Much has been made of how women in WWE have been treated a bit rougher today. The company made a huge deal of the “Women’s Revolution” as, after years of being treated as an afterthought, female workers were given real-time for serious matches. It’s been pushed by how NXT has provided some terrific female bouts and the main roster doing more with them. That includes Becky Lynch exploding as”the Man” and women main-eventing WrestleMania. That’s much better than when they were in costume matches and showing off in their underwear.
It’s led to some wondering how some past “Divas” might have fared today. Some might well be better off as there were seriously good workers who didn’t get a chance to show their stuff. Also, there were those who were big stars and would be just as effective (if not better) today. On the other hand, quite a lot of women rested solely on their looks and that wouldn’t work out as well for them in today’s WWE atmosphere. Here are 5 Divas of the past that would work just as well in today’s WWE and 5 who wouldn’t.
10 BAD: Sunny
Tammy Lynn Sytch is sadly better known today for her astounding fall from grace. In the mid-1990s, Sunny was one of the hottest women wrestling had ever known. Her blonde hair, bubbly personality and great outfits made her an instant hit.
She was the first Diva to be an Internet sensation and as manager led several teams to the tag titles. At her best, Sunny was always eye candy, never an in-ring worker and is best known for how her personal demons overwhelmed her. That alone would make her too risky for today while she was to watch than to see wrestle.
9 GREAT: Bull Nakano
The brightest spot of Alundra Blayze’s run as Women’s champion was her feud with Bull Nakano. The imposing Japanese star was notable for her makeup, her squat build and that massive hair. She and Blayze traded the belt in some great matches but Nakano had a falling out with the company over personal issues.
She actually became a golfer and changed her appearance majorly. Nakano would be far more over today as a monster worker who could battle anyone and be an even bigger star in NXT.
8 BAD: Stacy Keibler
As a dancer, the woman is pretty good but as a wrestler...eh. She gets attention for her form, her lush blonde hair and of course, those astounding 42-inch legs. Her early time was just dancing around in short skirts and the few times she wrestled were in bra and panties or costume matches.
She could be tough (taking an RKO and put through a table by the Dudleyz) but Stacy just didn’t work as an in-ring worker. With the emphasis on physically strong athletes today, Keibler would be an even harder fit into WWE.
7 GREAT: Gail Kim
Gail Kim really came into the wrong time in WWE. The Canadian star had a great look and WWE did give her a push by winning the Women’s title in her debut. She didn’t take as a face so a heel turn served her better. The problem was that Kim was a great worker in a time when women’s matches didn’t get as much attention.
In TNA, she made the Knockouts a great division for a time. She made a short-lived return before literally walking out on the company to return to TNA. One can easily see Kim doing fine in NXT and the main roster to be the great star the company should have made her from the start.
6 BAD: Debra
Debra McMichael had entered wrestling alongside then-husband Steve when “Mongo” was a member of the Four Horsemen. By 1998, she was with Steve Austin and getting more attention thanks to her knockout appearance.
She “won” the Women’s title only because she looked better being stripped to her bra and panties which was easily a low point for the title. She was joined with Jeff Jarrett for a while and only known for her skirts and tight tops. Debra just wouldn’t work in today’s WWE with her lack of wrestling skills and the company moving past going off just looks.
5 GREAT: Chyna
It’s forgotten just how amazing the “Ninth Wonder of the World” was. The sight of this imposing Amazonian woman accompanying HHH was impressive enough. Even bigger was how Chyna could easily manhandle guys and take as many hits as anyone else.
She did get attention as not just Women’s champion but even IC champ and some mainstream fame. Her fall is sadly well known but Chyna would be just as huge a deal today with her strength and presence making her a tough competitor to face.
4 BAD: Christy Hemme
The original Diva Search was poorly received by fans for making it so blatant WWE was hiring ladies off their hot looks. When Christy Hemme won, the company tried to push her as a singles worker and even had her face Trish Stratus.
It didn’t work as the woman was like a prototype of Eva Marie with all looks and little talent. She was soon an announcer for TNA and today is retired with a large family. Hemme was a product of a different era as today’s WWE ladies have to have a lot more skill than she did.
3 GREAT: Luna Vachon
A member of the legendary Vachon family, Luna was notable for her crazy appearance. With a half-shaved head, tattoos and wild outfits, she got attention as a madwoman who worked with others.
She did have good skill in the ring and there had been plans for her to win the Women’s title but the company went with Sable instead. Today, Vachon would be good with her skills and mad demeanor, much like Nikki Cross. It’s a shame the woman never got the attention she deserved as a worker.
2 BAD: Sable
Rena Mero entered WWE in 1996 alongside then-husband Marc Mero. While the “Wildman” got a push and a brief run as IC champion, it was Sable who got attention as his aide. She was soon flaunting her beauty constantly in skimpy outfits and a run with the revived Women’s title. While she had some skills, it was always her beauty that got attention and how she was willing to show a lot of skin off.
Her first run ended badly (Mero has admitted letting her ego get the better of her) and she’s settled into a quiet life with husband Brock Lesnar. She just wouldn’t have been as effective today with looks only over real wrestling skill.
1 GREAT: Alundra Blayze
If ever a woman was out of her time, Alundra Blayze was it. After time in the AWA and WCW as Medusa Miceli, she joined with WWE and was soon the star of their revived women’s division. She did well as champion although hampered by a lack of serious challengers and WWE not giving the division as much attention as they should.
This would lead to Blayze walking out and the infamous moment of her dropping the women’s title into the garbage on “Nitro”. Blayze actually popped up on recent WWE programming and were she competing today, she’d be a terrific star able to go well.