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Michelle McCool

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Michelle McCool
Michelle McCool Rosemont IL 031108.jpg
McCool in March 2008.
Birth name Michelle Leigh McCool
Born (1980-01-25) January 25, 1980 (age 35)[1][2]
Palatka, Florida, U.S.[1][2]
Resides Austin, Texas, U.S.[2]
Spouse(s) Jeremy Alexander (m. 2001–06)
The Undertaker (m. 2010)[2]
Children Kaia Faith Calaway
(born August 29, 2012)
Alma mater Florida State University
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Michelle McCool
Billed height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)[3][1][2]
Billed weight 128 lb (58 kg)[1][2]
Billed from Palatka, Florida[3][2]
Trained by Deep South Wrestling[1]
Ohio Valley Wrestling[1][2]
Dave Finlay
Debut November 18, 2004[2]
Retired May 1, 2011

Michelle Leigh Calaway (née McCool, born January 25, 1980) is an American retired professional wrestler who is best known for her time with WWE. She is also a former two-time WWE Divas Champion and a two-time WWE Women's Champion and a one-time Diva of the Year .

McCool originally worked as a middle school teacher in Palatka, Florida. She joined WWE in 2004 after participating in the 2004 WWE Diva Search. In her initial on-screen role, she acted primarily as a personal trainer and occasional wrestler. She also acted as the manager to the team of K. C. James and Idol Stevens, collectively known as the Teacher's Pets, in 2006 after changing her on-screen character to that of a teacher. At The Great American Bash in 2008, McCool became the inaugural WWE Divas Champion, holding the title for approximately five months. She then won the WWE Women's Championship at The Bash in 2009, becoming the first female wrestler to have held both titles. At Night of Champions in 2010, she unified both titles becoming the first WWE Unified Divas Champion. McCool has held both titles on two occasions, which makes her a four-time champion overall.

Early life[edit]

Both of McCool's parents also work in education; her mother, Mary, is a teacher and her father, Terry, is a superintendent.[4] She has an older brother who played football at the University of Cincinnati.[5] Growing up, McCool was an avid wrestling fan, going as far as knowing how to do Ric Flair's signature figure-four leglock by age seven. Before and during high school, McCool played softball, basketball and volleyball.[5] She also played first base at Pasco-Hernando State College.[4] McCool later received her Master's degree in Educational leadership from Florida State University.[4] Before becoming involved in professional wrestling, she taught seventh grade science for four years in Palatka, Florida.[1][4] She also competed in National Physique Committee fitness contests, taught gymnastics and kickboxing, and worked as a personal trainer prior to joining Diva Search.[1]

World Wrestling Entertainment/WWE[edit]

Early appearances; developmental territories (2004–2006)[edit]

In Summer 2004, the 24 year old McCool, participated in the Raw Diva Search contest, becoming one of the finalists, but got the 7th place when she was eliminated on August 16; the winner of the contest was Christy Hemme. However, McCool and other Diva Search contestants were hired by WWE later.

On November 18, 2004, McCool debuted on SmackDown! as a fan favorite fitness trainer, teaching Rob Van Dam and Rey Mysterio a few new stretches. On November 25, 2004, McCool helped Miss Jackie stretch and discussed the rumors of Charlie Haas cheating. On December 2, 2004, McCool helped Booker T and Eddie Guerrero stretch and sort out their 'negative vibes'. On January 6, 2005, McCool made her first in-ring segment during the John Cena vs. Kenzo Suzuki BattleRap, McCool caught the eye of Kenzo Suzuki, resulting in Hiroko attacking McCool for a brief catfight. On January 10, 2005, McCool, Miss Jackie, Torrie Wilson and Dawn Marie participated in a "Miss SmackDown! Contest", which Wilson won.

