Former WWE Diva Kelly Kelly revealed in a recent episode of Renee Paquette’s podcast that her first day in WWE involved her taking her clothes off. Kelly, whose real name is Barbie Blank, joined WWE in 2006 as an “exhibitionist” as part of the relaunch of ECW as a brand.

Kelly recounted how Paul Heyman, who was the Head of ECW at the time, put forward the idea for her debut. She said that on her first day, she had to take her clothes off, and her family was shocked when they saw it.

“The first day I was an exhibitionist, and I had to take my clothes off. And my poor family are watching and they’re like ‘what are you doing?!’ And I told them ‘Just wait.’ Oh my God. And I was just ‘look, it’s on me, for a few months. I promise.’ Just to say that’s how I started is so hilarious. 

“I was only in developmental for literally two months. Paul Heyman called me and he’s ‘Barbie I have this idea for you. You’re going to be this exhibitionist, but you have a jealous boyfriend [Mike Knox] who comes out and covers you up every week.’ And he told me ‘it’s just a storyline to get your foot in the door. We know you can’t wrestle yet. But we think it’s a good idea.’ And I just thought ‘well I’m not going to say no. Let’s do it!’ I remember Kasama [veteran backstage WWE producer.] Kasama had the role of having to really teach me how to dance.”


Kelly, who was just 19 years old at the time, said that while she couldn’t wrestle yet, Heyman and the team thought it was a good idea to get her foot in the door. She went on to explain that Kasama, a veteran backstage WWE producer, taught her how to dance, while Vince McMahon himself was the one who did the most work.

“Then we had to go and show Vince. And Vince had [his own ideas on the dance.] And I remember being like ‘this is somebody that I used to watch when I was a kid.’ And this is Vince McMahon, teaching me how he wants me to do this dance and striptease. They wanted me to watch the Carmen Elektra dance tapes. ‘Okay, I’ll watch whatever,'” Kelly recalled.

Kelly also spoke about how she felt she needed to prove herself in the land of Extreme. She was grateful to be a part of ECW, where she was able to grow as a performer and work with great mentors such as Tommy Dreamer, RVD, and Andrew “Test” Martin, who passed away. She also recounted how she was hit with a Singapore cane and was tested frequently in the beginning, but she proved herself and earned respect from her colleagues.

“I was thrown into it at 19, I mean I was the youngest female that had been brought up. And I got thrown into ECW which is hardcore. You see me, this young 19-year-old who has no idea what she signed up for. I mean, I’m lucky I started there because honestly, I can’t imagine starting at Raw or SmackDown because it’s such a higher level. And I was able to really grow in ECW and I had great [mentors.] Tommy Dreamer, RVD & Andrew ‘Test’ Martin who’s passed away. He took me under his wing and I thank God for him.

“Everybody treated me like their little sister too like they wanted to take care of me and kind of protect me. I feel like I got tested a lot in the beginning. I got hit with a Singapore cane… I just went through it. I got tested and I think I proved myself because they were like ‘we’re going to see if this girl can handle these things.'”

After her stint in ECW, Kelly moved to Raw and SmackDown before leaving WWE in 2012 as a one-time WWE Divas Champion. Despite her departure, she has made a handful of returns to WWE over the years, including at last year’s Royal Rumble Premium Live Event.

What do you think of Kelly Kelly’s debut in WWE? Did you enjoy her storyline as an exhibitionist or do you think it was inappropriate? Leave a comment.

Steve Carrier

Steve is the Founder of RingsideNews. He has been writing about professional wrestling since 1996. He first got into website development at the time and has been focusing on bringing his readers the best professional wrestling news at it's highest quality.

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