The women's division in WWE has undergone some wholesale changes over the past few years. Female Superstars such as Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks, Alexa Bliss, plus so many more are now seen as super heroes. Women who are not just as good at wrestling than their male counterparts, but in a lot of cases they're better. It has all been a part of the women's revolution. WWE has given them more chances and a bigger spotlight in which to showcase their talents. The latest accomplishment by the women was the first ever all female Royal Rumble, a 30 person match to decide which woman would get a shot at a championship at WrestleMania.
While the Royal Rumble reminded us that the women of WWE have come a long way, it also reminded us that there was a lot of work that went into the division before the current crop of females arrived. Former female Superstars from the company's past were welcomed back from the match including Trish Stratus, Molly Holly, Jacqueline, and Lita. All of those women were great wrestlers who competed in WWE during a time when the company didn't necessarily want them there for their wrestling ability. Perhaps the best performance from a returning legend came when Michelle McCool entered the fray. We were all reminded of how much of an all round great athlete she is and hope that she will stick around for the long haul. Here are a few more reminders of why it would be great to have her around once again.
15 Keeping McCool
Before Michelle McCool became an established and accomplished wrestler in WWE she was actually a teacher of seventh grade science. McCool has a master's degree in educational leadership and also taught gymnastics and kickboxing, hence her impressive physique which was ready made for the sports entertainment business before she had even arrived in WWE.
Like so many other female Superstars around the time that McCool was hired, she was discovered by her participation in the annual WWE Diva Search.
Although she didn't win, finishing seventh overall, her and a few others were still signed back in 2004. Fellow future Diva Christy Hemme was the eventual winner of the competition. Although she was classed as a Diva as she would go on to prove she was so much more than that when it came to performing in the ring.
14 The Cowgirl Teacher
Speaking of McCool's background in teaching, here's hoping that she didn't wear the above outfit when giving her classes. While it might be very entertaining for us it's hardly appropriate attire for teaching seventh graders. Michelle's first appearance on WWE television came on November 18th 2004 but for the first few months she wasn't a wrestler. Instead she took up the role of a fitness trainer and would help other Superstars backstage with stretches and exercise, all for the purpose of on screen angles of course. Most of what McCool was involved in for those first few months revolved around her not needing to wrestle and instead played on the fact that she had an extremely attractive and physically fit physique. The wrestling would come later.
13 Basketball Player
Judging by the above photo we kind of wish that WWE had McCool play a basketball player as opposed to a fitness instructor. Although she only played it in high school she certainly has the frame for it, often dwarfing a lot of the women that she stepped into the ring with.
The first occasion that she actually stepped into the ring to compete came in March of 2005.
McCool wrestled and won a mixed tag match alongside Big Show against Rene Dupree and Dawn Marie. McCool had a few more matches after that but clearly her skills needed honing. WWE sent her to a couple of their developmental territories, DSW and then OVW, and didn't return to the main roster until the summer of 2006.
12 Looking Good As Usual
The outfit McCool is wearing in the above photo does not leave much to the imagination. Despite how good she looks in it when she first returned to the SmackDown brand in 2006 her gimmick involved her refusing to remove her clothes like the rest of the Divas were doing at the time. In a throw back to the WWE of the early '90s the company had McCool playing an occupation she had once occupied in real life, a teacher. McCool would refuse to compete in contests and eventually became the manager of KC James and Idol Stevens, leading them to be known as The Teacher's Pets. Despite numerous attempts to become Tag Team Champions they never quite did and the trio dissolved in late 2006.
This photo shows off Michelle McCool looking casual and incredible at the same time. No one can deny that the blonde stunner looks amazing no matter what the situation. Her shirt could not be any more accurate. Fans and their favourite wrestlers really do share a special bond. Of course it helps McCool that her husband is probably the most popular wrestler of all time. That is guaranteed to make the fans warm up to you, at least more than they did before. Either way, Undertaker is a very lucky man to have been able to find love again with a woman who is both a great person and a great wrestler.
10 Beautiful In Blue
The split of Michelle McCool and Layla had a little more to it than your average tag team break up. The two former co-Women's Champions had a match against one another that ended in a double count out. Wanting to know which of them truly was the better WWE Superstar, Layla challenged her former friend to a rematch at Extreme Rules where neither of them could be counted out or disqualified. McCool accepted the challenge on one condition, that the loser has to leave WWE.
The match happened and surprise surprise, McCool was the one who took the loss and left the company.
To add insult to injury she was attacked by a debuting Kharma right after which was a way of writing McCool off of television.
9 Volleyball Too
Clearly somebody back stage was a big fan of the multitude of things McCool got up to before she joined the wild ride that is a life in professional wrestling. We have already seen her dressed in basketball gear and as a teacher, now take a look at her donning a volleyball player's uniform.
Despite retiring in 2011 last year McCool started dropping hints that an in-ring return may be on the cards for her.
