BIOGRAPHY - DEBRA MARSHALL MCMICHAELS WILLIAMS

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Real Name: Debra Marshall McMichael Williams
Birthday: March 2, 1960
Hometown: Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Marital Status: Divorced from Steve McMichaels, Divorced from Stone Cold Steve Austin
Height & Weight: 5'5" - 122 lbs
Debut: August 1996
Previous Gimmicks: "Queen Debra", Debra McMichaels
Notable Feuds: Ric Flair, Jeff Jarrett, Miss Kitty, Stephanie McMahon, Goldust, Sable, Ivory

 

Raised in West Blocton, Alabama, Marshall became a track-runner, cheerleader, and Homecoming Queen in high school before attending

the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in New York. She then became a flight attendant before joining World Championship Wrestling along

with her husband, Steve "Mongo" McMichael, in 1996.

 

In 1985, Debra married National Football League alumnus and professional wrestler Steve McMichael. She and McMichael divorced on October 12, 1998.

 

Debra started in wrestling as one of the many women who would stand on the entrance ramp and clap as Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage entered the ring. Then Ric Flair hit on her and she threw a drink in his face, which caused Mongo to demand a match with Flair. At the Great American Bash in 1996, Mongo and his partner Kevin Greene competed against Flair and Arn Anderson. Late in the match, Woman and Elizabeth chased Debra and Tara Greene backstage. Debra returned a few minutes later with a metal brief-case and gave it to her husband; Steve McMichael opened it and found a Four Horsemen T-shirt and a sum of money. Flair won the match after Mongo and Debra turned on Greene due to the brief-case.[3] After the match, Chris Benoit came out, and the reformed Four Horsemen attacked Randy Savage, who trained McMichael and Greene for the match. During this time, Debra bickered with Woman; Mongo and Benoit frequently had to step in and separate them during their disagreements.

 

Later in 1996 Jeff Jarrett came over to WCW from the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and expressed his desire to join the Horsemen. He immediately gained fans in Ric Flair and Debra, much to the chagrin of the other Horsemen (including Mongo). She eventually helped Jarrett defeat Mongo to gain membership by forcing Mongo to team with him. Just as the duo had begun to coexist peacefully, Debra and Jarrett turned on Mongo. Next, Debra recruited Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko, Goldberg, and Alex Wright into a short-lived stable, which disbanded when Debra left WCW (and divorced Mongo).

 

In 1998, Debra rejoined Jarrett in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). At the beginning of her WWF career, Debra played the part of a shrewd businesswoman, wearing business suits and rarely smiling. She often helped Jarrett win matches through cheating and interference. Following "Survivor Series" in November 1998, Jarrett began a feud with "The Bizarre One", Goldust. With a match set for December at "In Your House: Rock Bottom", Goldust announced that it would be a "Striptease match", meaning that if Jarrett won, Goldust would have to strip naked, but if Goldust won, Debra would have to strip naked. In the weeks prior to the match, Debra flashed Goldust in order to distract him and to cost him matches. On December 13, Jarrett faced Goldust in the Striptease match. Debra hit Goldust over the head with Jarrett's trademark guitar, enabling Jarrett to win, which meant that Goldust had to strip. WWF Commissioner Shawn Michaels, however, ruled that, since Debra had hit Goldust with a guitar, Jarrett was disqualified, meaning that Goldust was the winner, and Debra had to strip. Debra hesitated at first but soon warmed up to the crowd, stripping down to her bra and thong. Before Debra could unhook her bra, however, The Blue Blazer entered the ring and covered her up. From that point on, in every Jarrett match, Debra would take off her blouse and show her bra in order to distract Jarrett's opponents. The strategy often brought success, and it helped Jarrett and partner Owen Hart defeat The Big Boss Man and Ken Shamrock to become World Tag Team Champions. Jarrett became a de facto fan favorite due to Debra, who would willingly take off her blouse to show the crowd her "puppies" (a nickname originally bestowed by wrestler Road Dogg and immortalized by commentator Jerry Lawler).

