Kimber Lee

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Kimber Lee
Princess KimberLee KoT 2015 crop.jpg
Princess KimberLee in 2015
Birth name Kimberly Frankele[1]
Born (1990-06-27) June 27, 1990 (age 28)[2]
Seattle, Washington, United States[3]
Residence Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States[4]
Alma mater University of the Arts
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Abbey Laith
Kimber Lee
Kimberly Frankele
Princess KimberLee
Billed height 5 ft 4 in (1.63 m)[3]
Billed weight 126 lb (57 kg)[5]
Billed from Seattle, Washington[5]
Trained by Combat Zone Wrestling Academy[3]
Drew Gulak[3]
Debut 2011[3]

Kimberly Frankele (born June 27, 1990) is an American professional wrestler. She is known for her work on both the American and international independent circuit, as Kimber Lee, most notably as part of The Kimber Bombs alongside Cherry Bomb. Collectively, they have held both the Shine Tag Team Championship and the Shimmer Tag Team Championship at the same time. She has also formerly held the WSU Tag Team Championship along with Annie Social, and the Chikara Grand Championship as Princess KimberLee. She also appeared for NXT between 2016 and 2018 in which she unsuccessfully challenged for the NXT Women's Championship.

Early life[edit]

Frankele was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. Originally aspiring to be a dancer, she trained in dance from an early age. She first became interested in professional wrestling as a teenager, and cites Chyna as her inspiration.[3]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Combat Zone Wrestling (2011–2014)[edit]

After moving to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to attend college, Frankele began training at the Combat Zone Wrestling Academy. The first woman to graduate from the school, she debuted as a wrestler in 2011 using the ring name Kimber Lee.[3] Her first match for Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW) was on October 9, 2011, in which she defeated Austin Uzzie in an intergender match. In February 2012, she defeated Nevaeh, before losing to Alex Colon. In June 2012, Lee joined Drew Gulak's faction, A Campaign for a Better Combat Zone. As part of the faction, Lee and Gulak feuded with Greg Excellent, defeating him and Mia Yim in a mixed tag team match in September. Two months later, Lee defeated Excellent in a singles match, before Excellent and Momma Excellent defeated Lee and Gulak.[6] Throughout 2013 and 2014, Lee continued to compete in CZW, participating in both women's and intergender matches. She faced wrestlers including Neveah, Christina Von Eerie, Candice LeRae, Alexxis Nevaeh, and Jessicka Havok in women's singles and tag team matches.[7][8][9][10]

Women Superstars Uncensored (2012–2016)[edit]

Lee first began competing for Women Superstars Uncensored (WSU) in April 2012; as part of the promotion's J-Cup Tournament, she lost to Athena. That same month, she formed a tag team with Annie Social, with the pair losing their first match together to Rick Cataldo and Ezave Suena. At Full Steam Ahead in October, they lost to The Midwest Militia (Allysin Kay and Sassy Stephie).[11] In May 2013, Lee entered the WSU Queen and King of the Ring tournament alongside Drew Gulak. They defeated Devon Moore and Mickie Knuckles and Ohio is for Killers (Nevaeh and Jake Crist) en route to the final, where they lost to AR Fox and Athena.[12] Beginning to use the tag team name Chicks Using Nasty Tactics, Lee and Social defeated Jessie Brooks and Veda Scott to become the number one contenders to the WSU Tag Team Championship in August.[13] On February 8, 2014, they defeated The Midwest Militia to win the WSU Tag Team Championship, and successfully defended the title against Christina Von Eerie and Nevaeh the same night.[14] In May 2014, Lee and Gulak entered the Queen and King of the Ring tournament for the second time, but were eliminated by the World's Cutest Tag Team (Candice LeRae and Joey Ryan) in the semi-finals.[15] After retaining the championship against Rick Cataldo and Veda Scott, they lost it to The Juicy Product (David Starr and JT Dunn) in July 2014, and failed to regain the title in a rematch in September.[16][17] On February 21, 2015, Chicks Using Nasty Tactics defeated The Juicy Product to win the WSU Tag Team Championship for the second time.[18] on February 13, 2016, they lost the titles to The Fella Twins at the 9th Anniversary Show.

Shine Wrestling (2013–2015, 2018–present)[edit]

"The Kimber Bombs" Cherry Bomb (right) and Lee (left) in December 2014

Lee debuted for Shine Wrestling at their sixth show in January 2013, where she lost to Nikki Roxx.[19] At Shine 12, she lost to Kimberly.[20] Lee formed a tag team with Cherry Bomb, briefly called Team Combat Zone before being renamed The Kimber Bombs.[21][22][23][24] She returned in February 2014 at Shine 17; The Kimber Bombs participated in the tournament to determine the inaugural Shine Tag Team Champions, but were eliminated in the first round by eventual winners The Lucha Sisters (Leva Bates and Mia Yim).[25] The Kimber Bombs continued to compete in tag team competition, defeating the S-N-S Express (Sassy Stephie and Jessie Belle Smothers) at Shine 21, and unsuccessfully challenged Legendary (Malia Hosaka and Brandi Wine) for the Shine Tag Team Championship at Shine 23.[26][27] In a rematch at Shine 25 on March 6, 2015, The Kimber Bombs won the championship.[28] At Shine 30 on October 2, 2015, the pair had to vacate the title due to Cherry Bomb's shoulder injury.

