The WWE, like every other show on television, has its fair share of reality components with shows you just cant tear your eyes away from. Back in 2004, the World Wrestling Entertainment introduced its audience to the America’s Next Top Model of wrestling, with hit show WWE Diva Search. For those of you not aware, it was a talent competition with the aim to receive a contract with the WWE, and be added to the Diva roster. Despite the fact it was only on the air for five seasons, there were quite a few personalities from both the winner’s circle, and the contestants, that left a lasting impression on the wrestling world. I mean it’s only fair they have their own show, as it doesn’t take much to see that the WWE fails to extend opportunities beyond the male dominated wrestling ring.
When the fifth season came to a close viewers waited with anticipation for the next season, and next set of Divas to prance around in hopes of getting that glittery contract, however that moment never came. Rumors have flown around like a five star frog splash about a new season coming out, but we have yet to see onward movements with it. Those five glorious seasons provided many of the girls with big careers, and others have just flown by the wayside settling down outside of wrestling.
With that, and the high hopes of a new season on the horizon, here’s a glance at the Top 15 Diva Search Contestants and Where They Are Now.
15. Candice Michelle
Hailing from Milwaukee, Candice moved out west to Los Angeles at the mere age of 19 to pursue every girl’s dream of show business. After success, she applied for the 2004 WWE Diva Search, and despite not winning she was sent to the RAW rooster. She is best known for defeating Melina for the Women’s Championship in 2007, becoming the first Diva contestant to win a title like that. Her career was eventually laid to rest after multiple injuries, such as a broken clavicle. Now you can see past footage of Candice up on your screens, and has become better known as one of the Go Daddy Internet domain girls. She is now a mother of three daughters.
14. Brooke Adams
Brooke Adams’ first step in the direction of professional wrestling came when she auditioned for the 2006 WWE Diva Search. Previous to that, she was a model and competed in pageants such as Miss Hawaiian Tropic, Miss Swimsuit USA and Miss Hooters. When she moved onto the show she failed to even make the top eight contestants, and instead was offered a developmental contract. She is best known for her presence on the Extreme Exposé line up with fellow Divas Kelly Kelly and Layla.
Since her WWE departure, she has competed in TNA as Brooke Tessmacher. While in TNA, Brooke began dating Robbie E, and the couple competed on season 25 of The Amazing Race, finishing fourth.
Brooke is now expecting her first child with significant other Weston Wayne.
13. Kristal Marshall
Pre WWE, Kristal was a beauty queen and Miss California pageant competitor who was also a model on Deal or No Deal, and featured in music videos for 50 Cent. She entered the 2005 Diva search in which she came in fourth place, and was signed to a developmental deal. She would compete in WWE briefly before moving on to TNA wrestling.
Shortly after calling quits to her wrestling career in 2010, Kristal embarked on motherhood, and didn’t take long to debit in her first fitness competition, winning her height class and the overall. She competed in both fitness and bodybuilding up until her last one in 2013 finishing in 8th place at the WBFF Worlds in Las Vegas, leading her to have her second child and finish her degree at Colorado State.
12. Ashley Massaro
Ashley Massaro was not only a WWE Diva contestant back in 2005, but she was named winner and awarded $250,000 with a one-year contract in the WWE. She is best known for a few feuds’, one of which involved Vince’s Devils and Mickie James, all being eventually dealt with in the ring of course. In 2006 she joined Smackdown!, where she took time off to compete on the show Survivor, before returning to the Raw brand in 2008.
However, Massaro requested early release in July of that year to stay at home to care for her sick daughter. She is now the current general manager of the World Independent Ladies Division Wrestling.
11. Rosa Mendes
Rosa Mendes hails from Vancouver, British Colombia, where she attended UBC for business before dropping out to see how far she could get with her modeling career. In the summer of 2006 she competed on the Diva Search and reached the final eight, before being eliminated and signed to a developmental contract. She is currently still signed into the WWE and acts as a main cast member on the reality show series Total Divas. Mendes and her fiancé welcomed their first child together back in February.
10. Christy Hemme
Christy Hemme was a participant and winner of the 2004 WWE Diva search, but is also known for her stint in TNA as a memorable ring announcer and wrestler. Before wrestling, Hemme modeled and appeared in magazines such as Maxim and Rolling Stone, building her brand on her image. She would eventually pose for Playboy in 2005 while under contract. A few rivalries later and the reigning Lingerie Pillow Fight champion called it quits from in the ring and has began her work in more behind the scenes interviews and appearances. Hemme is also a mother now, having given birth to a girl named Charlie Rose in 2015.
9. Maria Kanellis
Maria was a contestant on the 2004 season of the Diva search and placed fifth before being eliminated and flashing contestant Carmella DeCesare the finger while leaving. She was hired later by WWE as a backstage interviewer. Maria was drafted into Smackdown!, and later took on other endeavors including posing on the April 2008 cover of Playboy, and completing her degree in sports, event, and entertainment management.
