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Where Are They Now? Beulah McGillicutty
Trisa Laughlin never thought she’d end up as a children’s book author. But, then again, she never thought she’d be the first lady of Extreme Championship Wrestling, either.
The hardcore environment of ECW seemed like the last place you’d find a beautiful woman like Laughlin, better known as Beulah McGillicutty. Among the tables, chairs, barbed wire and other assorted weaponry, Beulah’s stunning looks could stop even the most hardened competitors in their tracks. ( CLASSIC PHOTOS)
So, just how did she end up in The Land of the Extreme? As she explained to WWE.com in a recent interview, it started while she was on tour as a dancer with Prince, where a chance meeting at an after-party changed her life.
“I met Ron Gant, the baseball player, who was friends with Raven,” Beulah said of the former ECW Champion. “Then Raven introduced me to Paul Heyman and the rest is history.”
From the moment she stepped foot in ECW in 1995, Beulah had the spotlight shining bright on her. The beauty became embroiled in the promotion’s biggest rivalry, between the sadistic Raven and his lifelong nemesis, Tommy Dreamer. The grimy competitor introduced her as a mutual friend from summer camp who Dreamer had shunned during their childhood.
Despite being thrust to the forefront of ECW very quickly, Beulah said she didn’t feel any pressure. “I felt lucky to be in that position. It was quite an experience,” she said.
Beyond the Dreamer-Raven conflict, Beulah proved she could more than handle herself in between the ropes. She didn’t want to be treated differently than her male counterparts, either. She carried herself like a professional throughout the toughest of situations.
“I didn’t want to show any weakness, especially in ECW’s locker room,” Beulah said. “I even refused to cry when I broke my wrist punching Bill Alfonso in the head. The following week I was in Japan with a cast up to my shoulder but I never let anyone see me cry.”
Beulah is also most remembered for her part in what may have been ECW’s most shocking match. It was an unlikely contest between herself and scrawny manager Bill Alfonso. A cut to the head of the former referee led to both competitors being covered in crimson by the final bell.
“I didn’t even realize how beat up he was until after I showered after the match,” Beulah said as she described watching the claret wash off. “It was gross!”
By 1998, however, the hardcore atmosphere created by characters like The Sandman, Axl Rotten and New Jack had taken its toll on Beulah. She left ECW that year to pursue other goals. “I just felt it was time for me to move on with my life. I was turning 30 and wanted to go back to college and start a family,” she explained.
Though ECW’s storylines declared that Tommy Dreamer had shunned Beulah in the past, reality ended up differently. As unusual as it may seem for the hardcore warrior to land the beautiful woman, that is how it played out.
“It wasn’t love at first sight,” Beulah joked. “As I got to know Tommy, I saw what a caring loving person he was. He was my knight in shining armor and still is.” ( CURRENT PHOTOS)
Along the way, Tommy and Beulah made an addition to their family, twin daughters Kimberly and Brianna. A flair for the theatrical runs in the family, as the pair appeared in the HBO hit show "The Sopranos," portraying Tony Soprano’s baby niece Nica Baccalieri.
Aside from raising her daughters, Laughlin has also become an author. She recently published her first book, "Gertrude the Great." The story is about a girl who does everything she can to be just like her older sister. Laughlin drew inspiration from her childhood when writing the book, as she idolized her big sister growing up.
She got some help along the way from another ECW Original and WWE Legend. "I showed it to Mick Foley for his opinion,” Laughlin explained. “Mick thought I really had a good story and put me in touch with some publishers.”
Finding a publisher became a long, drawn-out process, so she opted to take matters into her own hands and self-publish. While Laughlin finished the story, Foley helped the extreme beauty get in contact with someone who could help her put the finishing touches on it.
“Mick introduced me to Jill Thompson, who illustrated one of his children’s books,” she explained. Thompson is an Eisner-award winning comic book artist and creator of "Scary Godmother," a children’s book series that was adapted into a show on Cartoon Network. She also designed the ring gear of current WWE Superstar Daniel Bryan.
“Jill liked the story and I asked her what my next step should be,” Laughlin said. “Jill said that I should have the book illustrated and when I asked her to refer an illustrator, she told me that she’d like to do it which is the highest compliment she could have paid me.”
With Thompson on board, the book was soon complete, and is now available in print at GetGertrude.com. It’s also available for digital download on the Nook at barnesandnoble.com.
Aside from a brief return to the ring at One Night Stand 2006, where she teamed with her husband and WWE Hall of Famer Terry Funk to take on Edge, Lita and Mick Foley, Beulah has been out of the ring for more than a decade. With her days as a performer behind her, Laughlin is focused on her writing career now. She’s in the planning stages of a follow-up to "Gertrude The Great," which draws from another childhood experience.
“I’ve already started on another book about Gertrude about her being afraid to go to sleep away camp,” she said. She’s also working on a story featuring WWE Superstars, much in the vein of Foley’s work.
If her accomplishments in the ring are any indication of what lies ahead in the literary world for Beulah, she will be an extreme success.