There have been many WWE divas who have graced the ring with their skills and beauty, providing a sometimes welcome distraction from seeing the big hulking beasts of WWE – testosterone-fueled men full of machismo – strutting their stuff.
The role of women in the male-dominated world of WWE has always been somewhat of a contentious issue. Initially the Women’s Championship was a bit of a joke, a gimmick in itself. The belt looked like it was purchased from a toy store, and the fact that it was so big, pink, fancy, frilly and had a butterfly design didn’t help those competing in the Divas Championship to be taken seriously. Many people had no interest in the divas in WWE and only watched them for the obvious reasons.
But despite what you may think about the women’s division, you can’t deny that there have been some stunning divas, divas who could certainly wrestle and who were hot – had the beauty and grace to attract a huge fan following to WWE. These women deserve props, whether it was because of their looks or for other reasons, just for getting on the WWE roster, and for embarking on successful careers when the curtain closed on their time in the ring.
15 Ashley Massaro
Ashley didn’t really set the world alight during her time in WWE – but this isn’t an article on the top 15 most impactful, successful divas. She didn’t win any titles and got into wrestling simply because of a chance meeting with the WWE casting director during a swimsuit pageant. Her slender, fit, athletic physique made her a dynamic diva, and her good looks meant that she was always on camera and at the center of one storyline or another. But what’s this diva doing today and how’s her life panned out away from the ring? Well Ashley hasn’t had any problems getting gigs in the media and living life in front of the camera. She’s made appearances in a few TV shows such as the American Superman-based series, Smallville, and has starred in music videos. This all followed from her successful modelling career, but aside from that, her faith and family life have kept her busy.
14 Stacy Keibler
The tall beauty – Stacy Keibler is known for possessing the "legs of WWE" and being the tallest diva to have fought in WWE – is and has been a model and actress inside and outside the ring. The nickname "the weapon of mass seduction" tells you all you need to know about Keibler’s flawless looks, and the fact that she was also voted Babe of the Year in 2005 just goes to show how much of a fan favorite she was, despite never winning a title. Keibler would use her endlessly long legs inside the ring to inflict damage through her finishing move, the Roundhouse Kick, but has also used them when strutting her stuff on the big screen.
She’s managed to put together a large and extensive filmography – a filmography to rival that of any professional actress. Living life in front of a lens agrees with Keibler, but it’s all on hold for the time being as she focuses on her young daughter.
13 Michelle McCool
Michelle Leigh McCool got her break in WWE after taking part in the 2004 WWE Diva search - her skills and beauty got her noticed and a shot on the big stage. She was a dynamic diva in the ring and drew upon her real life experiences to cook up some memorable story lines - who can forget that sexy teacher gimmick in 2006?! She certainly "schooled" her opponents in the art of wrestling and looked fabulous at the same time on her way to becoming two-time WWE Divas Champion and Women’s Champion. Well what’s this "sexy teacher" and All-American Diva up to nowadays? Her teaching and wrestling days are long behind her but she has since appeared in a handful of TV shows and documentaries. McCool also has a young family with the legend that is The Undertaker and regularly makes appearances with her hubby at various wrestling events.
12 AJ Lee
April Jeanette Mendez, aka AJ Lee, had a terrific presence in the ring and combined awesome physical power and athletic capabilities with a spunky attitude and an attractive persona to endear herself to the fans for over seven years. Fans were distraught when she retired in 2015 and many thought that she had been pushed into retirement because she dared to speak out about WWE's treatment of its female performers. Whatever the reason may be, the Puerto Rican beauty certainly tasted a great deal of success in the ring, winning the Divas Championship a record-equaling three times. She’s also on course to continue this level of success and is in the process of publishing her memoirs, entitled Crazy Is My Superpower: How I Triumphed by Breaking Bones, Breaking Hearts, and Breaking the Rules – scheduled for release in 2017. Aside from her literary endeavors, AJ campaigns strongly for animal welfare and works on campaigns with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to stamp out animal cruelty in the States.
11 Eve Torres
Like many of her fellow WWE divas, Eve started out as a model, a career she balanced with dancing, and appeared in numerous TV commercials and music videos before embarking on a career in wrestling. Also, like many of her female counterparts, Eve entered the WWE’s Diva Search and emerged victorious in 2007, earning herself a professional contract. She began as a backstage interviewer but quickly rose through the ranks to win the Divas Championship – a title she won an impressive three times. This woman is hot stuff, and she’s never shied away from showing off her shapely figure, whether it be modelling and dancing for the Los Angeles Clippers Spirit Dance Team or taking part in bikini contests – unsurprisingly, she’s won a lot.