McCool, Miss Jackie, Torrie Wilson, Dawn Marie, Joy Giovanni, Rochelle Loewen and Lauren Jones participated in a "Best Body Contest" on February 21, 2005, which Wilson won again. McCool made her in-ring debut in a winning effort on March 3, 2005, where The Big Show and McCool had a mixed tag team match against René Duprée and Dawn Marie, with The Big Show pinning René Duprée, this match lead to a short feud between McCool and Marie.[6] Dawn Marie attacked McCool as they were posing for "St. Patricks Day" photos with the fans on March 17, 2005. After that, McCool made her singles debut match in a losing effort on March 24, 2005, losing to Dawn Marie after Marie won by using the ropes for leverage.[2] McCool, Miss Jackie, Torrie Wilson, Dawn Marie, Joy Giovanni and Lauren Jones participated in a "Viva Las Vegas Bikini Contest" on April 7, 2005, which Wilson won. McCool had a singles match in a losing effort against Torrie Wilson on May 28, 2005, where McCool tried the fake injury heel turn but failed. On June 16, 2005 McCool became a part of the feud between MNM and Heidenreich when she defended Heidenreich against MNM's manager Melina Perez's verbal attacks, spearing and attacking Melina.[1] McCool attacked Melina Perez again during the match between Joey Mercury and Jon Heidenreich on June 23, 2005. The feud between McCool and Perez ended in a match on June 30, 2005 when Melina defeated McCool by pinning her with the illegal aid of the ring ropes as leverage.[1] After the match, MNM (Johnny Nitro and Joey Mercury) performed their finisher, the Snapshot, on McCool and then Heidenreich came down and chased MNM away![1]

McCool was then sent to WWE's developmental territory, Deep South Wrestling (DSW), where she wrestled, performed interviews, hosted segments, and provided color commentary.[1] McCool debuted on DSW (Deep South Wrestling) in a losing effort on September 8, 2005, losing to Angel Williams.[2] The next month, in October 2005, McCool was hospitalized for over eight days after suffering a bad reaction to Ibruprofen after a CT scan. On January 19, 2006 Trenesha Biggers and Angel Williams attacked Kristal Marshall during the intermission, but Tracy Tailor and McCool came out to make the save and brawled with Biggers and Williams. On February 9, 2006, now at the age of 30, McCool, Angel Williams, Tracy Tailor, Trenesha Biggers and Kristal Marshall participated in a "Bikini Contest", but there was no winner when Palmer Canon came out and said that he did not want this on his network. McCool, Tracy Tailor and Marshall later accompanied Tommy Dreamer in a match against Palmer Canon who had Trenesha Biggers and Angel Williams as his managers, but Tommy lost the match. On March 9, 2006, McCool defeated Tracy Tailor, winning her first match in DSW.

In March 2006, McCool went to another WWE's developmental territory, Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) for a short visit, a gimmick tryout with Amish Roadkill and Kasey James and also continue her training. While in OVW, she began managing the duo of Amish Roadkill and Kasey James.[1] On May 3, 2006 Roadkill and Kasey James, accompanied by McCool, defeated The Untouchables (Deuce and Domino), who were accompanied by Cherry Pie. On May 5, 2006 Amish Roadkill and Kasey James with McCool at ringside lost a dark match on SmackDown against William Regal and Sylvan.

Sexy Teacher and All-American Diva (2006–2008)[edit]

She returned to SmackDown! on June 2, 2006, this time working as a villainous character with a "sexy teacher" gimmick, pulling on her real life experiences and warning the divas that she was gonna take them to school.[1] On June 9, 2006, McCool, Jillian Hall, Kristal Marshall and Ashley Massaro participated in a "Bikini Contest", which Massaro won. Jillian, Kristal and Ashley stripped down, but McCool rejected, saying she had too much class and walked out of the ring. McCool got into a backstage segment with Ashley Massaro on June 16, 2005, where Massaro wanted to have a 1-on-1 "Bikini Contest" with her, but McCool declined. McCool and Kristal Marshall had a backstage catfight with Jillian Hall and Ashley Massaro on July 14, 2006, which lead to a feud between the four divas. On July 15, 2006, McCool and Victoria reached the finals of a special WWE Divas Mechanical Bull Riding Contest, which McCool won.[1] On July 21, 2006, McCool and Marshall lost a match against Hall and Massaro, after Ashley pinned Kristal. This feud led to a Fatal Four-Way Bra and Panties match at The Great American Bash on July 23, 2006, where McCool even executed the Final Exam on Ashley, but Massaro won after eliminating Marshall.[7] She won her first singles match at WWE (with Kristal as her manager) on July 28, 2006, defeating Hall (with Ashley as Hall's manager), where McCool gave Hall the Final Exam and tried to make the pinfall, but Hall kicked out of the pin. However, McCool still won the match by illegally using the ring ropes as leverage.[8]

McCool at a house show in June 2007.

