While there are all sorts of outlandish stories related to male professional wrestlers throughout time, the casual fan might be surprised to learn that the women of the wrestling business have produced more than share of unusual rumors in their own right. Far from demure, there are female wrestlers who have produced drama with one another or with the men they worked alongside. There are also those women who faced abuse at the hands of their male counterparts, ranging from more serious cases ribbing that nonetheless comes across more like bullying for the physical and political differences between the men and women in the business.
WWE is not excluded from having its share of scandals, wild stories, and unsubstantiated rumors related to the women in its locker room. While one might think that the relatively corporate structure of the company and bright spotlight offered by so many viewers would tame behind the scenes happenings, the women of WWE have actually been involved in some of the strangest rumors of all from professional wrestling. Some might surprise you, some might disgust you; some are largely unsubstantiated while others have quite a bit of evidence to suggest they’re actually true.
This article takes a look back at 20 of the most bizarre rumors about WWE’s female performers throughout history, ranging from The Fabulous Moolah’s heyday, through the 1980s and 1990s, into the Attitude Era and beyond, straight through to modern times. These stories reveal that the women of WWE are about as likely to start trouble as suffer from it, and are no less interesting than their male colleagues.
20 Michael Hayes And Rosa Mendes
It was a mystery for many years as to why Rosa Mendes kept avoiding getting released by the WWE despite never really being a decent wrestler or doing much of note in her nine-year tenure with the company. Rumors have popped up that part of the reason she managed to stick around was that she was dating Michael Hayes, who carries a lot of backstage power in WWE to this day.
In addition to those rumors, back in 2013 Rosa Mendes was sent home by WWE officials for "personal reasons" and Michael Hayes was given a suspension after he was seen drinking with Mendes at a bar. Mendes had alcohol problems in her WWE tenure and her drinking with a WWE official while the company was trying to keep her sober was a terrible lapse of judgment on Hayes' part.
Today Rosa is sober and retired from wrestling, but the rumors of her dating Hayes have yet to be addressed.
19 Randy Orton Defecated In Divas’ Gym Bags
Today, Randy Orton is an establishment figure in WWE. He’s one of the longest tenured veterans in the locker room and a proven main event star who has collected more world titles than any other full time roster member (unless you’re inclined to still count John Cena as full time), and main evented WrestleMania twice. There was a time, however, when Orton was an unproven blue chip prospect. And by many accounts, he was a real jerk.
Stories abound of him pulling off mean spirited ribs against his colleagues, and the worst rumored one saw him actually defecate in a female star’s gym bag. The story has come into sharper focus as the years went on. The woman he targeted was Rochelle Loewen who isn’t so well remembered these days, and by her own account, Orton didn’t actually leave excrement in the bag, but did pour vile concoction of lotion and other substances in her bag to make a disgusting mess, in an immature prank.
18 An Affair With John Cena Changed Mickie James’s Life
While John Cena was still in the thick of his first marriage, and while Mickie James was dating Kenny Dykstra, the two allegedly engaged in an affair. Dykstra has blamed the affair, and his not taking it well, for leading Cena to politick against him and ruin his WWE career. The rumors further suggest that James was more invested in Cena than he was in her, and he purportedly ended their affair.
The principle players haven’t said much directly or specifically on this rumor. It’s widely held to be true, though, and somewhat substantiated by Dykstra’s sudden and steep drop off in his WWE prospects, and James winding up getting moved away from Cena to the Smackdown brand around this time. When Dykstra made a brief return to WWE as half of the Spirit Squad that harassed fellow alum Dolph Ziggler, he noted that he and Cena didn’t really need to interact then. One would assume the case is similar for James, who has shared a locker room with Cena since, but one would have to assume they run in different circles and there wouldn’t be much need for interaction all these years later.
17 Chyna Didn’t Want To Wrestle Women
One of Chyna’s calling cards during the Attitude Era was wrestling men. She had the sheer physical size and strength to realistically compete with her male counterparts, and thus transitioned from Triple H’s kayfabe bodyguard to an active wrestling role. Her resume included being a rare female participant in the in the annual Royal Rumble battle royal, and becoming the only woman to ever win the Intercontinental Championship.
In 2001, WWE transitioned Chyna into its women’s ranks. There’s no confirmed word on the rationale, though it’s generally theorized that WWE felt the novelty of her act was wearing a little thin, and as the company pulled back from Attitude shenanigans, having men regularly hit a woman in the ring became less comfortable. While Chyna was still featured prominently, including defeating Ivory in dominant fashion to win the Women’s Championship at WrestleMania 17, she reportedly wasn’t satisfied with her role in the women’s division, and wanted the attention, credibility, and money that came with a spot on the men’s roster. There were, of course, other difficulties including Triple H leaving her in real life for Stephanie McMahon, and potential mental health issues, but Chyna’s dissatisfaction wrestling women was one of the driving factors to end her time with WWE.
