an episode of Truth TV with the McMahon Family. On October 28, at the women’s exclusive Pay Per View Evolution, Carmella competed in a #1 contender's Battle Royal.
On the November 6 episode of SmackDown, SmackDown General Manager Paige named Carmella a member of SmackDown’s Survivor Series team, alongside Charlotte Flair, Asuka, Naomi & Sonya Deville. Mandy Rose took offence to being left off the team and insulted each member, including her own tag partner, Deville. Later that night, The Fabulous Truth lost to the husband & wife pairing of Jimmy Uso & Naomi. On November 18, at Survivor Series, Team SmackDown needed a replacement for Flair who herself had replaced the injured Becky Lynch to face RAW Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey. Carmella suggested R-Truth but as a man, he was not allowed to compete. Team Captain Naomi begrudgingly allowed Rose to be their fifth member. In the Five on Five Elimination Tag Team Match against Team RAW, Carmella managed to eliminate Tamina and would be eliminated herself by Bayley. Team SmackDown would lose the match.
With an 0-3 record, it appeared that Fabulous Truth mathematically could not win the Mixed Match Challenge, however, it was revealed on the November 20 episode, that there would be a Post Season with 8 of the 10 teams qualifying. The Fabulous Truth defeated fellow winless pair Rusev & Lana to barely qualify for the playoffs. On December 4th, Fabulous Truth made it 2 wins in a row when Truth pinned Charlotte Flair’s partner Jeff Hardy (a replacement for AJ Styles). On December 11, in the semi finals, Fabulous Truth took advantage of an implosion between Awe-suka, Truth pinning The Miz after Asuka was fed up with Miz ordering her around and attacked him. The final match of the second season of Mixed Match Challenge took place at TLC 2018 on December 16. The Fabulous Truth were victorious over the pair of Jinder Mahal & Alicia Fox. This earned Carmella & Truth the #30 spot in their respective Royal Rumble matches as well as an all expenses paid vacation to anywhere in the world. Carmella had her heart set on more conventional cities such as Paris but Truth blurted out that he wished to travel to WWE Headquarters in Stamford, CT much to Carmella's dismay.
On the December 18 episode of SmackDown, Fabulous Truth lost a mixed tag team match to The Miz & Mandy Rose. On the December 25 SmackDown, Carmella was present for when “Truthy Claus” (R-Truth) was assaulted by Daniel Bryan. On the January 1, 2019 episode of SmackDown, Carmella appeared in a backstage segment in which Triple H booked her, Charlotte Flair & Becky Lynch in a Triple Threat Match for next week’s show. The winner would face Asuka at Royal Rumble 2019. Lynch won the match by submitting Carmella. On January 27th at Royal Rumble, Carmella competed in the Women’s Royal Rumble match, entering at #30, she lasted 7 minutes and 12 seconds and managed to eliminate Alexa Bliss before being eliminated herself by Charlotte Flair. Later that night, Truth had his #30 entry stolen from him when Nia Jax attacked him during his entrance. As compensation, he received a WWE United States Championship match with Shinsuke Nakamura on the January 29 episode of SmackDown. Carmella was in Truth’s corner to witness him begin his second reign as United States Champion. On February 5, via social media, Carmella & Naomi were announced as the final team to be competing in the Elimination Chamber to crown WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions. That night on SmackDown, the pair, unofficially known as Fabulous Glow, competed in a Triple Threat Tag Team match against fellow SmackDown teams Fire & Desire (Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville) and The IIconics (Billie Kay & Peyton Royce). Fire & Desire won when Rose pinned Naomi. The next week, a rematch was held but with the losing team set to enter the Elimination Chamber first. The opposite result occurred with Naomi pinning Rose. Five days later, at Elimination Chamber 2019, Carmella & Naomi were the third team to be released from their chamber pod but were the first to be eliminated, falling to The IIconics. On the March 5 episode of SmackDown, Carmella was present when Truth lost the United States championship to Samoa Joe in a Fatal Four Way also involving Andrade & Rey Mysterio. On March 10, at Fastlane 2019, Carmella had a backstage argument with Andrade’s manager Zelina Vega about who deserved to challenge Samoa Joe next. Joe appeared and was willing to take on all challengers which made for a Fatal Four Way rematch later that night. Carmella & Vega continued to beef at ringside but neither of their men won the match as it was a successful defense for Joe.
On the March 26 episode of SmackDown, Carmella was originally advertised to compete in a #1 contender’s Fatal Four Way Match against Naomi, Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville with the winner facing Asuka for the WWE SmackDown Women's Championship at WrestleMania 35. However, the match was pulled without explanation and Asuka lost the championship to Charlotte Flair that night instead. On April 7, on the kick off show of WrestleMania 35, Carmella won the second annual Women’s Battle Royal, last eliminating Sarah Logan. She appeared later that night alongside R-Truth as part of the “biggest seven second dance break in history”.
