LayCool (sometimes stylised Lay-Cool or called Team LayCool) was a villainous professional wrestling tag team. The team worked for WWE and were featured primarily on the SmackDown brand but frequently appeared on the show Raw while they were champions and were also part of the second season of NXT, mentoring the male wrestler Kaval, who won the competition.
They first began teaming together in mid 2009 but did not become a proper team until the end of the year. The two are portrayed as narcissistic and vain bullies, constantly espousing their own perfection while ganging up on others and attacking their looks. They are a successful team, having won both women's titles available in WWE, the WWE Women's Championship (which they retired) and the WWE Divas Championship; both titles they claimed to hold as a tag team though this is not officially recognised. The group did court some controversy, however, receiving criticism from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter for what it considered the most disgusting promotional tactic regarding a storyline in which they criticised Mickie James' supposed weight issues.
Rivalry with Mickie James
Though Layla and Michelle McCool had been tagging together over the summer of 2009, they did not become a unit and display signs of a similar character and gimmick until the end of the year when Mickie James moved to SmackDown. James defeated Layla in her first match back on the show on 22 October, while reigning Women's Champion McCool snubbed James when picking Divas to represent SmackDown against Raw in a Bragging Rights interbrand tag team match. Subsequently at the following pay-per-view, Survivor Series, McCool led a team of five Divas, including Layla, against James' team. Layla and McCool appeared in a backstage segment on the 6 November episode of SmackDown threatening to make life difficult for James unless she left the brand. They began doing so the following week, by bringing James' clothes to the ringside and cutting them, distracting her enough to lose the match she was in. With James refusing to leave the brand, the situation escalated the following week as McCool began mocking James' weight and agricultural background. After James won a match against Layla, McCool appeared in a cartoon video that depicted James as a pig, renaming her Piggie James as both LayCool would continue to do, while singing a parody of "Old MacDonald Had a Farm". This particular segment garnered criticism from journalists, describing it as disgusting and despicable.
At the Survivor Series event, James' team won with two surviving members: James and Raw's Divas Champion Melina. James was granted a match for the Women's Championship at TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs, after winning a triple threat match on the 4 December episode of SmackDown, with James defiantly refusing to leave the SmackDown brand despite continued harassment from LayCool. At Tables, Ladders & Chairs, Layla interfered in the match to help McCool retain the championship. Despite the win, LayCool continued to torment James as they tried to make her leave, buying her a Jenny Craig gift certificate for the Christmas Day episode of SmackDown, but gained some revenge by pinning Layla in a tag team match in the same episode.
Going into the new year, the rivalry widened on the 1 January episode of SmackDown. LayCool interfered in a match between James and Beth Phoenix and attacked James after; Phoenix responded by chasing away LayCool but giving the Glam Slam to James as well. The following week Phoenix defeated Layla but afterward LayCool assaulted her together until James saved Phoenix. On 22 January's SmackDown, in an unusually long segment for the Divas, LayCool held a leaving party for James complete with a pig-shaped cake. Originally Maria Kanellis came out to champion James, but James also appeared to answer LayCool. After a brawl broke out, Phoenix arrived on the scene appearing to come to their aid only to assist LayCool in attacking Maria and James. McCool hit James with the cake and poured punch over her. LayCool continued to deride James, with Layla dressing up in a fatsuit with a pig mask and losing to McCool in a faux match for the Women's Championship as Piggie James. LayCool's boasting would be their downfall at the Royal Rumble, however, when Layla came out in the Piggie James outfit. James used this to her advantage, when she attacked Layla which distracted McCool allowing her to be pinned in under a minute, losing the Women's Championship. On the 12 February episode of SmackDown, LayCool defeated James in a non-title handicap match made by SmackDown Consultant Vickie Guerrero, who had been accidentally humiliated by James backstage.
Alliance with Vickie Guerrero and Co-Champions
With a common enemy, Guerrero began accompanying LayCool, interfering in their matches and favoring them in scripted booking decisions such as making herself the referee in McCool's Women's Championship rematch with James where she brought the title back to LayCool. With James out of the picture, their lingering rivalry with Phoenix flared up when Phoenix saved Tiffany from a LayCool beatdown on 12 March. The following week Tiffany and Phoenix defeated LayCool in a standard tag match. This led to a 10 Diva Tag Team match at WrestleMania XXVI which LayCool helped win after Guerrero pinned Kelly Kelly with a Frog Splash. Phoenix gained revenge by defeating them again alongside Tiffany. LayCool later gained a measure of revenge by defeating Phoenix and a briefly returned James, after which they taunted Phoenix's perceived bad looks by smothering her in make up. At the Extreme Rules pay-per-view, McCool defended her Women's Championship against Phoenix in an Extreme Makeover match, where cosmetics products were legal as weapons. Phoenix won the title from McCool despite support from Layla and Guerrero.
On the 14 May episode of SmackDown, Guerrero announced McCool was using her rematch against Phoenix, but the match was made a handicap match with both of LayCool against Phoenix. Layla pinned Phoenix to win the Women's Championship for the first time, becoming the first British woman and Diva Search winner to hold the championship. LayCool's beating of Phoenix was given as the reason Phoenix had to take time off for an injury she was suffering from. Owing to LayCool beating Phoenix together for the title they began referring to themselves as co-champions, even appearing with two physical title belts. However, on 30 July SmackDown's General Manager, Theodore Long, informed LayCool that there was only one Women's Championship and they had to decide between them and relinquish one belt. The following week, LayCool gave one belt back and played a tug-of-war with the one belt, only for it to break in the middle and the two began to carry half of the belt each, circumventing Long's orders. Also during this time, LayCool began mentoring Kaval during the second season of NXT. The were the first females and tag team to mentor a wrestler on the show. Kaval would go on to win the season. In September, LayCool appeared on Raw and challenged WWE Divas Champion Melina to a championship unification match at Night of Champions. Despite Layla being the official champion, McCool participated in the match and won with Layla's help to unify both championships. Once again they reigned unofficially as co-champions, wearing two belts and declaring themselves the WWE Unified Divas Champions while the Women's Championship was retired.
After both members of Lay-Cool had successfully defended the championship against Natalya, they faced her in a two-on-one handicap match at Survivor Series, which Natalya won to become the new Divas Champion. Following Survivor Series, Beth Phoenix returned and formed an alliance with Natalya. This culminated in the first Diva Tables match at the TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs where Natalya splashed both of LayCool through a table to win.
At Elimination Chamber, LayCool attacked Kelly Kelly, who was embroiled in a rivalry with Vickie Guerrero. After saving Guerrero, a returning Trish Stratus came to help Kelly. This would lead to a match at Wrestlemania XXVII where LayCool teamed with Guerrero's on-screen boyfriend Dolph Ziggler to face Trish Stratus, Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi and John Morrison. At the event LayCool and Ziggler were defeated by Trish, Snooki and Morrison.
On the 8 April episode of SmackDown, tension between the team rose when McCool refused to tag Layla into a match against Kelly and Phoenix. This hearkened back to a match in February where Layla fell out of the ring onto McCool. Tension was further highlighted in a SmackDown scene where the two were seen undergoing couples therapy. Finally, On the 22 April episode of Smackdown, McCool turned on Layla by attacking her after the therapy session, therefore disbanding LayCool. During the 2011 WWE Draft, McCool cost Layla a match against Eve Torres. After the match, McCool tried to taunt and attack Layla again. However, things backfired when Layla brutally attacked McCool.
- Finishing Moves
Championships and accomplishments
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- World Wrestling Entertainment
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter Awards
- Most Disgusting Promotional Tactic (2009) Exploiting Mickie James' alleged weight issues