16 The Bella Twins Blackballed Maria Kanellis
The Bella Twins largely operated as the faces of WWE’s women’s division in the years leading up to the Women’s Revolution. While they weren’t necessarily featured as consistent champions (though Nikki did have that one very long run as Divas Champion), they were placed front and center as WWE ventured into reality TV with Total Divas and more often than not got featured spots at major shows.
The pair reportedly had a beef with Maria Kanellis. Kanellis has claimed it started when she was dancing with Dolph Ziggler at a party. She suggests that she and Ziggler were long-time friends, but that Nikki got jealous because she was dating Ziggler at the time. The incident led to a lot of cattiness, and years after Kanellis left WWE, it was rumored that she and her partner Mike Kanellis were blocked from getting signed because the Bellas hadn’t forgiven or forgotten. Things seem to have been sorted to a degree now, as Maria and Mike did debut on WWE television this past year. The Bellas have mostly been away from the product, and Maria hasn’t returned to an actual wrestling role so it seems they’ve mostly steered clear of each other, perhaps by management’s design.
15 Becky Lynch Appeared In Unsavory Videos Before WWE
Becky Lynch is widely respected as one of the best, and perhaps most underappreciated female stars in WWE. She’s a technically proficient star who connects well with audiences, but since moving up to the main roster has generally lived in the shadow of more featured stars like Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks, Bayley, and Alexa Bliss.
One rumored reason why WWE has limited Lynch’s role is that she may have appeared in some unsavory videos on the past. To be fair, we aren’t talking about hardcore adult films, but a number of corners of the Internet suggest that she appeared in wrestling videos geared toward exciting wrestling fans of a particular persuasion. She’s had a long enough tenure with the company that the old video or videos clearly haven’t affected WWE’s willingness to employ her, but the old media may still haunt her a bit to this day.
14 Sunny Hooked Up With Bret Hart And Shawn Michaels
In the heat of Bret Hart’s feud with Shawn Michaels, as real life personal tensions began to boil over around the onset of the Attitude Era, Michaels cut an infamous promo against The Hitman. In particular, he referenced that Hart had been “having some Sunny days,” with the implication Hart was sleeping with Sunny. Hart was upset, not only because he was a married man and the comments upset his wife, but also because he held firm that the rumor simply wasn’t true.
Sunny has substantiated Hart’s side of things—that nothing happened between them—and the irony seems to be that it was not Hart, but Michaels who was actually having an affair with Sunny around this time. Sunny has talked about her relationship with Michaels, which was concurrent with her relationship with Chris Candido, indicating it was sexual and that Michaels’s libido was like that of a teenage boy who couldn’t get enough.
13 Ashley Massaro Was Inappropriately Harassed And Assaulted On A Military Base
Ashley Massaro was a featured performer for WWE during a period when credible women’s wrestling came second, in favor of featuring women as side attractions and sex symbols. After winning the Divas Search, she was cast as a face on the main roster, wound up posing for Playboy, and had a featured match with Melina at WrestleMania 23.
Massaro left WWE under less than pleasant terms, however. In the aftermath of her tenure with the company, she claimed to have been sexually assaulted on one of the company’s goodwill trips to a military base. Furthermore, she claimed that WWE officials were sympathetic to her claims at the time but advised her not to report the incident to any officials. She has since spoken out in the context of her also joining a class action suit against WWE related to head injuries caused to performers.
12 The Bella Twins Had A Weird Habit, According To Tony Atlas
In shoot interviews, you really never know what you're going to hear. Sometimes wrestlers will come out and say something outlandish just to get attention, while some may bring some dark secrets to light.
In a shoot interview conducted a few years ago, WWE Hall of Famer Tony Atlas made some really bizarre allegations regarding the Bella Twins. First, he said the twins had some very weird acts on wrestlers, including relieving themselves on wrestlers when asked to do so.
The Bellas never responded to these allegations and perhaps it's just because they shouldn't dignify the allegations with a response. It definitely seems like a far-fetched accusation.
11 Kelly Kelly Had An Affair With Chris Jericho
Chris Jericho has been married to his wife since 2000, and, at least in the public eye, the couple doesn’t seem to have suffered much in the way of strife. However, life on the road does have to take a toll. Jericho has maintained his wrestling career, even with a few strategic sabbaticals, for the duration of his marriage, and has now had over a decade of rededicating some of his time away from the ring to, instead, touring with his band Fozzy.