On the April 9 episode of SmackDown, Carmella & Truth were in the ring to celebrate her WrestleMania victory when Samoa Joe appeared and choked Truth out with the Coquina Clutch. The following week, Carmella lost a singles match against Charlotte Flair, Lars Sullivan appeared post match and stalked the ring. Truth protected Carmella but was easily dispatched by Sullivan. Sullivan then stared Carmella down, who was frozen in fear. On the April 30 episode of SmackDown, Carmella interrupted an interview with Money in the Bank participant Ember Moon. Carmella informed Moon that she would also be competing in this year’s match and had designs on becoming the first three-time Ms. Money in the Bank. One week later, Carmella teamed with Moon in a losing effort to Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville. On May 19th, at Money in the Bank, Carmella competed in the Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder match. She would suffer a (kayfabe) knee injury during the match following a kick from Rose. Carmella would return late into the match but was thwarted by Deville, who wasn’t an actual participant.
Following Money in the Bank, R-Truth won the newly created WWE 24-7 Championship, a title that can be defended at any place and any time. Over the following months, Carmella would aid Truth in his escape as a horde of Superstars chased him around the building or off set locations such as a golf course. These segments would occur across RAW, SmackDown and social media platforms.
After their May 21 SmackDown match was interrupted by 24-7 shenanigans, the next week on May 28, Carmella lost a singles match to Mandy Rose. On the June 4 episode of SmackDown, Carmella interrupted A Moment of Bliss segment which led to a #1 contender's Triple Threat Match between herself, Alexa Bliss and Charlotte Flair with the winner facing Bayley at Stomping Grounds. With their feud still on going, Rose, alongside Sonya Deville, came down to ringside during the Triple Threat with them ultimately causing Carmella to be pinned by Bliss. On the June 11 SmackDown, the numbers were again too much for Carmella as she lost to Deville in a singles match courtesy of an assist from Rose. On the July 1 episode of RAW, Carmella interrupted another Moment of Bliss which led to her facing Bliss one on one, a match Carmella won in 10 seconds. Alexa's tag team partner Nikki Cross was irate and challenged Carmella to a singles match immediately. Cross would defeat Carmella. On the July 15 episode of RAW, Carmella competed in a Fatal Four Way Elimination match to determine who would challenge for the RAW Women’s Championship at SummerSlam. Natalya won the match that also involved Bliss & Naomi. Carmella was eliminated first.
On the September 23 edition of RAW, Carmella & Truth were chased into the ring by a mob of Superstars looking to be 24-7 Champion. Carmella told Truth that she could not do this anymore, that she’s exhausted from running around these last few months. Truth appeared to take Carmella’s words to heart and turned around, apparently ready to relinquish his belt to the horde but it was a ruse and Carmella rolled Truth up, becoming 24-7 Champion herself. Truth wasn’t mad at the betrayal and helped Carmella escape from the new band of female wrestlers who emerged and chased them out of the building. The following night on SmackDown, Carmella teamed with Charlotte Flair in a losing effort against Bayley and Sasha Banks, submitting to the Bank Statement. On October 4, SmackDown premiered on FOX, Carmella did not appear on the show itself but highlights were shown from a YouTube video that was shot backstage in which Carmella dropped the 24-7 Championship to YouTube personality Marshmello, she would recapture the belt that same night. Two days later at Hell in a Cell 2019, Carmella was pinned in a backstage segment by Tamina. When Carmella and Truth were able to catch up with Tamina later in the night, Carmella delivered a Superkick but then allowed Truth to make the cover and regain the championship instead. On October 14, as part of the 2019 WWE Draft, Carmella was drafted to SmackDown, while Truth was selected by RAW, thus ending their partnership.
On the October 18 episode of SmackDown, Carmella competed in a Six Pack Challenge won by Nikki Cross to determine a #1 contender to Bayley's SmackDown Women's Championship. In the build to Survivor Series 2019, NXT invaded the November 1 episode of SmackDown. Carmella was originally scheduled to team with Dana Brooke to face Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville in a tag team match but Carmella & Brooke were attacked backstage by NXT's Bianca Belair. The next week on November 8, the tag team match against Rose & Deville took place with Carmella & Brooke winning and securing a place on SmackDown's Survivor Series team captained by Sasha Banks. On the November 15 SmackDown, Carmella teamed with Banks, Brooke & Cross to face then NXT wrestlers Rhea Ripley, Dakota Kai, Mia Yim & Tegan Nox in an Eight Woman Tag Team Match. SmackDown won when Cross pinned Kai. On the November 20 episode of NXT, Carmella was part of an all in brawl between the 3 brands women's divisions. On the November 24, at Survivor Series, Carmella represented SmackDown in a three team elimination match. Carmella was the second member of her team to be eliminated following a Natural Selection from RAW's Charlotte Flair. Team NXT would win the match. Carmella closed out 2019 with consecutive victories over Fire and Desire. First Deville on (December 20th) and then Rose on (December 27th).
