The rotation of wrestlers to come in and out of WWE will see many wrestlers released every year. This is even more true for the women’s division as there are fewer spots open for the ladies. Despite the women’s movement bringing in huge success, the ladies will get two storylines at most per show. That means there is less space on the roster for the women’s wrestlers. We have seen quite a few women get released from WWE in recent years. The amount of tremendous talent being signed and thriving in NXT meant a lot of the ladies on the roster were forced out for the upgrade.
Many of the women to get released over the past few years will be examined along with where they are today. Some of the ladies have continued wrestling and thrived outside of WWE. Others have tried to find their way into a new profession putting the wrestling life in the past. We will look at both sides regarding how life is treating these ladies that were once WWE Divas. Find out how your favorite women’s wrestlers are doing today. Here are fifteen “where are they now?” stories for recently released WWE women’s wrestlers.
15 Summer Rae: Model
The wrestling career of Summer Rae never got to where she wanted in WWE. Despite showing potential as a great heel character in NXT, Summer never had the chance to showcase that on the main roster. WWE positioned her as a secondary woman on the roster before an injury took her out altogether. Summer spent months on the sideline and never returned to television.
After getting officially cleared by her doctors, Rae waited months for a program to bring her back to Raw or SmackDown. Instead, she ended up getting fired before the end of 2017. Summer has transitioned outside of wrestling and is looking to continue to work on her modeling career. Rae was the only WWE employee to make the Maxim Hot 100 list this past year, which is a huge accomplishment for models. The aftermath of leaving WWE has seen her continue working on impressive shoots.
14 Kaitlyn: Planning wrestling comeback
In case you haven’t heard... _______________________________ 👉🏼You’ve all been asking me if I’m returning to the ring. I’ve been training with @pablomarquez94 at his school, #maineventtrainingcenter, for the past few months and rediscovered my love for pro wrestling. I never really intended on wrestling again. I just starting training again because it’s been extremely therapeutic and has ignited my passion again. I want to thank Pablo for welcoming me to his family. It’s been almost four years since I stepped into the ring. This year has been super pivotal for me. I’ve discovered a lot of things about myself and spent so much time deciding who and what I want to be. I’m a lot of things. I’m an entrepreneur, a pro wrestler, a mess, and an unstoppable freight train. There’s so much i want to accomplish and have so much unfinished business. I’m not going to say that I’ll be doing more shows but this one is just super meaningful for me. It’s a symbolic match for me. How appropriate for it to be called “Breaking Chains”. In a lot of ways, I’ve spent 2017 breaking chains ....from my divorce to the mental limitations that existed in my head. Join me on February 10th for this awesome show. I’ll be the main event and will be wrestling @therachaelellering. Ill be filming the ups and downs while training for this show. Can’t wait to share that with you all. I’ll post more details about how to grab some tickets. For now, visit CoastalChampionshipWrestling.com/ tickets. See you guys there! Thanks for all the love! #prowrestling #coastalchampionshipwrestling #babyface #dontcallitacomeback #butdo #celestialbodiez #breakingchains
The WWE career of Kaitlyn saw her accomplish a lot in a short time. Kaitlyn won the all-women season of NXT back when the show was a competition defeating major names like AJ Lee and Naomi. WWE gave her a solid push and she won the Divas Championship to have a strong run as champion. Kaitlyn delivered some great matches with her best friend Lee before retiring at her peak.
The decision to leave WWE was made when Kaitlyn wanted to settle down with her husband and start a business in fitness clothing. While her clothing line has been successful, Kaitlyn’s marriage ended making her no longer have the reason to dislike the wrestling schedule. A recent big announcement saw her reveal she was returning to the ring on the independent circuit. Kaitlyn is looking to get back to WWE and it could very well happen.
13 Brandi Rhodes: WAGS star/ROH wrestler
So proud that if one day I have kids I’ll be able to tell them “Mommy was the first Black female to ever appear on Wrestle Kingdom at the Tokyo Dome, AND the first black female to announce at WrestleMania”. But for now, I’ll just tell my niece Emily. She’ll be so proud. 👑❤️ . . . . #blackgirlmagic #njwk12 #wrestling #brandirhodes #wrestlekingdom #womenswrestling #womenofhonor http://liketk.it/2u7DD #liketkit @liketoknow.it
The departure of Brandi Rhodes from WWE was of her own choice after her husband Cody Rhodes left the company. Both Cody and Brandi wanted out of their contracts to have other opportunities away from WWE. Brandi has been wrestling consistently since leaving WWE as they wanted her to remain the ring announcer for the rest of her tenure.