Soon after, she began acting as valet for the team of K. C. James (whom she used to manage at OVW) and Idol Stevens, who, because of her association with them, were nicknamed as The Teacher's Pets.[1][9] On August 4, 2006, The Teacher's Pets (w/Michelle McCool) defeated Scotty Too Hotty and Sho Funaki. On August 11, 2006, The Teacher's Pets (w/McCool) defeated Paul London and Brian Kendrick in a Non-title match. On August 25, 2006, K.C.James (w/Idol Stevens and McCool) beat Paul London (w/Brian Kendrick). The trio then began feuding with Paul London and Brian Kendrick, and their valet Ashley Massaro, for the WWE Tag Team Championship.[1] The Teachers Pets lost a match against Paul London, Brian Kendrick and Ashley Massaro on September 8, 2006, after the match Massaro attacked McCool. On September 29, 2006, The Teacher's Pets (w/McCool) defeated The Pitbulls (Kid Kash and Jamie Noble). On October 6, 2006, McCool (w/The Teacher's Pets) took her revenge on Massaro (w/London and Kendrick) in a singles match, where McCool won the match. The Teacher's Pets (w/McCool) lost a title match against London and Kendrick (w/Massaro) at No Mercy on October 8, 2006, after the match Massaro attacked McCool again.[10]

On October 20, 2006, The Miz hosted a Diva's "Dance Off Contest" with the SmackDown! Divas, McCool, Jillian Hall, Kristal Marshall, Ashley Massaro and Layla El, who were judged by Nick and Aaron Carter, with the chosen winner being Layla. On October 27, 2006, McCool, Hall, Marshall, Massaro and Layla El participated in a Diva's "Trick-Or-Treat Battle Royal", The Miz was the guest referee, McCool eliminated Jillian and also took her revenge once again eliminating Ashley, but was eliminated by Kristal, who won the match with the help of The Miz. On November 3, 2006, The Teacher's Pets (with McCool) lost a title match against London and Kendrick (with Massaro), after the match their feud with London and Kendrick and also The Teacher's Pets tag team alliance ended. On November 10, 2006, K.C. James (with McCool) lost a match against then-United States Champion Chris Benoit by submission. On November 28, 2006, McCool was hospitalized with an enlarged kidney, a broken sternum, and an electrolyte imbalance.1[11] She was released from the hospital on December 2, 2006.[12]

McCool returned on the March 30, 2007 edition of SmackDown!, where she participated in a 10-Diva tag team match with Victoria, the former WWE Women's Champion, Melina Perez, Kristal Marshall, and Jillian Hall in a losing effort.[13] On the April 13 edition of SmackDown!, McCool became a fan favorite once again when she came to the aid of Ashley Massaro after she was attacked by Jillian Hall backstage.[14] Subsequently, a series of matches took place between Victoria and McCool,[15] including a Mixed Tag Team match where Victoria and Kenny Dykstra defeated McCool and Chuck Palumbo.[16] On the November 13 episode of ECW, McCool formed an alliance with Kelly Kelly where they defeated Melina and Layla. On the December 12, 2007 episode of ECW, McCool saved Kelly Kelly from attack from Victoria and Layla.[17]

