Sharmell in April 2009
|Birth name||Sharmell Sullivan|
|Born||November 2, 1970|
Gary, Indiana, United States
|Alma mater||Spelman College|
Robert Huffman (m. 2005)
|Professional wrestling career|
|Billed height||5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)|
|Billed weight||125 lb (57 kg; 8.9 st)|
|Billed from||Houston, Texas|
|Trained by||WCW Power Plant|
Ohio Valley Wrestling
Sharmell Sullivan-Huffman (born November 2, 1970) is an American retired professional wrestling valet and former professional wrestler. As the wife of Booker T, she is best known for her time with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) as Queen Sharmell until her release in 2007. She first came to prominence in the wrestling world as Storm a member of the World Championship Wrestling dance troupe the Nitro Girls and she also played a character called Paisley. Sullivan-Huffman performed for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) under the ring name Sharmell from 2007 until leaving the company in 2009.
Early life and education
Miss Black America
At age 20, Sullivan won the 1991 Miss Black America pageant (she was Miss Black Indiana), which was marred by accusations of rape by Miss Black Rhode Island, Desiree Washington, against pageant judge Mike Tyson. After winning the title, Sullivan began a career in professional dance, touring with several hip hop artists and R&B bands, including a 3½ year stint with James Brown.
Professional wrestling career
World Championship Wrestling (1998–2001)
Sullivan joined World Championship Wrestling's Nitro Girl dance troupe in December 1998 under the name Storm. When the Nitro Girls began becoming more involved in WCW storylines, she was made the valet for The Artist, re-dubbing herself Paisley. As Paisley, she made her in-ring singles debut against Tammy Lynn Sytch on the April 26, 2000, episode of WCW Thunder, winning with a DDT. Following The Artist's release from WCW, Sullivan began valeting for Kwee Wee. She also formed an alliance with fellow former Nitro Girl Tygress, and the two ladies frequently double-teamed the Misfits In Action's valet Major Gunns.
While in WCW, Sullivan was also a part of the pop music group Diversity 5 with other Nitro Girls Fyre, Spice, Chae, and Tygress. In 2001, when she signed with the WWF, she was replaced in the group by Chiquita Anderson (also a Nitro Girl).
World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment (2001–2002; 2005–2007)
In 2001, just before WCW was bought by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), Sullivan was released from WCW and signed a developmental contract with WWF with the intent of becoming a full-time in-ring performer and backstage interviewer. She was sent to Ohio Valley Wrestling to continue her training, and was made the valet for The Suicide Blondes, wearing a blonde wig and using the name Sister Sharmell. Her training, however, was cut short by an injury, forcing her to retire from in-ring work. In November 2001, Sullivan was called up and put in a backstage interview position on Smackdown, which lasted until sometime in early 2002 before the company was renamed World Wrestling Entertainment. She retired from wrestling afterwards to run a clothing store in Houston, Texas.
Sullivan was re-hired by the (now renamed) World Wrestling Entertainment in the spring of 2005, debuting as a face valet for her real-life husband Booker T. Together they took part in a feud with Kurt Angle, during which he continually sexually harassed her. Sharmell began turning heel in October when she started interfering in Booker's matches, presumably without his knowledge. Her villainous turn was cemented she helped Booker win the United States Championship from Chris Benoit, which preceded a heel turn by Booker when he revealed he knew of her involvement in his matches the entire time.
After Booker T's victory in the 2006 King of the Ring tournament, Booker T began referring to himself as "King Booker" and Sharmell as "Queen Sharmell". As part of their new on-screen personas, the duo began speaking in faux British accents and acting pompous. On the April 6, 2007, episode of SmackDown! Sullivan turned on her husband, claiming his failure to defeat Matt Hardy that night—after he'd nearly attacked her during WrestleMania 23—meant he didn't care about her honor. Later that night, as part of the storyline, Booker tried to impress Sharmell by attacking World Heavyweight Champion The Undertaker which ended in Booker being hit with a Tombstone piledriver on the announce table and sprained Booker's neck, which put him out of action. On the June 11 episode of Raw, Sharmell (with King Booker) was drafted from SmackDown! to RAW as part of the WWE Draft. Due to conflicts with storyline and overall character direction, in October 2007, Sharmell, along with Booker, requested and were granted their releases from their contracts by WWE. She then made an appearance at the 2013 WWE Hall Of Fame to watch her husband get inducted.
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2007–2009)
At Final Resolution on January 6, 2008, Sharmell and Booker T were booked into a mixed tag team match against Robert Roode and Ms. Brooks and won after she rolled-up Ms. Brooks. After the match, Roode was arguing with Ms. Brooks when Sharmell came back to stop Roode only to get hit in the face and kayfabe breaking her jaw. She made her return at Destination X, after the Booker T and Roode match, whipping Payton Banks and Roode. On April 13 at Lockdown, she and husband, Booker T defeated Robert Roode and Payton Banks.
