REAL NAME: MARYSE OUELLET
NICKNAMES: Maryse Ouellet, Maryse
SIZE: 5-foot-8, 125 pounds
BORN: January 21, 1983 in Montreal, Quebec
Maryse Ouellet was born in Montreal but grew up in New Brunswick. Later in life, however, she returned to her birthplace to continue her studies and take up a career in modelling. This martial arts black belt (she has practiced since the age of eight) would go on to graduate with a degree in Business Administration, win Miss Hawaiian Tropic Canada 2003, and finish second at the international final of Miss Hawaiian Tropic 2004. In a strange reversal, Ouellet appeared between the covers of Playboy (summer of 2006) before becoming a WWE Diva.
It was during that same summer that Ouellet tried out for the WWE's Diva Search. She was quickly eliminated in the contest, which was eventually won by Layla El. But WWE still showed interest in her, and invited her to drop in on its developmental territory, Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), and have a look around. Ouellet liked what she saw and would be assigned there for training in late August after signing a development contract.
Ouellet made her first TV appearance for a SmackDown show in Montreal toward the end of September, showing up on the TitanTron to welcome viewers to the show's season premiere on the new CW Network. But she spent most of her time in OVW, making her in-ring debut on a house show in December before she started doing dark matches for OVW TV in March. When Florida Championship Wrestling opened as the WWE's training facility, Ouellet was transferred there in September 2007.
The call to the bigs came in early 2008, and Ouellet became a regular on SmackDown. Her first big angle was usurping Cherry as the valet of Deuce and Domino. Later, she joined Natalya Neidhart and Victoria in their feud against Michelle McCool, Kelly Kelly, and Maria Kanellis.
She lost her pay-per-view in-ring debut, succumbing to McCool at Unforgiven. Ouellet would become a thorn in McCool's side as she refused to allow her defeats to hinder her pursuit of the Divas' Championship. She finally succeeded in late December, beating McCool for the title. But only a couple days later, she dislocated her knee at a house show in a match against the Bella Twins. In spite of the injury, WWE kept the belt on her until she healed.
Ouellet returned February 20 to team up with her former nemesis McCool, as both had an axe to grind with Kanellis. Both also developed feuds with WWE Women's Champion Melina and a returning Gail Kim. The tensions between all the Divas built up toward WrestleMania 25, where 24 of the girls and Santino Marella in drag participated in a Battle Royal to determine who would be crowned "Miss WrestleMania." ("Santina," as it turned out.)
Soon thereafter, Ouellet was drafted to Raw and Melina to SmackDown. Mickie James would also enter the feud against Ouellet, and beat her in a non-title bout. Ouellet would manage to retain her title in championship bouts against Kim and Kelly, but still had James to contend with.
---compiled by Richard Kamchen
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