The Diva Search was one of the most polarizing ideas in WWE history, but it did introduce quite a few future stars to the wrestling world. WWE primarily wanted female talents from the modeling world with an athletic background to join the company in the 2000s rather than established wrestlers with experience. This sparked the idea of the Diva Search contest with aspiring wrestlers taking part in various competitions on Raw every week.
Most of the segments were embarrassing as WWE clearly didn’t respect the women’s division at the time. However, there were a few women who got their start in the Diva Search and later had great careers in wrestling. The contest allowed them an easier way to delve into their passion, or it introduced them to a new world that became their passion. We will look at the ten best careers to have their start in the WWE Diva Search contests.
10 Taryn Terrell
Taryn Terrell was involved in the 2007 Diva Search contest. The look of Terrell made her an instant favorite, but she was one of the runners-ups. WWE did sign her to a contract, and she had a run on the main roster as Tiffany. The peak of Tiffany’s run came when she was the General Manager of ECW.
Fans know her more for her time in Impact Wrestling as Taryn. The incredible matches with Gail Kim made her a huge star for the knockouts division. Terrell found her introduction in wrestling through the Diva Search, but she was a bigger star for Impact.
9 Ashley Massaro
The news of Ashley Massaro’s death earlier in 2019 would see fans shocked and saddened at the news. Massaro was extremely popular for WWE during her run winning the 2005 Diva Search contest. The popularity of Massaro was the strongest for any woman ever in one of the competitions.
Massaro would have a great run as a beloved face in the women’s division in the following years after winning the contest. The career of Ashley would slow down when she left WWE to focus on being at home more to care for her ill daughter. Massaro’s former peers would raise tens of thousands of dollars for her daughter’s education after her passing.
8 Brooke Adams
Brooke Adams was a standout in her Diva Search contest back in 2006. Fans may not remember Brooke from this contest as she missed the cut before the television competitions. Adams showed enough to WWE management to receive a developmental contract.
The WWE run of Brooke is most remembered for her time in the Extreme Expose faction on ECW television. TNA found more success with Adams when she joined the company. Brooke started as the assistant of Eric Bischoff before moving to the ring where she thrived. A feud with Gail Kim would make Adams a star on the path to winning the Knockouts Championship.
7 Candice Michelle
The success of Candice Michelle in WWE allows her to return occasionally as seen with the recent Raw Reunion show where she won the 24/7 Championship for a few seconds. Michelle was one of the contestants in the original 2004 Diva Search contest.
The look and personality of Candice each played a part in WWE offering her a contact after falling short of winning it all. Michelle made the most of her opportunity having a successful run on the main roster. The Women’s Championship reign of Candice featured impressive feuds with Beth Phoenix and Melina.
6 Christy Hemme
The popularity of Christy Hemme allowed her to win the fan vote of the first Diva Search contest in 2004. Fans gravitated towards her personality more than other contestants. Hemme had a successful first year in WWE that would land her a Playboy cover appearance and WrestleMania 21 match with Trish Stratus.
WWE released Hemme faster than expected with no real explanation for it. Hemme would find more success during a long run in TNA. The roles from wrestler to broadcaster to ring announcer to writer had her contribute in every way. Hemme was one of the first women to ever have a spot on a wrestling creative team.
5 Michelle McCool
Michelle McCool is another success story from the first season of the Diva Search. The athletic background of McCool added another element of appeal to WWE for them to sign her. McCool eventually made her mark on the main roster after a few years in developmental.
The success of McCool would see her win both the Women’s Championship and Divas Championship. Michelle and Layla teamed together to have great success as the entertaining heel Laycool faction. McCool’s marriage with the Undertaker sees them both returning to the company whenever asked.
4 Maria Kanellis
A strong run in the original 2004 Diva Search contest would see Maria Kanellis finished fifth in the competition. WWE still offered Maria a contract and had her join the main roster quickly with the backstage role of a ring announcer. The personality of Kanellis allowed her to shine in the role.
Following a few more years transitioning into the ring, Maria would get released from WWE. The success in wrestling would reach new heights in other promotions. Maria and her husband Mike Kanellis had great runs in ROH, Impact and New Japan. They are now in WWE together with Maria recently becoming the first pregnant champion winning the 24/7 Championship.
The 2007 Diva Search contest would see Maryse get eliminated early but making enough of an impact to get signed. Maryse spent some time in developmental before getting the call up to the main roster. An incredible look and heel persona would see WWE push her right away.
Maryse found success in the women’s division as a two-time Divas Champion. The return to WWE in 2016 after a long absence would see her work with her husband The Miz as a valet. It added another level of success to her career culminating in a WrestleMania match against John Cena and Nikki Bella.
2 Eve Torres
Eve Torres was the most successful winner of a Diva Search contest when winning first-place guaranteed contract in 2007. It took a while for Eve to find her groove for WWE, but it came with an incredible heel run in the women’s division.
A storyline with Zack Ryder and John Cena made Eve one of the top heels in the company. Three reigns as Divas Champion showed just how much faith the company had in her. Eve would leave at her peak on her own terms due to outside projects and interests to end a great career.
1 The Bella Twins
Brie and Nikki Bella were part of the 2006 Diva Search contest but didn’t make it to the television portion of the competition. WWE saw value in the Bella Twins enough to offer them contracts in developmental without needing much convincing.
Both sisters achieved great success together as a team and on their own. Nikki had the longest reigning Divas Championship reign of all time with Brie having her own reign as well. The Bella Twins remain two of the most popular women in WWE history with the reality shows Total Divas and Total Bellas shows still bringing success for the company.