The "Divas Revolution" might be a term which has turned up very recently to push the failing Divas division with the inflow of superior female talent from NXT, but the actual revolution in women’s wrestling happened almost 2 decades ago. With the beginning of the raunchy, badass Attitude Era, Vince McMahon decided on making the women one of the focal points of his weekly show on Raw and put them on display for the pleasure of the frustrated wrestling fan who comes to watch the product day in, day out.
This propelled the inflow of more women into the product as the relevancy of the Divas increased by folds with more time being given to them and opportunities being given to Divas to show their value to the audience. It started with sexually-charged matches like the Evening Gown match and Bra and Panties match but gradually became something more productive for the female wrestler, as WWE were keen on signing Divas with a wrestling background and having them put on actual wrestling matches than entertainment programs which they performed during the Attitude Rra. This triggered the beginning of a golden era of women’s wrestling as more emphasis was laid for the women in wrestling, making for some engrossing matches and feuds.
But like the good things, there are always the bad things associated with Women’s Wrestling as things like ‘The Divas Search’ and the inflow of more women based on their looks ruined the point of the uprise in women’s wrestling. Vince’s greed of attracting audiences with his sexy divas often put a stain on women's wrestling in the company and hampered their image into something more of a sexually attractive product than a sound wrestler. Some Divas who were randomly chosen inspite of not being trained in the ring obviously failed at the product and over the years WWE has seemed to make this greedy mistake a lot resulting in many women failing in the company and having to leave for something better, or a different path in their lives.
Click the button below to start this article in quick view
30 Christy Hemme (then)
Being the first ever winner of the "WWE Divas Search", things looked quite bright at one point for Christy Hemme’s WWE career as she won $250,000 off the Divas Search and was also introduced in the main roster. The former model would feud with the runner-up for the Divas Search, Carmella DeSare before feuding with Trish Stratus who disrespected her, culminating in a match at WrestleMania 21 which she lost. She began having a feud with Victoria which she lost as well, before moving to SmackDown where she would have a final feud with Melina. Hemme would be sent to OVW for more training on her wrestling ability, before she was released with WWE citing budget cuts and creative issues as the causes of the release.
29 Christy Hemme (now)
Christy would debut for TNA after leaving the WWE, hosting their internet show ‘’TNA Global Impact!’’ and then debuting as a heel on TNA TV as a woman wanting more emphasis put on the TNA Knockouts. She would manage "The Rock and Rave Connection’’ before moving into singles competition where she wouldn’t find much love from creative. But her attractive looks would keep her in TNA as a backstage interviewer which would soon transition into a ring announcer. Hemme would also become part of creative in TNA in 2014, becoming quite influential in the back. But she would leave TNA earlier this year, and now looks to probably make use of her looks to gain a place in acting.
28 Jillian Hall (then)
Jillian Hall was actually not that bad of a wrestler as many thought her to be. As a matter of fact she did have quite a sound wrestling ability and an array of moves. It’s just bad booking on WWE’s part which resulted in her downfall. Hall would join the company, training in the developmental OVW and then making the jump to the main roster as JBL’s manager. Her “mole” would give her an appearance not many would like, as she would become a proper wrestler after parting with JBL. She then had a feud with Ashley Massaro, where she debuted her god-awful singing voice which made fans dislike her even more. A move to RAW would prove to be good for her, confirming her as a strong diva and even getting her to win the Women's Championship, which she lost immediately afterwards. Things started going down for her, as she would become irrelevant soon and be released by the WWE in 2010.
27 Jillian Hall (now)
Jillian started working in the Independent circuit after her release from the WWE, having some matches in promotions like Xtreme Pro Wrestling, Women Superstars Uncensored and World Wrestling Fan Xperience where she would lose to former WWE colleague Melina. In 2012, Jillian would have a try-out match in TNA against Tara, but would lose and not be given the job. Things started to go sour for her during that time, as she was arrested for domestic violence after having a miscarriage a year before. Jillian would continue to work in the Indy Circuit afterwards, retiring in January 2014. Jillian was again arrested in 2015 as her life seems to have squandered after being released from WWE.
