Bonin started her career as a body fitness model. In 2007, she won the National Physique Committee (NPC) John Sherman Classic Bodybuilding Figure and Fitness Championship, came in fifth at the Arnold Classic in the NPC Figure Class D competition, and also was in the top five at Musclemania Superbody, in the Figure Universe - Tall category. She was named Miss November in 2008, placed 16th at the NPC Junior Nationals that year in the NPC Figure category, and was part of the Hardfitnes Calendar. Bonin also made an appearance in Flex Magazine in 2009.
In July 2010, Bonin signed a developmental contract with World Wrestling Entertainment, and was assigned to Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW), WWE's developmental territory. In September 2010, she competed in the all-female third season of NXT where she became the only female in history to win NXT. Prior to her debut to the main roster in December 2010, she formed a tag team with AJ known as The Chickbusters in May 2011. After the split of the team in May 2012, she returned to singles competition which includes winning the WWE Divas Championship on the 20th anniversary episode of Raw in January 2013.
Early life and career
Bonin made her body fitness debut in 2006, at the age of 19. In 2007, Bonin won the National Physique Committee (NPC) John Sherman Classic Bodybuilding Figure and Fitness Championship, and came fifth at the Arnold Classic in the NPC Figure Class D competition. She also was in the top five at Musclemania Superbody in 2007, in the Figure Universe – Tall category. In 2008, she was named Miss November at the Hardfitness Calendar, and placed 16th at the NPC Junior Nationals that same year in the NPC Figure category. In 2008 she was part of the Hardfitness Calendar and in 2009, Bonin appeared in Flex Magazine.
World Wrestling Entertainment / WWE
Developmental Territories (2010–2012)
In July 2010, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) signed Bonin to a developmental contract, and she reported to Florida Championship Wrestling, WWE's developmental territory. She debuted under the ring name Celeste, competing in a bikini contest. Her name would soon be changed to Ricki Vaughn, however, she never would actually debut under the name as she would soon change it to her NXT name, Kaitlyn. On the August 22, 2010 episode of FCW television, she would make her FCW TV debut as a lumberjill at ringside for a match between AJ Lee and Naomi Knight.
When FCW was rebranded into NXT Wrestling in 2012, Kaitlyn briefly portrayed a villainess while appearing on the NXT program. On the July 18 edition of NXT, Kaitlyn was defeated by Tamina Snuka in singles action. On the August 8 edition of NXT, Kaitlyn teamed with Caylee Turner in a losing effort against Paige and Tamina Snuka. Kaitlyn's last match as a heel took place on October 10; teaming with Alicia Fox in a loss to Paige and Audrey Marie.
On September 7, it was announced that Bonin would join season 3 of NXT, under the name Kaitlyn, with Vickie Guerrero as her storyline pro. She was the replacement for Guerrero's original rookie, Aloisia, whom Guerrero fired in storyline. That week, she unsuccessfully competed in both a dance competition and a 'capture the flag' contest. The following week, Kaitlyn made her in-ring debut, when she teamed up with Guerrero's on-screen boyfriend Dolph Ziggler to defeat A.J. and Primo in a mixed tag team match. She also won the obstacle course challenge. On the September 21 episode of NXT, Kaitlyn and LayCool (Layla and Michelle McCool) lost to Kelly Kelly, Naomi, and Jamie in a six-Diva tag team match. Following the match, in which Kaitlyn was pinned, Lay-Cool attacked her while Guerrero berated her. On that week's episode of SmackDown on September 24, Kaitlyn and Guerrero accompanied Ziggler to the ring for his match. When Guerrero ordered Kaitlyn to leave ringside, Kaitlyn pushed her over before leaving. Kaitlyn won her first singles match against Guerrero on October 5, on NXT. On the November 2 episode of NXT, Kaitlyn and Ziggler were found kissing behind a wall. When Guerrero confronted them, Kaitlyn threw a cake, which was meant for Goldust and Aksana's wedding, into her face. On the November 5 episode of SmackDown, Kaitlyn and Guerrero faced each other in a rematch in which Guerrero was victorious. On the November 30 episode of NXT, Kaitlyn was announced as the winner of season three, defeating Naomi in the final.