On January 26, 2020 at the Royal Rumble, Carmella entered the women's Royal Rumble at #27 lasting 6 minutes and 36 seconds before being 1 of Shayna Baszler's 8 eliminations. On the February 7 episode of SmackDown, Carmella won a Fatal Four Way #1 contender’s match over Alexa Bliss, Dana Brooke and Naomi. SmackDown Women's Champion Bayley attacked Carmella almost as soon as the final bell rang. One week later, Carmella was a guest on A Moment of Bliss in which she discussed her past friendship with Bayley and that Bayley had been changed by Sasha Banks. Bayley interrupted and denied these claims. Their title match would follow with Bayley retaining by pinning Carmella using her feet on the ropes for leverage. Bayley would continue to assault Carmella post-match until Naomi made the save. On February 21, Carmella lost a singles match against Naomi in which the winner would challenge Bayley at Super ShowDown. On the March 6 edition of SmackDown, Carmella teamed with Dana Brooke in a losing effort to Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville.
Carmella would appear next on the April 10 episode of SmackDown, she and Dana Brooke were involved in a backstage segment in which they issued a challenge towards Women's Tag Team Champions Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross. Bliss told them to earn it but Cross hastily agreed to the challenge. The next week, Carmella appeared to be bothered by Brooke having a Money in the Bank qualifying match against Naomi rather than focusing on their tag team title match. Brooke would win that match. On April 24th, Carmella & Brooke we unsuccessful in their tag team title match against Bliss & Cross. On the May 1 SmackDown, Carmella qualified for Money in the Bank herself by defeating Mandy Rose. On May 10, at Money in the Bank, Carmella partook in a very unique variation of the Money in the Bank ladder match; the briefcase was suspended above WWE headquarters with the wrestlers having to ascend the building from the ground floor. Carmella never made it to the roof, being taken out by Nia Jax during her ascent.
Carmella made her video game debut as a playable character in WWE 2K17.
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.
Mella is Money!
- Finishing moves
- Signature moves
- "The Staten Island Princess"
- "Ms. Money In The Bank"
- "The Crown Princess of Smackdown Live"
- "The Moonwalking Trash-talking Chick"
- Entrance themes
Championships and accomplishments
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- World Wrestling Entertainment
|2016 PWI Top 50 Females|
|Charlotte Flair • Sasha Banks • Asuka • Becky Lynch • Bayley • Jade • Natalya • Gail Kim • Sexy Star • Sienna • Ivelisse • Madison Eagles • Nicole Savoy • Rosemary • Allie • Nicole Matthews • Kimber Lee • Candice LeRae • Paige • Heidi Lovelace • Evie • Cheerleader Melissa • Nia Jax • Santana Garrett • Naomi • Dana Brooke • Madison Rayne • Kay Lee Ray • Alexa Bliss • Lufisto • Amber Gallows • Marti Belle • Emma • Taylor Made • Vanessa Kraven • Su Yung • Ember Moon • Tessa Blanchard • Jessicka Havok • Shayna Baszler • Crazy Mary Dobson • Malia Hosaka • Thunder Rosa • Carmella • KC Spinelli • Veda Scott • Jessica James • Xandra Bale • Kaitlin Diemond • Eva Marie|
|2017 PWI Top 50 Females|
|Asuka • Charlotte Flair • Alexa Bliss • Sasha Banks • Bayley • Io Shirai • Natalya • Sienna • Naomi • Kairi Sane • Mercedes Martinez • Shayna Baszler • Rosemary • LuFisto • Mayu Iwantani • Mia Yim • Allie • Ember Moon • Becky Lynch • Madison Eagles • Nicole Savoy • Nia Jax • Candice LeRae • Toni Storm • Hiroyo Matsumoto • Chelsea Green • Saraya Knight • Shazza McKenzie • Kay Lee Ray • Mickie James • Dakota Kai • Nicole Matthews • Alex Windsor • Deonna Purrazzo • Abbey Laith • Risa Sera • Viper • Carmella • Ruby Riot • Nikki Cross • Vanessa Kraven • Santana Garrett • Tessa Blanchard • Arisa Nakajima • Lady Lory • Shotzi Blackheart • Veda Scott • Alpha Female • Marti Belle • Zoey Skye|