“John Laurinaitis told the officials at FCW that when it comes to hiring women, the standard is if they aren’t pretty enough to be in Playboy, then the company wouldn’t want them.” – DivaDirt
I think that this note pretty much says it all when it comes to some of WWE Management’s feelings on female wrestlers – if they do not look a certain way, then they are not welcome in the company. Thankfully, there are some members of WWE Management that see beyond looks and hire wrestlers based on talent and ability, but there are clearly still some that focus solely on looks and marketability. There have been far too many instances, even some as recent as this year, of female talent being objectified exclusively on their looks, which leads to them being told (whether implicitly or explicitly) that they are not pretty enough for WWE television.
Let’s start off by saying that each woman on this list is beautiful and deserves to be treated as such, so we should use this as a reminder of the mistakes in the past. Might we add that if some in WWE felt this way, then they probably need to get their eyes checked.
Here are 15 Gorgeous Female Wrestlers Who Were Told They Weren't Pretty Enough:
15 AJ Lee
Yes, can you believe that someone in the world told AJ Lee that she was not pretty at some point in her life? Not only that, but the people involved used some phrases that you do not normally hear in civilized conversation. AJ Lee released a tell-all book in 2016 titled Crazy is my Super Power, which revealed information about her personal life, as well as her entry into the WWE, which was at a time where women were hired mainly on their appearance and not their wrestling ability.
In the book, AJ reveals that she was once told by WWE Talent Relations that she was considered “highly unattractive” and that fans would not be interested in sleeping with her (of course, I am using much less colorful language than the book does, but you get the picture). Considering that AJ Lee is widely considered to be of the most beautiful women to ever work in WWE, this statement is an absolute laughing-stock, and the person that said this to her would not now attractiveness if it hit them in the head.
While she is now considered a pioneer in the world of women’s wrestling and also a WWE Hall of Famer, Lita was not always well received by fans of professional wrestling. Lita worked in WWE at the same time as other very beautiful women like Trish Stratus, and according to fans at the time she was not considered to be as pretty enough in comparison, which meant that fans did not give her the same reactions during events. In addition to this, each time that Lita had been given the opportunity to speak on the microphone, she would be greeted with feedback from the audience that she sounded “too manly”.
As a result, Lita made the choice to focus more on sexuality in the ring which resulted in her always having her thong underwear exposed while wrestling in order to garner more cheers like her coworkers were getting. Eventually, Lita’s sexuality began to catch on and she was featured more heavily in Divas photo shoots. While we here all think that Lita has always been beautiful, she was not always received that reception from WWE audiences.
13 Charlotte Flair
Charlotte Flair has accomplished a lot in WWE in a very short time – ranging from multiple Women’s championship titles to breaking boundaries for women including being one of the first women to main event a WWE pay-per-view alongside Sasha Banks. While all of these accomplishments have ensured Charlotte will have a future place in the WWE Hall of Fame, there was initial speculation that Charlotte would not ever reach the main roster level in WWE due to her appearance.
Charlotte’s muscular build and 5’10 frame is much different than other WWE females, which allegedly does not fit everyone in WWE Management’s vision of what a “WWE Divas is supposed to look like” and that Charlotte did not “fit the supermodel image”. Well, the joke is on them because Charlotte has become of the most respected women on the WWE roster, and one of the most beautiful. WWE Management sure has changed their tune on Charlotte since her debut because she has been one of the most featured women in advertisements since her debut, and is continually one of the more marketable stars that they have.
12 Jillian Hall
For those that may not be aware, Jillian Hall is actually a very formidable wrestler and a very beautiful woman, but was not treated as such during her time in WWE. Famously, Hall was given two very “memorable” gimmicks – first as a member of JBL’s Cabinet faction with a very large wart-like blemish on her face, and the other as a tone-deaf singer.
Reportedly, Jillian was given both of these gimmicks because WWE Management believed that she was over-weight and not in the “same league” as other female wrestlers at the time and gave her gimmicks that did not showcase her as a sex symbol as a result. If anyone were to take the time to look at pictures of Jillian Hall outside of WWE, you would be very surprised to see her featured in swimsuit photo shoots and excellent wrestling matches like her fellow wrestlers, but you will not find anything like this in WWE because of their feelings about her looks and body-type.
11 Gail Kim
There's a very interesting Vince McMahon story told by Jim Ross about the WWE's process in hiring Gail Kim. Back when Ross was first recruiting the Asian-Canadian beauty to WWE, McMahon was having his doubts as to whether Kim would be a good fit for WWE. Why would he think this? She was and has been a great wrestler her whole career, and she's always been attractive. Well, according to Vince, fans wouldn't find Kim attractive because of her Asian roots. Yep, apparently McMahon didn't think Asian women were considered attractive. That's when JR claims he awkwardly had to bring up the fact that many men do in fact find Asian women attractive and there are even certain websites that can back up that statement. McMahon was apparently shocked by that fact, so he agreed to hire Kim.
10 Nia Jax
Let’s set the record straight – Nia Jax may look different from the other members of the female roster, but she is certainly just as beautiful as all of them. Jax is proud of her body (as she should be), which is strong and beautiful, but there are many others in the world who have made it known that they do not feel the same way.
According to Jax, there are also members backstage in WWE who also feel the same way, which made its way to her and resulted in the following tweet about being body shamed – “I am subjected to body shaming and it’s something I have accepted. It sucks when you get it in your own backyard around people you’re changing in front of and trust with your body.”
While we do not know if this feedback came from members of the male or female roster, it is a testament to Jax’s will and strength that she is persevering through the bullying and not letting it affect her personally or professionally. It is has been a long time since we have had someone with Jax’s strength and beauty on the female roster, and we wish her nothing but the best.
For wrestling fans who are able to remember Chyna as a true pioneer of women’s professional wrestling whose popularity reached very high levels, we have great memories of her as a strong and beautiful woman. We also remember Chyna’s debut with the WWE in 1998, and all of the talk that went on from fans who would talk incessantly about her muscle-bound appearance, which included constant speculation about her gender. This type of chatter took its toll on Chyna, with many around her commenting how difficult the constant panning was for her - "I've seen her crying over things that people would say about her: that she was manly, that she was a transvestite—just terrible things that they would say about her, because she was a bigger girl and was in such good shape. She would break down over that. She's not as tough on the inside as she was on the outside."
Unfortunately, Chyna was found dead after a drug overdose in 2016, and she is already greatly missed, but will always be remembered for the good times she had in the world of professional wrestling.
8 Sara Del Rey
For those that do not know who Sara Del Rey is, she currently goes by her real name of Sara Amato and currently holds the title of Assistant Head Coach at the WWE Performance Center where she has been credited with assisting with the training of Charlotte, Sasha Banks, Alexa Bliss and Carmella. Once a very formidable professional wrestler herself, Amato has a career which spanned the top independent wrestling promotions across the world, including long stints in Japan and Ring of Honor. What Amato did not accomplish was achieving a full-time wrestling role with a large wrestling company, though not without trying. Amato did have a try-out with TNA Wrestling during her career, though it did not pan out for her as she was turned down due to her not being what the company was looking for from female wrestlers at the time.
Amato is quoted as saying “I’m feminine but I’m not super girly. TNA did tell me I need more of what The Beautiful People have.”, referring to blonde bombshells like Angelina Love and Lacey von Erich. Considering that Amato is one of the best female wrestlers on the planet, and absolutely gorgeous, this also serves to prove that TNA is out of their minds!
7 Mickie James
WWE has a tendency to punish their wrestlers on screen for various things (which you can read in a great article on TheSportster here), such as for personal beliefs or if there is a conflict with something WWE is currently doing. One such case is with Mickie James, who while she is currently enjoying a great run in WWE on RAW, did experience a lot of happiness during her first run with WWE, particularly during a certain story-line she was given featuring Michelle McCool and Layla where she was referred to as “Piggie James” which was an insensitive joke about her weight.
As you can see from the gorgeous picture above, there is certainly nothing wrong with Mickie’s weight as she has always been beautiful, but I suppose there was someone who worked in WWE Management at the time that felt much differently. Ultimately, Mickie ended up severing ties with the company shortly after this storyline, which I am certain this is one of the reasons why, as she did not like being publically humiliated on live television.
6 Sexy Star
While Sexy Star has made headlines in the professional wrestling world for many other reasons over 2017, it is important to note that before going off the deep-end she was considered to be a great professional wrestler and is also a sex symbol in Mexico due to her status as a Luchadora. However, upon attempting to break into the United States as a wrestler in WWE, she was given some very negative feedback about her appearance that prevented her from receiving a position.
