The Ruthless Aggression Era had the unenviable task of following in the footsteps of the Attitude Era, with every single year from 2002 through to 2008 being plagued by fans wanting the "good old days." That’s understandable given the quality of the product for the most part during that time period, with one particular point of controversy stemming from the Divas Division.
That controversy was, simply, that the quality of "matches" in that division meant nothing compared to the ridiculous and over the top storylines that were unfolding. As such it’s no surprise to see that there are at least 15 entries on this list detailing things about the women of that era that NOBODY, especially the WWE, wants to remember.
Several of these women went on to find success in other fields and some even managed to carve out a decent in-ring career, but everyone has their regrets, and we’ve got no doubt in our mind that even the entrants themselves will want to forget about these incidents.
15 15. Extreme Expose
We don’t care what anyone says, Kelly Kelly came on by leaps and bounds during her WWE tenure. Sure she wasn’t on the level of some of the other female superstars on the roster, but the fact that she was able to capture the Divas Championship shows just how much the company felt she had improved since the first day she stepped foot in the ring.
So then, they probably won’t want you to recall her ECW days when she used to host the "Extreme Expose" week in and week out. It was clear that Kelly was being used as a sex symbol and nothing more, with things like strip poker and a near-lesbian encounter with Candice Michelle being the most notable portions of this stint.
14 14. The WrestleMania 22 Lick
WrestleMania 22 was one of the forgotten editions of the Showcase of the Immortals, perhaps because it involved Triple H in the main event for the fourth time in five years. Still, it was a fairly solid show, with one of the highlights being Mickie James’ victory over Trish Stratus as she won the WWE Women’s Championship.
Alas, the thing that most people remember isn’t the match itself, but instead one specific moment during it. In order to prevent Stratus from hitting her finisher, Mickie grabbed her opponent by the crotch before licking her fingers in a V-sign. Considering it was later edited out and Vince screamed at her backstage, we can’t imagine WWE want to make posters of this.
13 13. Playboy Cover
Posing for Playboy doesn’t tend to be something that you should be ashamed of, but it all depends on what your career aspirations are. When it comes to Ashley Massaro, it was clear from the get-go that WWE wanted to turn her into a superstar, but unfortunately, she didn’t exactly have the natural talent to go alongside their beliefs.
Because of this, her Playboy cover may well be the most memorable thing about her WWE tenure, and given the type of programming the company is putting out these days, they certainly won’t want to take a trip down memory lane with this one. Still, at least she got to have a big time WrestleMania moment right?
12 12. Dawn Marie, Torrie, And Her Dad
Oh Dawn, what you thinking to say yes to this? For those of you who don’t know, Dawn Marie was an extremely entertaining performer under the WWE umbrella, which of course meant that Vinnie Mac felt the need to dump the worst storyline of all time on her shoulders. Seriously, it was that bad.
Not only did Marie "marry" Torrie Wilson’s real-life father Al, but she also proceeded to force Torrie herself into having a one-night stand of sorts with her. When you couple that together with the fact that there was a fake death storyline involved, you can understand why this probably won’t be shown on any highlight reels moving forward.
11 11. Candice Michelle's Softcore Adventures
We don’t discredit anyone from doing what they want to do outside of the wrestling industry because at the end of the day it’s their life. That being said, World Wrestling Entertainment probably don’t feel too strongly about the fact that Candice Michelle engaged in a softcore adult film outside of her in-ring career.
The company is always striving to portray a clean cut image these days, and because of that, they’ll be quick to remind you of Candice’s title victory and her progress as an in-ring performer in comparison to these kinds of "activities." One thing is for sure, it certainly gives her Hall of Fame credentials a bit of a knock.
10 10. The Replacement
It was clear from day one that Christy Hemme was being groomed for the top of the division, with Trish Stratus once again being tasked with working against the new girl. At WrestleMania 21, the two squared off with Trish retaining her title in convincing fashion, but it turns out that wasn’t the original plan for the show at all.
Instead, the company wanted to finally have a one-on-one Mania match-up between Stratus and Lita, but an injury meant that the former Hardy Boyz valet was forced to watch from ringside. Given that Hemme went on to become an announcer, it’s clear that she wasn’t destined to have a world class in-ring career, as evidenced by how short the bout was.
9 9. Victoria And John Cena Rumours
We can’t imagine it’s easy being on the road, with many temptations often getting in the way of relationships that some superstars have outside of professional wrestling. With that in mind, it’s hard to be too judgemental about this story, given that we know absolutely nothing regarding what it’s like being away from your family for so long.
Essentially it’s widely believed that Victoria and John Cena had an "affair" of sorts whilst on the road together for a number of years. Victoria has denied that anything happened whilst she was with another man, but given how much traction this story has gotten over the years, we’re confident that it’s at least true on some levels.