26 Amy Weber (then)
Another contestant of the first ever WWE Divas Search program, Amy Weber would see her transition from film to sports entertainment settle in pretty well as she got a WWE contract and would also start appearing on WWE TV. Weber would be JBL’s image consultant during his reign as WWE Champion and would be quite the successful heel because of the heat JBL’s character got. Weber’s only match on the roster would be against Joy Giovanni who she would defeat via forfeit, before she left the company with allegations being that she was harassed by some of the wrestlers. Weber would later state that it was because ‘’she wasn’t paid well enough’’ and because of ‘’frat-like environment’’ as she moved on from wrestling pretty quick.
25 Amy Weber (now)
After her disastrous WWE career came to an end, Weber would never return to wrestling ever again and moved into the entertainment business afterwards. She has appeared in many short roles in episodes of TV series like CSI: Las Vegas, Son of the Beach, Jenny and Baywatch while also having lead roles in B-grade Hollywood films. Weber has also tried her part in the musical industry, releasing a single ‘Ghost’ and has also been the face of a Shiseido Cosmetic campaign. Weber is now working as a real estate agent in Southern California, with her time outside the WWE proving to be much more fruitful than her time in the company.
24 Nicole Bass (then)
Having a strong base in the body-building circuit, things looked upwards for Nicole Bass when she debuted during the Attitude Era as Sable’s bodyguard. At a time where Vince was high on buffed up female athletes, she was valuable to him and was quite involved in the main Divas storyline during her time at the WWE. She would also have a brief alignment with Ivory, before abruptly leaving the company and filing a lawsuit against the WWE for sexual harassment. Bass claimed that she was sexually harassed by colleague Steve Lombardi backstage and took the case to court, which was quickly dismissed and Bass left out of work.
23 Nicole Bass (now)
Because of the controversial case in which she entangled herself in, no other prominent wrestling promotion would take in Nicole Bass in spite of her unbelievable physique and strong ability. She would gradually find some low key independent promotions to work under and also continues to do bookings for public events and is also a personal trainer. It seems as if things have gone very bad for Bass over the past few years, as after her husband’s death in 2013 she went into a dark path in life. She was arrested last year for shoplifting over $1200 worth of stuff and also set up a fund raiser account, stating that she was broke and didn’t want to be evicted.
22 Nidia (then)
Nidia rose up the WWE ranks by co-winning the first season of ‘’WWE Tough Enough” which gave her a WWE contract. She would receive more training in OVW for a year before moving to the main roster on the SmackDown brand and soon becoming the on-screen girlfriend and manager of Jamie Noble. Nidia would feud with Torrie Wilson during that time resulting in many singles and mixed-tag team matches. She would leave Noble after a bitter on-screen breakup and be drafted to RAW and wrestle some tag team matches before being released from the company during their mass firing of talent.
21 Nidia (now)
Nidia became involved in wrestling in the independent circuit, travelling around the world including in Mexico’s “Toryumon” and Australia’s “World Series Wrestling”. She admitted to liking her freedom to wrestle and also wrestled in Northeast Wrestling. But she retired from wrestling after getting married in 2007, and has a son and a daughter. In 2010, she started her culinary career at the Culinary Institute LeNotre in Houston, Texas and has been working on that ever since. In 2015, she was interviewed by WWE.com where she revealed to be leading a Girls Scout Troops during her free time and mostly enjoying her life as a stay-at home mom and urging the revamped “Tough Enough” show’s contestants to give it their all. She was also seen in the 2016 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony, as the relationship between her and WWE seems to be quite strong.
20 Maria Kanellis (then)
An aspiring model before she decided to join the WWE’s Divas Search in 2004, Maria Kanellis definitely got the WWE job because of her sizzling looks which could catch the attention of many. She was signed on to a WWE contract after being eliminated from the Divas Search and after sometime at OVW, she would debut on the main roster as a backstage interviewer and the host of the WWE KissCam. Kanellis would mostly spend her time interviewing and irritating people, before she wrestled some matches (most of them being tag team matches). Kanellis would then become the on-screen girlfriend of Santino Marella for a bit before breaking up because of her being on the cover of Playboy Magazine. Maria would find her later years in the WWE as part of periodic tag team matches and also becoming the on-screen girlfriend of Dolph Ziggler. She shockingly won the Diva of the Year award in 2009 which was voted by the fans, and was soon let go by the WWE after 6 years with the company.
