Debra Marshall

Debra Marshall
Debra Marshall
Ring name(s) Debra
Debra McMichael
Debra McMichael-Austin
Debra Williams
Queen Debra
Billed height 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)[1]
Billed weight 152 lb (69 kg)
Born March 2, 1960 (1960-03-02) (age 51)[2]
Tuscaloosa, Alabama[3]
Resides Alabama
Billed from Tuscaloosa, Alabama[1]
Debut 1996
Retired 2002

Debra Gale Marshall (born March 2, 1960)[2] is an American actress and former professional wrestling manager and WWE Diva. Arguably best known by her ring name, Debra, she gained recognition for her appearances with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) between 1998 and 2002.

She began her career in professional wrestling in 1996, accompanying her husband Steve "Mongo" McMichael to the ring in World Championship Wrestling (WCW). She joined the WWF in 1998, where she managed the tag team of Jeff Jarrett and Owen Hart. In 1999, she won the WWF Women's Championship from Sable in an Evening Gown match. She later appeared on-screen with her second husband Stone Cold Steve Austin until 2002, when the duo left the company. In addition to her wrestling career, Marshall has had small acting roles and formerly competed in beauty pageants.


Early life

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 her involvement in wrestling she competed in beauty pageants, winning Miss Illinois.[4]

Professional wrestling career

World Championship Wrestling (1996–1997)

In 1996, Marshall joined World Championship Wrestling (WCW) with her husband, Steve "Mongo" McMichael. She became known as the "Queen of WCW," a character based on her real-life participation in beauty pageants.[5][6] At The Great American Bash in June, Mongo and his partner Kevin Greene competed against The Four Horsemen (Ric Flair and Arn Anderson).[7] Flair won the match after Mongo and Debra turned on Greene by hitting him with a steel briefcase, joining the Horsemen.[8] The briefcase later became one of Debra's signature objects.[4] At Bash at the Beach in July 1997, Debra turned on Mongo during his WCW United States Heavyweight Championship match against Jeff Jarrett by handing Jarrett the steel briefcase, which he then used to knock Mongo out and thus win the match.[9] Next, Debra briefly managed Goldberg and Alex Wright.[10] After her divorce from McMichael, Debra joined the WWF.[5]

World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment (1998–2002)

Manager of Jeff Jarrett; Women's Champion (1998–1999)

In 1998, Marshall rejoined Jarrett in the WWF.[4] At the beginning of her WWF career, known simply as Debra, she played the part of a shrewd businesswoman, wearing business suits.[1][5] She also played the part of Jarrett's girlfriend.[11] In late 1998, Jarrett began a feud with Goldust that culminated in December at Rock Bottom: In Your House in a "Striptease match".[12] During the match, Debra hit Goldust over the head with Jarrett's trademark guitar, enabling Jarrett to win.[12] WWF Commissioner Shawn Michaels, however, disqualified Jarrett, and Debra had to strip due to the match's stipulations.[12] As she stripped, The Blue Blazer (Owen Hart) and Jarrett covered her up.[12] Debra, however, began utilizing a new strategy during matches, distracting Jarrett's opponents by unbuttoning her blouse.[5][11] She would willingly take off her blouse to show the crowd her "puppies", a nickname originally bestowed upon her chest by wrestler Road Dogg and later utilized by commentator Jerry Lawler.[13]

The strategy helped Jarrett and partner Hart defeat The Big Boss Man and Ken Shamrock to become World Tag Team Champions in January 1999.[14] In February, Debra feuded with female professional wrestler Ivory, and Jarrett and Hart retained the tag title in a tag match against Ivory's associates Mark Henry and D'Lo Brown at St. Valentine's Day Massacre.[15] In March, the team lost their tag title to the team of Kane and X-Pac.[16] As Debra continued to manage Jarrett and Hart, a potential storyline developed where Hart and Debra would have an affair, but the creative team vetoed the idea before it played out on-screen.[11] A team name was also in the works—Debra favoring "Talent and Attitude" (T&A)—but Hart died in May 1999 at Over the Edge.[4] Later in the event, Debra and Jarrett lost a mixed tag team match against Nicole Bass and Val Venis.[17]