SmackDown; The Chickbusters (2011)
On the December 3 episode of SmackDown, Kaitlyn appeared in a backstage segment with Guerrero and Ziggler, announcing that SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long had signed her to the brand following her victory on NXT. She had her first match on SmackDown on the January 28, 2011, episode, when she and Kelly Kelly were defeated by Team Lay-Cool. Kaitlyn later lost in singles competition against Layla on March 11.
On the May 27 episode of SmackDown Kaitlyn formed a tag team known as The Chickbusters with AJ. In their first match as a team lost to the team of Alicia Fox and Tamina. The duo were accompanied by Natalya, who became a mentor of sorts to the pair. AJ and Kaitlyn lost a rematch to Fox and Tamina the following week. Her first victory came on the June 10 episode of SmackDown, when she pinned Tamina in a singles match, a feat she repeated on the July 8 episode. AJ, Kaitlyn, and Natalya continued to feud with Fox and Tamina, who were joined by Rosa Mendes.
On the August 5 episode of SmackDown, AJ Lee lost a singles match to Natalya, who then turned on her protégé, attacking her and declaring war on the "perky little princesses" that comprised the rest of the Divas division. The following week, Kaitlyn and AJ lost to Natalya and Beth Phoenix in a tag team match. Throughout the next few months, The Chickbusters continued to feud with the so-called Divas of Doom, losing both singles and tag team matches to them.
In November, tension began to be teased between The Chickbusters, with Kaitlyn developing a heel persona due to being upset at their repeated losses to The Divas of Doom. Kaitlyn became a villainess after another loss to the Divas of Doom on December 9, turning against AJ and joining the Divas of Doom. However, the segment was cut from the broadcast.
NXT Redemption (2012)
On the February 8 episode of NXT Redemption, Kaitlyn lost in singles competition to Maxine, whom she has been feuding with since befriending Derrick Bateman. After weeks of feuding with Maxine over whether the latter was good for Derrick Bateman, on the February 29 episode of NXT Redemption, Kaitlyn would kiss Bateman in an "intervention" segment also including Alicia Fox and Justin Gabriel before defeating Maxine in the main event. On the March 14 episode of NXT Redemption, after Kaitlyn and Derrick Bateman defeated Johnny Curtis and Maxine, Bateman would then kiss Kaitlyn thus solidifying their relationship. On the March 21 episode of NXT Redemption, Kaitlyn and Derrick Bateman were backstage with Tamina talking about her and Bateman's new found relationship, and later encountered Maxine and Johnny Curtis, who accused them of being involved with Matt Striker's disappearance. Kaitlyn accompanied Derrick Bateman in a loss to Hunico on the March 28 episode of NXT Redemption. On the April 4 episode of NXT Redemption, Kaitlyn was defeated in singles competition to her former mentor Natalya, who was accompanied by Tyson Kidd on commentary. Kaitlyn and Derrick Bateman discovered Matt Striker in a janitor's closet hidden by Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks on the April 11 episode of NXT Redemption. Kaitlyn made her televised return on the April 23 episode of Raw, appearing as a lumberjill in a Divas Championship match involving Beth Phoenix and Nikki Bella. On the April 25 episode of NXT Redemption, Kaitlyn was backstage with Tyson Kidd and Percy Watson, until Natalya accused Kaitlyn of flirting with Kidd, and later competed in a tag team match with Tamina Snuka defeating Natalya and Maxine.
When Kaityn made her return to SmackDown on the April 27 episode, she was backstage comforting fellow Chickbuster AJ, until she slapped Kaitlyn and left her confused. On the May 4 episode of SmackDown, Kaitlyn again attempted to comfort AJ, but was again assaulted by AJ. On the May 11 episode of SmackDown, Kaitlyn was defeated by AJ in singles competition, and was afterwards visited by Daniel Bryan, who stated he is moving on from AJ and going after Kaitlyn. Two days later on Twitter, Kaitlyn announced she was officially breaking up The Chickbusters.
