Barbara Jean "Barbie" Blank (January 15, 1987) is an American model, former professional wrestler, and professional wrestling valet best known for her time with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), better known by her ring name Kelly Kelly.
Blank has a background in gymnastics and cheerleading. She studied broadcast journalism, hoping to become a television anchor, and worked as a model for Venus Swimwear and Hawaiian Tropic. In 2006, Blank was signed to a contract by WWE and sent to Ohio Valley Wrestling, a WWE developmental territory. She debuted on the ECW brand in June 2006 as 'Kelly Kelly', with the character of an exhibitionist and performing a striptease. She continued her stripteases, in a segment known as Kelly's Exposé, weekly on ECW, and also became the valet of her on-screen boyfriend Mike Knox. The following year, she formed Extreme Exposé with Layla and Brooke Adams, and the trio performed a regular dance segment on ECW. They later became involved in a storyline with The Miz, which led to the dissolution of the group.
Kelly then began participating in more wrestling matches, and was moved to the Raw brand in July 2008. Throughout the next year, she unsuccessfully challenged for the WWE Divas Championship on several occasions, before moving to SmackDown in early 2010. There she challenged Lay-Cool for the WWE Women's Championship, but was unsuccessful. In April 2011, Kelly returned to the Raw brand, where she won the WWE Divas Championship for the first time in June, beginning a four-month reign.
World Wrestling Entertainment
Ohio Valley Wrestling (2006)
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. 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. 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. 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.
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. 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. Her character, an exhibitionist, was introduced performing a striptease for the crowd. 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. 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. Originally a solo segment, Kelly was joined by the villainous Candice Michelle on the July 11 edition of ECW
Knox began forcing Kelly to accompany him to ringside so he could keep an eye on her, making her his de facto valet. 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 in the groin with a cane by Sandman when Knox used her as a shield. 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.
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. During the next month, Kelly continuously flirted with Punk and was shown watching his matches from the crowd, until Knox stopped her. 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. 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. 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.
She returned to television on January 16, 2007 and cut a promo announcing she was newly single and bringing back Kelly's Exposé. The following week, she joined forces with Layla and Brooke to form Extreme Exposé. The trio performed a weekly dance segment on ECW for the next several months, as a successor to Kelly's Exposé segment. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. At WrestleMania XXIV, Kelly was a 'lumberjill' for the Divas' tag team lumberjill match. The following month, Kelly was part of the losing team in a five-on-five Divas match at the Backlash pay-per-view.
Following the completion of the 2008 WWE Draft, Kelly was moved to the Raw brand on July 7. Kelly had her debut match as part of the brand that night by teaming with Mickie James to defeat Layla and Jillian Hall. She quickly became involved in a feud with Beth Phoenix, facing her on multiple occasions in both singles and tag team matches with a variety of opponents, including Mickie James and Candice Michelle. During this time, Phoenix was aligned with Hall, and in late September Kelly transitioned into a feud with Hall. At the Survivor Series pay-per-view in November, Kelly was part of the victorious Raw Diva team which defeated the SmackDown Divas in a five-on-five elimination match. During the match, she eliminated Victoria, before being eliminated by Maryse. The following month at Armageddon, Kelly teamed with Maria, Michelle McCool and James in a winning effort against Hall, Maryse, Victoria and Natalya.
On April 5, 2009, Kelly competed in a Divas Battle Royal at WrestleMania XXV, but the match was won by Santina Marella. On the May 18 episode of Raw, Kelly won a battle royal by eliminating Beth Phoenix and Mickie James, to become the number one contender to the WWE Divas Championship. The following week, she challenged Maryse for the championship and won by disqualification, allowing Maryse to retain. Kelly lost a subsequent rematch by pinfall two weeks later on June 8. Three weeks later, she competed in a fatal four-way match to determine the number one contender, but the match was won by James. Throughout the remainder of mid-2009, Kelly unsuccessfully competed in several number one contender matches. At the Bragging Rights pay-per-view in October, Kelly, Gail Kim and Melina comprised Team Raw, but lost to Team SmackDown, consisting of Phoenix, Natalya and McCool. The following month at the Survivor Series pay-per-view, Kelly participated in a five-on-five elimination match, which her team won. She eliminated Layla before being eliminated by Phoenix with a strike to the groin.
