Wrestling fans have lately developed a penchant for discussing backstage stuff. A vocal minority is unhappy about their new-found habit as they claim that the fans should only be discussing what happens on their telly screen. Shane Helms became the newest wrestler to board the hate train.
While their aversion to the fans’ discussing what happens behind the curtains is understandable, they need to realize that the landscape of the business is changing. We no longer find someone like Nikita Koloff, who legally changed his name from Nelson Simpson to keep kayfabe alive. We see The Eater of the World rock a diva pose with Stephanie McMahon. Foreign heel Rusev, 'The Guy' Roman Reigns and badass Seth Rollins all act goofy in UpUpDownDown. WWE has now begun admitting that kayfabe is dead in more ways than one subtly.
Additionally, it’s not like the fans never bat an eye about the in-ring product as they seem to discuss how awesome The Fashion Files and The Final Deletion are. When the storytelling gets stale or uninspiring, you can’t stop a fan from inventing ways to keep their passion alive.
Accordingly, this article discusses which WWE female wrestlers are beloved backstage. Of course, not every wrestler is completely hated or beloved; this list is based off rumored reactions these wrestlers garner. If you think I’ve failed to discuss any other wrestler who draws nuclear heat or is more beloved than the ones listed here, you may use our comments’ section to point those out.
16 Hated: Eva Marie
A throwback to the Attitude Era, Eva Marie has achieved considerable success with WWE, competing in WrestleMania and acting in Total Divas in her four-year career with the company. Spending years with WWE doesn’t essentially translate to being a well-liked figure backstage, though. A Wellness Policy violation ended her mini-push in August 2016, leaving the head honchos furious about her lack of commitment. She hasn’t returned since, with many news outlets reporting that she’s being treated for a nagging injury.
Legend has it that she’s called time on her wrestling career to focus on modelling and her fashion line. To call time on her WWE career after being handed numerous chances has seemingly made talents and other backstage staffers question The Red Queen’s dedication further.
15 Loved: Mickie James
WWE made their six-time champion Mickie James look a joke in the recent Raw Women’s Championship bout between Alexa Bliss and Nia Jax. One of the handful of active female wrestlers who qualifies as a grizzled veteran, she seems keen to perform whatever role she’s been given to perfection. Given her flexibility, she has certainly won over everyone backstage following her return.
Additionally, she seems to serve as a mentor to younger wrestlers having accomplished everything there is to do as a female talent. Bayley recently tweeted, “Being able to talk to Mickie James about her days with Trish Stratus is pretty cool.” With Lita being the only former female wrestler to still work for the company, her arrival ought to benefit the up-and-coming talents greatly.
14 Hated: Charlotte Flair
Alexa Bliss completing a double before Charlotte Flair shocked many. Although it wasn’t Brock-Lesnar-ending-The-Streak levels of shock, it was a move none saw coming. She has been booked as the division’s top star upon her promotion to the main roster, with her lifting the Women’s Championship four times and Divas Championship once.
The Queen continues to improve, but there was a time when she didn’t deserve to win as much as she did. Many were led to believe that Ric Flair’s being her father was the sole reason why she became the first Horsewoman to win a main-roster title. While she isn't hated for being who she is (by all accounts, she is a very good person backstage), there has been resentment towards her for accomplishing as much as she has in a short span. Despite the alleged heat, she continues to remain close friends with a handful of wrestlers, including Becky Lynch and AJ Styles, as evidenced by her social media activity.
13 Loved: Carmella
The Internet Wrestling Community is quick to identify under-appreciated eager beavers, but we still haven’t begun singing praise of Carmella, who remains one of the most hardworking WWE wrestlers today. Many reports suggested that she responded professionally when WWE scrapped plans to make her SmackDown Women’s Champion at WrestleMania. Her work with James Ellsworth has not only made him relevant again as it has helped her woo the top shelves. She also responded well when she was told she was going to be paired with Ellsworth and her ability to roll with the punches has endeared her to others backstage.
She has even earned Triple H’s admiration as he decided to break her free from Enzo and Cass stating she could become a huge star on her own. She has also made many friends backstage, including Maryse, Natalya and Bayley.