But today, it’s life on the big screen that’s keeping Eve occupied. She’s appeared in many films and TV shows, ranging from parts in Matador and Deal or No Deal to movies such as The Scorpion King and the upcoming film Skiptrace, which also features movie legend Jackie Chan.
10 Candice Michelle
Candice Michelle is again a product of the Diva Search. Despite not coming close to winning, she was recognized by the company as having that blend of good looks, charm and charisma that’s needed in WWE and was picked up by the company, initially introduced under the gimmick of a makeup artist. A year later, in 2005, Michelle made her pay-per-view debut and things just took off from there. Within the next two years Michelle, won the WWE Women’s Championship by defeating Melinda, but it’s arguably her out-of-the-ring antics that Michelle makes her recognizable. The wider public are likely to recall Michelle as the GoDaddy girl on the popular Super Bowl commercials. She’s also appeared in an issue of Playboy – you don’t get a gig on this lifestyle and entertainment magazine without being perpetually good looking and having something about you. She’s found her niche as a mother since retiring from wrestling– Michelle’s getting on just fine after wrestling.
9 Torrie Wilson
It doesn’t take a genius to realize that Torrie Wilson is no stranger to the gym. Her smoking hot bod has won her numerous titles in the world of fitness, including the Miss Galaxy competition in 1998 and the Women's Tri-Fitness Championships. Wilson started off in wrestling by chance. After attending a show, she caught the eye of Scott Steiner and then Kevin Nash, and ergo one of Vince’s Devils was born. She might not have won a title during her nine-year stint with the company, but endeared herself to many adoring fans. Wilson was painfully shy as a girl before embarking on her wrestling career, but she’s certainly blossomed since then.
She’s appeared on the cover of Playboy, FHM and numerous other lad’s mags as a model. She’s also appeared on TV shows such as I’m a Celebrity...Get Me out of Here! and several music videos. It’s not hard to see why she’s been rated as one of FHM’s Sexiest Women in the World. Her most famous role since leaving the ring may be her four year relationship with New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez. The two called it quits in 2015, but were the "it couple" in New York for the better part of a half decade.
8 Kelly Kelly
Barbara Jean Blank entered the wrestling world as Kelly Kelly, after being scouted by WWE during a modelling show. Her background in gymnastics certainly came in handy whilst executing her finishing moves in the ring, such as the Molly-Go-Round – moves that certainly contributed to her winning the WWE Diva's Championship for the first time in 2011. Despite having no wrestling experience, Kelly made it work and used the flexibility and agility she’d honed from years of gymnastics and cheerleading to become a success. When she was released from WWE in 2012, Kelly fought on the independent circuit for a while, but this blonde bombshell had no trouble finding work elsewhere.
She’s modeled for Venus Swimwear and Hawaiian Tropic, been on the covers of numerous magazines and has appeared in TV shows – pretty standard for an ex-WWE diva. Today, travelling the world with her ice hockey husband, Sheldon Souray, occupies a lot of her time. The now married Kelly Kelly is featured on E Network's WAGS as a featured cast member.
Lita, a Hall of Fame inductee, won the WWE Women's Championship four times and became one of the most recognized and loved divas during her time wrestling in the early 2000's. Although she retired in 2006, Lita’s still involved with WWE and makes sporadic appearances. She’s now contracted with the company as a creative writer and producer, coming up with storylines to give the now new and improved Women’s Championship a boost. Aside from her wrestling commitments, Lita’s an avid musician – a passion she’s maintained throughout her life. Prior to wrestling she played bass guitar and worked as a roadie for a band. Now that her in-ring fighting days are over, she’s taken her music career to greater heights. She formed the band ‘The Luchagors’ and they released their first album in 2007. Lita’s also provided the vocals for some other bands, and has a bestselling autobiography - Lita: A Less Travelled R.O.A.D. – The Reality of Amy Dumas; she’s certainly keeping busy after life as a professional wrestler. More recently, Lita has found her way back to the WWE, presenting Charlotte with the newly created Women's Championship in 2016.
Sunny was the original diva of WWE. She wowed crowds with her great looks and she was AOL's most downloaded woman back in 1996. She helped pave the way for many others after her and were it not for her, there probably never would have been the eventual surge of women in wrestling. Sunny was released by WWE in 1998, missing out on a lot of the Attitude Era.
Sadly, since leaving WWE, Sunny's life has been a roller coaster ride with more lows than highs. She's been arrested multiple times, has sold her WWE Hall of Fame ring and is even signed to an adult film deal with Vivid. She's also provided Skype sessions with her fans, where she'll perform certain acts in exchange for money. In addition to this, she's battled substance abuse problems. Hopefully Sunny can get her life on track because she provided us with so many great memories.
