HeadLocker — Jay Shannon
OWW Wrestler of the Weel: Maryse
Our resident philosopher, Jay Shannon, profiles the new Diva Champion, Maryse. The Canadian upset Michelle McCool on Smackdown to become the second Diva Champion.
Michelle McCool seemed to have an Iron Grip on the Diva title. That grip came loose on Smackdown, as the former Playboy (Canada) Playmate, Maryse Ouellet, took the gold. Maryse has gone from a pin-up to a pinner. She is the new Diva Champion and this week’s OWW: Wrestler of the Week.
The Bunny Queen
Maryse Ouellet was born on January 21, 1983 in Canada. She is of French Canadian decent. Many fans mistakenly think she is the daughter of Pierre Ouellet of the Quebecers, but the two are not related. Maryse began as a beauty contestant, winning Miss Hawaiian Tropic Canada in 2003. The following year, she came in second in the International Miss Hawaiian Tropic contest.
Maryse was scouted to become a Playmate for the Canadian edition of Playboy. She appeared in several photo shoots between 2004 and 2007, including appearing in the 2007 Girls of Canada calendar.
The Birth of a Diva
in 2006, Maryse tried out for the Diva Search Challenge. She actually made it to the final eight. After she was eliminated, she was invited to Ohio Valley Wrestling. It was, at the time, one of the developmental territories for the WWE. She spent 4 days there in mid-August. The trainers were so impressed with Maryse’s dedication to her dream that they offered her a developmental contract. She initially began as ringside eye candy and an occasional bikini contest contestant.
Maryse’s next step in her evolution came as the manager of La Resistance. She also began to compete in the ring against numerous other future Divas, including Beth Phoenix, Alicia Fox, Kelly Kelly and Katie Lea (Burchill). Maryse was moved to Florida Championship Wrestling in the summer of 2007. She continued her wrestling, managing and interviewing duties there.
Maryse’s first appearance on Smackdown came about when Smackdown appeared in Canada. She used her knowledge of French to welcome the French Canadian crowd to the 2006 Season Premiere of Smackdown. Between January and March of 2007, Maryse showed up in numerous sexy vignettes. She would welcome fans to Smackdown while striking sexy poses.
Finally, on March 27, 2007, Maryse made her wrestling debut as a partner to Michelle McCool. They battled Katie Lea and Victoria. Maryse’s first run in the WWE was as a face. Creative figured her good looks and sexy voice would have the fans loving her. The fans rejected her.
Maryse was re-packaged as a villainess. She portrayed a snobby aristocrat (almost a feminine version of the original Hunter Hearst Helmsley character). Maryse began to feud with Cherry. When Maryse replaced Cherry as the valet to Deuce and Domino, Cherry vowed revenge. The two women would exchange victories over each other. The feud would end when Cherry was released.
Maryse then moved on to focus on Michelle McCool’s Diva title. Maryse lost her first few shots at the Diva title. Between shots at Michelle’s title, Maryse also feuded with Maria. On the December 26, 2008 edition of Smackdown, Maryse upset McCool for the Diva title. Two days later, she took a vicious Dropkick to the knee from one of the Bella Twins. It was unclear if Maryse would have to give up the title, due to an injury.
Maryse is looking at a long career in the WWE. She may have a small vacation to rehab the knee, if it is damaged. Maryse shocked most of the critics when she took the Diva belt from Michelle McCool. Even if she has to give up the strap, she did take the belt from the second most dominant female in the WWE. For winning the Diva title, Maryse is this week’s OWW: Wrestler of the Week.
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