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WWE Diva Kelly Kelly to judge ugly sweater contest in Tampa

You probably won't see wrestling diva Kelly Kelly wearing a tacky Christmas sweater covered with lights and sequined Santas anytime soon.

But she will be at Jackson's Bistro judging the seventh annual ugly sweater contest on Friday.

Kelly Kelly, 24, grew up in Jacksonville but has called Tampa home for the past year and a half. A competitor with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) since 2006, she won her first Divas Championship this year.

Kelly Kelly, whose real name is Barbara "Barbie'' Blank, upped her celebrity status this month by landing on the cover of Maxim. She'll have a meet and greet with VIP guests at Jackson's Christmas party, which will benefit the Children's Home.

In an interview with tbt*, she spoke about getting into wrestling and the actual pain involved.

How did you end up on this month's cover of Maxim?

When I got named on the Maxim Hot 100 list ... they called me and said, "We want you to be on the back cover of the Christmas issue." I was like, "Oh, that's awesome. I'd love to." So we're doing the shoot and I'm like, "Who's going to be on the cover?" They were very coy about it and said, "We don't really know yet. We have some people in mind." A week later, I get a phone call from Maxim and they said, "We were just kidding. You're on the cover and the back cover." It was really cool how they surprised me.

How did you get your ring name?

It was my first week and Vince (McMahon) asked me to come up with five names that I like. So I wrote down five names and, honestly, Kelly wasn't one of them. Later in the day, they said, "Okay, we came up with Kelly." (laughs) The next week I come to work and look at the script and my name had changed to Kelly Kelly. Vince thought it was cute.

Did you ever think you'd get into wrestling?

I was in my first year of college and wanted to be an anchorwoman for ESPN. I love sports and I had an athletic background. When I got the phone call from my agent who said, "The WWE called me and they are interested in you." I was like, "Oh, my God," because I used to watch it when I was younger. I said, "Okay, let's try it." They kicked my butt for a week. I was throwing up. I had bruises all over.

Is wrestling really painful?

Your body is not meant to do the things we do. The girls are brutal. We really punch each other and pull hair because we want it to look like we're beating each other up. I feel like the girls take it to another level. A lot of times those tears on my face are real.

What will you be looking for when judging the ugly sweater contest?

I was looking online and love the ones that have the lights on them. I'm going to be looking for some with lights and some that you wouldn't expect to see.

Have you ever worn one?

Probably when I was younger. I'm sure my mom put me in a few.


Jackson's Bistro's seventh annual Ugly Sweater Christmas Party featuring WWE Diva and Maxim cover girl Kelly Kelly is from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. Friday at 601 S Harbour Island Blvd., Tampa. Tickets start at $8, or $50 for VIP and a meet and greet with Kelly Kelly. Proceeds will benefit the Children's Home. Go to or call (813) 265-1234.

WWE Diva Kelly Kelly to judge ugly sweater contest in Tampa 12/08/11 [Last modified: Thursday, December 8, 2011 2:48pm]
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