It’s been a long time coming, but it has finally be confirmed in the last few minutes – Kelly Kelly and WWE have parted ways. In the full statement released on WWE.com, it says:
WWE has come to terms on the release of WWE Diva Kelly Kelly as of today, September 28, 2012. WWE wishes Kelly Kelly the best in all her future endeavors.
In a statement released on her Twitter, Kelly says:
Had an amazing 6 years with wwe made great friends and have the most loyal and amazing fans in the world thanks for the never ending support. Have exciting things in the works can’t wait to share them with you stay tuned.
Kelly’s last mention on WWE TV was on August 20 when her image was in the pre-match graphic for the Divas battle royal to determine the number one contender to the Divas title (which Kaitlyn won) but she never appeared on the show itself. Her last matches were on house shows as part of the Japan and China tour in August, with the final one being on August 11 in Shanghai, defeating Natalya, while her final appearance on TV was a brief comeback earlier that month, beating Eve Torres on August 6 after being backstage for Raw 1,000 in July, but was never used on TV.
Barbie Blank was with WWE for six years (that’s as long as Trish Stratus‘ tenure), having joining the promotion in 2006 at the age of 19 after being spotted while working as a model. She debuted in June of that year as an exhibitionist stripper, who was reportedly given tips on how to be sexy by Vince McMahon, if you can imagine that. She started stepping between the ropes in late-2007 before being drafted to Raw the following year. Eventually, she became the most popular woman on the roster, despite her less-than-stellar skills, and won the Divas Championship on the June 20 Raw when she was voted to take on Brie Bella by the fans. She held the belt until October 2 until she was beaten by Beth Phoenix at Hell In A Cell, and never really reached the heights to challenge for the title again. Aside from Divas action, one of her biggest career highs was in February last year when she teamed with Edge to beat Lay-Cool and Dolph Ziggler in a handicap match to allow her partner to retain his World Heavyweight Championship – she was the one who scored the pin on Layla to end the match, using Edge’s own spear finish. Funnily enough, she was “fired” immediately afterwards by GM Vickie Guerrero – only to be rehired several weeks later by Teddy Long.
In recent months, Kelly has distanced herself from the company, and has been expanding her horizons into mainstream media, which has seen her grace the cover of next year’s Maxim Calendar (and take a high spot in their Hot 100 list), as well as taking bookings for signing appearances independently of WWE with ATA management. Her leaving is not a huge surprise, but her brief return made it appear as if she would still partake in sporadic appearances in the future while being afforded the opportunity of seeking projects outside of the very closed WWE Universe, but apparently that did not come to fruition. Vince McMahon is known to vehemently hate agents, and it seems that unless the company was going to be able to tie her down to a full-time WWE-exclusive deal, they have decided to part ways. Truth be told, she’d done all she could in WWE, having had her extended title run – and it seems nobody was waiting for that Kelly Kelly heel run.