Nhooph Al-Areebi (born November 23, 1994) is a Canadian professional wrestler currently signed to WWE.
She began her career in her teens, apparently training in secret without her conservative family knowing. She made her debut in 2013 under the name Jasmin Areebi alternating between that and just Jasmin. It didn't take long for WWE to come calling, and she was signed in 2015 when she was just nineteen years old. After competing on live events for a while under her indies name, she became christened Aliyah.
Aliyah made her debut in a #1 contender's battle royal in 2016, and then made her singles debut a couple of months later against Carmella. She has been featured on NXT's documentary series Breaking Ground.
She has the distinction of being the first female talent in WWE to be of Arab descent (Syrian and Iraqi).
The Cat's Tropes:
- Ambiguously Brown: She competes with light-brown hair (sometimes blonde) and the commentators don't reference her Arab heritage. Although the name Aliyah is Middle Eastern in origin, it is most commonly associated with the black singer and is used in Latina and Jewish circles too. A few people have also mistaken her for a tanned white girl. In 2018 a few fans claimed she'd had cosmetic surgery to look less Arab.
- "Arabian Nights" Days: Her indie persona evoked this, and one of her finishers was even called the Arabian Night.
- Belly Dancer: Her initial character on NXT, though it was an Informed Attribute with only the jewelled headband and coins on the top giving it away. Her theme was intended as a techno belly dance track.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: Hers are quite thick.
- Borrowed Catch Phrase: In her singles debut against Carmella, she mockingly said "how you doin now, princess?"
- Bullying a Dragon: Towards Xia Li on the November 13th 2019 edition of NXT. You'd think she'd know better than to actively try to piss Xia off after getting beaten by her in a Squash Match two months prior, but evidently not; in the end she got squashed again and even ate a kick to the face for her troubles.
- By the Hair: In one match against Dakota Kai, Aliyah spent most of it grabbing onto her hair. And at one point Dakota took advantage and rolled her head to get Aliyah off her.
- Canada, Eh?: She's from Toronto and referenced her area code with one jacket that said "Chick from the Six".
- Cat Girl: Well she wears cat ear headbands and calls herself 'The Cat's Meow' but there's nothing else cat-like about her character yet.
- Characterization Marches On: She debuted wearing gear that evoked a Bedlah Babe outfit before switching to a more traditional wrestling gear.
- The Cutie: She was signed at only nineteen, and on Breaking Ground described herself as "the baby of NXT". Her Cat's Meow persona is a form of this.
- Dance Battler: Her first planned character was to be this, but she only did it twice on TV.
- Dark-Skinned Blonde: As of late 2017.
- Darker and Edgier: In late 2018 she reemerged as a far more vicious and nastier heel than she had been in the past.
- Demoted to Extra: She got featured less and less in the middle of 2017. She didn't even get to compete in the WWE Mae Young Classic, getting defeated in the qualifying matches by the debuting (and very green) Bianca Bel Air.
- Epic Fail: Breaking Ground depicts her first rehearsal at debuting the Aliyah character. William Regal says "I was completely underwhelmed", and she was laughing at how bad she was as soon as she came backstage.
- Everything's Better with Sparkles: As the Cat's Meow she's added glittery hairspray and eyeshadow to her look.
- Evil Wears Black: As a heel, her ring gear was completely black. Since turning face, she added more colours. She does however have a black outfit she still wears as a face.
- Face/Heel Double-Turn: She made her NXT debut as a heel against a babyfaced Carmella. She later competed on an episode of Smackdown, now as a face against heel Carmella.
- FaceHeel Revolving Door: She debuted as a face in a battle royal, then was a heel against Carmella, a face getting squashed by Asuka, then back to heel before getting an official HeelFace Turn on TV. After not doing much for 2017 she quietly switched back to heel in 2018.
- "Gender-Normative Parent" Plot: Her parents disapproved of wrestling and she hid it from them for as long as she could before she got signed to WWE.
- Graceful Ladies Like Purple: She's quite girly and often has some purple on her ring gear. She also has pale lilac extensions in. Previously her jacket that said 'Chick From The Six' on it had purple lettering.
- Hair Flip: She's taken to doing a bit of head-banging mixed with hair-flipping as she climbs to the top rope.
- I Have the High Ground: One of her signature moves is a leg drop while she's sitting on the top rope. She had previously trained as a trapeze artist at a circus school. She had been known to do a moonsault on the indies, but has yet to use it on WWE TV.
- Jobber: At first but she started getting wins in 2017. She doesn't seem to have completely shaken it off yet, having only appeared since late 2017 to put over other women.
- Kid-Appeal Character: The Cat's Meow initially seemed this way brightly coloured outfits, perky entrance theme and she already is The Cutie. In one entrance she singled out a little girl holding up a sign for her. But although she kept the name, she swapped the persona out for an arrogant mean girl.
- Lovely Angels: After saving Liv Morgan from a beatdown at the hands of the Iconic Duo (Billie Kay and Peyton Royce), the two formed an alliance and competed in many tag matches together.
- Multicolored Hair: She's added rainbow extensions into her hair in 2017.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Despite her petite appearance, she's posted videos on Instagram of her dead-lifting 225 lbs.
- No Pronunciation Guide: Her real name Nhooph is pronounced 'noof', as depicted on Breaking Ground.
- Spell My Name with an "S": When she was first renamed, a lot of news sites mistakenly spelled her name 'Aaliyah', as in the way it was spelled by the late R&B singer.
- Red Baron:
- "Chick From the Six" referencing her Toronto area code.
- "The Cat's Meow" seems to be her regular gimmick now.
- Replaced the Theme Tune: As is standard with wrestlers trying out new gimmicks, but she ended up cycling through three very different themes in the space of about a year. The first was "Did You Find It?", a techno dance track that would have gone with her Belly Dancer gimmick. The second was "Fatal Fantasy", a slower hip hop track with strong drums to fit a heel. The third "The Cat's Meow" is an upbeat dance theme to fit a perky face, though being that it was the first specifically made by CFO$ for her, this might actually stick.
- Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: With Liv Morgan in and out of the ring.
- Technician vs. Performer:
- In her little alliance with Liv Morgan. Aliyah is the Technician, with a few years on the indies and some technical skill. Liv Morgan meanwhile is the greener wrestler but the former cheerleader with a lot of character and personality.
- This was repeated when she teamed up with Lacey Evans. With Lacey being the Boisterous Bruiser an Action Fashionista (as well as being the greener of the two) she filled the Performer slot, while Aliyah again portrayed the Technician.
- Villain Team-Up: She and Lacey Evans teamed up to antagonise Dakota Kai and Deonna Purrazzo.