Kaitlyn then reentered into a feud with Maxine on the May 16 episode of NXT Redemption after she was victorious in singles competition against Maxine via submission. Two weeks later on the May 30 episode of NXT Redemption, Kaitlyn successfully defeated Tamina Snuka in a singles match while Maxine observed on commentary, thus ending the feud. On the June 13 season finale episode of NXT Redemption, Kaitlyn's winning streak continued as she defeated her former mentor Natalya for the first time in singles competition.
Feud with Eve Torres (2012–2013)
On the June 25 episode of Raw, Kaitlyn made her televised return competing in the '"Diva Beach Battle Blast" battle royal, which was ultimately won by her former friend AJ. On the July 12 episode of WWE Superstars, Kaitlyn teamed with Alicia Fox in a winning effort against her rival Natalya and Beth Phoenix after Kaitlyn pinned Phoenix. Kaitlyn then went on to compete in her first pay-per-view match at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view in a six diva tag team match along with Divas Champion Layla and Tamina Snuka against Beth Phoenix, Natalya, and Eve Torres with her team coming out victorious.
On the August 10 episode of SmackDown, Kaitlyn asked and was given a job from SmackDown General Manager Booker T as his assistant, but was afterwards put in a match against an angry Eve and the winner will be awarded the job. Her feud with Eve continued on the August 13 episode of Raw when she teamed with Layla in a winning effort against Eve and Beth Phoenix. That same week on the August 17 episode of SmackDown, Kaitlyn was unsuccessful against Eve in singles competition to become SmackDown Assistant General Manager to Booker T. Three days later on Raw, Kaitlyn won a Divas battle royal to become number one contender to the Divas Championship. On the September 3 episode of Raw, Kaitlyn was defeated by Torres with Layla and The Miz on commentary. The next week on the September 10 episode of Raw, Kaitlyn teamed with Layla and Eve Torres in a six diva tag team match where they defeated Beth Phoenix, Natalya, and Alicia Fox, afterwards Eve would hug both Layla and Kaitlyn and raise their arms in victory. At the Night of Champions pay-per-view, Kaitlyn was attacked by a masked figure injuring her ankle, therefore being forced to forfeit her title shot with Layla to Eve. On September 17, it was announced that Kaitlyn has a torn tendon, and will be out of action for several weeks.
Kaitlyn returned on the September 24 episode of Raw stating that the Diva that attacked her at the Night of Champions pay-per-view was blonde, leading to Beth Phoenix becoming the suspected attacker. On the October 8 episode of Raw, Kaitlyn had her first Divas Championship match against Eve in a losing effort via submission, and was afterwards saved by Layla from Eve who attempted to re-injure her. Two weeks later on the October 22 episode of Raw, Kaitlyn confronted Eve about her attacker, revealing it to be Aksana, who was e-mailed by Eve to attack Kaitlyn at the Night of Champions pay-per-view, and ended in a brawl also involving Layla. Kaitlyn received another shot for the Divas Championship at the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view, but was again defeated by Eve in a Triple Threat Match, also involving Layla. On the November 12 episode of Raw, Kaitlyn defeated Layla in singles competition to become the #1 contender for the Divas Title against Eve at Survivor Series. At Survivor Series, Kaitlyn was again attacked from behind by Aksana, and went on to face Eve for the Divas Championship, but was unsuccessful. Kaitlyn would get her revenge on Aksana the following night on the November 19 episode of Raw and the December 14 episode of SmackDown defeating her in singles competition. On December 16 at the Tables, Ladders & Chairs pay-per-view, Kaitlyn competed in a #1 contender "Santa's Little Helper's" Diva battle royal to face Eve for the championship, but was unsuccessful in winning the match due to Eve interfering. The following night on the December 17 episode of the Raw Slammy Awards, Kaitlyn would defeat Eve in a non-title match. The next night on the December 18 live episode of Super SmackDown, Kaitlyn brawled backstage with old Chickbuster partner AJ, and went on to compete in singles competition for the Divas Championship against Eve Torres in a winning effort via disqualification after Eve tripped the referee to keep the title. On the January 7 episode of Raw, Kaitlyn would receive another title match against Eve Torres, winning the match via countout after Eve fled the arena.
