NXT’s Abbey Laith has been released from her developmental contract with WWE.
Pro Wrestling Sheet broke the news of her release this afternoon, saying Laith was notified of her release earlier in the day. F4WOnline and PWInsider have also confirmed that Laith is gone from WWE.
While Laith hasn’t directly addressed her release, she tweeted a quote from Rocky Balboa (the title character of the Rocky movie series) a few hours before the news broke:
“It will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me or nobody is going to hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit, it is about how hard you can get it and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”
— Abbey Laith (@AbbeyLaithWWE) March 8, 2018
Laith was backstage at last night’s NXT tapings at Full Sail University in Orlando, Florida, but not used.
Laith, real named Kimberly Frankele, was introduced on the December 6, 2016, episode of NXT as a jobber wrestling under the ring alias Kimber Lee and losing to Ember Moon. Later that month, it was reported that she had signed with WWE and would start with the company in January 2017.
On January 4, 2017, WWE announced the signing of Frankele along with Dori Prange (aka Ruby Riott), MaryKate Duignan Glidewell (aka Sage Beckett) and Julia Ho (aka Zeda). She made her in-ring debut under her real name on January 14, 2017, during an NXT live event competing in a tag team match along with Prange in a losing effort to Aliyah and Liv Morgan.
Her next televised appearance came on the April 12, 2017, episode of NXT, as she lost to Ruby Riot. On the May 3, 2017, episode of NXT, she competed in a number one contender’s battle royal for Asuka’s NXT Women’s Championship, where she was eliminated by Ruby Riot.
In June 2017, Frankele was given the new ring name, Abbey Laith. That same month, she was announced as one of the 32 participants competing in the Mae Young Classic. On August 28, 2017, Laith defeated Jazzy Gabert in the first round. On September 4, 2017, she defeated Rachel Evers in the second round, before being eliminated two days later in the quarterfinals by Mercedes Martinez.
In her final televised appearance, on the October 25, 2017, episode of NXT, Laith participated in a battle royal to gain a spot at the fatal four-way match for the vacant NXT Women’s Championship at NXT TakeOver: WarGames. She was unsuccessful.
While Laith did appear much on television, she worked a lot of Florida house shows. She wrestled her last match on Saturday, losing to Vanessa Borne.
Prior to joining WWE, Frankele competed for more than six years under the ring alias Kimber Lee. Trained by WWE Cruiserweight Drew Gulak, she came to wrestling from the world of classical dancing, where she earned a degree in dance education and was a ballerina for much of her life. In addition to capturing titles throughout the independent scene, including in both Shine Wrestling and SHIMMER Women Athletes, Frankele was the only female to ever hold the Chikara Grand Championship.