Sharmell was inactive following Booker's heel turn, but returned at Victory Road during the main event between Samoa Joe and her husband. She established herself as a heel during the match by making the three-count, allowing her husband to "win" the TNA World Championship. When Booker joined The Main Event Mafia in October 2008, Sharmell followed suit. On the November 20th edition of iMPACT!, Sharmell was challenged to a match with ODB at Final Resolution, which she accepted. Along with The Beautiful People, Sharmell fell to the team of ODB, Taylor Wilde, and Roxxi at Final Resolution. Sharmell was regularly seen bickering with fellow Mafia valet Jenna Morasca, leading to a catfight backstage on the May 28th edition of Impact! which led to Sharmell challenging Morasca to a match at Victory Road 2009. She lost the match after Kong knocked her out then Morasca pinned her. She then competed in the TNA Knockout Tag Title tournament teaming with Traci Brooks to represent The Main Event Mafia, but they lost in the first round of the tournament to Awesome Kong and Raisha Saeed. At Bound for Glory Booker and Sharmell made their final appearance for TNA, before leaving the company.
During the week of November 5, 2007, she appeared on five episodes of Family Feud with Batista, Candice Michelle, Booker T, Mr. Kennedy, Layla El, Michelle McCool, Maria, Ric Flair, and Jonathan Coachman.
Sullivan has a stepson Brandon, from Huffman's first marriage. She and Huffman began dating while they both worked for WCW. The couple were married in February 2005. Sullivan gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl, on August 5, 2010.
Honors and awards
- Miss Black America
- Miss Black America (1991)
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter
- "Booker and Sharmell released by WWE". SLAM! Wrestling. October 16, 2007. Retrieved 2008-04-17.
- "A Chat with WCW's "Paisley"". Retrieved 2007-04-12.
- Mooneyham, Mike. "The Next Big Lawsuit". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-04-12.
Last weekend Booker T (Booker Huffman) married longtime girlfriend Sharmell Sullivan (formerly valet Paisley and Nitro Girl Storm in WCW) in the bride's hometown of Gary, Indiana. Former Nitro Girl Chae was on hand as a bridesmaid. Sullivan, 33, graduated valedictorian from Gary's Roosevelt High School in 1988, is a graduate of Spelman College and was crowned Miss Black America in 1991.
- "The History of Pageants". Retrieved 2007-04-12.
After appearing as a celebrity guest at the Miss Black America Pageant, world heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson is arrested for raping a contestant, Desiree Washington, during pageant week. After the national winner and other contestants claim he groped them, the pageant’s director labels the boxer a "serial buttocks fondler " and sues for damages. The case creates a media frenzy and Tyson is later convicted of rape and sentenced to six years in prison.
- "Sharmell Sullivan profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-04-12.
- "Thunder results – April 26, 2000". DDTDigest. Retrieved 2007-04-12.
- "Monday Nitro results – August 21, 2000". DDTDigest. Retrieved 2007-04-12.
- "Worldwide results – September 9, 2000". DDTDigest. Retrieved 2007-04-12.
- "Nitro results – August 28, 2000". DDTDigest. Retrieved 2007-04-12.
- WWE Divas – Tropical Pleasure (DVD). World Wrestling Entertainment. 2003.
- "SmackDown! results – May 12, 2005". WWE. Retrieved 2007-04-12.
- "SmackDown! results – May 19, 2005". WWE. Retrieved 2007-04-12.
- "SmackDown! results – October 14, 2005". WWE. Retrieved 2007-04-12.
- "SmackDown! results – October 12, 2005". WWE. Retrieved 2007-04-12.
- "SmackDown! results – October 28, 2005". WWE. Retrieved 2007-04-12.
- "WrestleMania 22 results". WWE. Retrieved 2007-04-12.
- "SmackDown! results – April 6, 2007". WWE. Retrieved 2007-04-22.
- Corey Clayton (June 11, 2007). "Draft brings surprises, switches ECW champion to Raw". WWE. Archived from the original on 2007-06-14. Retrieved 2007-06-13.
- "TNA Genesis Results". Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
- Martin, Adam (2009-10-22). "Another update on Booker T and TNA". WrestleView. Retrieved 2009-10-23.
- Medalis, Kara A. (October 30, 2007). "Tune in to WWE week on 'Family Feud'". WWE. Retrieved 2007-11-04.
- Stated in the March 2005 issue of WWE RAW Magazine and in the book WWE Unscripted.
- "Booker T and Sharmell's Wedding: Wrestling's Favorite Power Couple". ESSENCE.com. 2009-03-19. Archived from the original on 2010-01-31. Retrieved 2010-07-23.
- "BOOKER T AND SHARMELL WELCOME THEIR PRINCE AND PRINCESS". BLACKCELEBKIDS.com. 2010-08-18. Archived from the original on 2010-08-21. Retrieved 2010-09-08.
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