Divas Champion and Feud with AJ Lee (2013)
On the January 14 episode of Raw, Kaitlyn defeated Eve in her home town of Houston, Texas to win the WWE Divas Championship with the stipulation being that if Eve got disqualified or counted-out, Kaitlyn would become the Divas Champion. On the January 28 RAW Roulette episode, Kaitlyn faced Tamina Snuka which ended in a no contest due to the rest of the Divas interfering. On February 17 at Elimination Chamber, Kaitlyn was successful in her first title defense against Tamina Snuka.
Dissension between Kaitlyn and Layla was later teased, with Layla becoming a heel due to jealousy of Kaitlyn. On the February 22 episode of SmackDown, Kaitlyn and Layla defeated Aksana and Tamina Snuka, and Layla would gaze at Kaitlyn's championship after the match ended. On the March 8 episode of SmackDown, Kaitlyn was defeated by Tamina Snuka after Layla unintentionally distracted her. The following week, Kaitlyn and Layla defeated Tamina Snuka and Aksana again after Layla tagged herself in and stole the pin. The angle was rumored to result in Kaitlyn defending the Divas Championship against a heel Layla at WrestleMania 29, but it was quickly dropped after the segments aired. On the March 25 episode of Raw, Kaitlyn entered into a feud with AJ again after AJ heard her say she was crazy. Later that night, AJ would defeat Kaitlyn in an non-title match by count-out. On the March 29 episode of Smackdown, Kaitlyn would team up with Daniel Bryan to defeat AJ & Ziggler. On the April 24 episode of NXT, Kaitlyn would defeat AJ in a championship match. On May 19 at Extreme Rules, Kaitlyn & AJ would get in a backstage brawl after AJ would refer to her as a pig. On June 16 at Payback, Kaitlyn was defeated by AJ in a Divas Championship match ending her reign.
The following night on the June 17 episode of Raw, Kaitlyn and the other Divas interrupted AJ and Stephanie McMahon about winning the title from her and how she broke her before attacking AJ in the ring, who was later saved by Big E Langston. On the June 24 episode of Raw, Kaitlyn emerged victorious against Aksana in singles competition with an attempted distraction by AJ, who was dressed up as Kaitlyn (with a blonde wig and muscle suit), mocking her the night the secret admirer was revealed with the help of Langston. Four days later on the June 28 episode of SmackDown, Kaitlyn interrputed a match between AJ and Natalya by impersonating AJ, causing Natalya to be victorious, and would afterwards spear AJ. After defeating Alicia Fox in a singles match on the July 1 episode of Raw, AJ would continue to mock Kaitlyn's body by putting up a photoshopped picture, and would cause a distraction on the July 5 episode of SmackDown, causing Kaitlyn to lose her rematch against Alicia Fox, and would chase AJ out of the arena. On the July 8 episode of Raw, Kaitlyn competed in a tag team match alongside Layla against AJ and Alicia Fox to a no contest after Kaitlyn brutally attacked AJ. On the July 12 episode of SmackDown, Kaitlyn was a part of the first-ever in WWE history public Divas Championship match contract signing for the Money in the Bank pay-per-view along with AJ, which would end in a brawl between the two. At the Money in the Bank pay-per-view, Kaitlyn was again unsuccessful in retrieving the Divas Championship due to an elbow injury.
Kaitlyn returned on the July 26 episode of SmackDown interrupting AJ's rage on Ziggler, and delivered a spear to AJ, leading to a match between the two on the July 29 episode of Raw, which Kaitlyn won. Kaitlyn earned another Divas Championship opportunity against AJ four nights later on SmackDown in her hometown of Houston, with Layla once again in her corner. However, Kaitlyn was defeated after Layla became a heel and betrayed her. On the August 5 episode of Raw, Kaitlyn competed against Layla in singles competition, but would be distracted by AJ, causing Kaitlyn to lose the match, and would later that night attack AJ during Ziggler and Langston's match, costing Ziggler his match as well. Four days later on the August 9 episode of SmackDown, Kaitlyn, along with Ziggler, would interrupt AJ and Langston's interview with The Miz on MizTV, resulting with The Miz announcing a mixed tag team match with Kaitlyn teaming up with Ziggler against AJ and Langston at the SummerSlam pay-per-view, and ending with Kaitlyn and Ziggler succeeding in a failed attack from AJ and Langston. At SummerSlam, Kaitlyn and Ziggler emerged victorious in their mixed tag team match against AJ and Langston, thus ending their feud.
