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Beth Phoenix

Phoenix in 2005
Ring name(s) Beth Phoenix
Fabulous Firebird[1]
Firebird[2]
Phoenix[1]
Height 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)[2]
Billed height 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)[3][4]
Billed weight 150 lb (68 kg)[1]
Born November 24, 1980 (1980-11-24) (age 29)[2]
Elmira, New York[2]
Resides Tampa, Florida[3]
Billed from Buffalo, New York[4][5]
Elmira, New York
Oklahoma
Trained by Ron Hutchinson[1]
All Knighters (Joey Knight and Robin Knightwing)[2]
OVW
Debut May 2001[1]

Elizabeth Kocanski Carolan[2] (born November 24, 1980)[2] is an American professional wrestler, better known by her ring name Beth Phoenix. She is currently signed to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), where she wrestles on the SmackDown brand.[5]

Carolan had a successful amateur wrestling career in high school, before being trained by the All Knighters. After her debut in May 2001, she wrestled for numerous independent promotions, and was the inaugural GLORY Champion. She also appeared at the inaugural Shimmer shows. In 2004, she began working for Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), and signed a developmental contract with WWE in October 2005. She first debuted on WWE's Raw brand in May 2006, but suffered a legitimate broken jaw the following month. As a result, she had numerous surgeries and returned to OVW to further train. While there, she twice won the OVW Women's Championship, although her second reign is not officially recognised.

She returned to the Raw brand in July 2007, and was heavily pushed, dominating the other WWE Divas and gaining the nickname, "The Glamazon". She won her first WWE Women's Championship at the No Mercy pay-per-view in October, and held it for six months. She then developed an on-screen relationship with Santino Marella, dubbed "Glamarella", and won the Women's Championship for a second time in August 2008, although she lost it in January 2009. In January 2010, at the Royal Rumble she became the second woman in history to enter the Royal Rumble match.[6]

Contents

Amateur wrestling career

Carolan began wrestling on the Elmira, New York Notre Dame High School scholastic wrestling team. She was the first female varsity wrestler in her high school's history.[2][3][4] She became the North-East freestyle women's champion (72 kg weight class) in 1999.[2] She also became the women's champion (72 kg weight class) at the New York State Fair Tournament in 1999.[2] At the time she was also a member of USA Wrestling, a freestyle wrestling association.[3][7] Her life goal was, according to her, to become a professional wrestler, and she believed that having a solid amateur background would help her reach it.[7]

Professional wrestling career

Training

After graduating from high school in 1998, she enrolled in both a professional wrestling school and Canisius College in Buffalo, New York. Her first choice for wrestling school was Stu Hart's Dungeon, but because of the location, she decided on a more local school. At the school, she was trained by the All Knighters (Joey Knight and Robin Knightwing), who themselves had trained in the Hart Dungeon.[7] Her professional wrestling debut match was against Alexis Laree.[7] She then competed with various independent promotions, including Cleveland All Pro Wrestling and Apocalypse Wrestling, against both male and female wrestlers, using the name "Phoenix".[7][8] In 2002, she was one of the first wrestlers in GLORY, an independent organization for women, and was the inaugural champion.[2][8] She then joined Far North Wrestling (FNW), and was the only female wrestler in the promotion.[2] She defeated Joey Knight and Kevin Grace in 2003 to become the FNW Cruiserweight Champion.[2][7] Later in 2003 she took part in World Xtreme Wrestling's annual Women's Elite 8 tournament where she made it to the final, before losing to April Hunter. She returned two years later and defeated Nikki Roxx but was bested in the second round by eventual winner Alicia.[9] The following month, Phoenix appeared at the inaugural taping for the Ring of Honor sister promotion Shimmer Women Athletes; during Volume 1 she was pinned by Shimmer founder Allison Danger but scored an upset victory in a non-title match against NWA Midwest Women's Champion MsChif.[10]

Ohio Valley Wrestling (2004–2007)

She was invited to a tryout with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) in May 2004, and then relocated to Louisville, Kentucky to work for their developmental territory, Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW).[2][7] She debuted on OVW television in July 2004, having expanded her ring name to "Beth Phoenix", and became the on-screen girlfriend and valet of Chris Masters.[2][7] The storyline was short lived, and the following month Phoenix was repackaged as the manager of Aaron "The Idol" Stevens.[2] She signed a developmental contract with WWE on October 20, 2005, the same month that she broke her hand.[2][7] The duo was then joined by Shelly Martinez who Beth soon feuded with in early 2006.[2] Phoenix then stopped appearing regularly on OVW after debuting on WWE's Raw television show.