While there’s no real proof available to the public that Jericho ever cheated on his spouse, there are rumors. In particular, a series of photos depicting Y2J cozying up to WWE colleague Kelly Kelly got the rumor mill working overtime about the two of them being more than just friends.
10 Stephanie McMahon Was Deflowered By The Macho Man
The Macho Man Randy Savage was one of the greatest WWE Superstars of all time. He was an iconic, charismatic figure who appealed to fans in the 1980s and 1990s, and is widely respected as one of wrestling’s truly great all around performers.
In the mid-1990s, Savage parted ways with WWE, it’s generally agreed that he wasn’t happy with his role with the company. He still wanted to be in the ring wrestling, and in particular suggested a program between him and rising star Shawn Michaels. Vince McMahon and company, however, wanted to focus on its new generation of stars and relegated Savage to a commentary role. So, he left for WCW.
We could accept this difference of opinions about what Savage’s role ought to have been at face value, but it is a bit strange that WWE never welcomed Savage back into the fold after buying WCW, as he looked like an obvious Hall of Fame inductee at the least. He didn’t get the induction until after he’d passed away, though, and a wild rumor suggests that Savage was never forgiven by McMahon, not for quitting, but for deflowering his teenage daughter.
The story has little substantiation besides being a widely spread rumor, and the remaining mystery of why Savage was locked out of WWE for so long after he left. Savage having his way with young Stephanie certainly would stand as a reason for Vince to hold a unique grudge.
9 The Fabulous Moolah Exploited The Women She Trained
In the early days of Vincent Kennedy McMahon’s reign over WWE, he worked closely with The Fabulous Moolah to find female talents. Moolah served as an agent of sorts for a number of women, some of whom she’d trained, and the cluster that she nonetheless managed in real life and coordinated bookings for. Wendi Richter was among those women who wound up picked from the bunch to unseat Moolah for the Women’s Championship on the front end of WWE’s national expansion.
Over the years, rumors have rolled out that Moolah booked talents for more than in ring appearances, though, but that she also pimped them out to men interested in their services. While there isn’t a credible, concrete account, the rumors have persisted enough that they’re fairly well known in wrestling circles and some suspect that WWE shifting to feature Mae Young as the pioneer of women’s wrestling (including branding the Mae Young Classic around her) is in part to distance modern WWE from these rumors.
8 The Bella Twins Got A Little Too Close With John Laurinaits
In another shoot interview regarding the Bella Twins, Maria Kanellis revealed that the Bella Twins once shared a hot tub with John Laurinaitis back when they were first starting out in their wrestling career. Given that Laurinaitis was in charge of recruiting female talents at the time, it certainly wouldn't provide good optics if that were true. It was also implied that they cozied up to Johnny Ace.
Today, Laurinaitis is married to the Bellas' mother, Kathy Colace, and they consider Laurinaitis family to them. Given that Maria had bad blood with the Bellas during that shoot interview, perhaps her remarks were tongue in cheek, but you know how wrestling fans love to take a story and run with it.
7 Trish Stratus Declined A Return To The Ring At WrestleMania XXV
In 2009, WWE announced that WrestleMania 25 would feature a twenty-five women battle royal, featuring past and present female talent to commemorate the history of the women’s wrestling. It seemed like a fine enough idea, and the rumor mill started up about all sorts of talents WWE might have been reaching out to.
Whether it’s entirely true or not, there’s a popular theory that Trish Stratus was among the talents invited to come back for the match. The rumors go that she ultimately declined the offer after getting some insight into WWE’s creative plans, and deeming them not worthy of her time and effort. To be fair, the match did turn out to be less of a tribute to history than a farce as Santino Marella, dressed in drag and billed as Santina, wound up winning the whole thing.
6 WWE Tried To Break Up Paige And Alberto Del Rio
Alberto Del Rio left WWE under a shroud of controversy and hard feelings, reportedly let go for slapping a backstage employee, but doing so because he’d heard the employee use a racial epithet that he found offensive. It was a surprise on a number of levels when Del Rio returned just a year later. He was rumored to have had a fling with Charlotte Flair that didn’t last long, and settled into a longer romance with Paige.
The prevailing narrative is that, while Vince McMahon wanted Del Rio back badly to fill the void of a Latino superstar toward the top of the card, Triple H was against it on account of Del Rio’s attitude and bad habits like partying and not respecting management. There was a general sense that Del Rio was a bad influence on Paige as, not long after they got serious, she suffered her first two Wellness Policy suspensions, back to back.
Paige felt targeted by the suspensions, which she claims were over substances she had prescriptions for, and some have theorized they were warning shots to try to get her away from Del Rio. It’s also rumored the two were put on separate brands in the 2016 WWE Draft for the purpose of pulling them apart.
