Kelly Kelly, full name Barbara Jean Blank who was born January 15, 1987 in Jacksonville, Florida, United States is an American model, actress, ring announcer, referee, reality television personality and a professional wrestler. Before she took up wrestling as a profession, Kelly Kelly daughter of a Jewish father and Christian mother had always been a fan of professional wrestling but she did not go into professional wrestling until 2006 when she was noticed by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) official John Laurinaitis.
Kelly grew up as a typical American girl, she did gymnastics for ten years before she was forced to quit due to an injury. She attended Englewood High School where she joined the cheerleading team cheering for her school’s football team. She studied broadcast journalism at Florida Community College at Jacksonville and then ventured into modelling. Kelly was a Hawaiian Tropic and Venus Swimwear bikini model.
In May 2006, Kelly signed her contract into WWE after being invited to Ohio Valley Wrestling for a tryout. She worked shows in Louisville, Kentucky as a ring announcer, referee and also as a wrestle. On September 6, one of her first wrestling matches took place, she participated in a Women’s battle royal. In 2007, she also appeared in Florida Championship Wrestling.
Kelly got her wrestling name when she debuted for the ECW brand, originally it was just “Kelly’ but it was later expanded to ‘Kelly Kelly” by WWE CEO Vince McMahon. On June 13, 2006, Kelly Kelly made her first debut on the weekly program and this was a stepping stone to a weekly segment known as Kelly’s Expose where she would strip and dance for the crowd. Kelly joined Layla and Brooke to form Extreme Expose which lasted for several months until November 1 when Brooke was released from her contract and Extreme Expose was dissolved.
After Extreme Expose was dissolved, Kelly became more actively involved in wrestling and a rivalry with Layla. Kelly won a battle royal on the October’s RAW episode which earned her a match against the WWE Women’s Champion, Beth Phoenix, which she lost. Kelly got moved to the Raw brand July, 2008 where she got involved in feuds with Layla, Beth Phoenix and Jillian Hall. Kelly was part of the victorious team in a five-on-five elimination match at the Survivor Series pay-per-view in November, 2008. She got eliminated during the match by Maryse but she also eliminated Victoria.In 2009, Kelly challenged Maryse for the WWE Divas Championship which she won by disqualification, but Maryse retained the title.
In 2009, Kelly competed unsuccessfully in several number one contender matches. In 2010, Kelly participated in the tournament to determine a new Divas Champion but she was eliminated by Alicia Fox in the first round. Kelly lost to Torres when she took part in the 10-Diva Dress to Impress battle royal in her bid to become a number one contender.
On April 26, 2011, Kelly became the first drafted woman wrestler on television when she was drafted to the SmackDown brand. Kelly became a mentor to Naomi on season three of NXT who during the season finale was named runner-up to the winner. Kelly was drafted back to Raw brand as part of the 2011 supplemental draft and she made another unsuccessful attempt to win the Divas Championship. On May, Kelly won a fan vote to determine the challenger for the Divas Championship and she went on to win her first WWE Divas Championship by defeating Brie Bella.
After winning her first WWE Divas Championship she was later awarded a Slammy Award for Divalicious Moment of the Year. In July, Kelly made her first title defense by defeating Bella and in August, she defended her championship against Phoenix at the SummerSlam and Night of Hell in a Cell. In October, Kelly lost her title to Phoenix at Hell in a Cell. Ending her reign at 104 days and failed to regain it back in subsequent matches.
#In 2012, Kelly and Maria Menounos, an Extra correspondent defeated Beth Phoenix and Eve in a tag team match. After taking time off, she returned on Raw August 6 where she defeated Eve and in September 28, 2012, Kelly was released from her WWE contract due to a neck injury and to model but she makes occasional appearance.
On July 22, 2019, Kelly returned to become the first female 24/7 Champion and also the first and only woman to hold the WWE Diva Championship and the 24/7 Championship.
Apart from her wrestling appearances, Kelly has also appeared in six different WWE video games; SmackDown vs. Raw 2008, SmackDown vs. Raw 2009, SmackDown vs Raw 2010, SmackDown vs. Raw 2011, WWE ’12 and WWE ’13.
Kelly alongside some other female wrestlers such as Ashley Massaro, Layla El, Brooke Adams, Torrie Wilson and Maryse Ouellet appeared in a music video for the Timbaland song “Throw It on Me” in April, 2007.
On April, 2008, she also appeared in an episode of Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp as a trainer. She appeared on the British football show Soccer AM as a “Soccerette”. On June 14, 2011 she appeared on an episode of The Price Is Right. Kelly also featured in the E! Reality television series WAGS where she played a main role for the 28 episodes of the show until it was cancelled in 2018. She made her acting debut in the movie Days of Our Lives where she featured as a waitress in an episode. In Disturbing the Peace, her film debut, she starred as Amanda. She has also featured in WWE Tough Enough and The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
Kelly has also won the Dare2BDifferent Award in 2012. She won The Baltimore Sun’s Most Improved Wrestler of the Year in 2008. She was also nominated in 2012 by Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Awards in the category “Favorite Buttkicker”. Kelly is also the first woman from WWE to appear on the cover of “Maxim” magazine in December 2011 and she is also ranked No. 15 of the top 50 female singles wrestlers in the PWI Female 50 in 2011 in the Pro Wrestling Illustrated.
Barbara Jean Blank “Kelly Kelly” has now made a name for herself in the wrestling profession, and is now a successful model. Kelly is now a retired wrestler but in February 2017, she became an ambassador for the wrestling powerhouse and she appeared on screen at the Raw 25th Anniversary show which held January 2018.