Since being introduced by Enzo Amore and Big Cass in NXT, Carmella – real name Leah Van Dale – has used her charisma to create an impressive resume in the WWE. Along with managing Enzo & Cass, the “Princess of Staten Island” began competing in women’s matches on NXT live events, before making it to the WWE Network shows against names such as Emma, Blue Pants, Alexa Bliss, and Tessa Blanchard, among others. Carmella even had opportunities to win the NXT Women’s Championship, but was never able to capture the title.
After two years in NXT, Carmella was promoted to the SmackDown Live brand just weeks before SummerSlam. Just a month after moving to the main roster, Carmella was already involved in the Women’s Championship picture, competing in a six-pack challenge at Backlash. In the match also involving Becky Lynch, Alexa Bliss, Naomi, Nikki Bella, and Natalya. The match was won by Lynch, but propelled Carmella as among one of the top SmackDown Live women’s superstars.
Carmella’s Greatest Success on the Main Roster
Despite a small amount of experience as a wrestler, and not winning a title while in NXT, WWE saw a great deal of potential in Carmella. In June of 2017, Carmella won the first-ever women’s Money in the Bank match, which allowed her to compete for the title at any moment of her choosing. After holding the contract for 287 days, Carmella defeated Charlotte Flair to commence her first time holding a championship.
Carmella, as champion, earned some impressive victories, defeated Charlotte Flair again, and even being the second person in all of WWE to earn a pinfall victory against Asuka. She was defeated by Becky Lynch in a triple threat match also involving Charlotte Flair at the SummerSlam 2018 pay-per-view.
Since her title match loss, Carmella has been mainly involved in an alliance with R-Truth, who she won season two of the Mixed Match Challenge with. Along with winning the SmackDown Women’s Championship, Money in the Bank match, and Mixed Match Challenge, Carmella also added winning the Women’s Battle Royal match at the WrestleMania 35 kickoff show to her pro wrestling resume. She also has two reigns as 24/7 Champion.
Carmella’s Opportunity for a Fresh Start
During the WWE draft, Carmella was sent to SmackDown, thus ending her tag team alliance with R-Truth (who was drafted exclusively to WWE Raw). Her exclusive move to the blue brand was reportedly due to her relationship with WWE commentator Corey Graves, which was publicized on the Total Divas show.
Regardless of her personal life contributing to being exclusive to WWE SmackDown, Carmella has a fresh start in attempting to win the Women’s Championship for a second time. Despite only having six years of pro wrestling experience, Carmella has become well acclimated to the business and has also become a very successful WWE superstar. With the success that she has already acquired on the main roster, another championship reign could be in the not-too-distant future of Carmella.