McCool was then re-branded as "The All-American Diva" where she began accompanying her on-screen friend Chuck Palumbo during matches against Jamie Noble.[1] After a series of matches between the men, Noble won a date with McCool by defeating Palumbo in a match.[1] In the storyline, Palumbo accidentally elbowed McCool during a match,[1] causing her to suffer a concussion.[18] The partnership was dissolved when McCool refused to accept his apology.[1] She then went on to compete in a series of contests with Victoria, Eve Torres, Maryse and Cherry to determine SmackDown!'s top Diva, winning the title.[3] On the March 28 episode of SmackDown!, McCool teamed up with Cherry to defeat Victoria and Maryse in a Wet and Wild match.[2] On the January 28 episode of SmackDown!, McCool defeated ECW's Layla El in a singles match.[2] On the April 11 episode of SmackDown!, McCool was defeated Victoria after interfrence from Natalya.[2] On the May 2 episode of SmackDown!, McCool teamed up with Cherry in losing effort to Victoria and Natalya.[2]

McCool as WWE Divas Champion in 2008

Championship reigns, LayCool and retirement (2008–2011)[edit]

Main article: LayCool

On the July 4 episode of SmackDown!, McCool won a Golden Dreams match to face Natalya for the WWE Divas Championship at the The Great American Bash. At The Great American Bash on July 20, 2008, McCool defeated Natalya to become the inaugural WWE Divas Champion.[19] On the July 25 episode of SmackDown!, McCool defeated Maryse in a non-title match.[2] On the August 8 episode of SmackDown!, Michelle teamed up with Maria and Cherry in a losing effort to Maryse, Victoria and Natalya.[2] The following week, McCool teamed up with Maria in losing effort to Maryse and Natalya after Maryse pinned Michelle.[2] She successfully defended her Divas Championship against Maryse at Unforgiven and on the September 19 episode of SmackDown.[2]

On the September 23 episode of ECW, McCool was defeated by Maryse in non-title singles match.[2] On the November 14 episode of SmackDown!, McCool successfully retained her Divas Championship against Maria. McCool competed in a losing effort to Maria in a non-title singles match on the December 5 episode of SmackDown!. After the match, McCool began showing signs of a heel turn and attacked Maria backstage.[2] On the December 19 episode of SmackDown!, Maryse became the number one contender for Divas Championship after Maryse defeated Maria with McCool at ringside.[2] On the December 26 episode of SmackDown, McCool lost the Divas Championship to Maryse.[20] After the match, McCool blamed Maria, the special guest referee of the match, for her loss, and attacked her, establishing herself as a villain.[20]

On the January 2, 2009 episode of SmackDown!, McCool attacked Eve Torres in an in-ring segment.[2][21] The following week on an episode of SmackDown!, McCool teamed up with Victoria in a losing effort to The Bella Twins, and after the match, McCool attacked Victoria.[2] On the January 16 episode of SmackDown!, McCool defeated Victoria in the latter's last match in WWE.[2] On the January 23 episode of SmackDown!, McCool teamed up with Natalya in a no-contest to The Bella Twins after Maria attacked McCool during the match.[2] On the February 6 episode of SmackDown!, McCool defeated Eve Torres in her debut match.[22] On the February 13 episode of SmackDown!, McCool was defeated by Maria after an interference from Torres.[2]

McCool then defeated Gail Kim on the May 22 episode of SmackDown! to become the number-one contender for the WWE Women's Championship, which she would win a month later, on June 28, at The Bash by defeating Melina.[1][23] She retained the championship against Melina during a rematch on July 26 at Night of Champions[24] and also during a "Lumberjill" match on the October 2 episode of SmackDown!.[25]

McCool then formed an alliance with Layla, and entered into a feud with Mickie James, which resulted in a five-on-five elimination tag team match at Survivor Series, which James' team won, when Melina pinned McCool in the finals.[26] James then became the number-one contender for McCool's championship at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs, where McCool successfully retained the championship after interference from Layla.[27][28][29] McCool, however, lost the WWE Women's Championship to James at the 2010 Royal Rumble, though she regained it on the February 26 episode of SmackDown! when special guest referee Vickie Guerrero interfered, costing James the championship.[30] On the April 23 episode of SmackDown!, McCool and Layla defeated Beth Phoenix and Mickie James, and humiliated Phoenix with a spray and table. The attack was a reference to the upcoming Extreme Makeover WWE Women's Championship match between McCool and Phoenix at Extreme Rules, which McCool would lose. On the May 14 episode of SmackDown! McCool and Layla faced the then-WWE Women's Champion Phoenix in a two–on–one handicap match, in which Layla pinned Phoenix and won the WWE Women's Championship.