5 Brooke Tessmacher
The stunning Brooke Tessmacher has worked with all of the major wrestling promotions, including the WWE between 2006 and 2007. Although she didn’t win any titles with the company, she’s been very successful elsewhere and has won numerous titles during her time with TNA. Brooke undoubtedly has the looks and has had a very successful career as a model. She’s competed in bikini pageants such as Miss Hawaiian Tropic, Miss Swimsuit USA and Miss Hooters, but was told by her modelling agent that she was too ripped to be a model – perhaps that’s why she went on to have a relatively successful career as a wrestler.
She continued to model after saying goodbye to WWE, but apart from that, she’s stayed in the limelight in various other venues. Brooke has appeared on TV shows, most famously paired with Robbie E on The Amazing Race in 2015, but at the moment she’s taking it easy as she’s expecting her first child with model and personal trainer Weston Wayne. Interesting fact, Brooke also has a twin sister, eight minutes younger– who wouldn’t have paid to see them both in the ring together?!
4 Mickie James
This is a stunning diva with a devious, some may say devilish, side to her personality. She won the WWE Women's Championship five times. But forget the titles' it’s the crazy story lines Mickie was involved in that got her noticed as well as her "psycho personality." Her relationship with Trish Stratus is one that’ll live long in the memory for a number of reasons. She played the gimmick of Stratus' biggest fan turned obsessed stalker, a gimmick that eventually developed a lesbian angle when James kissed Stratus under a sprig of mistletoe. During this time, Mickie taunted Stratus by unveiling a trussed up and gagged Ashley Massaro in the middle of the ring, an event which culminated in Mickie confessing her love for Stratus – one of the best women’s feuds in WWE history. Since then, she has had stints in TNA, and is currently with Global Force Wrestling.
Wrestling aside, Mickie is and always has been an avid musician, and since stepping away from WWE has spent more time pursuing her music career. Her genre is country music and she’s released two studio albums to date, in addition to playing at concerts and opening music shows with appearances across the U.S.
Rena Marlette Lesnar, aka Sable, came to the WWE in 1996. She was one of the first WWE divas and gained a huge fan-following, one that grew considerably during her eight-year career with the company. Her most notable achievement was winning the WWE Women’s Championship, and some may say she gained even more popularity when she married wrestling and now MMA superstar, Brock Lesnar. But Sable’s always been very successful in her own right. She won her first beauty pageant at the age of twelve – she’s always had the looks – and then began modelling with some major companies such as Pepsi and L'Oréal before her wrestling career took off.
Now retired – she left the company in 2004 to spend more time with her family – she’s still actively involved in the modelling industry and has made guest appearances on TV shows and series such as the crime drama series, Pacific Blue.
2 Terri Runnels
Terri was one of the first divas in the WWE and she was certainly an instant hit. When she was first introduced, she was involved in some steamy, scandalous storylines (as per the times when women were first brought in to WWE), but she managed to leave with her head held high after eight years after a massive firing spree from the company in 2004. Upon leaving the world of wrestling, Terri took some time in which she spent travelling the globe -- a well-deserved break -- before settling down and starting her philanthropic endeavors. She is now heavily active in the world of philanthropy and works with numerous different charities, including the Make-a-Wish Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Children's Miracle Network, the Hermie & Elliott Sadler Foundation and Fit Kids Marathon. She’s also set up a contest, entitled "Make the World Write." Giving is just as important as receiving for Terri.
Unfortunately, despite all of her good deeds, Runnels has dealt with some drama since retiring, most notably during her relationship with ECW alumi New Jack. The two dated from 2009 to 2011, and had a huge blowout after Jack tried to sell explicit photos of Runnels to fans. A judge was able to block the sale, but the incident definitely took a toll on Terri.
1 Trish Stratus
Arguably the hottest diva to have graced the WWE and one of the most decorated wrestlers of all time, Stratus was fit, curvy, firm and amazingly beautiful – an awesome combination to have when embarking on a career in front of the camera. When she began her career with the company, Stratus was mainly involved in sexual themed storylines, having come from a modelling background, but seven WWE Women’s Championships later and an inductee into the Hall of Fame, Stratus is certainly a deserved winner of "Diva of the Decade." When she stepped out of the ring following her last contest in 2006, Stratus left as a legend, having ruled supreme in the sport for the best part of six years.
But what’s keeping her busy nowadays? Her passion lies in yoga. Stratus owns and operates a yoga studio in Toronto for which she’s won many awards: Top Choice Awards' Best New Business award, Business Woman of the Year and Top Choice Awards' Best Yoga Studio award in 2013. Stratus has certainly developed her passion into a flourishing business with the opening of the Stratusphere yoga studio, and this drop dead gorgeous diva has her sights set on making her business take off even further into the stratosphere of success!