In January 2010, Kelly participated in the tournament to determine a new Divas Champion, after Melina was forced to vacate the championship due to injury, but was eliminated by Alicia Fox in the first round. Throughout early 2010, Kelly was involved in several backstage segments with the guest hosts of Raw. At WrestleMania XXVI, Kelly teamed with Phoenix, Kim, James and Eve Torres in a losing effort to McCool, Layla, Maryse, Fox and Vickie Guerrero. The following night on Raw, the teams faced off in a rematch with the opposite result. The following week, Kelly took part in a 10-Diva Dress To Impress battle royal, to determine the number one contender for Maryse's Divas Championship, but the match was won by Torres.
Brand switches and Divas Champion (2010–2012)
During the 2010 WWE Draft on April 26, Kelly was drafted to the SmackDown brand. She made her debut on the April 30 episode of SmackDown by teaming with Beth Phoenix to defeat Lay-Cool (Michelle McCool and Layla). She went on to feud with Lay-Cool, gaining an ally in Tiffany. Over the next several weeks, Kelly and Tiffany faced Lay-Cool in tag team matches, with Lay-Cool winning on both occasions. On the June 4 episode of SmackDown, Kelly made her singles debut for the brand, defeating Rosa Mendes, despite being distracted by Layla and McCool. After defeating both Layla and McCool in singles matches, she received a Women's Championship match at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view in July, but was unsuccessful. On August 31, Kelly announced that she would be a mentor on season three of NXT, with Naomi as her rookie. Throughout the second half of 2010, Kelly continued to feud with Lay-Cool, and gained an ally in Natalya in October. In November, Kelly's NXT rookie, Naomi was named runner-up to the winner, Kaitlyn during the season finale.
In December, Kelly started a storyline with Drew McIntyre who had developed a romantic interest in her. She rebuffed his advances on several occasions, stating he was too aggressive and vindictive. On January 30, 2011, at the Royal Rumble, Kelly prevented the Acting General Manager Vickie Guerrero from interfering in the World Heavyweight Championship match between Edge and Dolph Ziggler. On the following episode of SmackDown, Kelly and Edge defeated Lay-Cool and Ziggler in a two-on-three handicap match to retain Edge's World Heavyweight Championship. Following the match, Guerrero fired Kelly in storyline. At the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view later that month, Kelly was re-hired by SmackDown General Manager Teddy Long, and made her return by attacking Guerrero. She was stopped by Lay-Cool, who were in turn stopped by Trish Stratus. On the following episode of SmackDown, Kelly gained revenge on Guerrero when Kelly and Edge defeated Guerrero and McIntyre in a mixed tag team match, causing Guerrero to be fired in storyline per the pre-match stipulation.
On April 26, Kelly was drafted back to the Raw brand as part of the 2011 supplemental draft. On May 22 at the Over the Limit pay-per-view, Kelly unsuccessfully challenged Brie Bella for the WWE Divas Championship. The following night on Raw, she teamed with Gail Kim, Eve Torres and Beth Phoenix, against The Bella Twins, Maryse and Melina. The match, however ended in a no-contest following an interruption by Kharma. On the 30 May edition of Raw, Kelly teamed with Eve to defeat The Bella Twins. The following week on Raw, Kelly again scored a victory over The Bella Twins in tag team action, this time teaming with Beth Phoenix. On the June 13 edition of Raw, an All-Star special, Kelly was again victorious, in a 7 on 7 diva tag team match, teaming with Beth Phoenix, Gail Kim, Eve Torres, Natalya, A.J. and Kaitlyn to defeat The Bella Twins, Melina, Alicia Fox, Rosa Mendes, Maryse and Tamina.
The following month, on the Power to the People special edition of Raw on June 20, Kelly won a vote by the fans to determine the challenger for the Divas Championship that night. Kelly went on to win her first WWE Divas Championship by defeating Bella. Her win later garnered her a Slammy Award for Divalicious Moment of the Year. On the June 27 edition of Raw, a special "Raw Roulette" edition, Kelly defeated Nikki Bella in a non-title, submission match. After the match, both Bellas attacked Kelly, however Eve Torres made the save for Kelly. WWE.com has been announced that Kelly will have her first title defense on July 17, at Money in the Bank pay per-view. On the 4th of July special Independence Day edition of Raw, Kelly teamed up with Eve Torres to defeat The Bella Twins in a tag team match. On the July 11 edition of Raw, Kelly Kelly defeated Melina in a single match. At the Money in the Bank pay-per-view in July, Kelly made her first title defense, successfully defeating Bella in a rematch. On the July 25 edition of Raw, Kelly Kelly and Eve Torres defeated Maryse and Melina in a divas tag-team match.