19 Maria Kanellis (now)
Maria Kanellis would return to the wrestling circuit soon after being released, accompanying her real-life boyfriend Mike Bennett in his unsuccessful attempt at Ring of Honor’s “Final Battle” PPV of 2011. She would continue to accompany him and be dubbed as “The First Lady of ROH”. Kanellis continued to be on Bennett’s side and also wrestled a couple of matches alongside him in mixed-tag matches and also travelled with him to New Japan Pro Wrestling in 2015. Kanellis would release her debut album in 2010 named “Sevin Sins” and launch her own perfume line in 2011 called “Signature”. In 2014, Kanellis and Bennett would launch their own weekly podcast named “Mike and Maria in Wonderland” as the villainous couple continue to stick together in the wrestling ring. Kanellis started appearing in TNA this year alongside Bennett and also won their Knockout’s championship, as her term outside WWE proves to be more relevant than her time in the company.
18 Tori (then)
Tori had some solid experience in the ring before moving to the WWE, as she wrestled for promotions like Ladies Professional Wrestling Association and All Japan Women’s Pro-Wrestling before being hired by the WWE. Tori debuted as Sable’s obsessed fan and challenged her to a match at WrestleMania XV after being humiliated by her, only to lose because of Nicole Bass’ interference. Tori wouldn’t really get more chances after this, becoming Kane’s on-screen girlfriend and getting into weird story angles in which she got no benefit from. She began accompanying X-Pac later on and turned heel when she helped Stephanie McMahon win the Women’s Championship from Jacqueline. She underwent surgery after The Dudleys put her through a table, and she returned as “The Black Ninja” who helped Raven before leaving the company.
17 Tori (now)
Tori would retire from wrestling after leaving the WWE to focus on her career as a yogini as she started taking lessons on the art of Yoga. She also recently gave a shoot interview where she talked about her time at the WWE and relationship with her fellow Divas and revealed how things used to work during her days and why she didn’t get pushed like her fellow colleagues. Tori opened her own Yoga Studio a few years back in Portland and continues to run it successfully, with a return or even a mention from the WWE seeming to be quite unlikely after her interview went viral.
16 Ashley Massaro (then)
The winner of the 2nd Divas Search, Ashley Massaro entered the fray in the WWE feuding with “Vince’s Devils” in Victoria, Candice Michelle and Torrie Wilson. Afterwards, she would be in stipulation matches like winning the first ever 3 on 2 Bra and Panties Handicap match against “Vince’s Devil’s” and the first ever Bra and Panties Gauntlet match. Massaro would soon become the valet of the team of Paul London and Brian Kendrick and was used more as eye-candy than a proper wrestler by WWE. She continued to work mainly in tag team matches, later teaming with Maria Kanellis and issued her own leave from the WWE in 2008, needing to tend to her ailing daughter.
15 Ashley Massaro (now)
After quitting the WWE, Massaro would look after her sick daughter and continue to be a stay at home mom for about 3 years before announcing on twitter in 2011 that she hopes to return to the squared circle. Many rumors came upon her departure actually being because of Massaro working for a Los Angeles escort agency which was uncovered by the FBI, but that was never properly resolved. Ashley is currently signed with World Independent Ladies Division Wrestling and is the promotion’s general manager, hoping to promote women’s wrestling and make it grow into something bigger and more popular.
14 Stacy Carter (then)
Debuting as ‘Miss Kitty’ during the Attitude Era, Stacy Carter was quite the raunchy Diva which was proven when she flashed her chest to the audience after winning the Women’s Championship in an Evening Gown Match. She went on to wrestle in more bewildering stipulation matches which increased her popularity as a seductive being in the WWE before she went on to manage Right To Censor later on in 2001. This was completely different to the earlier Carter, as she was now a conservative wrestler but was fired by the WWE in the middle of the storyline due to her horrible attitude backstage.