According to Dave Meltzer, during a WWE tryout in 2010, Sexy Star was told that she was over-weight and was not pretty enough without her mask on. This feedback is very harsh considering that Sexy Star is a very beautiful woman, but this was the unfortunate sentiment of WWE officials at the time, who were only interested in hiring women like Kelly Kelly and Eva Marie for their looks. While ultimately the decision to not hire Sexy Star was a good one, this is an obvious example of WWE’s immaturity and sexist tendencies.
Poor Emma just cannot catch a break – she was released from her WWE contract in 2017 and unfortunately had one of the biggest gimmick blunders in WWE history. For seventeen weeks, vignettes aired for Emma returning to television as a character named Emmalina, whose promo packages included her wearing skimpy bikinis and laying under waterfalls like a Victoria Secret model. While most of the audience thought these vignettes were extremely sexy and many started anticipating her debut as an exceptionally sexy character, her debut continued to be stalled until she eventually debuted…and then reverted back to her regular Emma character.
According to various reports, the character was scrapped because WWE officials didn't believe Emma could convincingly portray their vision for the character, which was meant to be a throwback to former sexy WWE divas Sable and The Kat, who only focused on their overt sexuality. While this was very disappointing for Emma’s career, it's even more disappointing that WWE officials must not be looking at Emma’s Instagram, because there's certainly more than enough sex appeal.
4 Mae Young Classic Competitors
WWE’s continuous use of renowned independent wrestling talent in tournaments such as the Cruiserweight Classic and United Kingdom Tournament has been very well received as it serves to expose wrestling fans to new faces, which could eventually end up on NXT or the main roster. The most recent of these endeavors was the Mae Young Classic tournament, which featured thirty-two women outside of the WWE rosters competing. While the tournament featured many familiar faces to independent wrestling fans, there were reports that some members of WWE Management were displeased with some of the competitors, because they were considered “not good looking enough for WWE standards”.
This tournament featured some of the best women in wrestling, such as Mercedes Martinez, Candice LeRae and Kairi Sane, but some of the WWE officials were still focused on how the ladies looked. While some members of the tournament did look “different” than other members of the WWE roster, such as the physically imposing Jazzy Gabert or powerhouse Piper Niven, each of these women were incredibly beautiful and talented, and deserved their spots.
3 Vickie Guerrero
Another instance of WWE airing their own grievances with how a performer looks on live television, which further shows how insensitive they are when it comes to dealing with female talent at times. While Vickie Guerrero was initially brought in as a “joke character” who was always the butt of every joke, WWE went on far too long with their comments about her weight and always put her in situations where other wrestlers would make fun of her weight. At the end of it all Vickie is actually a super gorgeous woman and is a great example of a middle-aged woman looking her absolute best, but WWE took the liberty of pointing out how she does not look exactly like a super model when they should have been promoting just got excellent she looks in a bathing suit!
As a fellow Canadian and former professional wrestler, this entry hits home for a me a little too closely. I am very fortunate to have worked with Allie, formerly known as Cherry Bomb, on the Canadian wrestling scene when she was first starting out, and I can confidently say that she is one of the nicest people in this entire industry. While it is awkward to say because I have worked with her personally, she is also incredibly gorgeous! And given the fact that I know her, it makes me even sadder to hear that she has been told that she is not “pretty enough” in her career before.
Allie told in an interview here that she has been told “I was not pretty enough. I wasn't in a good shape and my legs were too short. I got questions like, 'You are still doing wrestling?’” How upsetting that she has been given this feedback before when she is young, hungry and beautiful – at least Allie has proved her naysayers wrong by securing a full-time role with Impact Wrestling, and has had a great year as one of the top women in the Knockouts Division.
1 Candice Michelle
Yes, only in WWE can they call Playboy Playmates too ugly for television – Candice Michelle was released from her contract because after she had returned from injury not “Diva-like” and with some extra weight than she had before the injury. It would not be out of character to say that Michelle is one of the hottest women that WWE has ever had on their roster before, and they should have considered themselves lucky that she was willing to work with them for so long.
The exposure that she gave WWE with her renowned Super Bowl commercial appearances and her Playboy pictorials is not something that should be taken lightly, and for WWE to have treated her this way was unacceptable. Very disappointing behavior from WWE, but given all of the examples I have provided for you on the list by now, it is not all that surprising.