Beth Phoenix Challenges for the WWE Women’s Tag Titles at Wrestlemania

Beth Phoenix, the Elmira, NY native and WWE Hall of Famer, returns to the ring this Sunday

But this year, like a phoenix, Beth decided to arise from the ashes of retirement and head back into the ring.
The Elmira, NY native (and Canisius College grad) will be part of the Women’s Tag Team Championship match this Sunday at WrestleMania 35, to be held at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ.
Born Elizabeth Kocianski, she’s now taken the name Copeland after marrying another WWE Hall of Famer, Adam “Edge” Copeland.
She debuted with WWE in 2007.  Despite suffering a fractured jaw soon thereafter, Beth lost little time from the ring. On October 7 that year, she won her first WWE Women’s Championship by defeating Candace Michelle in Rosemont, IL.  She would win a total of three Women’s Championships, along with a Divas Title.

She called herself “The Glamazon,” a combination of Beauty and Amazon Strength.  She won most of her matches with the Glamslam, picking up her opponent overhead and throwing her facedown onto the mat.

On January 31, 2010, she became the second woman in history to enter the Royal Rumble match, the first being Joanie “Chyna” Laurer, a Rochester native.  Beth eliminated the Great Khali before being herself eliminated.

She left the company for family reasons in October of 2012.

Beth was named to the WWE Hall of Fame in 2017, making her and Adam the first husband and wife couple in the Hall. She began working as a guest commentator for WWE last year. She also made a one-time appearance in the Women’s Royal Rumble that year, making her the first person to appear in both a Men’s and Women’s Rumble.

Things changed at the Fastlane PPV on March 10 of this year..  While commentating, she became involved win an altercation with wrestlers Nia Jax and Tamina. She soon aligned herself with longtime friend Natalya  Neidhart, re-forming the tag team known as the Divas of Doom.

As the storyline progressed, she and Natalya found themselves in a four-team tag team match for the Women;’s Tag Titles at WrestleMania. They’ll be facing the current champions (Bayley and Sasha Banks), along with Nia Jax and Tamina, as well as the Iiconics.

Beth wrestled for Notre Dame High School in Elmira, NY.. She was the first female varsity wrestler in school history She won the North-East freestyle women’s championship and New York State Fair Tournament in 1999. She went on to attend Canisius College in Buffalo, earning a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations and Criminal Justice. She also played tennis at the college.

She began her professional wrestling career in independent organizations such as Far North Wrestling, Cleveland All Pro, NWA Upstate NY, Apocalypse Wrestling and Old School Pro. She also worked for all-women’s federations GLORY and Shimmer. After signing her WWE contract, she was assigned to their developmental territory, Ohio Valley Wrestling, where she won their Women’s Championship.

In addition to the WWE Hall of Fame, she was named to the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Wrestling Hall of Fame this year.

She looked impressive in her recent in-ring action for WWE prior to WrestleMania. In a way, the strong style of wrestling Beth employed was the exception rather than the norm ten years ago, when many women wrestlers were hired more for their looks than their in-ring athletic ability. The pendulum has now mostly swung in the other direction. For the first time, WrestleMania will feature a woman’s match as the main event, when Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch and Ronda Rousey face off.

The question arises as to whether this is a brief comeback, or if Beth will compete beyond Sunday.

It won’t take too long after WrestleMania to find out whether this Phoenix is flying again for the long run.

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