WWE Hall of Fame 2017: Beth Phoenix

To be inducted by Natalya

The youngest ever inductee into the Hall of Fame, Elizabeth Kocianski-Copeland was an active WWE superstar for only six years, however in those six year she carved out a niche for herself that ensured she remained relevant throughout, and post-retirement guaranteed her a place in history that will now become confirmed with her induction into the WWE Hall of Fame.

Following a successful high school amateur wrestling stint, she turned pro in 2001 and honed her trade across various independent promotions. She caught the attention of Ohio Valley Wrestling in 2004 and a year later signed a development deal with WWE. Six months on she had debuted on Raw, however her happiness over such a quick ascent from indies to the main WWE roster in such a short space of time was tempered by a broken jaw suffered only a month after her Raw debut. The road to recovery was a long one, and during that time she returned to OVW.

Returning to Raw in mid-2007, it did not take her long to claim her first WWE championship, winning the Women’s Title at No Mercy in October, a reign that went on to last six months, dropping the belt to Mickie James in London. Several months later, she regained the championship and held it for a further 5 months. She invariably stayed in and around the title picture, always viewed as a reliable hand in the ring with the influx of new, inexperienced female wrestlers that were coming into the company.

In April 2010, Phoenix started her third reign with the Women’s Championship, defeating Michelle McCool at Extreme Rules, though she only held it for two weeks, losing to Layla. Soon after, the title was unified with the Divas Championship, meaning there was now a title that Phoenix had not yet held. That was soon rectified in October 2011 at Hell in a Cell. Another long reign followed, ending at the hands of Nikki Bella in April 2012. Six month later, Phoenix’s contract expired and she decided not to re-sign, opting instead to retire from the business and focus on a family with her boyfriend at the time, Adam ‘Edge’ Copeland.

Now married, with two daughters, her and Copeland can both look back on successful wrestling careers, and she specifically will soon be etched in history as a former Divas champion and three-time Women’s champion. Inducted by her long-time friend Natalya, Phoenix will stand before her peers and the next generation of female wrestlers as she takes her place in the Hall of Fame.

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