On the August 1 episode of Raw, Phoenix won a battle royal to become the number one contender to Kelly's championship, and afterward turned heel by attacking Kelly to provoke a feud. Kelly went on to successfully defend her championship against Phoenix at SummerSlam. On the August 30 episode of the SmackDown, Kelly teamed up with Alicia Fox in a losing effort to The Divas of Doom in a divas tag-team match. Following SummerSlam, Kelly continued to feud with Phoenix, defeating her at Night of Champions. On the September 19 episode of Raw, Kelly teamed up with Eve Torres in a winning effort defeating The Divas of Doom after Eve pinned Natalya for the win. Kelly Kelly dropped the championship to her at Hell in a Cell in October. In a rematch on the October 14 episode of SmackDown, Kelly lost once again. Kelly challenged Phoenix for the Divas Championship at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs, but was unsuccessful.
On the March 26 episode of Raw, Kelly defeated a villainous Eve with Phoenix in her corner. At WrestleMania XXVIII, Kelly and Extra correspondent Maria Menounos defeated Phoenix and Eve in a tag team match. On the April 12 episode of Superstars, Kelly Kelly defeated Brie Bella with Nikki Bella. On the April 26 episode of Superstars, Kelly defeated Maxine in a singles match. On the May 7 edition of Raw, Kelly teamed up with Layla in a winning effort; defeating Maxine and Natalya. On the May 21 edition of Raw, Kelly was defeated by long time rival Beth Phoenix. On June 6, WWE granted Kelly a time off after going on tour with the company non-stop.
Kelly Kelly made her return to WWE on the August 6 episode of Raw, where she defeated Eve Torres in singles match. She made an appearance at SummerSlam dancing along with the other WWE Divas "Don't Give Up" performed live by Kevin Rudolf. On September 28, 2012, Kelly Kelly was released by WWE. In a December 2012 interview, Blank stated she needed time off to heal a neck injury, and had plans to model.
Independent Circuit (2012)
Blank was set to appear at her first independent wrestling show in Waterbury, Connecticut at a North East Wrestling event on November 4, followed by a house show event on November 5, but her appearances were canceled due to Hurricane Sandy. On December 4, Blank made her first independent wrestling show appearance for North East Wrestling.
Return to WWE (2017-2019)
Kelly returned to WWE for the first time in five years in a backstage interview on the February 13, 2017 edition of Raw. She appeared on the Raw 25 special in January of 2018, and at the 2018 Royal Rumble event, Kelly entered the first ever Women's Royal Rumble match, doing so at #19 before she was eliminated by Nia Jax. On October 28, 2018, Kelly competed in a battle royal at the Evolution pay-per-view; where she was eliminated by Mandy Rose.
On July 22, 2019, Kelly appeared at the Raw Reunion special and defeated WWE Hall of Famer Gerald Brisco to capture the WWE 24-7 Championship, becoming the first female champion. She lost the title later in the program to Candice Michelle.
In April 2007, Kelly, along with Ashley, Layla El, Brooke, Torrie Wilson, and Maryse, appeared in a music video for the Timbaland song "Throw It on Me" (featuring The Hives). That August all three members of Extreme Exposé also took part in a photo-shoot for FHM Online.
On April 11, 2008, Blank—along with Mickie James, Melina Perez, and Layla El—appeared in an episode of Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp as trainers. Six days later, she appeared as the "Soccerette" on the British football show Soccer AM.
Blank was born in Jacksonville, Florida to a Jewish father and Christian mother. Blank was a fan of professional wrestling as a child, and cites Stone Cold Steve Austin as her favorite wrestler. While growing up, Blank participated in gymnastics for ten years, before she was forced to quit due to an injury. She later took up cheerleading. Blank studied broadcast journalism, hoping to become a television anchor. She was also a Hawaiian Tropic and Venus Swimwear bikini model before she entered professional wrestling. While training at OVW, Blank lived in Kentucky. Following this, Blank lived in Tampa, Florida prior to moving to Miami. She then returned to living in Tampa in 2010. She now resides in Malibu, California. She describes Trish Stratus as her inspiration in wrestling.
Blank was in a two-and-a-half year relationship with wrestler Andrew Martin, that had ended prior to his death in March 2009. She also previously dated Dave Batista briefly. She is currently engaged to NHL hockey player Sheldon Souray. The couple were married in Mexico on February 27, 2016, but split in October 2017.
