Layla El, former WWE Divas and co-Women’s Champion as well as the 2006 Diva Search winner, announced her retirement on Wednesday via an interview with WWE.com.
Here’s what she had to say about her decision to step away from the ring:
I feel like deciding to retire from the ring has been a hard decision to make because I’m passionate and I love performing. I’ve known everybody in that company now for nine years. They’re family. I spend more time with crew and Superstars and Divas on the roster than I did with anybody else. It becomes part of your life. And not only that, it’s hard walking away from the fans. Part of me feels a little bit guilty for walking away because [WWE fans] are 100 percent loyal and have supported me since 2006. I wouldn’t even have this job if the fans didn’t vote in the Diva Search. I was able to win that competition because of them and I was blessed. But sometimes you just need to step out and take a risk and move onto the next phase in life.
I’ve been traveling the world for nine years now and sometimes it’s just time to start the next chapter of your life. Traveling on the road was fun, but the older you get, it takes more time for recovery. I just got tired of the travel part.
This is especially sad news for fans of LayCool, so, me and Michelle McCool. She was an irregular fixture in the Divas division for almost 10 years, holding a number of unique accolades, such as being the first British woman to hold a WWE Championship, being the first Divas Search contestant to hold a championship and being the final woman to hold the classic Women’s Championship before it was retired in 2010.
Infinite bonus points to whichever wrestling promotion can reunite her with Michelle on the indies. Here are a few ridiculous things to remember her by: