A developmental deal was signed between Leah Van Dale and WWE in June 2013. She was consequently assigned to NXT— a professional wrestling television program that is produced by WWE—around September 2013. Her ring name Carmella was adopted in December.
Her debut storyline in an episode of NXT (September 2014) portrayed her as a hairdresser alongside Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady. A fortnight later, this segment continued as she appeared having lost her job and asking for a place at NXT.
Soon, she made her in-ring debut where she fought a local wrestler who was nicknamed Blue Pants. The rivalry between them continued for a while.
A feud between Amore and Cassady versus NXT Tag Team Champions Blake and Murphy also involved Carmella. She was defeated by Alexa Bliss after Blake and Murphy distracted her. Soon, in the NXT TakeOver: Unstoppable episode, Bliss attacked Carmella in order to win the NXT Tag Team Championship.
Though she continued with Amore and Cassady, a new rivalry emerged with Eva Marie. In the two matches between them, Marie won both times.
It was in early 2016 that Carmella became the contender for Bayley’s NXT Women’s Championship. She couldn’t win the title. She made her first appearance on the main roster on March 12, 2016 when she accompanied Amore and Cassady for the match against The Revival for the NXT Tag Team Championship.
In the NXT Women's Championship at NXT TakeOver: The End, Carmella participated in a triple match against Alexa Bliss and Nia Jax. However, this was won by Jax.
Her final match in NXT was where she was challenged in a six-woman tag team match along with Liv Morgan and Nikki Glencross. They defeated Daria Berenato, Mandy Rose, and her constant rival Alexa Bliss.
As part of the 2016 WWE draft, Carmella was drafted to SmackDown. Her debut for the main roster took place on July 26, 2016. Her first victory was when she defeated Natalya on the August 9 episode of SmackDown Live.
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In the SummerSlam, she competed against Natalya, Bliss, and Nikki Bella alongside Becky Lynch and Naomi, in a six-woman tag team match. However, the team lost when Carmella was pinned down by Bella.
In a long-lasting rivalry with Bella, she first attacked her before their singles match. This turned her a villainess on the main roster. She competed against Bella at No Mercy where she was defeated. She exclaimed that Bella’s success mostly was a result of her boyfriend’s (Jon Cena) popularity.
On September 11,2016, in the six-pack elimination challenge to determine the inaugural WWE SmackDown Women's Champion, she was defeated by Lynch, who later ended winning the title. Later, her team was defeated at the Survivor Series pay-per-view series. The SmackDown women's team were put up against the Raw women's team in an elimination match.
In a no-disqualification match at the TLC pay-per-view event, she lost to Bella in December. Soon, in a new storyline around December 2016 with James Ellsworth, Carmella professed that she found him attractive. In January 2017, Ellsworth had started accompanying her to the ring during her matches.
In the May 16, 2017, episode of SmackDown, Carmella registered a victory against Naomi in a non-title match. At Backlash, her team comprised Natalya and Tamina and they competed against Flair, Lynch, and Naomi in a six-woman tag team match. Carmella’s team emerged victorious.
On June 18, 2017, a high moment in her career, Carmella was declared the winner of the inaugural women's Money in the Bank ladder match at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view. The match, however, ended in a controversial manner. Daniel Bryan cleared Carmella of the Money in the Bank contract on SmackDown Live and issued a rematch.
Carmella reemerged victorious in June 27, 2017 episode of SmackDown Live after she retrieved the briefcase herself. She officially became the inaugural winner of the women's Money in the Bank ladder match.
She competed alongside Lynch, Naomi, Tamina and Natalya as part of Team SmackDown in the 5-on-5 elimination match against the opponents Team Raw at Survivor Series. Her team lost this match.
On January 28, 2018, she entered the women’s Royal Rumble in the inaugural match. However, she was defeated by Nikki Bella.
In March 2018, she defeated Naomi and soon after announced that she would participate in the WrestleMania Women's Battle Royal.
She has also made her video game debut as a playable character in the professional wrestling video game WWE 2K17.