Kaitlyn (wrestler)

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Kaitlyn
Kaitlyn (Celeste Bonin) Axxess.jpg
Kaitlyn in March 2012
Born Celeste Beryl Bonin[1]
(1986-10-07) October 7, 1986 (age 28)[2]
Houston, Texas, U.S.[2]
Residence Boca Raton, Florida, U.S.[3]
Occupation body builder, model, professional wrestler
Years active 2006–2010, 2014–present (fitness model/spokesperson)
2010–2014 (professional wrestler)
Spouse(s) PJ Braun (m. 2014)
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Celeste
Kaitlyn
Ricki Vaughn
Billed height 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)[4]
Billed weight 135 lb (61 kg)[2]
Billed from Houston, Texas[4]
Trained by Florida Championship Wrestling[2]
Debut 2010
Retired 2014
Website
CelestialBodiez.com

Celeste Beryl Braun (née Bonin; born October 7, 1986) is an American body builder, model, and retired professional wrestler. She is best known for her time in WWE under the ring name Kaitlyn.

Braun started her career as a body fitness model. In 2007, she won the National Physique Committee (NPC) John Sherman Classic Bodybuilding Figure and Fitness Championship, and came in fifth at the Arnold Classic in the NPC Figure Class D competition.

In July 2010, Braun signed a developmental contract with WWE. Later that year, she competed in and won the all-female third season of NXT, thus earning a spot on the main roster. She won the WWE Divas Championship in January 2013 and held the title for five months.

Body fitness career[edit]

Bonin made her body fitness debut in 2006, at the age of 19.[2] In 2007, Bonin won the National Physique Committee (NPC) John Sherman Classic Bodybuilding Figure and Fitness Championship,[2] and came fifth at the Arnold Classic in the NPC Figure Class D competition.[5] She also was in the top five at Musclemania Superbody in 2007, in the Figure Universe – Tall category.[6] In 2008, she was named Miss November at the Hardfitness Calendar,[2] and placed 16th at the NPC Junior Nationals that same year in the NPC Figure category.[7] In 2008 she was part of the Hardfitness Calendar and in 2009, Bonin appeared in Flex Magazine.[8]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

World Wrestling Entertainment / WWE[edit]

Developmental territories (2010–2012)[edit]

In July 2010, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) signed Bonin to a developmental contract, and she reported to Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW), WWE's developmental territory.[2] She debuted under the ring name Celeste, competing in a bikini contest at an FCW live event,[2][9] and later changed her name to Ricki Vaughn.[2][10] She made her FCW television debut on the August 29 episode, as a lumberjill at ringside for a match between AJ Lee and Naomi Knight. On the November 7 episode of FCW TV, Kaitlyn competed in a tag team match teaming with Naomi defeating Queen of FCW AJ and Aksana.

When WWE rebranded its developmental territory, FCW, into NXT Wrestling in 2012,[11] Kaitlyn briefly portrayed a villainess while on the new version of NXT in 2012.[12]

NXT season 3 (2010)[edit]

Kaitlyn on NXT in 2010

On September 7, 2010, Bonin joined season three of NXT under the name Kaitlyn, with Vickie Guerrero as her on-screen mentor. She was the replacement for Vickie's original rookie, Aloisia, whom Vickie fired in storyline.[13] On September 14, Kaitlyn made her in-ring debut, teaming alongside Vickie's on-screen boyfriend, Dolph Ziggler, to defeat AJ and Primo in a mixed tag team match.[14] Kaitlyn made her first pay-per-view appearance at Night of Champions, accompanying Ziggler and Vickie for Ziggler's WWE Intercontinental Championship match, until Vickie ordered her to leave ringside.[15] On the September 21 NXT, Kaitlyn and LayCool (Layla and Michelle McCool) lost to Kelly Kelly, Naomi, and Jamie in a six-Diva tag team match after Naomi pinned Kaitlyn, and ended the show after LayCool attacked her while Vickie berated her.[16] That same week on the September 24 SmackDown, Kaitlyn and Vickie accompanied Ziggler to the ring for his match until Vickie again ordered Kaitlyn to leave ringside, leading to Kaitlyn pushing her over before leaving.[17] On the September 28 NXT, Kaitlyn won a wheelbarrow race and lost a "Diss the Diva" challenge, which led to Vickie entering the ring and insulting her until Kaitlyn challenged Vickie to a match, thus ending the show with the two brawling.[18]

