The path each wrestler takes to get to the top of their field sees many changes along the way. Most stars take years in the wrestling business or other industries before making a name. This is the same both for both the male and female wrestlers. In some cases, the ladies to become big stars in wrestling have tougher roads. There are fewer options for the women to wrestle before working their way up to WWE. Not every promotion has women matches on the independent circuit and most only have one match per show. WWE even usually has two matches at most on each show.
This takes a long time and the talent goes through various physical changes both from life and from their own intent. We'll take a look at various pictures today of fifteen specific female wrestling performers in the business. All of these ladies achieved some level of popularity as a current WWE star, former WWE star or someone that made a name in other promotions. The average eye will struggle to figure out that these pictures are of the same ladies you’re used to dominating in the squared circle. These are fifteen unrecognizable pictures of women’s wrestling stars before they got famous.
15 Alexa Bliss
The current “Goddess” of WWE Alexa Bliss is the top heel in the Women’s Division. Bliss having statement wins over the likes of Sasha Banks, Bayley and Becky Lynch over the past year showed just how much confidence WWE has in her. The majority of her main roster career has featured her either holding the Raw Women’s Championship or SmackDown Women’s Championship.
Alexa has been an athletic prodigy all of her life before even joining WWE. This picture shows Bliss during her cheerleading days. The teenage passion of Alexa saw her achieve a lot of success in the cheerleading world. It takes a lot of athleticism to make it as a cheerleader. Bliss used this background in an athletic field to get to WWE. Luckily, the company didn’t stick her with a cheerleading gimmick.
14 Sasha Banks
Sasha Banks wanted to be a professional wrestler all of her life. It only made sense that she started training in wrestling as a teenager. WWE signed Banks at the young age of 23 but she wrestled on the independent circuit since she was 20. Sasha didn’t want to wait any longer than she had to and started her career at 18 years old.
Banks’ picture here is from her time on the independent circuit wrestling under the name of Mercedes KV. You can see just how young she is as she was just a teenager. Sasha clearly matured during her time in WWE as it followed the usual trajectory for someone becoming an adult and no longer looking like a kid. William Regal saw the passion and potential in Banks from day one. Regal signed her to a WWE contract despite the fact that she still looked like a teenager during the early portion of her career.
13 Nia Jax
The fact that Nia Jax is “not like most girls” is something you learn during her entrance song. However, it was proven a long time ago before she even signed with WWE. Jax was a plus-sized model that had a thriving career with various photo shoots and magazine spreads throughout her career. The beauty and the strength of Nia made her a top prospect for WWE to sign along with the connection of being The Rock’s cousin.
The Instagram picture from Jax’s account shows one of her various photo shoots before signing with WWE. Nia had a completely different look at this time that makes her look like a completely different person. Jax is currently going for a more intimidating look these days as a top heel but her beauty remains visible. This picture was one that was directed to showcase the beauty in a more blatant way and it worked.
Someone that always had wrestling in their life is WWE talent Paige. Currently on the injured list, Paige is scheduled to return to the company in the near future as she continues to rehab her injuries. Many people view Paige as a controversial figure today due to her relationship with Alberto Del Rio and Wellness Policy violations with WWE.
It is hard to figure out how it all went wrong this quickly as Paige was once viewed as the company’s top women’s wrestling asset. The picture shown here is one from her early career as a young adult. Paige was already a veteran at this point as she started wrestling at 15 years old. A lot has changed since this photo as Paige clearly showed her age there as a kid trying to make it in the world of wrestling. The struggles have changed through the years and she is now trying to regain her spot in the business.
The background of Carmella in cheerleading helped her get signed in WWE. Carmella’s father wrestled for many years but was relatively unknown as his high point came as a WWE enhancement talent. The WWE career of Carmella is already more impressive as her dad’s passion helped make her fall in love with the business.
WWE took note of her due to her background cheerleading for both the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA and the New England Patriots in the NFL. It's great for Carmella’s reputation as a cheerleader that she worked for two of the most popular franchises in all of sports. This specific picture shown here is from her time in a Lakers calendar. Carmella made a few physical changes to her look when joining WWE and it all worked out to lead to success as one of the top heels today.
10 Mia Yim
Mia Yim is arguably the most talented women’s wrestler not currently employed by WWE. The company did bring her in for the Mae Young Classic as one of the bigger names. Yim fell short when getting eliminated by Shayna Baeszler. The career of Mia has been quite impressive with her biggest success before the MYC coming as a top tier performer for TNA’s Knockouts Division.
It has been a long road for Yim hoping to get to a national television position. This picture is from almost a decade ago when both Mia and current NXT star Adam Cole was a pair in CZW. Both talented performers portrayed a couple that became one of the top heels act in the company. Yim looked rather different back then and many people reading this likely had no clue she even worked with Cole. Maybe it could lead to a tie-in for the Cole-led faction in NXT right now.
9 The Bella Twins
Brie and Nikki Bella have been a brand together for the entirety of their careers in both wrestling and modeling. The Bella Twins will always be linked together no matter how many differences they have at their core personalities. One pre-wrestling passion that both ladies had was love for other sports. Brie and Nikki are showed here playing sports in their late teen years.
Neither woman ever went on to become huge sports stars outside of wrestling, but Nikki was once a soccer prospect. The desire to become a soccer star made Nikki put all of her energy into that sport. No one could have predicted that she’d end up making it in WWE instead. Both Brie and Nikki have become huge stars using their athletic backgrounds in the wrestling ring.