12 Hated: Dana Brooke
WWE sometimes promote NXT wrestlers to the main roster prematurely. Some thrive; Braun Strowman has now become a main-event talent after spending less than a year in NXT. Some fail gloriously; Dana Brooke is a good case in point. Promoted to Raw after just 20 months in NXT, she has looked green, botching more often than most other wrestlers on the roster. Her lack of ring awareness became more evident when she pinned Bayley clean as opposed to the planned dirty pin.
Many claim that she has drawn backstage heat for allegedly sleeping her way to the main roster; although the claim is unconfirmable, it’s true that she has somehow found her way to the big league ahead of other deserving talents. With Raw’s now booking her as just another face, she may be forced to resume her bodybuilding career in the near future.
11 Loved: Natalya
Aged 35, Natalya has done it all in her 10-year WWE career. Given her family connections and wrestling ability, one may expect her to have notched up multiple title reigns. However, she has only won Divas Championship once, with her reign lasting a measly 70 days. She puts in effort into whatever role WWE assign her, as evidenced by her readiness to make her fart gimmick work; she has impressed the backstage staffers through her devotion, apparently.
She hasn’t stopped being a reliable employee as she has proved a good friend to many WWE superstars, including Luke Harper, Summer Rae, Beth Phoenix, Mojo Rawley, Carmella and Shinsuke Nakamura – of course, that’s a weird list. Given her affability and knowledge of the product, one can expect her to nail down a backstage role upon her retirement.
10 Hated: Maryse
Playboy models always draw ire from the rest of the women’s roster. WWE has always managed to utilize such anger fully by integrating it into storylines. We’ve seen Torrie Wilson, Sable, Ashley Massaro and Maria all wrestle other jealous wrestlers. However, in the case of Maryse, it’s been said that her arrogant and conceited persona ticks people off the wrong way.
Many former wrestlers, including Victoria, Michelle McCool and Candice Michelle have ripped her a new one on various occasions. In spite of her self portraits, she has posted pictures of herself with Alexa Bliss, Nia Jax, Natalya and Eva Marie. However, she still has her fair share of enemies, including the Bella Twins. Even though it’s not a long list as Natalya’s, it’s safe to say she’s made more friends in her second spell. She has, perhaps, become more affable with the passage of time, but we may never know.
9 Loved: Sasha Banks
We’ve reported that Sasha Banks doesn’t like the attention she gets from her fans when she’s outside the WWE ring. Some numpties never respect other’s privacy, of course, but it’s safe to say she’s yet to learn the nuances of being a public figure. Contrary to her public image, she remains a warm person in her personal life. She has made numerous friends inside the company, including but definitely not limited to Bayley, The New Day, The Revival, Sheamus, Goldust and Natalya.
Her appearances on UpUpDownDown bear testimony to her jovial persona as she comes across as a person everyone will love to have as a friend on the YouTube show. She has also won the admiration and love of backstage staffers such as Triple H and William Regal, with the latter claiming she’s the best signing he’s ever made.
8 Hated: Emma
Only a few women rival Emma’s talent today; however, akin to her ex Zack Ryder, she has been unable to gain traction. While injuries seem her major concern, it is just the tip of the iceberg, apparently. Many allege that backstage staffers handed Emma the Emmalina gimmick as an inside joke of sorts. She doesn't seem to be disliked by her peers, as you can see on her Instagram page, but as for officials, that's another story.
She ensured her dancing gimmick and being paired with Santino Marella didn’t define her career as she put on stellar matches on NXT. After being under-looked for the majority of her career, WWE officials chose to make her a joke in spite of her proving she’s on the same level as The Four Horsewomen. One needs to have ticked a lot of people off to find oneself in a rut that Emma is in.
7 Loved: Nia Jax
Nia Jax recently criticized Raw’s creative team for failing to find her a slot on consecutive Mondays. Her storyline with Alexa Bliss, which seemed to have a lot of promise, failed gloriously as they elected not to follow up. Despite her candor, she has befriended numerous wrestlers including Maryse, Road Dogg, Sara Del Ray and Charlotte.
One needs no introduction to the bond between her and the Raw Women’s Champion, as their social media handles are littered with selfies featuring them both. Both began hanging out during their time at NXT; with Little Miss Bliss moving to Raw recently, they seemingly have more time together. Big women’s shelf life is shorter than most women, but she has already made her WWE spell memorable having found her best friend in the form of The Goddess of WWE.