The next week on the October 5 episode of NXT, Kaitlyn lost a bull riding competition, won a talent contest by drawing an insulting photo of Vickie, and won her first singles match against Vickie.[19] On the October 12 NXT, Kaitlyn lost the "WWE Name that Tune" challenge and the "Power of the Punch" challenge.[20] The next week of NXT, Kaitlyn lost a match against Maxine, the "WWE Who's that Body" challenge, and the limbo contest.[21] On the October 26 Halloween-themed NXT, Kaitlyn won a costume contest impersonating Vickie, and lost a candy eating competition due to her choking and then accidentally throwing up on Vickie.[22] On the November 2 NXT, Kaitlyn and Ziggler were found kissing behind a wall, and when Vickie confronted them, Kaitlyn threw a cake, which was meant for Goldust and Aksana's wedding, into her face.[23] On the November 5 SmackDown, Kaitlyn and Vickie faced each other in a rematch in which Vickie was victorious after her foot was on the ropes.[24] On the November 9 NXT, Kaitlyn won an arm wrestling competition, and brawled again with Vickie backstage.[25] The next week on the November 16 NXT, Kaitlyn was defeated by Naomi in singles competition, and was safe from elimination.[26] On the November 30 season finale, Kaitlyn defeated Naomi in a rematch, and was later announced as the winner of season three, defeating Naomi in the final to become WWE's Breakout Diva.[27]

Teaming with AJ; NXT Redemption (2010–2012)[edit]

Kaitlyn at the WWE Tribute to the Troops event in December 2010

On the December 3, 2010 episode of SmackDown, Kaitlyn appeared in a backstage segment with Vickie Guerrero and Dolph Ziggler, announcing that SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long had signed her to the brand following her victory on NXT.[4][28] She had her first match on SmackDown on January 28, 2011, where she and Kelly Kelly were defeated by LayCool (Layla and Michelle McCool).[29]

On the May 27 episode of SmackDown, Kaitlyn formed a tag team with AJ, referring to themselves as "The Chickbusters".[30][31] They were accompanied by their storyline mentor Natalya and lost to Alicia Fox and Tamina in consecutive weeks.[32][33] On the June 13 episode of Raw, Kaitlyn picked up her first win in a 14-woman tag team match, in which Kelly Kelly pinned Rosa Mendes.[34] The Chickbusters and Natalya continued to feud with Fox and Tamina, who were soon joined by Rosa Mendes, throughout the next two months.[35][36]

In August, AJ was betrayed by Natalya, who allied with Beth Phoenix to form the Divas of Doom.[37] In the following months, the Chickbusters lost numerous singles and tag team matches to the Divas of Doom.[38][39][40] In November, tension began to be teased between the Chickbusters, with Kaitlyn upset at their repeated losses.[41] At the SmackDown taping on December 6, after another loss, Kaitlyn turned against AJ and joined the Divas of Doom. However, the segment was cut from the broadcast and not acknowledged by WWE.[42]