On May 10, 1999, Debra won the Women's Championship from Sable in an Evening Gown match.[18] Usually, in an Evening Gown match, the woman who forcibly removes her opponent's dress wins.[19] Because Sable removed Debra's dress, she therefore should have been the winner.[19] Commissioner Shawn Michaels, however, ruled that he considered the woman who had lost her dress the winner, crowning Debra the new Women's Champion.[19] Debra lost the Women's Title to Ivory on June 14, due to interference from Nicole Bass.[20]

At SummerSlam in 1999 Jarrett faced D'Lo Brown.[21] During the match, Debra and Brown's former tag-team partner Mark Henry interfered on Jarrett's behalf, allowing him to win both the European Championship and the Intercontinental Championship.[21] The following night, Jarrett awarded Henry the European title and gave Debra an assistant, Miss Kitty.[22] At Unforgiven on September 26, Debra turned on Jarrett and hit him over the head with a guitar in the middle of his match against Chyna for the Intercontinental Championship.[23] Chyna pinned Jarrett, but referee Tom Prichard overturned the decision due to Debra's involvement.[23]

Sporadic appearances (1999–2002)

Debra appeared sporadically thereafter, but she participated in an eight-women Sudden Death match at Survivor Series in 1999 where she teamed with The Fabulous Moolah, Mae Young, and Tori.[24] Debra stayed off television while her new husband Stone Cold Steve Austin recovered from neck surgery.[4] She reappeared in April 2000, acting as a guest ring announcer at Backlash.[4][25] In the fall of that year she played the role of Lieutenant Commissioner, the assistant of Commissioner Mick Foley.[1][4]

Meanwhile, the marriage became incorporated into on-screen storylines, and on an episode of Raw, Stone Cold and Debra took on Matt Hardy and Lita.[26] Debra and Lita fought outside the ring until Stone Cold pinned Hardy to win the match.[26] She appeared sporadically thereafter, and left the company in June 2002 with Austin.[27]

Other media

Before becoming involved in wrestling, Marshall studied acting in Texas.[5] Her first acting jobs involved commercials and two music videos for country musician George Strait.[4] She also had a small role in the 1994 film Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation as a policewoman.[5] The producers originally offered her the lead in the film, but when the director's first choice changed her mind and accepted the role, Marshall was given the small role instead.[4]

On March 10, 2002, Marshall appeared on an episode of The Weakest Link alongside several other members of the WWE roster.[28] She also appeared in Just Another Romantic Wrestling Comedy as "Jenny".[29] In addition, she has a role in the 2010 film Gathering of Heroes.[30]

Personal life

Marshall's marriage to National Football League alumnus and professional wrestler Steve McMichael lasted ten years.[5] McMichael's mother, whom Marshall met on an airplane, set up their first meeting as a blind date.[4] They divorced on October 12, 1998.[2]

Debra met Steve Williams (known on-screen as Stone Cold Steve Austin) in 1998; they moved in together in 2000.[3] On September 6 of that year, they married at The Little White Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas, and she changed her name to Debra Williams.[2][3] On June 15, 2002, police responded to a call to the couple's residence in San Antonio, Texas, and found Debra with bruises and a bloody nose.[31] On August 14, the authorities arrested Austin and charged him with misdemeanor assault.[32] 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.[32] Austin filed for divorce on July 22, 2002.[33] Marshall later auctioned her wedding ring off on eBay and donated the proceeds ($27,100) to "Safe Place", an organization which assists the victims of domestic abuse.[34]

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 Stone Cold hitting her in June 2002 and suggested links between such substances and the death of Benoit and his family.[35] She also alleged that Austin beat her three times.[35][36] Marshall told Fox News that WWE put a gag order on her so she would not reveal that Stone Cold hit her, as it would cost the company millions of dollars.[36]

In wrestling

Championships and accomplishments


Year Film Role Notes
1994 Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation Cop At Bud's Pizza
1999 Beyond the Mat Herself
2006 Just Another Romantic Wrestling Comedy Jennie/Dancer
2010 Gathering of Heroes: Legend of the Seven Swords Reina
2012 Tengu: The Immortal Blade Captain Lang
Year Title Role Notes
1999 Biography Herself Episode: "The Life and Death of Owen Hart"
Teen Choice Awards Presenter
2002 Mad TV Herself Episode 7.15
Weakest Link Herself Episode: "WWF Superstars Edition 2"
2007 Inside Edition Herself