Ring of Honor currently has Brandi wrestling in a tournament to crown the first Woman of Honor Championship. Another major opportunity to come up saw her get a spot on the E! reality series WAGS: Atlanta looking at the lives of athletes’ wives. Brandi’s career has improved dramatically since leaving WWE as she gets to do what she wants and makes a lot of positive strides in various fields.
12 Lilian Garcia: Podcast host
The ring announcing work of Lilian Garcia made her arguably the best person to ever work the job after Howard Finkel. WWE typically goes through ring announcers quickly, but Garcia held a role in the company for many years. The fact that she was a talented singer added to her job as she often sang the national anthem.
Garcia left WWE in 2016 to help take care of her ailing father at home. The decision to leave WWE didn’t take her away from wrestling. Lilian now hosts a weekly podcast talking to her friends from WWE. It is considered highly successful and often showcases breaking news stories. Garcia also has a good relationship with WWE and is brought in for special shows like Tribute to the Troops and Raw 25.
11 AJ Lee: Author
Thank you to all the authors and publishers who let me be a small part of their journeys during 2017! • Slugfest by Reed Tucker- a fascinating, in depth look at the history and dramatic rivalry between DC and Marvel Comics. My blurb is on the back cover! • Geek Girl Rising by Heather Cabot & Samantha Walravens- an inspirational book about the lack of, but Phoenix-like rise of girls and women in STEM fields. I was honored to be interviewed in this book about my work with the non-profit Girls Make Games. • The Stars in Our Eyes by @JulieKlam- the bestselling author’s latest book is about our culture’s obsession with celebrity. Julie Klam is, legitimately, the funniest author I’ve ever read. I actually stalk her so much, she let me write a mini chapter in this book! • Crazy Is My Superpower by this guy- Thank you Crown Publishing and Penguin Random House for an amazing 2017!
The WWE career of AJ Lee is quite impressive considering she didn’t fit the mold of the female talent that used to exist. Lee accomplished all her dreams by getting a chance in WWE and hitting a home run. The popularity of Lee saw her get involved in storylines with top main event stars like John Cena, CM Punk, Daniel Bryan and Kane. She dominated the women’s division during her time wrestling.
AJ chose to leave WWE in 2015 due to the odd nature of the company doctor suing her husband CM Punk for insulting comments after his departure. Lee released an autobiography about her life in 2017 that was a huge success. The book was a New York Times bestseller and is inspiring a television show about Lee’s life.
10 Rosa Mendes: Running meal plan company
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Rosa Mendes is another woman to leave WWE shortly after having her first child. The tenure of Mendes lasted over a decade following runs in developmental and on the main roster. Rosa achieved the best of her success as a manager for Primo and Epico. It didn’t work out in the long run, but it was their most successful run and showcased Mendes’ charisma.
The end of Rosa’s career in WWE came a little while after she became a mother. It was a mutual decision and WWE still has a good relationship with her. Mendes has started her own projects outside of wrestling since leaving the business. Rosa is running a company called Totally Fit Mam, a service meant to provide healthy recipes and meal plans for mothers that want to in good health.
9 Eva Marie: Actress/model
Eva Marie received a huge opportunity in WWE to become a star thanks to her look and potential. WWE believed she would become their next breakout star and placed her on the main roster right away to be part of Total Divas. Eva failed to improve in the ring and became known as the worst wrestler on the roster.
WWE pushed her one more time at the beginning of the brand split in 2016. Eva had a great push, but it ended when she violated the Wellness Policy by failing the drug test. WWE decided to keep her at home until her contract ended to get rid of her. Marie is going forward with an acting career as she is represented by The Rock’s company. The modeling gig of Eva is also going forward with many shoots since leaving WWE.
8 Zahra Schreiber: Fozzy merchandise seller
The controversial end to Zahra Schreiber’s WWE career came when fans exposed old posts from her social media pages showcasing support of Nazi art and making racist comments. Zahra was already on thin ice after her role in the affair of Seth Rollins cheating on his fiancée and his fiancée leaking pictures of Rollins and Schreiber.
Rollins has since broken up with Zahra and she was out of the spotlight for quite some time. Schreiber recently resurfaced on social media referencing her desire to wrestle again. The current job she has is running the merchandise for Chris Jericho’s band Fozzy as he revealed it on a Talk is Jericho podcast. Zahra is also modeling and is trying to get her life back on track after the scandal took her down.
7 Brie Bella: Clothing Line
Brie Bella left WWE when she wanted to spend her time at home with Daniel Bryan trying to start a family along with starting other business ventures. The happy couple of Bryan and Brie welcomed their child Birdee into the world last year. Brie and her sister Nicole also launched their clothing line BirdeeBee at the end of 2017 to start that business venture.
