Even those who aren't familiar with the groundbreaking career of "Sensational" Sherri Martel will recognize her distinctive voice. Her rendition of Shawn Michaels' entrance theme, "Sexy Boy," ushered HBK to the ring for years. But "Sensational" Sherri was much more than a voice. Martel was skilled and accomplished inside the ring and a force when managing from outside of it. Her physical strength and the strength of her personality redefined women's roles in sports-entertainment, paving the way for many WWE Divas to follow. Many of WWE's greatest Superstars enjoyed an association with "Sensational" Sherri, and many more had to watch their back when she was at ringside.
In the early 1980s, Sherri began her career in the AWA. In 1985, she defeated Candi Devine to become the AWA Women's Champion. Their rivalry lasted more than a year with the championship trading hands on several occasions. It was during this time that she began perfecting her skills as a manager, leading "Playboy" Buddy Rose and "Pretty Boy" Doug Somers to the AWA Tag Team Championship. On June 28, 1986, Martel would win the AWA Women's Championship for a third and final time form Candi Devine.
On July 24, 1987, "Sensational" Sherri debuted in WWE, pinning her trainer and mentor, the Fabulous Moolah, to become Women's Champion. Sherri defended the gold against Debbie Combs, Velvet McIntyre and Desiree Peterson. She quickly earned the reputation as someone who would do anything to win, even if it meant using unsavory tactics. Her rivalry with Moolah continued as they became the captains of the first-ever female Survivor Series teams in 1989. Sherri held the championship for 15 months before losing it to Rockin' Robin.
In the early ‘90s, WWE phased out the Women's Division, leaving Sherri to focus on managing the male wrestlers. Her first client was "Macho Man" Randy Savage. It was during this time that she became "Sensation Queen." The couple had rivals with Miss Elizabeth, Hulk Hogan, Dusty Rhodes and Sapphire. In 1991, "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase enlisted her services. After that relationship dissolved, she took on the managerial duties of Shawn Michaels.
In 1994, Sherri appeared in WCW as "Sensuous" Sherri managing Ric Flair during his rivalries with Sting and Hulk Hogan. After separating from Flair, she became "Sister" Sherri guiding Harlem Heat to seven WCW Tag Team Championships.
On the morning of June 15, 2007, Martel died at her mother's residence in McCalla, Alabama. On September 11, 2007, homicide investigators in Tuscaloosa, Alabama released the toxicology report stating that she died of an overdose with multiple drugs in her system.