On the July 30 episode of SmackDown!, McCool took the place of Layla in her WWE Women's Championship match against Tiffany, defeating her and retaining the title.[31] At Night of Champions McCool then defeated Melina to unify the WWE Women's Championship with the WWE Divas Championship, thus becoming the first ever WWE Unified Divas Champion. At Survivor Series on November 21, she lost the Divas Championship when Natalya defeated McCool and Layla in a two-on-one handicap match.[32] At TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs, McCool and Layla were defeated in the first-ever Divas tag team tables match by Natalya and Beth Phoenix.

On the March 14, 2011 episode of Raw, LayCool helped Vickie Guerrero defeat Trish Stratus in a No Disqualification match, to get a job on Raw. After the match, LayCool was attacked by Snooki and Stratus.[2] The following week on an episode of Raw, LayCool teamed up with Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero, defeating Trish Stratus and John Morrison in a handicap mixed tag-team match.[2] At WrestleMania XXVII on April 3, McCool, Layla and Dolph Ziggler (accompanied by Vickie Guerrero) lost to Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, Trish Stratus, and John Morrison in a six-person mixed tag team match after Snooki pinned McCool.[33]

On the April 8 episode of SmackDown!, LayCool began to fall out again after being defeated by Phoenix and Kelly Kelly, due to McCool avoiding being tagged in by Layla, blaming a back injury.[34] After more arguing in the following weeks, the team disbanded.[35] On the April 29 episode of SmackDown, McCool faced Layla in a singles match, ending in a double countout. After the match, Layla challenged McCool to a no disqualifications and no countout match at Extreme Rules. McCool accepted under one condition, which was that the loser leaves WWE.[36] At Extreme Rules, McCool was pinned by Layla, forcing her to leave WWE. Afterwards, she was attacked by the debuting Kharma to write her out.[37]

Other media[edit]

During the week of November 5, 2007, she appeared on six episodes of Family Feud with several other WWE wrestlers and Divas.[38] She also appeared on the February 6, 2008 episode of Project Runway with Maria Kanellis, Candice Michelle, Torrie Wilson, Kristal Marshall, and Layla El.[39] On June 3, 2008, she appeared on The Best Damn Sports Show Period with John Cena.[40] In addition, McCool appeared in the January 2009 edition of Muscle & Fitness, along with Eve Torres and Maryse.[41][42] She also appeared on a special WWE edition of Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader.[43] In 2012, McCool appeared on Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition along with Kelly Kelly and Eve Torres.

Personal life[edit]

McCool was married to Jeremy Louis Alexander, whom she began dating in high school.[1][44][45] The couple divorced in 2006.[1] She married fellow wrestler Mark Calaway, known professionally as The Undertaker, on June 26, 2010, in Houston, Texas.[46][47] On August 1, 2012, it was announced that they were expecting their first child.[48] Kaia Faith Calaway was born on August 29, 2012, and is Calaway's fourth child and McCool's first.[49]

McCool is a Christian.[50] Her wrestling outfits incorporate Christian crosses.[51] She has had several wrestling-related injuries; in November 2007, she fractured her nose during an overseas WWE tour after Victoria's clothesline hit her in the face.[52] She has been hospitalized twice, had two broken ribs, a broken sternum, and a broken xiphoid process.[53] When she chose to leave the WWE, she mentioned that her foot had been injured for two months with a broken toe, torn joint capsules and a torn MCL.[54]

In wrestling[edit]

McCool performing the Wings of Love.

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Michelle McCool walking towards the ring with the WWE Women's Championship belt over her shoulder.
McCool at a Puerto Rico house show with the WWE Women's Championship


1 McCool originally injured her back during a WWE European tour. Because of pain in her back, she was unaware of the sternum injury until she went to the hospital for treatment. Tests also revealed that she had an enlarged kidney.[63]


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External links[edit]