WWE.com reports that former Divas and Women's Champion Layla El has announced her retirement. We noted over the weekend that Layla got engaged to Rich Young, who wrestled as Ricky Ortiz for WWE in 2008 and 2009. She also delivered this parting message to the fans:
I'd like to tell WWE Universe "Thank you" for always being loyal to me. They've seen me through my good times and in my bad times. In one of the first interviews when I won the Diva Search, I said to the fans, "I won't let you down," and I truly feel like I can walk away saying I have attained anything that any Diva was able to attain.
I was in the first-ever Divas Tables Match [at WWE TLC 2010]. I was the first Diva Search winner to win both championships — the Women's Title and the Divas Title. I was able to be in LayCool, which was the highlight of my career. I am just blessed in every way. I feel like I have done everything that I would possibly have done with WWE, so I'm walking away a very happy camper and I hope everyone else is happy with my decision, too.
Thanks to WWE for giving me this amazing opportunity that has been nine years of seeing amazing things and meeting amazing people. I feel very accomplished. I'm walking away with a very happy glow in my heart. This isn't a sad thing. It's a positive thing. I'm moving on to the next part of my life.
Special thank you to Michelle McCool because with her, I had the best two-and-a-half years of my career. We're still really good friends and I was privileged to work with and learn from her.
Kelly Kelly and I worked together from the get-go. I'd love to say to her "Thank you so much!" We had so much fun and became true friends. Together, Kelly Kelly and I learned how to wrestle. We became very good friends and we had so much fun together.
I'd like to thank Fit Finlay because he gives the Divas 125 percent. He basically gave me my opportunity; he started training me and taught me. He became a father figure to me, which I never had in my life. He took me under his wing and I'm forever grateful for that.
I also want to thank WWE's executive offices, WWE's talent relations group, the travel department, WWE producers and writers, make-up artists and seamstresses, and every other Superstar and Diva.