6 Hated: Paige
Paige had everyone’s backing not so long ago. Triple H trusted her enough to make her the first NXT Women’s Champion and never lose it until her promotion to the main roster. Her main roster run got off to a start no other female wrestler can even hope for as she won Divas Championship at a tender age of 21, beating AJ Lee. She proceeded to have memorable feuds with Nikki Bella and Charlotte before she ran out of her mind.
Two consecutive Wellness Policy violations, public criticism of WWE, tarnishing the image of the company, hanging out with perpetual nuisance Alberto Del Rio all have led to her becoming an unpopular figure among her colleagues. It’s also been said that WWE has made a decision upon her future, with the release of Fighting With My Family holding them back.
5 Loved: Renee Young
Many rumours suggested that Renee Young was receiving backstage heat for hampering Dean Ambrose’s progress, but the rumours were debunked by the dirt sheets quickly as they singled out his lunatic (pun absolutely intended) fangirls, who sparked such idiotic rumours. In reality, though, she’s one of the most beloved faces (again, pun absolutely intended) backstage. In fact, people have enough faith in her to not just hold interviews but also let her host Talking Smack, which is easily one of the most followed shows on WWE Network.
In addition to being a company girl, she also comes across as a friendly figure. Charlotte, Natalya, Corey Graves, Maryse and Emma are her close friends, but she seems to just get along fine with everyone on the roster, from The Monster Among Men Braun Strowman to The Ravishing Russian Lana.
4 Hated: Lana
Lana’s husband Rusev is easily one of the most-beloved faces in the company. Fans love him. His colleagues love him; those who are in the business respect him. However, despite proving popular based off looks, Lana continues to tick a lot of people off. She was labelled a liar when she accused Paige of bullying on Twitter; they patched up later, with Paige uploading a selfie with her to Twitter. She then got herself and Rusev in hot water when she allegedly yelled at him at an airport.
The most recent controversy she sparked saw her announce her taking to Twitter to announce her engagement when WWE was still airing the romantic storyline involving Rusev, Lana, Dolph Ziggler and Summer Rae. Given the recent push, it seems as though the agents are ready to give her a second chance, but she can definitely not rebuild trust having gotten into trouble quite often.
3 Loved: Summer Rae
Summer Rae is easily one of the most polarizing female wrestlers. Some reports suggest that she’s been on the receiving end of backstage heat. Such hatred is fathomable as she got into WWE without much training. However, there are numerous contrasting reports that make her look a saintly figure.
Paige, who should have been in her teenage then, was bullied by older wrestlers during her Florida Championship Wrestling spell; the British wrestler claimed that only she stood up for her besides always comforting and supporting her. She recently wooed WWE Universe when she went out on a date with a fan who didn’t know she’d come out with him when he e-mailed her. The net result of every story on her makes one think she’s one of the loveliest persons on the WWE roster today.
2 Hated: The Bellas
The Bellas, much like Summer Rae, are polarizing figures. Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported a few years ago that the twins are beloved backstage despite their rather swift ascension to the top. WWE highlighted their trust by making Nikki Bella Executive Producer of Total Divas earlier this year. Triple H allegedly considers Brie Bella well grounded.
However, there are also contrasting reports that suggest otherwise. Many murmur that they both came off tacky when they showed off the presents their high-profile had bought them. John Cena’s fiancée, in particular, received a lot of heat for going through an adverse personality change after she started living with him. With her taking her time off with The Cenation Leader, those who work their socks off everyday are ticked off.
1 Loved: Bayley
I doubt this a surprise. Everyone loves the Randy Savage-cosplaying underdog, who simply can’t stop oozing happiness. She’s made more fans than any female wrestler when Alexa Bliss fanboys aren’t taken into consideration. She produces one of the loudest pops on Monday nights. She has made numerous fans backstage in addition to wooing those in audience.
She’s gained the trust and love of Papa Hunter and co. thanks to her outstanding work ethic and constant improvement. Additionally, she’s made numerous friends, including (but not limited to, obviously) the other three Four Horsewomen, The New Day, Seth Rollins, Sasha Banks, Enzo and Cass, Finn Balor and AJ Lee. Additionally, her respect for veterans Goldust, The Hardy Boyz and Mickie James also seems to bode well with everyone backstage.