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Wrestling / LayCool

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Team LayCool (also simply called Lay-Cool) were a tag team in Professional Wrestling that consisted of WWE Divas Michelle McCool and Layla. The two teamed together regularly in standard diva tag matches in 2009 before officially forming an alliance at the end of the year. They were given new characters as exaggerated versions of Alpha Bitch and Valley Girl tropes, feuding with the other divas. As 2010 went on they slowly became more prominent in the WWE, even becoming the first female pros on NXT as well as co-holding the WWE Women's Title. The majority of their feuds with the other divas were based around their Valley Girl gimmicks ie. with Mickie James they made fun of her weight, with Beth Phoenix they kept calling her a man etc.

The IWC is pretty divided in their attitude towards the team mainly because Michelle is an easy target for haters due to her marriage with The Undertaker, and outspoken attitude towards her critics, but the duo were very important in building the WWE's women's division up in 2010 when injuries and firings nearly buried it completely.

This team provides examples of:

  • Alliterative Name: Michelle McCool.
  • Alpha Bitch: Oh god yes. Michelle was a straight up Jerkass to everyone, Layla included in the end, and while Layla was fun-loving and goofy enough to eventually become endearing, she was not exactly far behind on the sadism scale most of the way through.
    • Beta Bitch: Layla initially. But her Women's Championship reign helped her grow out of this and become Michelle's equal.
  • Arch-Enemy: The entire Divas' division, really.
  • Ascended Extra: Layla in two different cases. Before the team formed she was really just another generic heel diva on the roster. Then at the start she was mainly Michelle's sidekick but once she won the Women's title she became as prominent as Michelle and the two are fairly equal now.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Vickie Guerrero allied herself with them briefly thus giving them the colors.
  • But Not Too Black: Layla is mixed race yet over the years has made herself look more "Anglo" by wearing her hair straight and even lightening it to blonde for a time. Whether this is to distinguish herself from the darker skinned Divas like Alicia Fox, Naomi and Cameron, or to fit the Valley Girl persona we're not quite sure.
  • Calling Your Attack: Layla will call out "booty bump!" before she smashes her ass in her opponent's face. But not for other moves.
  • Cat Fight: Layla had several memorable ones with Summer Rae when they were fighting over Fandango.
  • Catchphrase: "Real Talk". Also "Simply Flawless" as well as "Famous and Flawless" being common captions on their clothes.
  • Cerebus Retcon: Their feud with Mickie James was basically just them cracking fat jokes at her every week and Matt Striker making fun of the whole thing on commentary. Then came a certain in-ring promo to hype up their match at the Royal Rumble...and the feud became a lot more powerful.
  • Clothing Damage: Variation, Michelle and Layla broke into Mickie's locker during her match with Natalya and made her watch them cut holes all the clothes she had kept in there while unable to stop them due to being locked in the sharpshooter. (Natalya none the wiser, due to the nature of the move, thought Mickie was crying because it hurt).
  • Combination Attack: Double big boot.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Natalya told them their combined IQ was lower than their non-existent waist size. They took that as a compliment meaning they were skinny.
  • Continuity Nod: Even after their feud with Kelly Kelly was over, whenever they faced her in matches they would mime that there was a bad smell in the air, referencing what their feud was about.
  • Costume Porn: Though some of their outfits earned WWE accusations of being made to mock AJ Styles on the interwebz.
  • Creepy Crosses: On Michelle McCool's ring attire, though she was creepier before this team's formation she did not display any of the good behavior you would associate with it.
  • Dance Battler: Surprisingly averted by Layla. She is a trained dancer and former member of the Miami Heat dancing team. She was also part of the dance troupe Extreme Expose Kelly Kelly and Brooke Adams) on ECW. Yet in her matches she makes barely any reference to her dancing.
  • The Ditz:
    • Layla more so than Michelle but both of them fit.
    • Became apparent one night while they were doing commentary. After spending months insulting every person in their path, they actually asked, "Why doesn't anyone like us?"
  • The Dog Bites Back: Michelle clearly didn't bank on Layla going absolutely ape-shit on her when she sneak-attacked her on Raw.
