The Attitude Era is what established the craziness for wrestling today, as it was built with so many memorable moments and superstars that one couldn’t help but get a viewing of the very entertaining shows. The Divas were a part of that entertainment, sometimes a bit on the erotic side, but these divas established women’s wrestling in the WWE and paved the way for many others to come in and build it to a stronger level. They created the platform on which many aspiring women wrestlers can walk through and even though their way of attracting audiences was not always ‘ethical’, they did it nonetheless.
The Divas rise in the company started during this era as they were a source of attraction for the company for the sexiness they added to it. Many women before this era had heralded women’s wrestling into success like Alundra Blayze and The Fabulous Moolah, but women in the WWE weren’t taken seriously because of their ‘inferior athletic’ bodies compared to their male counter-parts. The Attitude Era changed all this, as WWE’s obsession at thwarting WCW made them go all out in trying to get the attention of the people as they started to show the Divas in a more revealing manner with more personal rivalries.
The Divas weren’t shy about gaining their own spotlight and put on some memorable acts for the crowd and slowly gained momentum on their own. Be it as the manager of some wrestler or maybe wrestling on their own, these Divas not only wrestled, but also added entertainment value to the show with the Evening Gown or Bra and Panties matches. Even though their rise wasn’t exactly technical, they did soon make a name for themselves and made sure everyone took women seriously in the wrestling business. Some of the top Divas of the Attitude Era had success after departing from the company, while others had to go on their own ways.
26 Ryan Shamrock (then)
Alicia Webb had debuted as the kayfabe sister of the terrorizing Ken Shamrock and was the hot sister everyone wanted to date in the WWE. She gave in to the flirtation and was revealed to be in a fictional adult film with Val Venis. Ken beat him up to send a message to everyone on the roster. Ryan got her prominent moment when she was “sacrificed” by the Undertaker and terrorized by the Ministry of Darkness for some weeks. Shamrock would be a part of a heel stable called Pretty Mean Sisters with Terri Runnels and Jacqueline before being released by the WWE three months later. She reported that it was Chyna’s hate for her which got her out and also because she refused to sign a five year contract with the company.
25 Ryan Shamrock (now)
24 Nicole Bass (then)
Having a body which can terrorize many women in the business and swoon the eyes of Vince McMahon, Nicole Bass joined the wrestling business after a successful body-building career to start her wrestling career in ECW. Soon Bass would jump to the WWE, debuting at WrestleMania XV as Sable’s intimidating bodyguard. She would feud with Debra and form an alliance with Val Venis, until she accidentally whacked him with Jeff Jarrett’s guitar. Nicole would get into the main event picture by forming an alliance with Women’s Champion Ivory and things were looking upwards for the powerful woman, until she left and filed a lawsuit against WWE for sexual harassment from co-worker Steve Lombardi. This case was taken to court but was dismissed and Bass never returned to the company.
23 Nicole Bass (now)
22 Tori (then)
Coming into the company as a famous fitness champion, Tori got quite a push after her debut as Sable’s fan, and even faced her for the Women’s Championship at WrestleMania XV, but lost the match due to Nicole Bass’ interference. Afterwards, she went after Ivory’s Women’s Championship and then some extreme matches for her Hardcore Title, but lost both painfully. Tori would then go down a disappointing path being Kane’s girlfriend and was turned into a valet from a wrestler, joining DX for a while and helping Stephanie McMahon win the Women’s Championship. She would become the ‘black ninja’ after an injury to help Raven, but was soon released after she voiced disdain of Raven verbally abusing her backstage.
21 Tori (now)
20 Terri Runnels (then)
Terri Runnels came into the company as Marlena, the indifferent manager of Goldust, who was her husband in real life. She would be this cigar-smoking, uncaring woman who tried to help him get wins. But soon horrible story-lines came her way, from Brian Pilman ‘winning’ her from Goldust to getting pregnant in storylines and then having a miscarriage as well. Terri was a sizzling, sex hungry predator during her time as the Pretty Mean Sisters with Jacqueline, and rose into relevance in some bizarre matches in a feud with The Kat. The sexy Runnels would become the host of WWE recap show Excess and also a backstage interviewer during which she won the Hardcore Championship. She would be fired in 2004 as part of a massive firing spree by the WWE.