Lana is currently a member of the SmackDown Women’s Division going back and forth between wrestling and managing. The gorgeous bombshell is viewed as having huge potential as Vince McMahon loves her look and mainstream appeal. Lana has shown that her looks will create attention long before joining WWE.
This picture shows Lana in her college years with fellow celebrity Jenn Sterger. Both ladies attended Florida State University games together and received attention as the most attractive fan group you’d ever spot. They referred to themselves as the cowgirls and announcers even discussed them at one point. Lana had a different look back then but still was rather stunning. Funny enough, both Sterger and Lana were training at the Performance Center together. Lana was the only one to last and actually sign a contract.
7 Veda Scott
Independent wrestling star Veda Scott is one of the biggest women’s wrestling stars traveling the world working for various promotions. Scott made her name in Ring of Honor primarily as a broadcaster and heel manager. The in-ring portion of her career mostly took places in other promotions and still does not as she chose to leave ROH for more opportunities.
Despite being one of the most gorgeous women in wrestling, Veda has stated that she grew up with a very awkward look. This picture is one she showed on Rockstar Spud’s Highspots interview series. Scott often posts pictures from her childhood to show the drastic transformation that she has seen through the years. Many attractive people joke about having awkward stages during their early life, but Veda is one of the few that actually means it. She at least has fun showing the old pictures on social media.
6 Eva Marie
The wrestling career of Eva Marie failed to fulfill the hopes WWE had for her becoming a huge star. Similar to Lana, Vince McMahon thought she had a lot of mainstream appeal leading to WWE giving her chance after chance. The red hair of Eva was her trademark look for the “all red everything” moniker that she used.
Marie actually dyed her hair red shortly after signing with WWE to stand out and didn’t get approval from the company leading to some tension. Before this, Eva rocked the brunette look as shown in the picture above. The photograph is from a modeling shoot. Marie has modeled before, throughout and now after her wrestling career. Eva is back to a similar look as she dyed her hair back to the darker look when it became clear she wasn’t returning to WWE.
The dominance of Asuka in NXT introduced her to a world of new fans that weren’t familiar with her prior work. Those that did watch Asuka in Japan during her tenure of Kana knew she was always one of the best women’s wrestlers in the world. Triple H signed her and booked an undefeated streak that has her now getting ready to debut on Raw with huge momentum.
Asuka’s Japan career saw her branch out into the modeling world on a few occasions. The pictures shown here are from one of her steamier shoots. Most WWE fans view Asuka as the intimidating bad ass that has yet to take a loss. This shoot showed she’s just as stunning as the other ladies in WWE. An older look shows subtle differences from the person we see today. The one thing that remains the same is that Asuka is an incredible talent no matter where she wrestles or how she looks.
4 Summer Rae
One of the most shocking pictures to exist on the internet of a WWE women’s wrestler is this picture of Summer Rae. The sexy wrestler is currently inactive after recovering from an injury and is hoping to return to television soon. Summer has never been able to have a strong role on television showcasing her charisma or great heel personality that was executed in NXT and FCW.
The picture is a huge surprise of Rae’s young adult years in college. Summer apparently confirmed the photo was of her when asked on social media. Many people assumed this picture was a fake considering Rae looks nothing like this today. Summer clearly made a lot of changes quickly as she had the long blonde hair when joining the Lingerie Football League a few years later.
3 Velvet Sky
Another unbelievable instance of a women’s wrestler looking impossible to recognize years ago would be these pictures of Velvet Sky. The TNA Knockouts division garnered a lot of success back in 2007 when finally allowing the women to have their own matches and storylines. Velvet and Angelina Love became the top heel act playing the Beautiful People. The argument can be made that Sky was the top TNA female draw for a short time period.
There’s no denying that Velvet has undergone drastic changes over the years. Pictures shown above are of Sky during her early independent wrestling career around 2002. Sky worked on various Northeast shows trying to make a name before signing with TNA as her big break. Velvet’s old pictures look like a completely different rather than the same performer that exists today.
2 Charlotte Flair
The success of Charlotte Flair has already made her one of the most successful second generation wrestlers of all time. Charlotte has picked up the art of wrestling faster than most of her peers could even dream of. The athletic background in volleyball and basketball likely played a role in this. Many performers to have the proven athleticism can learn to do moves easily and just have to pick up the mental aspect of it.
In various interviews, Charlotte has revealed that she never cared much about her father Ric’s career and had no desire to enter the wrestling business. This all changed in recent years when she was offered the chance to learn the industry from the inside. The picture features both Ric and Charlotte in simpler times when he was still a huge star and she was a student athlete. Ric showing up to support Charlotte is one thing that has not changed through the years.
1 Becky Lynch
The top pick for most underrated women’s wrestler in WWE right now would be Becky Lynch. Following her win as the first ever SmackDown Women’s Champion a year ago, Becky has seen her role slowly get lesser and lesser on the show. Lynch is currently without direction as WWE tries to push newer and older names like Carmella and Natalya.
Becky is still going to have a strong career in WWE with her time coming back around sooner than later. The journey of Lynch has seen her have many chapters before finally competing her goal of making it in WWE. This picture shows one of Becky’s looks that were drastically different to her current presentation with the orange hair. Lynch used to have short blonde hair and rocked a different look overall.