 

In February 1999 Debra had her first WWF feud with a female, Ivory. The feud began with small catfights, but it escalated to wrestling matches. The first match involving Debra saw her team with Jarrett against Ivory and D'Lo Brown on Monday Night Raw. Ivory and Brown won by disqualification after Debra hit Ivory over the head with a guitar. They also fought in a tag match at St. Valentine's Day Massacre where Jarrett and Owen Hart retained their tag titles against Brown and Mark Henry, accompanied by Ivory. On March 1, Ivory stripped Debra during Jarrett's match. Debra then challenged Ivory to a match backstage, and Ivory accepted. On one occasion, Debra beat Ivory due to interference from PMS (Terri Runnels and Jacqueline Moore). During the month of April, Debra continued to manage Jarrett and Hart. Debra then became involved in an extended feud with Nicole Bass, which culminated in a mixed tag match pitting Bass and Val Venis against Jeff Jarrett and Debra at Over the Edge.

 

On May 10, 1999, Debra won the Women's Championship from Sable in an Evening Gown match.[4] Usually, in an Evening Gown match, the woman who forcibly removes her opponent's dress wins. Because Sable removed Debra's dress, she therefore should have been the winner. Commissioner Shawn Michaels, however, ruled that he considered the woman who had lost her dress the winner, crowning Debra the new Women's Champion. During her reign, she rarely defended the title, instead remaining a manager. Debra lost the Women's Title to Ivory on June 14, due to interference from Nicole Bass: while Debra choked Ivory with a scarf, Bass entered the ring and choked Debra so Ivory got the pin.

 

Jarrett then began mistreating her during July and August, blaming her whenever he lost a match. Jarrett then began another feud with D'Lo Brown. The two met at SummerSlam in 1999, with Debra in Brown's corner. Brown's former tag-team partner Mark Henry turned on him, along with Debra, resulting in Jarrett winning both the European Championship and the Intercontinental Championship. The following night, Jarrett awarded Henry the European title and gave Debra an assistant, Miss Kitty. He, however, soon turned against Debra in favor of Kitty, after blaming her for a mixed-tag team loss to Stephanie McMahon and Test. After losing that match, Jarrett applied the figure four leglock on her. Finally, at Unforgiven on September 26, Debra turned on Jeff Jarrett in the middle of his match against Chyna for the Intercontinental Championship. She smashed Jarrett's guitar over his head and told him she was no longer going to manage him. Chyna pinned Jarrett, but the referee overturned the decision due to Debra's involvement. The next night on Raw, Jarrett and Tom Prichard challenged Chyna and Debra to a mixed-tag match. Chyna accepted but added the stipulation that if she won, she would get a rematch for the Intercontinental Championship. Just as Chyna was about to lose, Debra got into the ring and pulled Jarrett's hair. Chyna later pinned Jarrett and was rewarded a rematch at No Mercy. In the following weeks, Chyna and Debra continued to feud with Jarrett and Miss Kitty.

 

Debra appeared sporadically thereafter; she participated in an eight-women Sudden Death match at Survivor Series 1999 where she teamed with The Fabulous Moolah, Mae Young, and Tori. When Terri got into the ring to break up a pin, Debra got in and stripped Terri Runnels. At the end of 1999, Debra got an offer from Playboy to appear nude in the magazine, but turned the offer down.

 

On September 6, 2000, Debra married Steve Austin and changed her name to Debra Williams. On June 15, 2002, police responded to a call to the couple's residence in San Antonio, Texas. They found a hysterical Debra with bruises and a bloody nose. Austin had left the house and police asked him not to return. On August 14, the authorities arrested Austin and charged him with domestic abuse. He pled no contest on November 25 and received a year's probation, a $1,000 fine, and an order to carry out eighty hours of community service. In addition, the court banned him from drinking alcoholic beer for a year, as alcohol was believed[by whom?] to be linked to his offense. Austin filed for divorce on July 22, 2002, and the couple legally divorced in 2003. Debra later auctioned her wedding ring off on eBay and donated the proceeds ($34,000) to "SafePlace", a legal clinic which assists the victims of domestic abuse.