19 Terri Runnels (now)
18 Debra (then)
Debra would be the manager of Jeff Jarrett when she appeared in the WWE, being his girlfriend and a shrewd businesswoman. After a striptease match when she had to strip because of Jarrett’s loss, Debra would use this to her advantage by unbuttoning her blouse and showing the crowd her “puppies”. This would get her a lot of popularity which pushed her to win the Women’s Championship in an Evening Gown match against Sable in a dubious decision. Debra would lose it soon enough and then turn on Jarrett. She would then gain prominence when she was the manager of The Rock during his feud with Debra’s then husband, Stone Cold. Debra left the company with Stone Cold in 2002, not to return again.
17 Debra (now)
16 Molly Holly (then)
Molly Holly arrived during the latter part of the Attitude Era as the cousin of Bob and Crash Holly. She would feud with Trish Stratus, before forming an on-screen relationship with Spike Dudley. Holly would then get a disappointing gimmick of “Mighty Molly”, the sidekick of The Hurricane. Her actual rise would be after she developed herself during the Ruthless Aggression era, where she would become a villainous character who won her first Women’s Championship from Trish Stratus. After an amazing feud with Trish, Molly would again win the Women’s Championship from Gail Kim before having her head shaved at WrestleMania XX after losing a match to Victoria. Her last match would be a Fulfill Your Fantasy Battle Royal as she left the company dissatisfied with them focusing on looks rather than wrestling ability and retired from wrestling.
15 Molly Holly (now)
14 Lita (then)
Although Lita was mostly a prominent part of the early Ruthless Aggression era, it could be argued that she had her best wrestling moments during the latter part of the Attitude Era during her time with Team Extreme. After a feud with Trish Stratus and T&A, Lita would capture her first Women’s Championship by defeating Stephanie McMahon. She held the title for 73 days, during which she had some amazing matches including a hardcore match against Jacqueline. She would also challenge for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship unsuccessfully, before teaming up with Trish Stratus. An injury soon followed, as Lita then feuded with Stratus after returning to make for a memorable rivalry. But afterwards she would kayfabe marry Kane and lose his baby due to a miscarriage and become more of a controversial figure because of her personal affair with Edge, causing Matt Hardy to go nuts on them. Lita then became Edge’s girlfriend, as the heel pair got over for a good time. She would win the Women’s Championship for the fourth time and then retire due to injuries sometime after that.
13 Lita (now)
12 Stacy Carter (then)
Named as ‘Miss Kitty’, Carter was introduced to the WWE universe as Debra’s assistant and later on began managing Chyna. But she shot to fame when she won the Women’s Championship in an Evening Gown Match and quickly flashed her breasts to the crowd, making it the first instance of nudity on WWE TV. Carter would become this sexual symbol of the women’s division and competed in other erotic matches. In 2001, The Kat would ironically have to manage a stable named Right To Censor after her off-screen husband Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler lost a match against Stevie Richards which forced her to join the stable. But Stacy would be released in the midst of the story-line, with her backstage attitude being one of the reasons she was let go of.
11 Stacy Carter (now)
10 Sunny (then)
Considered by many as the ‘First Diva’, Sunny was someone who paved the way for the Attitude Era Divas and is also known for managing some of the most memorable tag teams in WWE history, even though she arrived before the beginning of The Attitude Era. With Chris Candido, she was part of a villainous fitness freak team named The Bodydonnas. Later, Zip would join as they won the Tag Team Championship at WrestleMania XII with Sunny in their corner. Sunny won Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s Manager of the Year Award in 1996. Sunny went onto manage Farooq soon after and during this time became the host of WWE shows like LiveWire and Shotgun Saturday Night. Sunny would also go on to manage The Legion of Doom later and have them win the tag titles at WrestleMania XIV, and continue to manage them till July 1998 when she was released due to problems with Sable and no showing events.
