The women’s revolution in the WWE has made the female roster more relevant than ever. Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch and Bayley are just four of the popular stars in the company today helping usher in a new era of women’s wrestling. WWE is trying their best to brand the female performers as equals to the men with more television time, credible matches and the chance at bigger opportunities. Sadly, this didn’t apply to the women of the past with the division being treated like a joke for many years. The era right before the women’s revolution will be forgotten in history due to the awful booking.
Many of the top female stars opted to leave WWE or were released over the past few years. The world of pro wrestling finds performers going in and out through the years to keep things fresh. It’s a never-ending cycle and no one is exempt. Life has changed drastically for some of the ladies to leave the WWE with their attention being changed towards other fields. Quite a few of them are continuing their wrestling careers in other promotions. We’ll take a look at all of the stories by looking at what the most popular recently released WWE female wrestlers are doing today.
15 Brie Bella
Brie Bella is one of the bigger names to recently leave the WWE. The Bella Twins are polarizing in the wrestling community, but you can’t argue with their success. Brie and Nicole found success by developing a huge fan base in the young female demographic. Any live event or television show would see the Bella merchandise among the hottest sellers.
14 Sara Lee
2016 is apparently the year of female wrestlers leaving WWE to give birth to their first child. Sara Lee won the women’s competition on the reality show Tough Enough in 2015 to earn a contract with the company. Lee spent the majority of her time in the Performance Center and didn’t show enough progression to make it to television like her peers, Mandy Rose and Daria.
13 Lilian Garcia
The most popular WWE ring announcer in recent years would definitely be Lilian Garcia, as she was a fixture on Raw for many years. Garcia’s familiar voice has been missed ever since she left the company earlier this year. Unlike many others on the list, there was no drama involved in Lilian leaving WWE, but rather a family situation.
12 Devin Taylor
Devin Taylor spent the majority of her time in the WWE as a backstage interviewer in NXT. The most memorable moments of her tenure featured Dana Brooke patting her head as a running gag. Taylor also trained at the Performance Center with the hopes that she would become a full-time wrestler. Injuries prevented her growth as a wrestler and WWE chose to release her with the sad moment coming on the reality series Breaking Ground.
11 Zahra Schreiber
The controversial Zahra Schreiber has been in the news numerous times, but sadly never for her wrestling ability. WWE signed her to train at the Performance Center after she was trained by Jimmy Jacobs and Truth Martini. Seth Rollins was involved in a scandal when he allegedly cheated on his fiancé with Schreiber causing the jilted fiancé to leak nude photos of both from his phone.
So many laughs and fun memories from todays signing while #SheltonBenjamin photo bombs me! Thanks to all my fans who came out! I truly love and miss you all. I can't wait for you guys to see and continue my new journey with me 😘#WWEUniverse #ArianeAndrew #Wrestling #WomensWrestling #BigEvent #NewYork #Cameron #GirlBye Cc📸:@mattdillon1983
Cameron naming her favorite match to Steve Austin will always be her most memorable quote in wrestling. Cameron stated Melina vs. Alicia Fox was the best bout she ever witnessed leading to Austin humorously reacting with utter confusion. Her lack of in-ring talent made her one of the least favorite wrestlers of the WWE community. At one point, Cameron tried to pin her opponent when the other wrestler was face first on the mat. Yeah, it was that bad.
9 Vickie Guerrero
No one would have expected the timid widow of Eddie Guerrero to become one of the better heels in the wrestling industry. Vickie Guerrero entered WWE in storylines involving Eddie’s friends Chris Benoit, Rey Mysterio and Chavo Guerrero. Eventually, Vickie turned heel and played an authority figure on SmackDown dating top villain wrestler Edge. Fans absolutely loathed Vickie, showering her promos deafening boos every single week.
8 Layla El
Layla El was the winner of the 2006 WWE Diva Search competition when the company used the concept to find new female talents. Her look and personality stood out in the contest among lesser talents, but she failed to stand out in the WWE. Layla never progressed in the ring or stepped up to be one of the top names.
The original NXT show in the WWE featured developmental wrestlers competing in a silly competition on television for the chance to earn a main roster contract. AJ Lee, Kaitlyn and Naomi were among the bigger names from the all-female season. Aksana is a forgotten name from the show, but she was once a top prospect in the company.
6 Brandi Rhodes
Brandi Rhodes is the real life wife of Cody Rhodes and spent many years as a ring announcer in the WWE. Under the name of Eden Stiles, she was the primary ring announcer of SmackDown and the live event loop. Brandi however always had the desire to be a wrestler or at least an on-screen character involved in storylines. Following Cody requesting his release from the WWE, Brandi did the same and hit the free agent market.
5 Beth Phoenix
The highly underrated Beth Phoenix is one of the better former female wrestlers that could have fit in perfectly today. Phoenix was ahead of her time, having good matches in an era where talented female wrestlers were few and far between. Wrestling fans appreciated her work, but she had little help around her to provide compelling matches.
The talented Maxine had great potential from day one in WWE developmental and the late great Dusty Rhodes was her biggest supporter. Rhodes believed Maxine could have been something special in the WWE, but the company never did anything with her. The NXT competition show featured Maxine exhibiting a great heel personality that allowed her to earn a spot on the main roster.
Kaitlyn won the aforementioned NXT competition and went on to have a successful career on the main roster for a couple of years. Her athletic background and sense of humor provided a great combination to help Kaitlyn stand out on television. WWE believed in her improvement enough to make her the Divas Champion for a couple of months. It culminated in a great storyline with her real life best friend AJ Lee.
2 Eve Torres
Another former Divas Champion that achieved a great deal of success before surprisingly leaving the WWE was Eve Torres. The stunning Eve used her athleticism to get by in the ring and eventually improved enough to become a great heel character. Torres’ final years were the best of her career. Eve received great heel heat and her matches were passable, which was good enough at the time.
1 AJ Lee
The most successful female wrestler before the rise of the women’s revolution was AJ Lee. Fans rallied behind Lee and made her one of the more unconventional choices for the Divas Champion. Lee helped contribute to the early stages of the women’s division changing for the better with passion and talent winning out over looks (despite the fact that AJ is stunning as well).
CM Punk is the real life husband of Lee and she decided to leave the company about a year after he walked out. AJ clearly had a poor relationship with Stephanie McMahon and the awkwardness of life in the WWE without Punk likely contributed to her departure. Her life today consists of her giving time to female empowerment and animal activist projects. AJ is also releasing her autobiography in early 2017 and it will likely include many more controversial WWE topics.
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