Salem Rita Seitz (born January 7, 1987) is an American platform diver and professional wrestler better known by her ring names Rita, Rita Salem, and Sōsaresu, she is also known by the name Sally Hayes. She is the daughter of WWE Legend, Michael “P.S.” Hayes. Seitz is currently signed to World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (WWE), performing for their NXT brand and working under the name Rita Salem.
Seitz grew up in Pensacola, Florida alongside her half-brother, Frederick. Seitz was raise almost solely by her mother with her father only coming around a few times a year.
Seitz attended Pensacola High School, graduating in 2005. During high school Seitz was part of the school’s swim and dive team, track team, and girls’ softball team. It was during her high school days that Seitz began going to the gym on a weekly basis, not to get in shape but to have an extra outlet to release her energy and pent up anger over the lack of time her father spent with her.
It wasn’t until Seitz began a wrestling career that she and her father began developing a close relationship.
During the fall of 2006, Seitz chose to continue her college studies abroad for a semester; she ended up staying for longer.
Professional Wrestling CareerEdit
Early Career (2006-2011)Edit
Though she spent very little time with her father while growing up, during her teen years she often would spend a week on the road with her father. It is here that she became aware of the energy of the business.
In the fall of 2006, while studying in Japan, Seitz would join her friends to watch a New Japan Pro-Wrestling event.
After falling in love with the Japanese style of wrestling, Seitz enrolled in the Kaientai Dojo. To be able to continue her training, Seitz transferred from Pensacola State College to Chiba University.
Once her training was completed, Seitz would wrestle for several Japanese companies (SENDAI Girls’ Pro Wrestling, K-DOJO, NJPW, SMASH, Dragon Gate, and REINA), albeit for short periods of time, under the name Sōsaresu (“Sorceress”). Occasionally Seitz would wrestle under the name Rita Salem, particularly in the United States. While in America, Seitz would have stints in several all-female promotions (Women Superstars Uncensored, SHIMMER, and Wrestlicious).
Seitz would also have a short stint in the Mexican wrestling promotion Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL), going simply by the name Rita.
Though Seitz would have few to no notable feuds, she is a rather popular star in the independent wrestling scene.
In 2011 Seitz would receive some extra training from the OMEGA Powers.
World Wrestling Entertainment (2012)Edit
Tough Enough (2012)Edit
In February 2012, Seitz was announced as one of the ten contestants for the new all woman's season of WWE Tough Enough. The first episode saw Seitz running the ropes for 2 minutes and 54 seconds (the forth best time out of the ten girls). This episode also saw her as one of the top five in the lock-ups against Sabrina "Rina" McMahon. Despite causing the girls to be a bit late for the judging Seitz came out as one of the top five again, this time of the week, right behind Paige Rachels, Ronnie Carter, and Toccara.
The second episode of Tough Enough saw Seitz interjecting herself between a petty argument between Paige and Faye Valencia. Seitz won that week's first challenge, completing 12 push-ups with WWE Divas Champion, Jordyn Jealousy, sitting on her back. During yoga the next morning with the Killer Babes (Isis and Arri Azzaro) Seitz had a slightly difficult time. Despite having an advantage in the second challenge (fifteen minutes to talk with the champions of the WWE as opposed to the five everyone else got), Seitz failed to impress WWE Champion, CM Punk. Though she was at the bottom two, Seitz was safe and continued onto the next week.
During the third episode the girls were subjected to makeovers. Seitz was spared from anything too crazy by simply having her hair dyed back to its natural blonde. On her twitter account, Seitz stated that once the competition was over she'd re-dye her brown streaks. Seitz ended the week as the runner up, right behind Ronnie.
Seitz had an argument with Thessaly during the fourth episode after the stylist accidentally pulled Thessaly's hair. Seitz was also named the winner of the week's first challenge, gaining immunity for the week. For the second challenge of the week, Seitz won her initial match against Thessaly but lost the Triple Threat match against Paige and Lacey.
Episode five of Tough Enough saw Seitz, along with Lacey, treated to first class seats on the way to London, England. Seitz passed the initial work out of the week with little trouble, she would go on to pull through the challenge of the week with relative ease. Overall, Seitz would come out as second for the week, falling behind Paige with her 10 years of experience.
Seitz would have a clean sweep during episode six, winning both challenges. After a training session with Rina McMahon and Cordelia, the girls were subjected to an obstacle course in which Seitz was the first to finish, thus gaining her first victory of the week. Seitz would go on to have a private training session with McMahon and Cordelia. Later on, the girls were to perform at Frontier Wrestling Alliance (FWA) in a “Fatal 5-Way” match. Seitz would win after pinning Toccara, gaining immunity for herself and another girl of her choice (Paige).
During the seventh episode, Seitz had a smaller role in the overall show. Despite having a clean sweep the week before Seitz would only shine during an interview with Vince McMahon, Teddy Long, and John Laurinaitis. With the results of the episode, Seitz made it to the final three of the season.
Episode eight of Tough Enough would be Seitz’s last episode, as she would be eliminated that week. During the episode, Seitz would be at the bad end of each challenge. Despite almost getting to the end of the season, Seitz was on her last strings during the episode as she would call her father to express her distress over the atmosphere in the house and the attitude of the contestants.
After leaving the Tough Enough house, Seitz returned home to Pensacola glad to be out of the “poisonous and overbearing” environment of the show.
Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW)/NXTEdit
Seitz was reported to have been signed to a developmental contract by the WWE once she returned from her stint on Tough Enough and some independent shows.
Seitz never officially debuted in the developmental territory, but confirmed a contract that could be signed after the Olympics.
In late 2012, Seitz debuted in the WWE’s developmental territory under the name Rita Salem reverting back to that name so not to work under her father’s name just yet. Seitz faced Raquel Diaz in her debut match. The two went on to feud until Diaz's release.
In January of 2013, Seitz faced Julia Stone on NXT and won via pinfall.
When Seitz transferred from Pensacola State College to Chiba University she began diving competitively once more. While she was on both the swim and dive team during high school, Seitz preferred the dive team as she saw it as more of a challenge as opposed to the swim team which she saw as fun.
2008 Summer Olympics (2007-2008)Edit
In March of 2007, Seitz participated in the World Aquatics Championships in Melbourne, Australia as a part of the team for the United States. Seitz scored an overall 324.70 in the women's 10 m platform dive taking ninth place. Seitz went on to compete at the FINA Diving World Cup in Beijing, China scoring 293.14 in the women's 10 m platform dive. Despite this, Seitz failed to place in the Olympic trials and thus not being a part of the 2008 US Olympic team.
2012 Summer Olympics (2011-2012)Edit
Having spent more time training in the four years following the 2008 Olympics, as compared to her time training prior to the 2008 Games, Seitz felt that the oncoming events in 2011 and 2012 would be a great improvement on her performances in 2007 and 2008. Seitz took over two months off of training to participate in WWE's all woman Tough Enough.
In July of 2011 Seitz would return to compete in the World Aquatics Championships in Shanghai, China. This time around Seitz would score 298.15 (12th) in the preliminary round, 338.50 (5th) in the semifinals, and scoring 364.70 and remaining in fifth place. In October of 2011 Seitz would go on to compete in the Pan America Games placing fifth in the finals with a score of 323.80. In the 2012 FINA Diving World Cup Seitz would score 347.20 once again leaving her without a medal. However, Seitz would manage to secure herself a spot on the 2012 US Olympic team during the trials in Seattle, Washington in June of 2012.
Seitz is scheduled to be in the preliminaries of the women's 10 m platform dive on August 8th.
On August 8, 2012 Seitz competed in the preliminaries of the women's 10 m platform dive ranking 9th with a score of 326.95, qualifying for the diving semifinals. During the semifinals, Seitz would score a 345.35 ranking 7th and proceeding to the finals. In her first Olympic final, Seitz would score a total of 359.20; this score would end up tying with Pandelela Rinong of Malaysia (also with a score of 359.20). As such, Seitz and Ringong would go on to share the bronze medal.
Seitz performed backup vocals on the song "Freebird Road" alongside her father in tribute to her late godfather.
Seitz can also be seen performing in the "Call Me Maybe" lip dub done by the 2012 USA Olympic Swim Team and later in the 2012 USA Olympic Diving Team's dub as well.
Seitz is the daughter of Michael Seitz and Gina Korbin. She has one half-brother from her mother’s side, Frederick, who is a full-time chef in Pensacola. She is the goddaughter of the late Terry "Bam Bam" Gordy.
When she was younger and spent weeks on the road with her father, Seitz befriended Matt and Jeff Hardy during their stint with her father. Seitz is also good friends with Ally Hardy, Lacey von Erich, and Terry Gordy, Jr. (Jesse).
Seitz has a Bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology. She also holds a degree in Language. Seitz studied Japanese for six years before moving to Japan.
While studying in Japan, Seitz worked as a part-time waitress. She is an avid seafood lover.
Initially Seitz kept her training secret from both her parents, but once her father caught wind of her training though social media, the two had their first heart-to-heart with Seitz expressing much of what she’d been bottling up for years. Once things cooled down between the two, Seitz decided to get a “P.S.” tattoo in dedication to her father on the left side of her lower stomach.
Since the 2007 World Aquatic Championships there had been rumors of Seitz being in a relationship with Olympic swimmer Nathan Adrian. More recently rumors have surfaced of a relationship with multiple-time medalist Michael Phelps following several photographs of the two spending time together at the Olympic Village. Nothing has been confirmed but her performance in the "Call Me Maybe" dub adds to the rumors.
- Badstreet USA (Shin breaker/Overhead belly-to-back suplex comb)
- Octopus hold
- Roundoff moonsault
- Backflip elbow drop
- German suplex
- Jumping leg lariat
- Knife-edge chops
- Missile dropkick
- Northern Lights suplex
- Running bulldog
- Spinning heel kick
- Spinning savate kick
- Tiger suplex
- Tilt-a-whirl inverted DDT
- “Toxic (Instrumental)” by Brittany Speares (Japan)
- “Hey Baby” by No Doubt (America)
- "Get the Party Started" by P!nk (Mexico)
- "Sweetness" by Jimmy Eat World (2012-present; NXT)
- “Curiosity” by Tatiana Owens
Championships and AccomplishmentsEdit
- Olympic Games
- Summer Olympics bronze medal in diving (2012)
- World Wrestling Entertaiment
- Tough Enough (third place; 2012)
- Seitz is part of the Twisted Fates Series.
- Seitz is the seventh "second generation" OC of the series.
- Seitz is the first Wrestling OC not to have a wrestler as a love interest.