  • Double Standard: People were outraged at them calling Mickie James fat and immediately started calling Michelle "Skeletor" among other things. Anorexia is just as big a problem as obesity and Michelle has struggled with it in the past. This, however, crosses into Black Comedy and Hypocritical Humor, given the initial irony of the former anorexic calling another healthy, slender, gorgeous woman fat, especially since many eating disorders go hand in hand with bullying. While it's by no means Michelle's fault in real life, it is coming out of her mouth, and WWE fans have never been above reacting to the character instead of calling out Creative. As far as WWE cares, Tropes Are Tools; their mockery was intended to provoke heel heat, these remarks show it worked.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Her: Michelle's departure seemed really rushed. They began to show cracks a while ago, but aside from a couple of sneak attacks and a couple of matches, there wasn't much of a payoff for it, especially in comparisons to other current feuds such as Michael Cole vs. Jerry Lawler. Real Life Writes the Plot below seemed to indicate that there might have been more to it, but it got cut short for one reason or another. It's especially bad since Michelle and Layla are a couple of WWE's better Divas and LayCool was one of the things that made Women's wrestling a little more enjoyable to watch (since WWE's writers tend to forget storyline most of the time and turn the Divas into PG-rated fanservice.)
  • Epic Fail: Michelle once appeared on Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? She did badly, which is embarassing, considering that she actually used to be a school teacher.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: The two genuinely cared for each other, getting each other matching BFF necklaces and being concerned for the other's well being. Commentators even felt sad when the two split up. They also seemed to care for Kaval as well, being unambiguously happy when he won NXT.
  • Everything's Better with Sparkles: Layla's knee brace had rhinestones on it.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change:
    • In LayCool, Layla's hair was shoulder-length with a thick fringe. When she returned from injury as a face, her hair had grown to waist length.
  • Finishing Move: Michelle's first one was a spinning sidewalk slam. She then moved on to Wings of Love (modified King Kong Buster), then a Brazilian heel hook. She settled on the Faithbreaker (also known as AJ Styles's Styles Clash) in 2009. She would also sometimes win with a big boot or superkick. Layla had a neckbreaker called the Layout. She developed a Diamond Dust like stunner called the Face Lift. After her return, she won matches with a kick called The Bombshell.
  • Five Moves of Doom: Layla's - flying clothesline, spinning facecrusher, LOL, Bombshell.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Michelle's heel hook was named "MAD-T" - Made A Diva Tap.
  • Halloween Episode: They've actually gone past two Halloween specials on Smackdown now. See the Shout-Out below for this year's example. In 2009 Michelle dressed up as a devil and Layla as Michael Jackson.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Happened when they were mentoring Kaval on NXT since he was a face.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: They even got each other necklaces each shaped like half a heart so that when they were put together they spelled "Best Friends"
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Layla eventually developed into one. It's why she became so popular.
  • It's All About Me: Even at their friendliest, Michelle always used Layla to make herself look better, and Layla, not being particularly bright, was none the wiser. When Layla said she thought the two of them were equals, Michelle decided she had enough and turned against her.
  • Jerkass: Michelle, who was a major bitch to everyone, and in the final weeks of LayCool turned against Layla, cementing the latter's Heel–Face Turn.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Layla, who just seems more stupid than actually mean. She eventually got the hint when Michelle made Layla her latest target, and subsequently apologized.
  • Kick Chick: Both of them. Michelle frequently used big boots and superkicks. Layla initially used a spinning martial arts kick. When she returned, she won matches with a kick called The Bombshell. She also developed a signature spot that involved her opponent ducking her first kick but then being hit by a second one.
  • Kick The Bitch: Considering that she just lost a Loser Leaves WWE Match, it really wasn't all that necessary or required for Kharma to pretty much kill Michelle... but DAMN if it wasn't cathartic.
  • Lighter and Softer: Before, Michelle McCool was out to cause as much damage to the rest of the roster as possible. Compare her prior efforts of breaking jaws by smashing her knee into people's heads against the ringside barricade or leaving opponents unable to walk because she refused to release her heel hook, with her latter dumping punch on Mickie or smearing makeup on Beth. Some of Michelle's old sadism did show through on occasion, such as when she ordered Layla to break Melina's back, but overall she was a lot less threatening in Laycool.
  • Loser Leaves Town: The group disbanded at Extreme Rules 2011, where Layla defeated Michelle, forcing her to leave WWE. Just to make sure it stuck, Kharma also debuted that night and proceeded to kill the bitch dead.
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch:
    • Layla, to a degree.
    • Both of them on the second season of NXT when they were Kaval's pros. They were still bitchy but seemed to genuinely care about Kaval and were unambiguously happy when he won.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain
    • After they attacked Alicia Fox, who had just came to their aid. Alicia was Michelle's former heel partner and Laycool's last theoretical ally. From that point on rest of the locker room took an active stance against them.