On August 16, 2006, Phoenix returned to action in OVW, defeating Serena.[11] Phoenix began regularly competing for the OVW Women's Championship, unsuccessfully challenging the champion ODB in a battle royal and a four-way match, which was won by Serena.[12][13] At the October 4, 2006 OVW television tapings, however, Phoenix defeated Serena to win the championship.[14] She lost the championship to Victoria Crawford in a gauntlet match on October 20, and won it back the next day; however, Crawford's title reign is not officially recognised, and as a result, neither is Phoenix's second reign.[15][16][17] Phoenix officially dropped the championship in a gauntlet match at the November 1 television taping, after she was eliminated by Lea, who eventually won the match.[18]

On the November 6 episode of OVW, Phoenix came out with her own championship, and claimed to still be the women's champion.[1] As a result, a ladder match was set up, where the winner would become the undisputed OVW Women's Champion. Lea won the match and was presented with the title belt on the first show of 2007.[19] Throughout 2007, Phoenix continued to wrestle in numerous women's matches in OVW.[1] Beth made her last appearance in OVW at their August 15, 2007 TV tapings where she lost to Lea in a number one contenders match.[1][20]

World Wrestling Entertainment

Trish Stratus's ally (2006)

Phoenix during her ring entrance

Phoenix debuted on the May 8, 2006 episode of Raw as a fan favorite by attacking Mickie James while James was assaulting Trish Stratus.[4] After this incident, James berated Phoenix for "ruining everything" and questioned why she even showed up in the first place.[21][22] A week later, Phoenix was formally introduced by Stratus and then battered a distracted James on Stratus's behalf. When James finally escaped, Phoenix claimed that James had ruined her life and would not let her get away with it, before calling her a "psycho".[23] On the following episode of Raw, Phoenix attacked James after her match with Torrie Wilson.[24] Then, on the May 29, 2006 episode of Raw, Phoenix and Wilson (with Stratus in their corner) teamed together to defeat Candice Michelle and Victoria, who had James in their corner.[25] During the June 5, 2006 episode of Raw, Phoenix suffered a legitimately fractured mandible during a match with Victoria, but was able to continue the match, and ended up victorious despite the injury.[4][26][27] She spent a year having surgeries and recovering, including getting a titanium plate and nine screws placed in her jaw, but she was only out of action for two months, as she returned to action in OVW instead of on the main roster.[3][5]

The Glamazon (2007–2008)

On the July 9, 2007 episode of Raw, Phoenix returned as a villain when Melina claimed to be injured. Phoenix replaced Melina in a tag team as Jillian Hall's partner, and the two lost to Candice Michelle and Mickie James.[28] At the SummerSlam pay-per-view, Phoenix won the Interpromotional Divas Battle Royal to become the number one contender for Michelle's WWE Women's Championship.[29] Phoenix was then pushed as a dominating Diva, calling herself a "Glamazon" and attacking Mickie James, Jillian Hall and Michelle on the September 10 episode of Raw.[30][31] At Unforgiven, however, she failed to capture the Women's Championship from Michelle.[32] Their storyline rivalry continued when Phoenix pinned Michelle during a non-title mixed tag team match on Raw on September 24.[33] At the No Mercy pay-per-view in October, Phoenix defeated Michelle to win her first WWE Women's Championship.[34][35] She retained her belt on the October 22 Raw in a two out of three falls match, in which Candice Michelle was injured by Phoenix shaking the rope, causing her to fall off the top turnbuckle and legitimately break her clavicle.[36][37]

Beth Phoenix entering the ring

During a 10-Diva Tag match at Survivor Series, Phoenix's team lost after Melina was pinned by Mickie James.[38] On the November 26 episode of Raw, James defeated Melina in a number one contenders match for Phoenix's Women's Championship, setting up a title match between the two at Armageddon, a match in which Phoenix successfully defended her Women's title.[39][40] On New Year's Eve 2007, Phoenix successfully defended her title in a Triple Threat match against Melina and James, after pinning Melina.[41]

Phoenix along with then-ally Melina took part in the Playboy BunnyMania Lumberjack match at WrestleMania XXIV where she defeated Ashley and Maria by pinfall.[42] On April 14, Phoenix faced Mickie James with her Women's Championship on the line and lost, ending her reign as champion.[43] Phoenix also had a rematch on the May 5 episode of Raw but lost after Melina unintentionally hit her in the face with her boot.[44] On the May 11 episode of Raw, Phoenix and Melina partnered up to go against James and Maria. During the match, Melina unintentionally knocked Phoenix off of the ring apron, resulting in Phoenix abandoning Melina which allowed James and Maria to pick up the win. Later that night, in a backstage segment, Melina and Phoenix fought with one another, ending their alliance.[45] At Judgment Day, Phoenix failed to regain the Women's Championship in a Triple Threat match after James pinned Melina to retain the title.[46] At One Night Stand Phoenix defeated Melina in the first ever Divas "I Quit" match.[47] The next night on Raw, Phoenix teamed with Katie Lea Burchill to defeat Melina and James in a tag team match.[48] She, however, was pinned by James one week later in a non-title match and was once again attacked by Melina post-match.[49]

