Pro Wrestling
Pro Wrestling

Dawn Marie Psaltis (November 3, 1970) is an American professional wrestler and professional wrestling valet, better known by her ring name, Dawn Marie. She is perhaps best known for her appearances with Extreme Championship Wrestling and the SmackDown! brand of World Wrestling Entertainment during which she was known as one of the WWE Divas.

Wrestling career

Early career

In her youth, Dawn Marie was a fan of the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), admiring wrestlers such as Bob Backlund, Jimmy Snuka and Roddy Piper. She graduated from the New York University Stern School of Business at the age of 23 and went on to work for a real estate consultancy firm in Manhattan, New York, reaching the position of Director of International Real Estate.

After meeting an ex-boyfriend who had aspired to play football professionally and finding out that he had been signed by the Chicago Bears, Dawn Marie decided that she would pursue a career in entertainment. She resigned from the firm and moved into the entertainment industry with the goal of becoming either a model or an actress.

While signing modeling posters for Jonathan Gold, a talent agent and professional wrestling promoter, Dawn jokingly told Gold that she would be interested in pursuing a career in wrestling. Gold took her comment at face value and later contacted Dawn Marie, informing her that she was scheduled to appear at a wrestling show in New Jersey. With some trepidation, Dawn Marie went to the show and managed Tony Atlas in his match against Jimmy Snuka. Following the event, Dawn Marie stopped modeling and began appearing on the independent circuit, managing and learning from wrestlers such as Devon Storm, Buddy Landell, Snuka, Tom Brandi and Steve Corino and Spanish Angel in (LIWF). She wrestled her first match in January 1995.

Extreme Championship Wrestling

Dawn Marie spent four years working on the northeastern independent circuit, appearing with promotions such as Maryland Championship Wrestling and the Mid-Eastern Wrestling Federation. In 1998, she was told by Jeff Jones that Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) employee Buh Buh Ray Dudley was interested in bringing her into the company. At the behest of Dudley, Dawn Marie travelled to the ECW Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where ECW promoter Paul Heyman told her that he would book her for several appearances in a storyline with Lance Storm. Dawn Marie debuted in ECW on August 28, 1998 as the manager of Lance Storm, feuding with Chris Candido and his manager, Tammy Lynn Sytch. Heyman was impressed by the chemistry between Dawn Marie and Storm, and offered Dawn Marie a contract, which she accepted.

Storm and Dawn Marie feuded with Candido and Sytch for several months, during which time Dawn Marie was renamed Tammy Lynn Bytch to spite Candido and his manager. She used a similar tactic during a feud between Storm and Tommy Dreamer in early 1999, after the respective feuds ended, Dawn Marie used the ring name Dawn Marie Bytch, which was eventually shortened to simply Dawn Marie. After Storm formed a tag team with Justin Credible known as the Impact Players in the summer of 1999, Dawn Marie managed both men, helping them win the ECW Tag Team Championship on two occasions. Dawn Marie continued to manage Storm until he left ECW for World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in May 2000. Dawn Marie was also offered a contract by WCW, but declined to leave ECW in order to remain with her fiancé, ECW wrestler Simon Diamond.

After Storm departed ECW, Dawn Marie became a color commentator on both ECW pay-per-views and the television series ECW on TNN. In August 2000, she began managing Steve Corino; the alliance was short-lived, as Dawn Marie quickly betrayed Corino. On December 3, 2000 at the Massacre on 34th Street pay-per-view, Dawn Marie announced that she would become the manager of the winner of the opening match between Simon Diamond and Swinger and Christian York and Joey Matthews. Although York and Matthews won the bout, Dawn Marie opted to join forces with Simon and Swinger. She managed the duo until ECW declared bankruptcy in April 2001.

Following the bankruptcy of ECW, Dawn Marie returned to the independent circuit, managing Simon and Swinger. The trio made several appearances with the short lived X Wrestling Federation in November 2001. In addition to wrestling, Dawn Marie worked as a stock trader and co-hosted a radio show known as the "Rock and Wrestling Radio Show". During her time on the independent circuit, Dawn Marie trained as a wrestler under Simon Diamond and Mikey Whipwreck.

World Wrestling Entertainment

A photo of Dawn Marie in a bikini.

In April 2002, Dawn Marie began negotiating with World Wrestling Entertainment, eventually agreeing to a deal. She wrestled her first WWE match on April 14, 2002, defeating Kim Neilson at a house show in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. She debuted on WWE television on the May 30, 2002 episode of SmackDown! as Vince McMahon's legal assistant, Dawn Marie Renaldi. Dawn briefly had a feud with Stacy Keibler over McMahon's affections until McMahon turned over the General Management position to his daughter, Stephanie McMahon, followed shortly by Keibler departure for the Raw Brand, after backstabbing McMahon.