Various Feuds and Departure (2013-2014)
Kaitlyn made her return to WWE television on the September 23 episode of Raw backstage in a "WWE App Exclusive" segment stating that she's back and stronger than ever, and that she just needed some time to herself after finally ending things with her former best friend AJ Lee. She made her in-ring return on the October 10 edition of WWE Superstars, but she was defeated by Tamina Snuka. On the October 11 edition of SmackDown, Kaitlyn teamed with Eva Marie and Natalya in a losing effort against Brie Bella and the Funkadactyls (Cameron and Naomi) in a six-Diva tag team match.
Kaitlyn briefly turned villainous on the November 18 edition of Raw while participating in the first ever edition of Divas Country Musical Chairs by brawling with the Total Divas and leaving the ring with heel Divas Alicia Fox, Aksana, Summer Rae, and Rosa Mendes. At Survivor Series, the evil Kaitlyn participated in a 7-on-7 traditional elimination tag team match against the Total Divas. Kaitlyn eliminated Eva Marie and Naomi, but her side was defeated. Kaitlyn took part in the rematch the following night on Raw, and was again defeated. Kaitlyn was again on the villainous side of a 10-Diva tag team match on the December 30 episode of Raw, with her team emerging victorious against the Total Divas.
On January 8, 2014, Kaitlyn decided to terminate her contract with WWE. Her final match aired that same night on Main Event, where she regained her babyface persona and wrestled AJ Lee one final time in a losing effort. In her final address to the WWE Universe, she stated that she will return to the fitness industry.
On July 17, 2014, Kaitlyn stated that she considers herself retired from WWE and plans to walk away from the wrestling business to focus on her marriage and clothing line, which is called "Celestial Bodiez."
Bonin is best friends with fellow professional wrestler April Mendez. In early May, Bonin was asked a series of questions by Lisa Marie, and she stated she loves the band Red Hot Chili Peppers, her favorite movie is American Psycho, she hates the CBS television series The Big Bang Theory, and her favorite place to visit is Austin, Texas, describing it as, "The coolest city ever to exist." On August 1, 2012, Bonin stated that her favorite movie of 2012 is No Holds Barred. On June 20, 2014, Bonin married bodybuilder PJ Braun.
- Finishing moves
- Atomic Wedgie Bomb (Atomic drop into a Back suplex) — 2010
- Fireman's carry gutbuster — 2012- (Used as a signature from 2013-2014)
- Lotus lock, sometimes after a Full nelson bomb — 2011–2012 (NXT)
- Spear — , 2013-2014 (Adopted from and used as a tribute to Goldberg)
- Wedgie Flatliner (Reverse STO) —( FCW)
- Inverted DDT- 2012- (Used as a signature from 2013-2014)
- Signature moves
- Arm drag
- Battering ram
- Bodyscissors, sometimes into a Victory roll-up
- Drop-toe hold
- Elevated wrist lock
- European uppercut
- Leg drop
- Multiple head smashes into second turnbuckle
- Multiple kick variations
- Reverse elbow to an oncoming opponent
- Running cross body
- Running shoulder block
- Scoop slam
- Sidewalk slam
- Sunset flip pin
- Suplex slam onto the top rope
- Inverted DDT — 2012–present
- With AJ
- Wrestlers managed
- Entrance themes
Championships and accomplishments
- National Physique Committee
- John Sherman Classic Bodybuilding Figure and Fitness Championship
- Arnold Classic NPC Figure Class D Competition (Fifth place)