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FYI: pop culture news

March 04, 2004|By Kevin Eck | Kevin Eck,Sun Staff

Stacy Keibler entered a dance contest on a whim more than four years ago, and the Rosedale native's life has never been the same.

In the fall of 1999, Keibler, then 19, beat out 300 competitors from around the country to become a member of the Nitro Girls, a sexy dance troupe that was featured on the now-defunct World Championship Wrestling's nationally televised professional wrestling programs.

Sensing the leggy blonde had star potential, WCW's creative team quickly took her out of the Nitro Girls and wrote her into the show's outlandish story lines. The former ballerina even learned how to wrestle a bit.

When World Wrestling Entertainment bought WCW in 2001, Keibler joined the Vince McMahon empire and quickly became one of the most popular "WWE divas." Tune in to Spike TV's WWE Raw on Monday nights, and you'll likely find the former "Miss Congeniality" from Baltimore's Catholic High School mixing it up in the ring with a busty vixen or hiking up her skirt to distract male wrestlers.

On Sunday, Keibler, 24, returns to Baltimore as part of WWE's "Road to WrestleMania XX" event at 1st Mariner Arena.

You've said that you wanted to use wrestling as a steppingstone to get into acting. Is that still your goal?

I love what I do and I love our fans, but I would still like to use this as a steppingstone. I have been [going] to L.A. once a month to see what opportunities there are for me out there. Look at The Rock, and now Triple H is doing things [in Hollywood]. I wouldn't be having the meetings I'm having in L.A. with directors and producers if I didn't have this job.

In a story in The Sun shortly after you were hired by WCW, you said there were certain things you wouldn't do, such as wrestle in mud, gravy or lingerie. Since going to WWE, you've done all three. What changed your mind?

After starting out in WCW, WWE was the major leagues, and it was a big transition for me. One of my first matches there was a bra-and-panties match. I really didn't have much of a choice but to make the step. I still try to stay as classy as I can while doing these things. Yes, I have wrestled in gravy. I have wrestled in mud. I've had bra-and-panties matches. I've gone against everything I said in that article, but all for the entertainment value for our fans.

Is it true that you recently turned down an offer to pose nude in Playboy?

Yes. In the back of my mind I knew that I wasn't going to do it, but I still wanted to take some time and really think about it. It's a hard decision when someone says you can have this big chunk of money right now, and it really tested my faith. I got everyone's opinion and the general opinion was: You really don't want to do this at this time in your career, which is exactly what I thought. Nothing against Playboy, but I feel that it's just not Stacy. It's not a reflection of me or my personality to pose nude in a magazine.

WWE Raw's "Road to WrestleMania XX" is at 1st Mariner Arena at 2 p.m. Sunday . Tickets are $40, $30, $25 and $20. Call 410-481-SEAT.

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