5 Some Of The Powers That Be Still Hold A Grudge Against Alundra Blayze
In the heat of the Monday Night War, Alundra Blayze was integral to one of the most infamous shots fired when she defected to WCW, brought the WWE Women’s Championship with her, and dropped it into waste basket on live TV.
It didn’t surprise many people when WWE kept its distance from Blayze long after the War was over, as she was widely believed to have been blacklisted. However, in 2015, WWE welcomed her back into the fold with a Hall of Fame induction. As the company started to take modern day women’s wrestling more seriously, celebrating Blayze’s legacy seemed like an appropriate fit given how legitimately skilled she was in her era on top of the company’s women’s division.
However, WWE would be slow to use Blayze for much else in the aftermath. She got an episode of Legends with JBL released on the WWE Network about a year and a half later, but the company was otherwise quiet. Blayze was brought in as an interviewer and commentator for the Mae Young Classic, but the footage of her never actually aired. A documentary about her was supposed to be released in conjunction with the tournament, but didn’t come out until well after it was all over. These delays, removals, and under-utilization have all led to rumors that while the company has forgiven Blayze to an extent, someone in management may still hold a grudge.
4 Randy Savage Locked Miss Elizabeth In Her Locker Room
When Randy Savage came to WWE, he brought along with him his real life girlfriend Miss Elizabeth, who quickly became one of the most popular and iconic managers in company history. While she wasn’t the most active manager, and largely got over on account of being a beautiful woman, the synergy of her presence and Savage being cast as her guardian or avenger created some terrific storylines.
According to a variety of wrestlers who shared a locker room with Savage in the 1980s, The Macho Man wasn’t only protective of Elizabeth on screen. Wrestlers claim Savage hung by her side all the time backstage, and some have even suggested he would lock her in her own private locker room those moments when he couldn’t be with her, so the other guys couldn’t get to her. While Savage’s brother, Lanny Poffo, has dismissed these points as exaggerations and hyperbole, the rumors persist based on the number of Savage’s colleagues who put them forward.
3 Melina And Candice Michelle Were Real Enemies
Melina could have a temper. In addition to her grudge against Mickie James described earlier in this list, she was also rumored to have heat with Candice Michelle.
The biggest speculation about the real life feud came about via WWE.com. In 2007, Michelle had a blog post there that accused Melina of stealing an STF hold that she had previously been using. Melina struck back with a post of her own, saying she’d been using the move for years before coming to WWE, and questioning Michelle’s credibility as a wrestler altogether.
We could dismiss all of this as storyline, particularly given WWE’s website hosted it, but the two were not involved in a storyline with one another (Melina was building a rivalry with Ashley Massaro for WrestleMania 23 at the time), and wouldn’t engage on TV in the immediate aftermath. All of this added fuel to the fire, suggesting maybe the two were shooting on the blog, or at least alluding to real sentiments that may have prompted WWE to scrap plans and keep them apart before things got really ugly.
2 Paige Bullied Lana In NXT
Twitter has become a fascinating tool on the modern day wrestling scene. On one hand, it offers a terrific platform for wrestlers to better cultivate their characters away from the ring, and to connect with fans. On the other hand, WWE doesn’t directly control social media for individual stars and it can lead real life seeping into their public personas, or folks going into business for themselves.
Such was the case when Lana attacked Paige on Twitter. This was before Lana started wrestling on the main roster, and before Paige stepped out for injuries and Wellness Policy suspensions. The then-heel Lana accused Paige of being a bully back in developmental. Rather than shrugging it off, Paige replied with a snarky and dismissive tone to reject the claims and put down her colleague.
None of these social media tensions led anywhere on screen and they didn’t match up with either woman’s kayfabe persona, all of which led fans to assume that their beef was entirely based in real life.
1 Christy Hemme Had An Affair With Triple H
In 2004, Christy Hemme won WWE’s Diva Search competition, and subsequently became one of the company’s top new sex symbols for that era. When Lita suffered an ill-timed injury, WWE turned to Hemme to more or less take her spot and she thus found herself in a WrestleMania 21 feud with Trish Stratus over the Women’s Championship.
By late 2005, Hemme was demoted to the Ohio Valley Wrestling developmental territory before being released (though she would later claim she left on her own terms). Hemme’s steep decline is difficult to understand, particularly given that women with no greater talent nonetheless got longer tenures with the company, and especially after getting pushes for WrestleMania matches.
The rumor came about that Hemme had had an affair with Triple H, and after Stephanie McMahon found out, there was no keeping her in the company. None of the principle players have publicly confirmed that story and it will likely never be addressed.