8 8. Piggy James
We’re back to Mickie James for this entry, which is just a bit sad. In the wake of an apparent behind-the-scenes incident with John Cena, with rumours suggesting that the two had a fling that Cena called off, James was seemingly punished by the WWE brass in potentially the most disgusting and humiliating way possible.
Michelle McCool and Layla, whom we can’t imagine enjoyed this all too much, mocked Mickie’s supposed weight issues in addition to calling her Piggy James. This felt like something that would’ve been considered crass a few decades back, so you can imagine the outrage when it actually played out in the modern day.
7 7. Maria And Bella Twins Heat
The Bella Twins are the queens of marketing within the world of WWE, taking what seemed like a dead gimmick and transforming themselves into one of the biggest brands that pro wrestling has seen in the last decade. So then, perhaps we should forget about how petty they’ve been behind the scenes in the past.
Maria Kanellis, who transformed herself into a phenomenal performer in Ring of Honor, was set to return to World Wrestling Entertainment when Brie and Nikki supposedly blocked her from coming back. Apparently, it stems from an incident with Dolph Ziggler involving Nikki, but it’s still something that WWE will want you to forget about the sisters they portray as "babyfaces."
6 6. The Mole Incident
When you’ve got a beautiful woman like Jillian Hall, surely it makes sense to portray her as a dominant and fascinating female character right? Wrong. Instead WWE decided to give her a grotesque looking "mole" that was the size of a chicken kiev, and unfortunately, things would only get worse from there.
During an utterly revolting segment, The Boogeyman (remember him) actually picked off the "mole" and ate it on live television. God only knows what was going through the bizarre mind of Vincent Kennedy McMahon at this moment in time, and god knows how Jillian actually went on to win a championship later down the line.
5 5. "That Jackie Gayda Match"
When we talk about some of the worst matches in WWE history, this one is certainly up there. The year was 2002 and the match was a mixed tag on Monday Night Raw, with Christopher Nowinski and Jackie Gayda set to face off against Bradshaw and Trish Stratus. As you can probably already tell, things don’t go all too well.
The bout was marred by a series of horrendous botches, mainly between the two women involved. Gayda was nowhere near ready to be in the ring at that stage, and Trish wasn’t even close to her prime in terms of what she could do in the squared circle, meaning that this was always destined to be a cluster-bleep of the highest proportions.
4 4. Melina And Batista Rumours
It’s never easy being a woman in the WWE locker room, especially given how it can sometimes be like high school given the nature of the rumours that spread around the place. Because of this, it couldn’t have been all too pleasant for Melina, a former Women’s Champion, to experience the hate she got from both the wrestling community and those within WWE.
For those of you who don’t know it’s been heavily rumoured for many years now that Melina began a relationship with none other than Batista whilst still being in a relationship with John Morrison. It’s something that many believe to be true even in the present day, which could continue to affect her reputation for quite some time.
3 3. Bigger Than WWE?
With legs that never seemed to end, Stacy Keibler was a money-making machine for WWE and everyone knew it. Everything that she did seemingly turned to gold simply by association, and when she decided to explore other options outside of pro wrestling it was a massive loss for everyone involved in the company. Well, kind of.
It turns out that Keibler was more than capable of handling herself in the big wide world, becoming a somewhat successful actress in addition to entering a high profile relationship with George Clooney. There was a period of time, in some aspects, in which some people would argue that she was actually bigger than the company.
2 2. The Mishandling Of Gail Kim
In the present day, we all know Gail Kim to be one of the greatest female wrestlers of this or any other generation, with her runs in Impact Wrestling highlighting why she was such a commodity for TNA. So then, it should come as no surprise at this stage that WWE had absolutely no idea what to do with her. Like, at all.
Kim was thrust into a number of odd storylines and situations where she wasn’t even able to showcase her wrestling abilities, which is a real shame because she really could’ve made a difference in terms of starting up an early version of the women’s revolution. Just imagine if she’d stuck around to have some matches with Kharma – things could’ve been completely different.
1 1. Ring Rat Rumours
It’s never nice to be deemed something you’re not, but in the case of Kelly Kelly, enough people have come out of the woodwork when it comes to validating this story. Essentially, for those in the unknown, a "ring rat" is a female fan, or sometimes a female wrestler/onscreen personality, who sleeps around backstage with several of the men on the male roster.
Kelly has had this accusation thrown at her almost since day one, which is a shame because as we’ve already said she really did up her game during her tenure with WWE. Nowadays she’s carved out an extremely successful career for herself on reality television, proving that the cream always rises to the top.
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