Shimmer Women Athletes (2013–2016)[edit]

In April 2013, Lee made her debut for Shimmer Women Athletes at Shimmer 53.[29] In October 2013, The Kimber Bombs unsuccessfully challenged 3G (Kellie Skater and Tomoka Nakagawa) for the Shimmer Tag Team Championship.[30] Throughout 2014, The Kimber Bombs continued to compete in Shimmer's tag team division against teams including Leva Bates and Veda Scott, Ray and Leon, Bambi Hall and KC Cassidy, and The Buddy System (Heidi Lovelace and Solo Darling).[24][31][32][33] On April 11, 2015, The Kimber Bombs defeated 3G to win the Shimmer Tag Team Championship.[34] They lost the title to Evie and Heidi Lovelace on June 26, 2016.[35]

Chikara (2014–2016,2018-present)[edit]

Lee in September 2014

Lee made her Chikara debut at King of Trios 2014: Night 1 in September 2014 as Princess KimberLee.[36] She had previously made several appearances in Chikara's "Wrestling Is" sister promotions in 2013 and into 2014, both as a wrestler and temporarily as a valet for "Knight Eye for the Pirate Guy", the team of Jolly Roger & Lance Steel, with whom she would eventually team at the King of Trios tournament, losing in the first round to Gekido. She later wrestled her first Chikara singles match, against Missile Assault Ant, in a losing effort.

In 2015, KimberLee was named one of the ten team captains for the "Challenge of the Immortals" double round-robin tournament and drafted Jervis Cottonbelly and Los Ice Creams to her team. Initially spending multiple months without a win, they started picking up wins mid-way through the tournament, and when points-leader "Dasher's Dugout" had to forfeit their points, KimberLee's "Crown and Court" team was in the finals. On December 5, 2015, at the season finale Top Banana, "Crown & Court" won the Challenge of the Immortals tournament, defeating "Wrecking Crew". Later in the night, she then cashed in her "Golden Opportunity" after the main event, going on to defeat Hallowicked to win the Chikara Grand Championship.[37] With the win, she became the first female wrestler to hold the top title in a major non-female promotion.[38] She lost the title back to Hallowicked on May 30, 2016.[39]

WWE NXT (2016–2018)[edit]

On the December 7, 2016, episode of NXT, Lee lost to Ember Moon.[40] Later that month, it was reported that she had signed with WWE and would start with the company in January 2017.[41] Using her real name, on January 14, she competed in a tag team match with Dori Prange losing to Aliyah and Liv Morgan.[42] On the May 3 episode of NXT, Frankele participated in a number one contender's battle royal for Asuka's NXT Women's Championship, where she was eliminated by Ruby Riot.[43] In June, Frankele was given the new ring name Abbey Laith.[44]

On June 22, Laith was announced as one of the 32 participants competing in the Mae Young Classic.[45] She defeated Jazzy Gabert and Rachel Evers en route to the quarterfinals, where she was eliminated by Mercedes Martinez on September 4.[46][47][48] On the October 25 episode of NXT, Laith participated in a battle royal to gain an spot at the fatal four-way match for the vacant NXT Women's Championship at NXT TakeOver: WarGames, but was unsuccessful.[49] In March 2018, WWE released Frankele from her contract.[50]

World Wonder Ring Stardom (2018–present)[edit]

In August 2018, Lee made her debut for the World Wonder Ring Stardom promotion by entering the 2018 5★Star Grand Prix.[51]

Personal life[edit]

Frankele graduated from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 2013, with a fine arts degree in dance.[3]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

The Kimber Bombs: Cherry Bomb (left) and Lee (right) with both the Shine Tag Team Championship belt and the Shimmer Tag Team Championship belt

References[edit]

  1. ^ Clapp, John (January 4, 2017). "Kimber Lee and Heidi Lovelace among WWE Performance Center's new recruits". WWE. Retrieved January 5, 2017. 
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  4. ^ "Kimber Lee". Twitter. Retrieved January 1, 2016. 
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  47. ^ Richard, Trionfo (September 4, 2017). "MAE YOUNG CLASSIC EPISODE 5 REPORT: THE SECOND ROUND STARTS, MARTINEZ VERSUS SUGEHIT, LAITH VERSUS EVERS, NIVEN VERSUS DEEB, AND SANE VERSUS BELAIR". PWInsider. Retrieved September 10, 2017. 
  48. ^ Richard, Trionfo (September 4, 2017). "MAE YOUNG CLASSIC EPISODE 7 REPORT: WE GO FROM 8 TO 4". PWInsider. Retrieved September 10, 2017. 
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  50. ^ Rose, Bryan (March 8, 2018). "Abbey Laith released from WWE". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved May 4, 2018. 
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  52. ^ https://www.cagematch.net//?id=5&nr=3543
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External links[edit]