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Kelly Kelly

Barbara Jean “Barbie” Blank (born January 15, 1987) is an American model, professional wrestler, and professional wrestling valet better known by her ring name Kelly Kelly. 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.

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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. Blank debuted for the ECW brand one month later in June 2006 as Kelly Kelly, becoming the youngest Diva on the WWE roster. Originally, she was to be named just ‘Kelly’, but her ring name was expanded to ‘Kelly Kelly’ by Vince McMahon. Her character, an exhibitionist, was introduced performing a striptease for the crowd. The following year, she formed Extreme Exposé with Layla and Brooke Adams, and the trio performed a regular dance segment on ECW. Kelly then began participating in more wrestling matches, and was moved to the Raw brand in July 2008. Kelly won the WWE Divas Championship for the first time 0n the June 20, 2011 ‘Power to the People’ special edition of Raw. Kelly won a vote by the fans to determine the challenger for the Divas Championship that night, and Kelly went on to defeat Brie Bella, beginning a four-month reign.

While training at OVW, Blank lived in Louisville, Kentucky. Following this, Blank lived in Tampa, Florida prior to moving to Miami. She then returned to living in Tampa in 2010. She describes Trish Stratus as her inspiration in wrestling. Blank was a fan of professional wrestling as a child, and cites Stone Cold Steve Austin as her favorite wrestler. 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 dated Dave Batista briefly. In March of 2011, Blank was named # 9 on Smart Mark Radio’s Top 25 Sexiest Female Wrestlers of All Time List.

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