WWE confirmed today that Kelly Kelly has been released from her contract. Not too surprising; she’d reportedly been wanting her release for some time now so she could focus on her modeling and acting career, the reason for her recent, prolonged absence from television.
Kelly, born Barbara “Barbie” Blank, began her tenure with the WWE in 2006 on ECW as an exhibitionist character. On ECW she participated in feuds involving Mike Knox and Sandman, CM Punk and was a member of Extreme Expose alongside Layla and Brooke (now known better as current TNA Women’s Champion Miss Tessmacher). Kelly was a Raw staple from 2008-2010 before a brief stint on Smackdown. She would return to Raw and win her first and only Diva’s Championship on June 20th, 2011.
Kelly was last seen at SummerSlam in a dance segment. Prior to that she had a match against Eve on Raw.
Kelly’s departure marks the continued depletion of the Diva’s division, with Maryse, The Bella Twins and Maxine all asking for their releases in the past year, abundant rumors that Beth Phoenix is preparing for her own retirement and hot prospect Karma being released controversially following a miscarriage. WWE Executive Vice President of Talent Paul “Triple H” Levesque has stated in the past a desire to rebuild the women’s division, and has several up and coming prospects such as Sara Del Ray in the company’s FCW training division, but it’s unclear when they’ll be ready to be called up.
(As an aside, I’ll never understand why they felt the need to name her Kelly Kelly when her birth name, Barbie Blank, is so unabashedly perfect for WWE’s naming conventions.)