In her next angle, Dawn was in a relationship with Torrie's father Al. Torrie and Dawn had sex at a hotel to avoid her marrying him, even though the kissing was just shown both Torrie and Dawn said it went much farther than kissing. Despite this, Dawn and Al Wilson "married" anyway. As part of the storyline, Al Wilson died during their honeymoon. Outside of kayfabe, Dawn was called 'Mom' by Torrie. This led to the First-Ever Stepmother vs. Stepdaughter Match at the 2003 Royal Rumble in Boston. Dawn for the most part dominated the match due to the fact that Wilson was too distraught over her father's death to really fight back. In the end though, Wilson surprised Dawn with a roll-up and won yet another Pay-Per-View Match against Dawn Marie.

On April 15, 2003, in Norfolk, Virginia Dawn Marie along with Rhyno, Rey Mysterio and Sable, visited the USS Vella Gulf, a guided missile cruiser. The WWE superstars expressed their gratitude to the Navy for their efforts during the Iraq War. Dawn Marie also gave an emotional speech to the soldiers about how she knew what it's like for their families at home, since Dawn has a brother in the military.

During the WWE's tour of Iraq, Dawn spent the night in one of Saddam Hussein's palaces. The palace was gutted and she slept on a cot as did the other WWE Superstars.

Dawn began a short feud with Wilson for the second time over Dawn's jealousy of Torrie's exposure in Playboy and the WWE Divas magazines. The two had a match with Torrie's career on the line thanks to the Smackdown! GM at the time (Kurt Angle) who made that stipulation at the 2004 WWE Judgment Day pay per view. Wilson won the contest with a backslide, in the progress accidentally exposing Marie's thong following a botched school-girl roll-up in which Marie's pants ripped.

After being on hiatus from SmackDown! programming, Dawn began a feud with Miss Jackie, bragging that she and Jackie's fiancée Charlie Haas had an affair. This angle lead up to a match between the two at Armageddon 2004, with Haas as the guest referee. Dawn won the match but afterward, Haas confirmed their affair and broke off both relationships. Months later, she began a short feud with Michelle McCool.

In May 2005, it was reported that Dawn Marie Psaltis was pregnant. In June 2005, she confirmed her pregnancy on WWE's internet talk show, Byte This!. Before she was released by WWE on July 6, 2005, she appeared at One Night Stand 2005. At the time of her pregnancy, there was much speculation in the wrestling community regarding who exactly the father of her child was.

While under WWE contract, Dawn traveled once a week to Louisville, Kentucky, the home of Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) where she and the rest of the Divas practiced and teamed up. They listened to Fit Finlay's ideas and suggestions and worked on some matches together.

As of May 8, 2007 she is currently involved with a lawsuit again with WWE over her departure from the company back in 2005 for being pregnant.

Independent circuit

On November 5, 2005, a visibly pregnant Dawn Marie appeared at the ECW reunion event Hardcore Homecoming: November Reign, holding the key for the main event steel cage match between Jerry Lynn and P.J. Polaco. The match was won by Polaco after Dawn Marie, Jason and Lance Storm interfered on his behalf.

After giving birth on December 20, 2005, Dawn Marie began training for a return to wrestling. She was briefly scheduled to team with Jackie Gayda to face Traci Brooks and Lollipop in a tag team match on April 26, 2006, but backed out of the match, believing that she would not be in ring-shape in time for the event. In June 2006, Dawn Marie managed Johnny Candido in a match for the National Wrestling Superstars promotion.

Women Superstars Uncensored (2008, 2010)

Dawn Marie debuted in Women Superstars Uncensored in 2008 and split her time between wrestling and being a referee during 2008 and 2010. In March 2010, Dawn Marie was inducted into the 2010 WSU Hall of Fame.

Wrestling facts

  • Finishing and signature moves
  • Wrestlers managed by Dawn Marie

Acting career

Dawn Marie starred in the 1999 independent film The Vampire Carmilla as "Rachel". She also appeared in the original Austin Powers MTV special as an extra, and can be seen on the Clerks. tenth anniversary DVD in the Jay and Silent Bob MTV spots.

Personal life

Psaltis is of French, Greek and Italian descent. Throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s, Psaltis was in a relationship with Pat "Simon Diamond" Kenney.

On December 20, 2005, Psaltis gave birth to her first child, a boy named Matthew. He was born seven days prematurely. In January 2006, she filed a complaint against WWE with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, claiming that her contract had been wrongfully terminated as a result of her pregnancy, and that she had suffered mental duress as a result of the release. She maintains that Kenney is not the father.

Psaltis is good friends with several other female wrestlers, including Torrie Wilson, Stacy Keibler, Jackie Gayda, Lita and Victoria. She attended the wedding of Wilson and Billy Kidman and was a bridesmaid at Jackie Gayda's marriage to Charlie Haas. She and fellow ECW alumnae Francine share a mutual dislike for unknown reasons.

Championships and accomplishments

  • WSU Hall Of Fame (2010)

External links

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