- Finishing moves
- K2 / Kelly Kick(Modified K2) (Leg drop bulldog, sometimes preceded by stepping off the back of an opponent on all fours)
- Kelly-Go-Round (Flipping seated senton) - 2012 (Used once) - Wrestlemania 28
- Signature moves
- "The Bombshell"
- Wrestlers managed
- Entrance themes
Championships and accomplishments
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- World Wrestling Entertainment
|2008 PWI Top 50 Females|
|Amazing Kong • Beth Phoenix • Gail Kim • Mickie James • MsChif • Sara Del Rey • Roxxi Laveaux • Melina • Michelle McCool • Candice Michelle • Mercedes Martinez • Victoria • Taylor Wilde • ODB • Daizee Haze • Angelina Love • Jacqueline • April Hunter • Nattie Neidhart • Sumie Sakai • Allison Danger • Tracy Brooks • Velvet Sky • Sarah Stock • Mickie Knuckles • Katie Lea Burchill • Cherry • Cheerleader Melissa • Maria Kanellis • Amber O'Neal • Lexie Fyfe • Kelly Kelly • Cindy Rogers • Jillian Hall • Malia Hosaka • Christie Ricci • Becky Bayless • Alere Little Feather • Layla El • Kelly Couture • Jaime D • Christy Hemme • Milena Roucka • Annie Social • LuFisto • Trenesha Biggers • Danyah • Jennifer Blake • Daffney • Portia Perez|
|2009 PWI Top 50 Females|
|Mickie James • Angelina Love • Melina • MsChif • Tara • Awesome Kong • Beth Phoenix • Michelle McCool • Maryse • Taylor Wilde • Sara Del Rey • Cheerleader Melissa • Gail Kim • Mercedes Martinez • ODB • Daizee Haze • Sarita • Daffney • Madison Rayne • Katie Lea Burchill • Nikki Roxx • Angel Orsini • Velvet Sky • Sojo Bolt • Natalya • Rain • Amber O'Neal • Jillian Hall • Jetta • Lufisto • Madison Eagles • Nevaeh • Wesna Busic • Kelly Kelly • Portia Perez • Danyah • Ariel • Jennifer Blake • Nicole Matthews • Serena Deeb • Allison Danger • Malia Hosaka • Lexie Fyfe • Jamie D • Amy Lee • Annie Social • April Hunter • Cherry Bomb • Jessie McKay • Rosa Mendes|
|2010 PWI Top 50 Females|
|Michelle McCool • Angelina Love • Mercedes Martinez • Cheerleader Melissa • Eve Torres • Madison Rayne • Beth Phoenix • Mickie James • MsChif • Maryse • Tara • Sara Del Rey • Gail Kim • Awesome Kong • Madison Eagles • Sarita • Alicia Fox • Taylor Wilde • Daffney • Hamada • Velvet Sky • ODB • Nikki Roxx • Jillian • Portia Perez • Kelly Kelly • Rain • Angel Orsini • Natalya • Serena Deeb • Nicole Matthews • Amber O'Neal • LuFisto • Daizee Haze • Allison Danger • Layla • Kellie Skater • Tiffany • Jennifer Blake • Jazz • Melissa Coates • Cat Power • Malia Hosaka • Cherry Bomb • April Hunter • Jessicka Havok • Brittany Force • Naomi Night • Cindy Rogers • Roxie Cotton|
|2011 PWI Top 50 Females|
|Madison Eagles • Mercedes Martinez • Mickie James • Natalya • Madison Rayne • Cheerleader Melissa • Beth Phoenix • Tara • MsChif • Sara Del Rey • Eve Torres • Angelina Love • Layla • Sarita • Kelly Kelly • Serena Deeb • Velvet Sky • Ayako Hamada • LuFisto • Winter • Brie Bella • Angel Orsini • Melina • Daizee Haze • Nikki Roxx • Gail Kim • Jazz • Maryse • Christina Von Eerie • Portia Perez • Rosita • ODB • Nicole Matthews • Rachel Summerlyn • Jessicka Havok • Brittany Force • Kellie Skater • Tina San Antonio • Melanie Cruise • Cherry Bomb • Sassy Stephie • Tasha Simone • Alicia Fox • Amber O'Neal • Allison Danger • Kacee Carlisle • Brittney Savage • AJ Lee • Melissa Coates • Jessica James|