13 Stacy Carter (now)
Carter’s real-life husband Jerry ‘The King Lawler’ would also quit the company after she was fired as they continued to work in many independent shows after leaving the WWE. She got divorced to Jerry in 2003 and moved on to working in the field of real estate for a short while in Lee County, Florida for Century 21. Carter married professional wrestler Sinn Bodhi (known as Kizarny during his time at the WWE) in 2010 and continues to accompany him wherever he travels to wrestle while trying to use her own image to gather some promotions into hiring her for a showing, as her looks are what kept her in the business of wrestling.
12 Terri Runnels (then)
The real-life wife of wrestler Goldust at that time, Terri Runnels debuted in the WWE as his manager with a seductive, cigar-smoking gimmick. She would continue to accompany Goldust for some years, being part of some ridiculous storylines because of the ‘’bizareness” of Goldust. Her character would become more raunchy when she joined “The Pretty Mean Sisters” and used Meat as her “sex slave”. Runnels would then go on to manage some more wrestlers in Edge & Christian and Perry Saturn, while her wrestling career was extremely limited. She actually went on to hold the Hardcore Championship under its 24/7 rule, but was immediately dethroned of it. Runnels was fired by the WWE in 2004 as a part of a massive firing spree.
11 Terri Runnels (now)
Runnels would retire from wrestling after being released by the WWE and became highly involved in philanthropic work. Runnels is involved with many charities right now such as Make A Wish, Autism Speaks and Relay for Life and maintains a strained relationship with former husband Goldust who she has a daughter with. Runnels appeared on the show "The Weakest Link” in 2012, a charity show where all the contestants were WWE personalities. Terri appeared in the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony this year where her good friends Big Boss Man and Jacqueline were inducted and the relationship between Runnels and WWE seems to be quite healthy despite the surprising firing.
10 Jackie Gayda (then)
Jackie Gayda was the winner of the 2nd “Tough Enough” and debuted as a heel on the main roster, feuding with co-winner Linda Miles. She would be sent to OVW where she’d be part of a stable known as “The Revolution” with The Basham Brothers and Chris Kanyon. Jackie would be the manager of Rico after returning to the main roster, turning face. She continued to accompany Rico while also wrestling in divas tag team matches and also was part of some mixed tag matches. She would then accompany Charlie Haas (her real life fiancée) until they broke up after he had an affair (kayfabe) with Dawn Marie. But before her singles career could kickstart, she and Haas were released in 2005 along with many other WWE wrestlers.
9 Jackie Gayda (now)
She worked some matches in the Independent circuit before joining TNA for a short stint during which she won TNA’s Knockout of the Year. Jackie started appearing in a Mexican promotion named “Perros del Mal Produccions” and kept accompanying Charlie Haas wherever he went until he retired. Jackie now lives with Haas as the couple have 3 children together and runs a “Custom Muscle Nutrition and Smoothie Shop”, a nutritional store in Frisco, Texas with her husband as they live a peaceful life together, with the pressure of wrestling now off their shoulders.
8 Debra (then)
Debra was one of the bombshells of the Attitude Era, accompanying Jeff Jarrett as her valet and jumping into the limelight after attempting to fully strip on WWE TV. She helped the heel Jarrett win matches, but soon saw her popularity triumph that of Jarrett, prompting the WWE to push her to win the Women’s Championship in a rather odd manner against Sable. Debra would lose the title soon after to Ivory, as her relationship with Jarrett strained and she left him. After this, she would make sporadic appearances with her new husband Stone Cold off television. Debra would be involved in the Rock and Steve Austin storyline in 2001 and was also forced to be The Rock’s manager during the time. She left with Austin in 2002 because of problems between Austin and creative.
7 Debra (now)
After leaving WWE, Debra would stay with Austin for some years before they started having troubles in their relationship with Debra calling the police one day who found her with bruises and a bloodied nose. She would divorce him later on, auctioning off her wedding ring on eBay, donating a portion of it to “Safe Place”, an organization which assists the victims of domestic abuse. Though never seen in the wrestling ring after leaving the WWE, Debra appeared to discuss the Chris Benoit murder-suicide in 2007, revealing some dark things about her marriage with Austin as well. She recently graduated from the University of Alabama with Honors (Cum Laude) and is currently pursuing a masters degree in Criminal Justice in the same university.