9 Sunny (now)
8 Ivory (then)
Starting out her WWE career as one of Godfather’s hoes and then valeting for the team of Mark Henry and D’Lo Brown, Ivory honed her skills to go on her own way to defeat Debra and win the Women’s Championship. She became a heel because of her feud with Tori, and defeated her in the first ever Women’s Hardcore Match for her belt. Ivory then had some horrible matches, losing her belt to The Fabulous Moolah and winning it back quickly. Ivory lost her belt in an Evening Gown match soon and then became a member of Right To Censor. Ivory won her third Women’s Championship during this time with the group. She would be moved to a trainer’s position as she was a trainer for two seasons of Tough Enough and then sent to OVW, and decided to leave the company soon after.
7 Ivory (now)
6 Sable (then)
Another revolutionary diva of the Attitude Era, Sable was extremely hot with the crowd because of her antics inside and outside the ring which garnered many fans to watch the show. Her popularity rose levels in 1998 when she went topless only to have hand imprints on her breasts to many cheers from the crowd. This orchestrated a huge push for her as she won the Women’s Championship by defeating Jacqueline and power bombing her and Marc Mero who interfered in the match. Sable rarely defended her title, defending it against her “fan” Tori at WrestleMania XV which she won because of interference from Nicole Bass. The seductive blonde would go on to hold the title for almost six months, before controversially losing it to Debra. Sable left the company after this and filed a $110 million suit against WWE, citing sexual harassment. She would return in 2003 and reprise her role as this erotic sexual predator, having erotic story-lines with Torrie Wilson and Vince McMahon before leaving for good.
5 Sable (now)
4 Jacqueline (then)
Jacqueline arrived at the WWE with a lot of experience and the second attempt at it was the charm for her, as she soon won the Women’s Championship becoming the first ever African American woman to win the gold. Jacqueline would then be part of the Pretty Mean Sisters with Terri Runnels as the duo formed an alliance with Mark Henry and D’Lo Brown. Jacqueline would split from Runnels after the latter became too sex hungry, and headed her own way to win her second championship from Hervina. After that she continued to work at the top of the women’s division for her remaining years in the company, and had to be released by the WWE as the creative team apparently could not come up with anymore story-lines for her character.
3 Jacqueline (now)
2 Trish Stratus (then)
Trish Stratus is the perfect diva of the WWE as she had the figure as well as the wrestling ability to back it up. She started off slow by managing Albert and Test and competing in some matches. Stratus then became the love-interest of Mr. McMahon which made her really popular, especially when she turned face at WrestleMania X-Seven. She suffered an injury after this, but returned some months later to win her first Women’s Championship and later also won the Hardcore Championship off Crash Holly. Trish would then win more Women’s Championships, becoming the prime diva in the business and on top of the world with modeling photoshoots as well. She then had an amazing rivalry with Lita which established both of them as the best female wrestlers in the company, and then had to put over Mickie James. After the feud with James, it was announced that her match was vs Lita at the Unforgiven PPV of 2006 and she won the match and retired as champion.
1 Trish Stratus (now)
Stratus did make periodic appearances in the WWE after retiring, and also wrestled at WrestleMania XVII. She was quite popular outside the wrestling business as well, as she hosted the Canadian Walk of Fame in 2006 and also appeared in CBS Show Armed and Famous. Trish also started her own show called Stratusphere where she would go on dangerous adventures. Stratus opened a yoga studio of the same name in 2008 and it was awarded the Critics Choice Best New Business Award the next year, and in 2010 Stratus won Business Woman of the Year. Trish is also quite avidly involved in charity work and has done charity work for organizations like Dream Take Flight and Special Olympics. The Canadian superstar was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013, but is quite insistent on not returning to wrestling as she is satisfied with her yoga training studio and other work she does which can help people.
Leave A Comment
Looking for an AD FREE EXPERIENCE on TheSportster?Get Your Free Access Now!