    • Before that, Michelle's rundown of Mickie James got Mickie a temporary ally when it turned out a lot of what she said applied to Beth Phoenix. Beth quickly decided she still hated Mickie more but turned on Laycool again when they ripped the women's championship in half so they could keep playing "Co-champions".
  • Nick Naming The Enemy: Piggy James, Smelly Kelly, Maria the underfed redhead and The Belly Twins. They also dubbed Melina "Lady Wawa" due to her excessive crying after she won the Divas' title.
  • Odd Friendship: Them with the serious, no-nonsense Kaval, especially considering that they were heels while he was a face. Despite having him hold their Women's Championship belts and not treating him with much respect, they did care about him and were genuinely happy when he won NXT Season 2. Kaval reciprocated and was protective of them.
  • Oh, Crap!: The sheer look of absolute terror Michelle had on her face before getting crushed by Kharma almost made you forget she was the biggest heel in the Divas' division. Almost.
  • Older Than They Look: Layla most certainly does not look like a woman in her mid-30s.
  • One Head Taller: If you buy into the Les Yay. Michelle's 5'10". Layla's 5'2".
  • Portmanteau: Lay-Cool obviously. In a shoot interview, Michelle claims they went through dozens of names like that before finally picking one that worked. Years later Layla did it again with Summer Rae. They became the SLayers.
  • Pretty in Mink: Goes with their gimmicks
  • Put on a Bus: Michelle first; she retired from in-ring competition after her match with Layla, leaving the latter on her own. The latter's solo run never got out of the blocks because she suffered a knee injury, she tore her ACL and MCL, putting her out of action for year.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: This seems to be Layla's thing, though mostly through sheer coincidence. When she hooked up with Michelle, she took on the latter's theme song as her own - and kept it when Michelle retired. Although, the song Layla used while she was with Michelle and later kept was originally Torrie Wilson's theme song for a short time while she was a heel. So LayCool's theme song, "Not Enough For Me", was recycled from Torrie.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Layla's use of the body scissors when the team was still going. She was quite obviously intending to make it look like she was dry humping her opponents, as much as possible.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Layla and Kaval. An NXT competition involved seeing which potential superstar was the best kisser but the men who kissed Margarita before Kaval looked to be in physical pain after doing so. Layla kissed Kaval in her steed but Michelle said that did not get him out of the contest.
    • Layla and Michelle more like it. During their break-up angle, they even started attending Couple's Counseling.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Michelle became much more serious when it was clear the duo was going to split.
  • Shout-Out: For Halloween they dressed up as Lady Gaga and Beyoncé.
  • Signature Move: Let's see...
    • Michelle - Belly-to-belly Suplex, Big Boot, Russian Leg Sweep.
    • Layla - LOL crossbody, Infinity pin combination, Booty Bump.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: If their catch phrases were not enough of a hint.
  • Smooch of Victory: They give it to Kaval twice. The first when he regained the number one ranking in the Rookie Poll and second when he won NXT Season 2.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Michelle was the biggest Heel in the Divas' division before she was forced to leave WWE by Layla. Kharma, who seems to be her replacement in this regard, is more intimidating.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Both of them on Smackdown and eventually the entire diva's division. Between the two of them Layla was the women's champion but Michelle was on the champion's profile picture and defended the belt in Layla's steed during their "co-champions" gimmick.
  • Squee: Their understandable reaction to learning Kaval was the rookie they were paired up with on NXT, though it turned out they weren't happy for the reasons everyone expected them to be.
  • Stunned Silence: When Mae Young (who the girls had been mocking) suddenly demanded that "Mean" Gene Okerlund give her "a match with these sluts" their jaws simply dropped. When Mae followed up by shrugging off her jacket and shouting "You little bitches, let's go!" they visibly recoiled several steps.
  • Tears of Joy: When Kaval won NXT Season 2 and when Layla won the Divas' Championship after returning from injury in 2012. But subverted hilariously when Layla won the Women's title; she instead kept jumping around screaming with delight.
  • Those Two Girls: When they weren't the center of the division nor having internal disputes.
  • Villain Song: You're not enough for me...
  • Villain Team-Up: Besides each other? With Beth Phoenix, Vickie Guerrero and Dolph Ziggler. It was doomed to fail with Beth because she would inevitably pursue their championships while Dolph and Vickie blamed them for losing at Wrestlemania.
  • Wearing a Flag on Your Head: Layla donned Union Jack themed ring gear for the week WWE did tapings in the UK.
  • Wham Line: Layla - "The Harts don't belong in the Hall of Fame"