6 Dawn Marie (then)
Dawn Marie joined in WWE after ECW sank, debuting as Vince McMahon’s “legal assistant” who she was intimate with. Marie would then have a controversial feud with Torrie Wilson, during which she married her father Al Wilson who died(kayfabe) from a heart attack during their honeymoon because of ‘’rigorous sex numerous times”. This feud lasted for 9 months with Wilson having the last laugh, as Marie moved onto Miss Jackie’s fiancée Charlie Haas and had an apparent on-screen affair with him. She went onto manage Lance Storm who she accompanied in her last appearance for the company in ECW One Night Stand. Marie was released in 2005 while she was in maternity leave, when she was pregnant.
5 Dawn Marie (now)
After being controversially released by the WWE, Dawn Marie sued the WWE with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, citing that her contract was wrongfully terminated. The case was apparently settled in 2007. Marie continued to work in the independent circuit, reuniting with many of her ECW colleagues on the way. In 2008, Marie started working for Women Superstars Uncensored, putting over some young talent in the way. She was inducted into the “Women Superstars Uncensored Hall of Fame” in 2010. Marie is currently taking part in the World Wrestling Fan Xperience showcase and tries to balance out her wrestling career as well as taking care of her family, as a return to WWE looks very, very bleak.
4 Kharma (then)
An absolute monster who had dominated Divas where-ever she went, there would be much anticipation when Kharma(known as Awesome Kong everywhere else) was being teased by the WWE to make a debut. After a million vignettes later, she would finally debut to attack Divas Champion Michelle McCool and she would continue to beat up Raw And Smackdown divas for the following weeks. But one week, she suddenly broke down on TV revealing that she was pregnant and would be back soon. She did make a surprise appearance in the 2012 Royal Rumble, making her the 3rd woman to participate in the Rumble. But she would not be making a proper return to the WWE, as she revealed that she had left the WWE.
3 Kharma (now)
Kharma would return to the Independent Scene after being released by the WWE under her “Amazing Kong” gimmick, winning the Resistance Pro Wrestling Women’s Championship. She would return to Chikara for a short time as well. She continued to wrestle for various wrestling promotions and was hot stuff in the wrestling circuit, before once again returning to TNA in 2015. She turned face and feuded with The Dollhouse with Gail Kim, but failed to win the TNA Knockout’s Championship in her return to the company. Kong would be released in 2016 after having a backstage altercation with Rebecca Hardy. She would now go onto looking after her family, and stated that she has lost a lot of weight after release from the WWE and has stated her intentions for returning to the company if they want her.
2 Gail Kim (then)
Gail Kim’s WWE career can be summed up as just a massive disappointment. Vince McMahon was against signing her in the first place, but was only convinced when JR told him on how Asians are a great hit amongst the WWE fans who watch their product. Surprisingly, she won her first(and only) WWE Women’s Championship in her very first match in the WWE with this matrix-influenced gimmick. Kim would be fired soon by the WWE because of cost cutting, but was recalled in 2008 because of her success in TNA. She did try to win the Divas Championship in his 2nd stint, but fell off towards the end as Daniel Bryan’s girlfriend and a feud with the Bella’s on who were going to manage him. She finally got released by the WWE ‘‘who wanted a new direction for the Women’s Division’’ and hence let her go.
1 Gail Kim (now)
What was WWE’s loss would be TNA’s gain, as the promotion were high on promoting Women’s wrestling and Kim fit right into their frame. She soon won their Knockout Tag Titles with Madison Rayne, following which she would also win the TNA Knockout Champion and be the first women in TNA history to hold both the titles at the same time. She remained champion with both for quite sometime, holding the Knockout’s Title for 210 days. She would continue to dominate the division, uniting with Lei’D Tapa and go onto win the TNA Knockout’s Title 3 more times in the next 3 years. Kim is still in TNA and is married to chef Robert Irvine, with their wedding being documented on an episode of the Restaurant: Impossible program. On June 14th, 2016 Gail was inducted into the TNA Hall of Fame making her the first female wrestler to hold the honor as she made for TNA’s Divas revolution from which WWE followed suit.
Leave A Comment
Looking for an AD FREE EXPERIENCE on TheSportster?Get Your Free Access Now!