It began when she sat in the front row for her husband The Undertaker's match at WrestleMania 33, one that might prove to be his last. Then towards the end of the year her and Charlotte Flair had an interaction on social media. The current SmackDown Women's Champion said that she would love to wrestle McCool, to which Michelle replied that if WWE were to give her the call she would be back like a shot.
8 Flawless Indeed
As McCool threw Superstars over the top rope at this year's Royal Rumble Stephanie McMahon commented that the former Divas' Champion was still flawless. She was not wrong and Michelle looks just as flawless in the photo above. Eventually WWE started to realize that McCool's flawlessness extended beyond her good looks and that she was actually going to be an asset as an in ring talent. Once the teacher gimmick came to an end Michelle was repackaged as The All American Diva and became a firm favourite with the fans at the time. She began competing in more singles matches against the likes of Victoria and Natalya, all of which was building to her first career defining moment, a shot at a championship.
7 Number One
McCool doesn't need to be in swimwear or dressed up as a teacher at a rodeo to look hot. When she's simply in her ring gear she is one of the most attractive females to ever step foot between the ropes. Again though despite the time that McCool enjoyed at the peak of her career it wasn't all about how she looked, something that was rewarded for the first time in 2008. At The Great American Bash that year McCool took on Natalya in a match to decide the first ever Divas' Champion, and she won! During her title reign Michelle began to turn heel and had lost the tag of fan favourite by the time she lost the championship. She held the title for an impressive 155 days, losing it to Maryse the day after Christmas.
6 Enjoy The View
There's no point looking great in your ring gear if you're just going to lie around in it back stage of course, and evidently that is not what McCool did. This snap of her prior to a match is a pretty great one, and one where you can see the inaugural Divas' Champion in all of her glory. While winning the Divas' Championship, and being the first one to do it to boot, was a huge moment for McCool what came next would have been even bigger and better. Almost a year on from winning the Diva's Title McCool became Women's Champion, defeating Melina to do so. With that she ticked off another first, that being the first woman in WWE history to hold the Divas' and Women's Titles.
5 Fashion Statement
When most of us dress casually we opt for a t-shirt and jeans, maybe some sweat pants if we're not leaving the house. Clearly McCool does the same, sort of. She has opted for some jeans in this pic but also what appears to be some sort of scarf. An odd choice but we're not complaining. McCool's second championship reign was another long one, lasting over six months before eventually losing out to Mickie James. The title underwent the hot potato treatment for a little while after that. Michelle regained the title again soon after before losing it once again to Beth Phoenix. Her and her new tag team partner Layla would then defeat Phoenix in a handicap match to become co-champions, both holding the Women's Title at the same time.
4 Those Eyes
The above picture looks as if it was taken from the eyes of The Undertaker himself, and we have to admit we are pretty jealous. McCool may not be baring all in this one but it doesn't make her any less appealing and attractive. When not at home tempting Taker though Michelle is in WWE rings making history. Not only was she the first woman to ever be a Divas' Champion and a Women's Champion, but she was also the first woman to hold both championships at the same time. At Night Of Champions 2010 McCool defeated Melina for the Divas' Championship while still Women's Champion and that meant her and Layla could come to the ring with a title each.
3 Two Is Better Than One
Collectively Michelle McCool and Layla were not very inventively known as Laycool. Typical WWE just slamming two Superstars' names together to create a team name. As you can see from above, and from the facts littered throughout this article, they certainly made quite the pair. The two of them teamed with Dolph Ziggler at WrestleMania XXVII and lost to the team of Trish Stratus, John Morrison and celebrity guest Snooki. Following a match on the biggest stage of them all cracks began to show between the two. As part of the story line Layla and McCool even went to couples therapy in an attempt to mend their broken friendship. It didn't work though and eventually Laycool was no more.
2 Ready For Her Close Up
There are a lot of photos of WWE's females that were taken while they weren't expecting to be shot and in our experience they make for some of the best pictures. The one above is a prime example of that. Even when she isn't ready for a fan photo, she looks great. Perhaps The Undertaker is nearby signing autographs. The two of them clearly have a very happy life together but it hasn't all been plain sailing for the pro wrestling pair. In 2016 McCool revealed on Instagram that she had been diagnosed with skin cancer. She attributed it to not wearing enough sun screen throughout her life and said that she was having to have holes cut out of her skin in order to save her life. Thankfully she seems to be doing a lot better now.
1 Last But Not Least
We really feel like we have saved the best for last in this one. There have been a few pictures featured of McCool sporting swimwear, but none quite like the zebra print one she has on here. As regular viewers of WWE will know by now, those rumours and hints that McCool was dropping in 2017 all came to fruition in the past few weeks. Not only did the former Women's Champion make an appearance on Raw's 25th anniversary, but she was also a surprise entrant in the first ever women's Royal Rumble. She had a good showing too making quite a few eliminations. Perhaps that means she will be sticking around for the long haul and having some extended rivalries with a few of the women she eliminated. Here's hoping.