There have been rumors of Brie wanting to return to WWE at some point after giving birth. Brie has been training on her off time and getting back into ring shape. An episode of Total Divas revealed that plans are in motion for both Brie and Nikki to return to the ring for the first-ever women’s Royal Rumble match. Unless plans change, Brie will be back in the ring less than a year after giving birth in a truly impressive feat.
6 Layla: Real estate agent
WWE employed Layla for many years following her win of the Diva Search competition. The road for Layla saw many ups and downs as she failed to get television time consistently throughout her career. Layla’s biggest success stories came when she won the Divas Championship and when she paired with Michelle McCool to form the heel unit LayCool. McCool and Layla did impressive work together to add to their legacies.
Layla left WWE a few years ago to start the next chapter of her life. A wedding with fellow former wrestler Ricky Ortiz saw them the tie knot as she no longer had to be on the road every night. Layla has started a new career as a real estate agent. A return to social media a few months ago is seeing her return to wrestling in the form of conventions and autograph signings.
5 Sara Lee: Powerlifter
Sara Lee shockingly won the Tough Enough competition in 2015 to land a sweet contract with WWE. Most of the ladies from the show were offered contracts meaning everyone joined, but Sara was the only one with a guaranteed contract. Lee however fell far behind her peers such as Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville who went on to become main roster stars.
Sara would get released from WWE when she got pregnant. The couple of Lee and NXT talent Wesley Blake had their first child together. WWE and Sara agreed it was best for her to leave since she wasn’t picking up wrestling anyway and was going to be gone for at least a year. Lee has listed on Twitter that her future entails powerlifting in addition to being a loving mother.
4 Devin Taylor: Founded dating app
The world is massive and unending and I get excited even by the smallest parts of it 🌏☕️❤️ @trypmnl . . . #manila #itsmorefuninthephilippines #goodwillambassador #lilbitgives #give #love #grateful #thankful #smile #happy #bekind #kindness #community #weareone #traveller #loving #positivevibes #positiveenergy #positivelife #attitudeofgratitude #flowerchild #peaceful #happygirl #peace #revolutionarygirl #vegan #vegangirl #manilabay #wanderlust #gypsygirl
Devin Taylor was a backstage broadcaster and ring announcer for NXT with the goal of becoming a wrestler. The WWE Network documentary series Breaking Ground featured Taylor’s journey of trying to become a wrestler get sidelined with multiple injuries. Taylor’s bad luck led to WWE eventually cutting bait with her. They saw her future as a wrestler, but the injuries put a red flag up leading the firing.
Taylor has completely left the wrestling industry and has been working on her own projects. The biggest one thus far is a dating app called OAKDate. This app is attended for people with special needs to find a partner. Taylor is a co-founder and the CEO of OAKDate as she hopes to grow the app into a big success.
3 Cameron: Vlogger
There are few women to have as disappointing runs in WWE as Cameron did. WWE believed in her potential enough to put her on the original season of Total Divas. Cameron didn’t have the wrestling experience of the other ladies on the main roster but was called up to have her place on the reality show. WWE eventually removed her from Total Divas and sent her down to NXT to train.
Cameron failed to ever get the hang of wrestling and was released for agreeing with a controversial Ryback post blasting WWE. While she still appears at wrestling conventions, Cameron has retired from the ring. The modeling and hosting services of Cameron have given her work after leaving WWE. However, the biggest project she is working on right now is attempting to become a successful YouTube personality with frequent vlogs.
2 Andrea D'Marco: Broadcaster/Host
The WWE stint of Andrea D'Marco saw her work as a broadcaster backstage. D'Marco was being groomed to have a position like Renee Young and some of the other ladies that interview stars backstage. WWE Network adding the option of pre-shows opened many spots for the hosts and broadcasters to have a role going forward.
WWE however didn’t see D'Marco as someone that could fit into their long-term future and released her. D'Marco is continuing her broadcasting career as a sports host. The other passion of D'Marco has her looking to expand her opportunities in media marketing, producing and speaking engagements. You can see she is not giving up her dreams after leaving WWE and has taken on a lot of career paths.
1 Emma: Hot commodity on free agent market
WWE made big news when firing Emma at the end of 2017. The talent, look and upside of Emma all played into her being an interesting prospect on WWE’s roster. Emma thrived in NXT but failed to get over on the main roster. Vince McMahon reportedly did not like Emma as much as Triple H did. The lack of belief from the most important person running WWE ended up hurting her badly.
Emma has been waiting out the three-month non-compete clause that WWE wrestlers must wait on after getting released. A plethora of bookings have been confirmed with Emma having a full schedule going forward in 2018. Emma has a chance to reach success like Cody Rhodes on the women’s side. The fact that Emma is booked for many months going forward proves that there is interest in her from fans and promoters. Emma has the opportunity to make WWE call her back in a few years if she lives up to the hype.