Kaitlyn (left) wrestling Maxine in April 2012

In February 2012, Kaitlyn began feuding with Maxine on NXT Redemption, who accused Kaitlyn of having a secret crush on her boyfriend Derrick Bateman. After several weeks,[43] Kaitlyn confessed her feelings for Bateman in an "intervention" segment, also involving Alicia Fox and Justin Gabriel, where she kissed Bateman before being interrupted and attacked by Maxine. Later that night, she defeated Maxine in a match.[44] On March 14, after Kaitlyn and Bateman defeated Johnny Curtis and Maxine in a mixed tag team match, Bateman kissed Kaitlyn, solidifying their relationship.[45] Kaitlyn and Bateman were later accused by Maxine and Curtis of being involved with Matt Striker's random disappearance.[46] On April 4, Kaitlyn was defeated by her former mentor Natalya, who was accompanied by Tyson Kidd.[47] Kaitlyn and Bateman later discovered Striker in a janitor's closet hidden by Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks on April 11.[48] On April 25, while talking to Kidd and Percy Watson backstage, Kaitlyn was approached by Natalya and accused of flirting with Kidd, which led to Kaitlyn and Tamina Snuka defeating Natalya and Maxine in a tag team match.[49]

In April 2012, Kaitlyn returned to SmackDown in attempt to comfort her friend AJ, but was assaulted for her efforts on two separate occasions.[50][51] This led to a match between the two on May 11, in which Kaitlyn was defeated by AJ.[52]

Kaitlyn went on to compete in her first pay-per-view match at Money in the Bank on July 15, where she teamed with Divas Champion Layla and Tamina Snuka against Beth Phoenix, Natalya, and Eve Torres, with her team coming out victorious.[53]

Divas Champion; feud with AJ (2012–2014)[edit]

In August 2012, Kaitlyn was given a job from SmackDown General Manager Booker T as his assistant, but was afterwards put in a match against an angry Eve Torres in which the winner would be awarded the job.[54] Kaitlyn lost the assistant job to Eve the following week.[55] On August 20, Kaitlyn won a battle royal by lastly eliminating Eve to become number one contender to Layla's Divas Championship.[56] Eve then started acting disingenuous towards Kaitlyn and Layla, leaving them confused.[57][58] At Night of Champions on September 16, Kaitlyn was attacked by a masked figure, causing her ankle to get injured in the storyline and forcing her title opportunity to get forfeited to Eve.[59] Kaitlyn later stated that the attacker was blonde, leading to Beth Phoenix becoming the suspect.[60] On October 8, Kaitlyn was defeated by Eve in her first Divas Championship match, and was afterwards saved by Layla after Eve attempted to re-injure her.[61] Kaitlyn later confronted Eve about her attacker, revealing it to be Aksana, who was instructed by Eve to attack her at Night of Champions, and ended in a brawl also involving Layla.[62] This led to a tag team match on October 26, where Kaitlyn teamed alongside Layla in a loss to Eve and Aksana after Kaitlyn was accidentally kicked by Layla.[63] Kaitlyn received another shot for the Divas Championship at the Hell in a Cell event, but was again defeated by Eve in a triple threat match, also involving Layla.[64] On the November 6 episode of Raw, Kaitlyn teamed with Layla in a tag team match against Eve and Aksana in a winning effort.[65] The following week on Raw, Kaitlyn defeated Layla to become the number one contender to Eve's Divas Championship.[66] At Survivor Series, Kaitlyn fought off another attack by Aksana and went on to face Eve for the Divas Championship, but was unsuccessful.[67] Kaitlyn got revenge on Aksana the following week on both Raw and SmackDown, defeating her in singles matches.[68][69]

Kaitlyn at a SmackDown event in January 2013 as the WWE Divas Champion

On December 16 at TLC, Kaitlyn competed in a number one contender's battle royal to face Eve for the championship, but was eliminated due to interference from Eve.[70] After defeating Eve in a non-title match,[71] Eve evaded several title matches against Kaitlyn by fleeing or attacking the referee to get disqualified.[72][73] This resulted in Kaitlyn getting another title opportunity, with the stipulation that the title would change hands if Eve got disqualified or counted-out; on the 20th anniversary episode of Raw on January 14, Kaitlyn defeated Eve in her hometown of Houston, Texas, to win the Divas Championship.[74]