  1. ^ a b c d Shields, Brian and Kevin Sullivan (2009). WWE Encyclopedia. DK/BradyGAMES. p. 75. ISBN 9780756641900. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Steve Williams and Debra's Marriage Certificate". The Smoking Gun. Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  3. ^ a b c Stone Cold Steve Austin. The Stone Cold Truth (p.185–186)
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Chamberlin, Thomas (December 2001). "Getting a leg up". Wrestling Digest. Retrieved 2010-01-17. [dead link]
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Powell, John (April 23, 1999). "Debra McMichael, standing proud". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2010-01-17. 
  6. ^ Dumas, Amy. Lita: A Less Traveled R.O.A.D., p.75.
  7. ^ Great American Bash '94 (VHS). Turner Home Entertainment. 1996. 
  8. ^ "2007 Wrestling Almanac & Book of Facts". Wrestling’s historical cards (Kappa Publishing): pp. 144. 2007. 
  9. ^ Powell, John (July 14, 1997). "Rodman, Hogan Bashed At Beach". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
  10. ^ Powell, John (October 27, 1997). "Hogan pays the Piper". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
  11. ^ a b c McCoy, Heath (2005). Pain and Passion: The History of Stampede Wrestling. CanWest Books. p. 251. ISBN 097367198X. 
  12. ^ a b c d Powell, John (December 14, 1998). "Foley screwed again". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2010-01-17. 
  13. ^ Lawler, Jerry. It's Good to Be the King ... Sometimes, p. 261.
  14. ^ "World Tag Title History: Hart and Jarrett's Reign". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
  15. ^ Powell, John (February 15, 1999). "McMahon makes a Giant mistake". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2010-01-17. 
  16. ^ "World Tag Title History: Kane and X-Pac's Reign". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
  17. ^ Powell, John (May 24, 1999). "Hart tragedy overshadows Taker win". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2010-01-17. 
  18. ^ a b "Women's Championship Title History: Debra's Reign". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2007-04-10. 
  19. ^ a b c Mr. X (May 15, 1999). "WWF body slams NBA game". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2010-01-25. 
  20. ^ "Women's Title History: Ivory's Reign". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2010-01-25. 
  21. ^ a b Powell, John (August 23, 1999). "Foley new champ at SummerSlam". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2010-01-25. 
  22. ^ Lawler, Jerry. It's Good to Be the King ... Sometimes, p. 337.
  23. ^ a b Yang, Rich (September 17, 1999). "HHH regains title at Unforgiven". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2010-01-17. 
  24. ^ Powell, John (November 15, 1999). "Booking blows Survivor Series". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2010-01-17. 
  25. ^ Powell, John (May 1, 2000). "Rock victorious at Backlash, Game Over for Triple H". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2010-01-17. 
  26. ^ a b Dumas, Amy. Lita: A Less Traveled R.O.A.D., p.261–263.
  27. ^ Stone Cold Steve Austin. The Stone Cold Truth (p.259)
  28. ^ "WWF Superstars Edition 2". The Weakest Link. March 10, 2002.
  29. ^ Just Another Romantic Wrestling Comedy (DVD). Victory Audio/Video Services. March 6, 2007. 
  30. ^ "Debra plays Reina". Retrieved 2008-11-30. 
  31. ^ "Stone Cold surrenders to authorities". The Smoking Gun. 2002-08-14. Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  32. ^ a b "Stone Cold Plea". The Smoking Gun. Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  33. ^ "Stone Cold Divorce Papers". The Smoking Gun. Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  34. ^ Baines, Tim (March 14, 2004). "Benoit's night ... unless Triple H has his way". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2010-01-17. 
  35. ^ a b "Pro Wrestling Wife Claims Drug Abuse, Domestic Violence 'Out of Hand in the WWE'". FOX News. 2007-06-27.,2933,286924,00.html. Retrieved 2007-08-21. 
  36. ^ a b "Debra Marshall, Ex-wife of Stone Cold Steve Austin Tells What Really Goes on in Pro-Wrestling World". FOX News. June 29, 2007.,2933,287361,00.html. Retrieved 2008-11-30. 


  • Dumas, Amy (2004). Lita: A Less Traveled R.O.A.D.--The Reality of Amy Dumas. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 074347399X. 
  • Lawler, Jerry (2002). It's Good to Be the King...Sometimes. WWE Books. ISBN 978-0743457682. 
  • Stone Cold Steve Austin and Jim Ross (2003). The Stone Cold Truth. Pocket Books. ISBN 0743477200. 

External links

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