 

In 2000, Debra acted as ring announcer for the WWF Tag Team Championship match between Edge and Christian against D-Generation X's X-Pac and "The Road Dogg" Jesse James at "Backlash". She disappeared in the summer of 2000, but made a full-time return in the fall of that year, playing the role of Lieutenant Commissioner, the assistant of Commissioner Mick Foley.

 

By this time, Debra had married Stone Cold Steve Austin, and the marriage became incorporated into on-screen storylines. She disliked her husband becoming a villain at WrestleMania X-Seven, but still stood by him as he slowly descended into madness throughout his reign as WWF Champion. Only when Austin joined The Alliance during the Invasion angle did Debra officially became a villain again, and she began wearing leather pants and tight black t-shirts with Stone Cold written on them. While she did not accompany Stone Cold to the ring for his matches, she did join him in backstage segments and in interviews. She also started baking cookies, which she served to the other Alliance members. The cookies supposedly tasted terrible, but no one told her, except a somewhat tactless Austin. On August 2, 2001, Debra hit Austin with a tray in the middle of the ring after he repeatedly interrupted and disrespected her. One week later on Raw, Stone Cold and Debra took on the babyface gimmicks of Matt Hardy and Lita. Debra and Lita fought outside the ring until Stone Cold stunned Matt Hardy and won the match.

 

In late 2001/early 2002, Stone Cold began a feud with Triple H, which led into an argument between Debra and Stephanie McMahon on January 14. The argument turned into a catfight when Debra slapped Stephanie and pulled her down by her hair. They fought for about two minutes until WWF officials separated them.[9] Debra retained an on-screen role with Stone Cold even after the Alliance angle ended and Stone Cold had turned face again. Her appearances became more and more infrequent: lacking involvement in any actual angles or storylines, she just made random appearances backstage. After the WWF changed its name to World Wrestling Entertainment in 2002, Debra appeared even more infrequently. On June 3, Debra appeared with Stone Cold, discussing Raw and SmackDown! and who Stone Cold would have to wrestle. On June 10, viewers saw Debra in a backstage interview about an incident between Lita and Austin. Debra's final WWE appearance came at Excess where she and Trish Stratus guested. The show aired two days after her last Raw appearance. In late June 2002, Austin walked out of WWE, and Debra followed.

 

In June and July 2007, Debra made several appearances in various newspapers and news programs, along with "Superstar" Billy Graham, to discuss the Chris Benoit double murder and suicide. Debra described steroids and drugs as the cause of Stone Cold hitting her in June 2002 and suggested links between such substances and the death of Chris and his family. She said Benoit was a "nice person" but that drugs can change people, as they did Austin. Austin beat her three times, including holding her down on the floor and hitting her in the head and back while on drugs, which was the reason she divorced him. Debra also told Fox News that WWE had a "code of silence" where she was not allowed to reveal that Stone Cold hit her, as it would cost the company millions of dollars because Stone Cold was one of their biggest stars. Debra said she revealed the information five years later as she was suffering from depression from the whole ordeal.

 

In June and July 2007, Marshall made several appearances to discuss the Chris Benoit double murder and suicide. She described steroids and drugs as the cause of Austin hitting her in June 2002 and suggested links between such substances and the death of Benoit and his family. She also alleged that Austin beat her three times

 

In 2009, Debra began accepting wrestling-related bookings, including participation during WrestleMania weekend, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, charity events and autograph-signings. She even attended a few matches, sitting with the commentators, saying that she was just here to visit her life-long friends.

 

Before becoming involved in wrestling, Debra had a small role in the 1994 film Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation as a policewoman. In 1999, Debra presented two awards at the Teen Choice Awards. On February 16, 2002, she and Steve Austin appeared on an episode of Mad TV. On March 10, 2002, Debra appeared on an episode of The Weakest Link alongside several other members of the WWE roster. She also appeared in Just Another Romantic Wrestling Comedy as "Jenny". Debra has a role in the upcoming film Gathering of Heroes due for release in 2009.