Through the years, the WWE Universe has seen many Divas come and go, but only a few have been able to leave a long-lasting imprint. One such Diva is Sharmell, who was later known as Queen Sharmell. Although most of you might remember her as Booker T’s wife, who stayed on the ringside and helped her husband succeed in the ring, she has also contributed to WWE in many other ways. Her fans found her exit from the industry quite sudden, wondering the reason why it happened. At the same time, they must also be curious to know what Sharmell’s life looks like these days. So, let’s find out the answers to these questions, shall we?
Why Did Sharmell Leave WWE?
Hailing from Gary, Indiana, Sharmell Sullivan-Huffman, popularly known as Sharmell, was born on November 2, 1970, and at the age of 20, she won the Miss Black America pageant in 1991, accelerating her career as a professional dancer. This gave her the opportunity to go on tours with numerous hip-hop artists and R&B bands, which included her three-and-a-half-year stint with James Brown. She then took her dance moves to World Championship Wrestling (WCW) under the name of Storm, a member of the Nitro Girl dance troupe, in December 1998.
As the dance troupe gained more prominence, Sharmell, while becoming a fierce competitor, became the valet for The Artist and gave herself a new ring name — Paisley. A couple of years into her WCW career, Sharmell was released and immediately signed a developmental contract with WWF in 2001, agreeing to become a full-time in-ring performer and backstage interviewer. For a short while, she redubbed herself as Sister Sharmell while donning a blonde wig and assuming the role of the valet for The Suicide Blondes.
Sharmell soon injured herself, and due to her inability to be involved in any in-ring work, she became a backstage interviewer on SmackDown! until the company was renamed World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) in early 2002. After retiring for a while, Sharmell was called back by the WWE in 2005 to play the face valet of her real-life husband, Booker T. Together, Sharmell and Booker T were a force to reckon with as she started to interfere in her spouse’s matches in cunning ways, leading to his success.
Whether it was a feud with Kurt Angle or The Boogeyman, Sharmell suffered a lot, including getting kissed by The Boogeyman with a mouth full of worms. However, she finally received the kind of treatment she deserved and wanted when Booker T won the 2006 King of the Ring tournament, after which he referred to himself as King Booker and Sharmell as Queen Sharmell.
A year later, in April 2007, the couple went through a rough patch in the storyline, which resulted in Booker T’s neck being sprained and putting him out of action for a significant time. Later that year, in October, Booker T and Sharmell were released from their respective contracts upon their request. The possible reason for her retirement was that she received a better opportunity in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA), which is where the couple headed right after their departure from WWE.
Where is Sharmell Now?
Ever since her retirement, Sharmell has made appearances at the 2013 WWE Hall of Fame when her husband was inducted; at the 2022 WWE Hall of Fame when she got inducted; and most recently, alongside her spouse at the 2023 WWE Drafts. As mentioned above, after WWE, Sharmell moved to TNA in November 2007, where she teamed up with Booker T and competed in a few tag team matches, including against the likes of Robert Roode and Ms. Brooks. She even competed in some solo matches in TNA, most of which didn’t go in her favor. In 2009, the couple left the company after a couple of years.
Besides that, Sharmell and her husband’s Reality of Wrestling, an independent wrestling promotion that they established back in 2005, continues to produce promising talents for the wrestling industry. Apart from that, Sharmell has made progress in her Hollywood career, being a writer, producer, and actor, as she has been featured in TV shows like ‘Chicago P.D.’ and ‘Mike.’ Currently, she spends most of her time with her family, including her husband Booker T, and her kids, Brandon (stepson), Kendrick, and Kennedy, proving that, besides being an iconic personality, she is a great wife and mother as well.