The following is an excerpt from an article on the Miami Herald website:
With no prior experience, model turned World Wrestling Entertainment diva Kelly Kelly has grown in the ring and proved she is not just another pretty face.
The blonde bombshell, real name Barbara Blank, was discovered by the company through a modeling agency in 2006.
â€œI was the youngest diva they ever had, which is really cool,â€ Kelly said.
She began training at Ohio Valley Wrestling, WWEâ€™s former developmental territory in Louisville and was called up almost immediately to be part of WWEâ€™s new ECW brand. The diva was billed as an exhibitionist who performed stripteases for a worldwide audience.
Kelly was the girlfriend of jealous on-screen boyfriend Mike Knox and a member of the all-girl dance trio Extreme Expose. She caught the interest of viewers. Good looks may have got her in the door, but a strong work ethic earned her the respect of fans and co-workers.
â€œWhen I started in ECW, I would have to say Tommy Dreamer and Andrew [Test Martin], who is not alive anymore, have helped me out,â€ Kelly said.
â€œOn the diva side, I would say Michelle McCool has helped me out a lot as well. They took me under their wings.â€
The 24-year-old was rewarded for her strides in the company and popularity with an increased on-screen presence. On a recent episode of WWE SmackDown (8 p.m. Fridays Syfy), she teamed with Edge to defend his world heavyweight championship against LayCool and Dolph Ziggler.
â€œI think the match we just had is one of the first main events the girls have been a part of, probably within the last 10 years,â€ Kelly said.
â€œSo it was really cool to do that and finally have a main event match and be at the beginning of the show with [acting WWE SmackDown GM] Vickie [Guerrero]. They put a lot of effort into me and my character lately. It has been great. I hope they continue to spotlight the divas more.â€
Even though a showdown against the official SD consultant isnâ€™t a possibility right now, (Guerrero fired Kelly on-air), Kelly has other plans in mind for the future, when she returns to WWE TV.
â€œI hope to win a championship because I have never had a title,â€ Kelly said. â€œThat would be a dream of a lifetime.â€
Check out the complete article online at MiamiHerald.com.