Following her release from WWE, she continued her wrestling career on the indies, spending some time in Ring of Honor, where she vastly improved as a wrestler.
She is currently married to professional wrestler “The Miracle” Mike Bennett, and signed with TNA.
8. Taryn Terrell
Taryn was in the 2007 WWE Diva Search, making it all the way to the final eight before being eliminated fourth, which led her to a developmental contract. She also acted as a ring announcer and referee, but was best known for her journey in TNA where she held the title of Knockouts Champion with a crown sitting pretty on her head for a total record of 279 days.
Also known by WWE ring name ‘Tiffany’, Taryn is currently beginning a personal walk with Jesus as the world of WWE was filled with temptations. She has described her time in WWE as a time where, “I lived in sin. I was not a good person. I can say that I am ashamed of who I was in a lot of ways and the decisions that I made, and it was because I wasn’t a Christian.” Well there you go.
7. Leyla Milani
Leyla appeared in the 2005 season of WWE Diva Search where she finished 2nd out of a total of 8,000 contestants who tried out. She appeared in the WWE’s Raw Fan Nation commercials and then further went on to co-host Jimmy Hart’s wrestling show Wrestlicious TakeDown before resigning due to scheduling conflicts. Since then she has made many television appearances, however, her biggest venture is with her self titled hair care company, Leyla Milani Hair. The luxury hair company offers premium 100% human hair clip-ins and extensions, as well as offering other products.
6. Michelle McCool
Michelle was known as one of the most tough as nails fighters the Divas had ever seen. Her in the ring persona was generated from her real life job as a middle school science teacher before wrestling. She was a contestant in the 2004 Diva Search and despite not winning, she was brought that same year into the ring to be apart of SmackDown. She has been titled a two time WWE Women’s Champion and a one time Diva of the Year, during a time in which she married fellow wrestler Mark “The Undertaker” Calaway, and now plays mom to her first child with him and his fourth.
5. Brie Bella
Raised in Scottsdale and best known for her part in the tag team with her sister Nikki, Brie Bella is one half of a model, actress and professional wrestling tag team, commonly known as the Bella Twins. She is currently signed to the WWE . She is married to retired professional wrestler known as Daniel Bryan who held the WWE World Heavyweight Championship three times and plays a major component to reality series Total Divas. Rumors have been swirling that Brie is going to retire soon to start a family with Bryan, with Brie even admitting she’s experiencing baby fever.
4. Layla El
Layla was a prominent member of the Miami Heat dance team before entering and winning the 2006 Diva Search, earning her a opportunity in the WWE. She appeared in SmackDown with the tripe threat dance troupe of herself, Kelly Kelly, and Brooke Adams. She won the WWE Women’s Championship in 2010, becoming the first British woman to attain the championship.
In 2014 she began dating and later married fellow wrestler Ricky Ortiz in 2015 shortly after retiring, with the final statement, “sometimes you just need to step out and take a risk and move onto the next phase in life.”
3. Maryse Oullet
French-Canadian former model was pegged an underdog heading into the 2006 edition of the WWE Diva Search completion, proving everyone wrong when she became a finalist. She won Miss Hawaiian Tropic Canada in 2013, so I mean she must have some drive right? She was the first two-time Diva Champion and happened to win those titles from well-weathered fellow Divas Michelle McCool and Gail Kim.
In 2011 Maryse called it quits after abdominal hernia surgery and laid low for a bit before marrying longtime boyfriend Mike “The Miz” Mizanian. The couple resides in Los Angeles, California and rumors have been floating around of a possible return.
2. Eve Torres
Eve Torres entered the 2007 Diva Search and won, immediately signing a contract with the WWE. Torres was no stranger to crowds as she was a former dancer for the LA Clippers Dance Team, and was a fierce combination of brains and beauty, having a degree in industrial and systems engineering. Before entering the ring she posed as a back stage interviewer and appeared in non-wrestling completions such as bikini and dance before becoming a full time Diva in 2009.
She retired from the WWE to concentrate her energy on as being a role model and instructor for the Gracie Women Empowered Self-defense program, as well as earning a reoccurring guest role on television series Matador. She welcomed her first child last year.
1. Nikki Bella
A self-proclaimed “tomboy”, her goal actually was to play professional soccer before suffering a leg injury, which promptly ended her career. After that, Nikki and sister Brie entered the 2006 WWE Raw Diva Search where despite being unsuccessful, the managed to land in the FCW. The team eventually made their way to the rooster in 2008, where they belonged, leading to the record setting 301-day reign for Nikki from Survivor Series 2014 to Night of Champions 2015.
She is currently still signed with the WWE, starring on reality show Total Divas, and much like her sister, found a significant other within the wrestling community that you may of heard of named John Cena. She recently underwent a two-hour bone fusion neck surgery after suffering from a severe herniated disk behind a vertebra. Nikki is making a full recovery and already training.
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