Kaitlyn's first challenger was Tamina Snuka, whom she defeated at Elimination Chamber on February 17, 2013, to retain the title.[75] Later that month, a storyline relationship between herself and Cody Rhodes was teased,[76] but she ultimately decided against it after seeing him with the Bella Twins.[77] She also successfully defended her championship in matches on NXT against Natalya and AJ Lee.[78][79]

On March 25, Kaitlyn brawled backstage with her former tag partner AJ Lee and faced her in a match, losing via countout.[80] Later that week, Kaitlyn got revenge on AJ in a mixed tag team match, also involving Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler.[81] AJ then became the number one contender to her Divas title.[82] Meanwhile, Kaitlyn began a storyline where she received gifts from a secret admirer.[83][84][85] On June 10, after setting Big E Langston to pose as the admirer, AJ revealed it to be a mind game, berated Kaitlyn and left her in tears.[86] Six days later at Payback, Kaitlyn was defeated by AJ, ending her reign at 153 days.[87] The feud between the two continued with them attempting to distract each other to gain leverage.[88][89][90][91] On the July 12 episode of SmackDown, Kaitlyn participated in the first-ever public Divas Championship match contract signing along with AJ, which ended in a brawl between the two.[92] Two days later at Money in the Bank, Kaitlyn lost their rematch.[93] On July 26, Kaitlyn interrupted AJ's rage on Dolph Ziggler and delivered a spear to AJ.[94] This led to a non-title match between the two on July 29, where Kaitlyn emerged victorious.[95] Kaitlyn then received another championship opportunity against AJ in her hometown on the August 2 episode of SmackDown, but lost after Layla betrayed her.[96] On the August 5 episode of Raw, Kaitlyn lost a match against Layla after being distracted by AJ.[97] Later that night, she attacked AJ during a match between Ziggler and Langston, accidentally costing Ziggler the match.[98] At SummerSlam on August 18, Kaitlyn and Ziggler defeated AJ and Langston in a mixed tag team match, ending their feud.[99]

At Survivor Series, Kaitlyn participated in a seven-on-seven traditional elimination tag team match as her team took on the cast of Total Divas. Kaitlyn managed two eliminations before she was eliminated, with her team ultimately losing the match.[100] On January 8, 2014, Kaitlyn decided to terminate her contract with WWE.[101] Her final match aired that night on Main Event, where she lost to AJ Lee.[102] In her final address, she stated that she will return to the fitness industry.[103]

On July 17, 2014, Kaitlyn stated that she considers herself retired from WWE and plans to walk away from the wrestling business to focus on her marriage and clothing line.[104]

Other media[edit]

Bonin occasionally works for Hardbodynews.com, contributing with interviews, photo ops and blogs.[105] In October 2013, Bonin made her video game debut in WWE 2K14 as a playable character.[106]

Business ventures[edit]

On June 25, 2014, Bonin launched a fitness clothing company named Celestial Bodiez.[107] She is also a spokesperson for Prime Nutrition.[108] In June 2015, Bonin and her husband opened a smoothie bar inside the Busy Body Fitness Center in Boca Raton, Florida.[109]

Personal life[edit]

Bonin married fellow body builder PJ Braun on June 20, 2014.[110][111] In November 2012, Bonin was arrested in Grand Rapids, Michigan, for an unpaid speeding ticket, and was released after paying a $315 bond.[112][113] Her wrestling idol is Goldberg.[114]

In wrestling[edit]

Kaitlyn applying body scissors on Maxine
  • Entrance themes
    • "Let's Go" by Hollywood Music (March 11, 2011 – February 29, 2012)
    • "Spin the Bottle" by Ashley Jana[134] (April 4, 2012 – February 23, 2013)
    • "Higher" performed by Nicole Tranquillo and composed by Jim Johnston[135] (March 8, 2013 – January 8, 2014)

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Body fitness[edit]

Professional wrestling[edit]

References[edit]

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