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Layla El
Ring name(s) Layla
Layla El
Billed height 1.58 m (5 ft 2 in)
Billed weight 54 kg (120 lb)
Born 25 June 1978 (1978-06-25) (age 31)[1]
London, England[1]
Resides Miami, Florida[1]
Billed from Miami, Florida
Trained by Jesse Hernandez
PWA Staff
Dave Finlay
FCW Staff
Debut 10 July 2006

Layla El (born 25 June 1978)[1] is a British dancer, model and professional wrestler of Moroccan descent, currently residing in the United States. She is employed by World Wrestling Entertainment as a WWE Diva and appears on the SmackDown brand as Layla.[2]

Before joining WWE in 2006, El was a dancer for Carnival Cruise Lines,[3] the Miami Heat franchise of the NBA,[4] and also danced for Kanye West at the MTV Video Music Awards.[5]


World Wrestling Entertainment

Diva Search

El first entered the world of professional wrestling after her trainer suggested she try out for the $250,000 WWE Diva Search contest in 2006.[6] During the contest, she won a week's worth of "immunity" on the 14 July (taped 10 July) episode of SmackDown! after winning Sgt. Slaughter's "Diva Boot Camp" obstacle course[7]—despite having jumped over several tires in the tire hop section of the course and not having both of her feet cross the finish line due to her doing a split.[8] She won another competition, the "Diva Search Talent Show" on the 11 August SmackDown!, when she danced dressed as a police officer.[9] She won the Diva Search, beating out JT Tinney and Jen England in the finals on 16 August.

SmackDown! (2006-2007)

Layla on SmackDown!

She made her first "official" WWE appearance at the 2006 SummerSlam pay-per-view in a backstage segment with several other divas. During the segment, the other women initially taunted and teased her before revealing that "it was all in fun" and part of an "initiation" of sorts. Afterward they dragged her into the showers, fully clothed, where they proceeded to spank her while laughing.[10][11]

The week after SummerSlam, El made her debut as a member of the SmackDown! brand in an interview with Mike "The Miz" Mizanin—although he did not allow her the chance to say much, spending most of the time talking about himself.[12]view Subsequently, she was not seen on WWE TV for weeks, reappearing during the 22 September SmackDown! and getting into confrontations with both Kristal and Jillian Hall.[13] She again went missing for a number of weeks after this, resurfacing at October's No Mercy event and embarrassing the Miz by tricking him into getting a lap dance from Big Dick Johnson while he was blindfolded and expecting it to be from her as a birthday gift.[10]

Layla made her official in-ring debut, in a "Diva Trick-or-Treat Battle Royal", on 24 October. The match ended in controversial fashion when she was pulled from the ring apron by The Miz, causing her to lose.[14] This led to Miz and Kristal briefly teaming in a feud against Layla and the Boogeyman.

ECW and Extreme Exposé (2007-2008)

On 23 January 2007, Layla was moved to the ECW brand.[15] On ECW she joined up with Brooke and Kelly Kelly as Extreme Exposé, performing a weekly dance segment with the group, which Layla choreographed.[16] Extreme Expose danced weekly on the ECW show for months,[17] until the Miz was also placed on the brand, at which point all three ladies began actively pursuing him.[18] When Kelly shifted her attentions towards the much more slovenly looking Balls Mahoney,[19] Layla, Brooke, and Miz openly mocked her. On 1 November, Brooke was released from WWE,[20] and Extreme Exposé dissolved as a group, leaving Kelly and Layla to enter an ongoing rivalry with more active in-ring roles.

