Getting to Know... Kelly Kelly

Once known as Kelly Kelly, former pro wrestler Barbie Blank makes a new name for herself.

By Kerry Speckman • From the April 2013 edition of Jacksonville Magazine


At 19, Barbie Blank was a part-time model and student at FCCJ (now Florida State College) with dreams of being a broadcast journalist—until she got a phone call that changed her life: “Would you be interested in becoming a professional wrestler?” After training with Bill DeMott (aka “the hardest trainer in the business”) in Atlanta, Blank proved her mettle and was signed to a contract with WWE and given the name “Kelly Kelly.” Known for her innocent demeanor and gymnastics feats, Blank became a fan favorite, eventually winning the WWE Diva Championship in 2011. She retired from the sport last year but has remained in the public eye with appearances in a Timbaland music video, on
The Price Is Right and on the cover of Maxim. Blank, 26, currently lives in Newport Beach, California, with her boyfriend, Sheldon Souray of the Anaheim Ducks, and bulldog, Motley.

Here are a few personal insights we picked up from the hometown girl:

• In her first pro wrestling appearance, she was just “Kelly,” but WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon doubled the pleasure after being inspired by “The Kelly Song” sung by Woody on Cheers.

• Professional wrestling may be scripted, she says, but “you can’t fake being hit in the face or in the back with a chair.” Being in the ring for seven years, she got off relatively easy with only broken ribs and a burst bursa sac in her knee.

• Besides family and friends, what Blank misses most about Jacksonville is the warm water at the beach, Southern hospitality, Beach Road Chicken and Bono’s Bar-B-Q.

• In addition to her own calendar, Blank sells outfits she’s worn in the ring and on photoshoots. You can have one for $250-$1,000.

• Blank says she owes her success to her family—especially her sister Mary, dad Ron, grandmother Mary and her mom Robin who told her, “College will always be there, but an opportunity like this won’t.”

• She’s currently working on a fitness DVD that demonstrates how to work out like a Diva, which is convenient since she admits to being addicted to French fries, pizza and cupcakes.

• Her signature move in the ring: the stink face (and, yes, it’s as bad as it sounds.)