Glamarella (2008–2009)

Phoenix (right) and Santino Marella in November 2008 as Women's and Intercontinental Champion

After little over a month off television, Phoenix returned on the July 14 edition of Raw, where she defeated Santino Marella after he issued an open challenge to any WWE Superstar backstage, pinning him with a roll-up.[50] The storyline continued the following week after Marella lost to the returning D-Lo Brown. Phoenix confronted Marella after the match, and they briefly grappled with each other before unexpectedly sharing a kiss, to which both expressed considerable confusion.[51]

The two then became an onscreen supercouple, and the pairing of The Glamazon and Marella later became known by the portmanteau Glamarella.[52] Within the team she acted as the "straight-woman" of sorts, berating Marella or reacting in disbelief to his over the top, embarrassing antics. At SummerSlam, they defeated Kofi Kingston and Mickie James in an intergender tag team match. Phoenix pinned James, winning the Women's Championship, while Marella won Kingston's Intercontinental Championship.[4][52] She successfully defended the Women's Championship against Candice Michelle at No Mercy.[53]

On December 8, 2008, she received the "Slammy Award" for Diva of the Year.[54] Phoenix then began feuding with Melina, who returned from injury in November 2008. This storyline included the debut of Rosa Mendes, who was introduced as Phoenix's superfan. At the Royal Rumble in January 2009, Phoenix lost the Women's Championship to Melina.[55] At WrestleMania XXV, Phoenix competed in the 25 Diva battle royal, but was eliminated by Marella, who competed in drag, claiming to be his twin sister "Santina".[56] After WrestleMania, Glamarella split as Phoenix was unhappy with Santino pretending to be his twin sister 'Santina'. Phoenix had a brief scripted rivalry with both 'Santina' and Marella, and challenged 'Santina' for the "Miss WrestleMania" title, but was unsuccessful.[57][58][59]

Move to SmackDown (2009–present)

After a brief hiatus, Phoenix returned on the July 27 episode of Raw, teaming with Alicia Fox and Rosa Mendes in a losing effort to Mickie James, Gail Kim, and Kelly Kelly.[60] Phoenix had her first opportunity for the WWE Divas Championship being narrowly defeated by the defending champion, Mickie James, on the August 31 episode of Raw, after winning a number one contenders battle royal that same night.

On the October 12 episode of Raw, it was announced that Phoenix had been traded to the SmackDown brand for the first time in her career.[61] Phoenix made her in-ring debut for the brand on the October 30 episode of SmackDown, defeating Jenny Brooks, an "enhancement talent".[62] In January 2010, at the Royal Rumble, she entered the Royal Rumble match, eliminating The Great Khali, before she was eliminated by CM Punk. With her entry, she became only the second woman in history to enter the Royal Rumble match, with the first being Chyna.[6] After being told by Vickie Guerrero, the SmackDown consultant, that she would not be receiving a championship opportunity, Phoenix saved Tiffany from an attack by Guerrero, Michelle McCool and Layla on the March 12 episode of SmackDown.

Personal life

She was raised in Elmira, New York.[3] When she was eleven years old, she won a coloring contest with a prize of tickets to a television taping for World Wrestling Federation.[3] Carolan credits this as when she fell in love with professional wrestling.[3] She cites Owen Hart and Ted DiBiase as her favorite wrestlers.[7] As well as wrestling, Carolan played tennis and ran track in high school.[7] She is married to Joey Carolan, known by the ring-name Joey Knight[2][63]

Phoenix, along with Candice Michelle and Layla El, appeared in the February 2009 issue of FLEX Magazine.[64]

In wrestling

Phoenix as the WWE Women's Champion and with her Slammy Award
  • Nicknames
    • "The Glamazon"[3]
    • "The Total Package of Women's Wrestling"[8]
    • "The Über Diva"[2]
    • "The Fabulous Firebird"

Championships and accomplishments

Amateur wrestling

  • North-East Wrestling
    • Women's Champion (72 kg weight class) (1999)[2]
  • New York State Fair
    • Women's Champion (72 kg weight class) (1999)[2]

Professional wrestling

Phoenix as the WWE Women's Champion.
  • Far North Wrestling
    • FNW Cruiserweight Championship (1 time)[1][2]
  • GLORY Wrestling
    • GLORY Championship (1 time)[8]
  • The Wrestling Clothesline
    • TWC ranked her #3 of the best 50 female independent wrestlers in 2004[71]

a Phoenix's loss and subsequent second reign are not officially recognized.[15]

References

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