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Layla

Women's champion Layla at Survivor Series, Sunday, November 21, 2010 at the American Airlines Arena, Miami, FL. Photo by Mike Mastrandrea

REAL NAME: Layla El
5'5", 163 pounds
BORN: June 25, 1978 in London, England

Born in London of Moroccan descent, Layla El was originally a dancer for Carnival Cruise Lines and the Miami Heat basketball team until in 2006 when she decided to enter the WWE Diva Search in 2006.

She was selected to be one of the finalists and eventually won the $250,000 Diva Search on August 16, 2006. It was a slow start to her career at WWE, she made her official debut at SummerSlam later that month being thrown into a shower by other WWE divas as an initiation of sorts.

It wasn’t until October that she made her in ring debut in a Diva Trick or Treat Battle Royal and she had her first singles match on December 1st in a losing effort against Kristal on Smackdown.

In 2007 she was moved to the ECW brand where she joined up with Brooke and Kelly Kelly to form Extreme Expose; the three members then were involved in a storyline where each of them were attracted to The Miz. The group was soon split up when Brooke left the company and once again Layla found herself mainly participating in tag team matches.

Eventually Layla was drafted to Raw and entered a storyline where Jamie Noble was attempting to impress her, however she turned on Noble and aligned herself with William Regal accompanying him to matches. Under a year later she was drafted again back to Smackdown.

It was on Smackdown where Layla started to blossom as a performer, she formed a tag team with Michelle McCool and the two of them called themselves Team Lay-Cool starting a feud with Mickie James over her weight.

At the TLC PPV in December 2009, Layla interfered in a match between McCool and James helping McCool retain the WWE Women’s Championship. On May 14th 2010 Lay-Cool faced Beth Phoenix for the Women’s Championship, it was in this match that Layla became the first ever British women’s champion and the first Diva Search contestant to become champion by pinning Phoenix.

The two members then began calling themselves co-women's champions and were both going to be defending the title. On July 30th it was decided by Smackdown general manager Theodore Long that only one member of Lay-Cool could be women’s champion and that they had to decide who that would be.

To combat this the team cut the Championship into two parts and in September McCool challenged WWE Divas Champion Melina to a unification match at Night Of Champions. McCool, with interference from Layla, was victorious and unified the two championship belts.

Lay-Cool entered a feud with Natalya and defended the WWE Divas Championship in a losing effort against Natalya at Survivor Series in November 2010.

-- bio by Darren Wood

LAYLA LINKS

  • Layla Photo Gallery