Layla El has announced her retirement from WWE.
The former Womens and Divas champion spoke about the decision in an interview on the company website. She won the 2006 Diva Search, paving the way for her entry into WWE.
“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…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. But sometimes you just need to step out and take a risk and move onto the next phase in life.
I am proud that I did make it in the ring and I can truly walk away saying, “I’m a good wrestler.” I did really well and I was able to break through the negative and definitely prove people wrong.”
Layla also took time to thank previous female wrestlers and other company staff.
“Special thank you to Michelle McCool because with her, I had the best two-and-a-half years of my career…Kelly Kelly and I worked together from the get-go. Together, Kelly Kelly and I learned how to wrestle. We became very good friends and we had so much fun together…Fit Finlay because he gives the Divas 125 percent. He basically gave me my opportunity; he started training me and taught me. He took me under his wing and I’m forever grateful for that.
I also want to thank WWE’s executive offices, WWE’s talent relations group, the travel department, WWE producers and writers, make-up artists and seamstresses, and every other Superstar and Diva.”