Raw and managing William Regal (2008-2009)

As part of the 2008 WWE Supplemental Draft, Layla was drafted to the Raw brand, becoming the first WWE Diva to have been an official member of all three brands.[21] On the 7 July episode of Raw, Layla made her debut in a tag team match with Jillian Hall, losing to Mickie James and Kelly Kelly, who had been revealed as the newest member of the Raw brand earlier that night. A storyline between her and Jamie Noble soon began, where she started to become a fan favorite, with Noble attempting to impress her with his matches, only to be defeated or thoroughly squashed by his opponents. Noble then finally defeated William Regal, which impressed Layla. On the 15 September episode of Raw, Layla became a villain by siding with Regal after Noble continuously tried to impress her, despite picking up a victory over Paul Burchill. She came out to the entryway, feigning that she would apologize, before calling Noble a loser and choosing to stay with Regal. Layla was in the corner of William Regal when he captured his second Intercontinental Championship, defeating Santino Marella on November 10, 2008.[22] On 5 April Layla competed in a Divas battle royal at WrestleMania XXV, but the match was won by Santina Marella.[23]

Return to SmackDown (2009–present)

On 15 April 2009, Layla was drafted to the SmackDown brand as part of the 2009 Supplemental Draft.[24] She started a scripted rivalry with Eve Torres, and lost both a dance contest and an arm wrestling match to Torres, before losing a match to her on the 29 May episode of SmackDown.[25] After Torres defeated Layla again on the 18 June episode of WWE Superstars, the two shook hands.[26] Layla picked up her first victory in a singles match since returning to SmackDown by defeating Melina. She then formed an alliance with Michelle McCool, later called Team Lay-Cool. Team Lay-Cool began a scripted rivalry with Mickie James, making fun of her weight and vowing to make her leave. At the Survivor Series pay-per-view, McCool's team lost to James' team. At TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs Layla interfered in the WWE Women's Championship match between McCool and James, helping McCool to retain the championship. In January 2010, at the Royal Rumble, Layla came out in a fatsuit mocking James prior to the championship match between McCool and James; however, the mockery backfired, as James won the championship from McCool. On the 12 February 12 episode of SmackDown, Layla and McCool defeated James in a handicap match made by Vickie Guerrero, who had been accidentally humiliated by James backstage. At the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view, Layla and McCool defeated Raw's Gail Kim and Maryse in an inter-brand Divas tag team match.

Other media

Since winning the Diva Search contest El has also done some modeling work. She has been featured in the magazines King,[27] Smooth,[28] and was the cover-girl for the first ever issue of Liquid.[29] She also posed for FHM with the other members of Extreme Exposé.[30] Layla, along with Beth Phoenix and Candice Michelle, appeared in the February 2009 issue of Flex Magazine.[16][31]

In April 2007, Layla, along with Kelly Kelly, Brooke, Torrie Wilson, Ashley and Maryse, were filmed for Timbaland's music video "Throw It On Me" featuring The Hives.[32] Layla appeared as a stranger on game show Identity.

During the week of 5 November 2007, Layla appeared on five episodes of Family Feud with other WWE superstars.[16] On 6 February 2008 she appeared on Project Runway with several WWE Divas as part of the week's challenge.[33] She also appeared on the 13 April 2008 episode of Celebrity Fit Club Boot Camp as a trainer.[16]

In wrestling

Championships and accomplishments


  1. ^ a b c d "Layla El". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-06-25. 
  2. ^ "Profile". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2009-04-15. 
  3. ^ Eckinger, Helen. "Hot moves: Heat dancers' hopes for stardom". The Miami Herald. Archived from the original on 2006-06-15. Retrieved 2008-03-01. "Layla, who preferred not to give her age, has been with the Heat Dancers for two years. Formerly a dancer for Carnival Cruise Lines" 
  4. ^ "HEAT Dancer 2005: Layla". Retrieved 2007-04-15. 
  5. ^ "Superstars > Divas > Diva Search > Layla El > Profile". World Wrestling Entertainment. Archived from the original on 2007-06-15. Retrieved 2007-04-15. 
  6. ^ a b Cohen, Eric. "Interview With Layla El, Winner of the 2006 Diva Search". Retrieved 2007-04-15. 
  7. ^ Zeigler, Zach. "Layla earns immunity". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2007-04-15. 
  8. ^ "SmackDown! Results - July 14 2006". Pro Wrestling Torch. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-04-15. "Layla El [...] was next [...]She screwed up the tires again and looked to have skipped some." 
  9. ^ Medalis, Kara. "Divas show their talents". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2007-04-15. 
  10. ^ a b "Wrestling’s historical cards". Pro Wrestling Illustrated presents: 2007 Wrestling almanac & book of facts (Kappa Publishing Group): 121–122. 2007. 
  11. ^ "Girls of FHM - Extreme Exposé's Layla". Retrieved 2007-08-31. 
  12. ^ Tello, Craig. "Friday knightmare". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2006-08-25. 
  13. ^ "SmackDown! results - 22 September 2006". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-04-15. 
  14. ^ DiFino, Lennie (2006-10-24). "Mutiny". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2006-10-27. 
  15. ^ Tello, Craig. "Premature rumblings". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2007-01-23. 
  16. ^ a b c d Varsallone, Jim (2009-07-11). "WWE diva, former Heat dancer Layla returning to Miami; Tye Dye Guy as Raw guest GM in Orlando?". The Miami Herald. Archived from the original on 2009-07-12. Retrieved 2009-07-12. 
  17. ^ "Kelly Kelly". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-02-09. 
  18. ^ "ECW results - 19 June 2007". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-09-07. 
  19. ^ "ECW results - 7 August 2007". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-09-07. 
  20. ^ "Brooke released". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2007-11-01. 
  21. ^ "Official 2008 WWE Supplemental Draft Results". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2008-06-25. 
  22. ^ "Results: Union Jacked". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2008-11-12. 
  23. ^ Raymond, Katie A.. "Results:Say hello to my twin sister". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2009-04-05. 
  24. ^ "2009 WWE Supplemental Draft results". World Wrestling Entertainment. 2009-04-15. Retrieved 2009-04-15. 
  25. ^ McNamara, Andy (2009-05-29). "Smackdown: Numbers game too much for Jeff Hardy". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2009-06-02. 
  26. ^ Mackinder, Matt (2009-06-18). "WWE Superstars: More Thursday night boredom". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  27. ^ "Layla El - King Magazine". Retrieved 2007-04-15. 
  28. ^ Medalis, Kara A.. "Layla gets ‘Smooth’ and sexy". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2007-08-15. 
  29. ^ Medalis, Kara A.. "Layla is LIQUID's premiere cover girl". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2006-12-05. 
  30. ^ Medalis, Kara A.; Tello, Craig; Zeigler, Zack. "Diva Dish: FHM goes Extreme". WWE. Retrieved 2007-08-10. 
  31. ^ Medalis, Kara A. (2009-01-11). "Raw Divas ‘Flex’ some muscle". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2009-07-12. 
  32. ^ Medalis, Kara A.. "The Sexiest Women in L.A.". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2007-04-20. 
  33. ^ Medalis, Kara A.; Zeigler, Zack. "Diva Dish: 'Runway' Divas". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2008-02-10. 
  34. ^ Shannon, James (2009-06-05). "A look at another strong Smackdown show - TV report for 6/5". Wrestling Observer/Figure Four Online. Retrieved 2009-09-12. 
  35. ^ Parks, Greg (2009-08-14). "Parks' WWE SmackDown Report 8/14: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of the show, including C.M. Punk vs. John Morrison". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 2009-09-12. 
  36. ^ Parks, Chris (2009-09-04). "Parks' WWE SmackDown Report 9/4: Complete coverage of the Friday night show, including Matt Hardy vs. C.M. Punk". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 2009-09-12. 
  37. ^ "The PWI Female 50 Rankings: Who Is The Top Women's Wrestler In The World?". Pro Wrestling Illustrated. 2008-09-18. Retrieved 2008-09-19. 

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