High school is a time many of us look back on differently. To some, it was some of the best years of our lives, plenty of friends, fun times and some great moments to look back upon. For others, it was a miserable experience and glad to be past it. Yet high school is an important time in the lives of anyone and a time to look back upon, good and bad. While some people can look the same, others change a lot. The geeks suddenly turn into knockouts while folks who looked great back then age badly. Yet for WWE Divas, high school is a bit different as their changes are pretty notable.
Very few ladies look as familiar in high school. It’s not just different hair color and style or their bodies that are different. They just look so much odder back then, younger yet still have that unique aura about them that made them stand out for fans. Some ladies look back at their high school lives in humor while others try to ignore it. Yet it’s remarkable seeing the changes they had to overcome. Here are 15 WWE Divas, past and present, who looked a whole lot different in high school and show how insane some changes can be.
15 Torrie Wilson
A survivor of the dying days of WCW, Torrie got attention for her great appeal with lush blonde hair and terrific body. She showed it off numerous times, from “Playboy” to the nutty feud with Dawn Marie over her “father” Al that’s become infamous. But as many of these pics show, a lot of WWE Divas looked a lot different in their high school days. This pic is a prime example as Wilson looks nothing like the lady WWE fans would come to know. Not only is she brunette but she also shows little of that knockout body fans would come to know.
She seems to be having a lot of fun at this dance with friends and that fits the bright and cheerful gal Torrie would become known as in wrestling. Still, it’s remarkable to see the future blonde bombshell in her high school days before she became famous.
14 Beth Phoenix
“The Glamazon” had the wrestling bug early and this pic proves it. She made history by becoming the first female member of the Notre Dame High School varsity wrestling team and won numerous titles in New York. This picture showcases how well she took to it, her face stoic, not smiling but proving she deserves a spot on this team as much as any of the guys around her. It served Phoenix well as she broke out in OVW with her amazing skills, even putting on ladder matches. She then proved herself in WWE with multiple runs as champion, shining well with her power and even had a run in the Royal Rumble.
She relied more on her in-ring skills but still showcased great beauty and sex appeal to win fans over. Retired and having a child with Adam “Edge” Copeland, Phoenix made her mark early on with high school being the first sign of the great champion she would be.
13 Maria Kanellis
A breakout in the first Diva Search, Maria stood out with her gorgeous red hair and lovely legs. She got attention as a backstage interviewer and was soon winning fans with her persona as a total ditz who got into funny antics. Her runs in the ring weren’t anything special and she was eventually let go from the company. In ROH, she remade herself as a sexy vixen and soon taking off well there in very hot shorts. Her TNA run had her as an arrogant diva and champion and pushed in a big program with Allie which has now ended with her leaving the company.
This pic from her high school yearbook shows a Maria with much darker hair, a smile but not the bright one fans know so well and it's notable seeing her with so little makeup. Wherever she goes, Maria will get attention as one of the feistiest redheads on the scene and shows how well she’s grown from this quiet high school gal.
12 Trish Stratus
She remains one of the most fantastic evolutions of anyone in WWE. When Trish Stratus debuted in 2000, she was just eye candy, a hot blonde in tight clothing and cowboy hat, little more than flaunting her very shapely body. But a little training helped transform her into one of the best female workers of her time. Stratus was absolutely amazing in the ring to become a six-time Women’s champion and one of the hottest women around. “Playboy” came calling numerous times but she always turned them down, preferring to let her work stand on its own.
This pic shows a much different side of Trish, going to her high school prom in Toronto. As the caption notes, it has her with red hair and a lovely dress, her date obviously knowing he’s a lucky man. She would ditch the red for blonde and today enjoys her retirement with her legacy secure as a former high school queen who ruled the ring.
Her sad death in 2016 has shifted opinions on Joanie Laurer. After years of being treated as a joke thanks to drug use, arrests and adult films, Chyna is getting respect once more for how much she changed the game. That’s what makes it jarring to see her in these pics from her high school days. Her jawline is totally different, making her smile seem crooked and the lighter hair a mess. She’s also rather thin, with her shirt hanging off her, nowhere near the muscular build she would showcase when she made her debut.
Chyna later became famous for some plastic surgery to add bigger breasts and more curves, taking away from the imposing Amazon build that made her a star. Yet this pic is still remarkable showing the early days of a woman who ended up changing the game big time and how putting on some muscles can make a career.
10 Stephanie McMahon
Stephanie has always claimed she didn’t want to get into the family business but it’s obvious she was born for it. It’s strange to look back at her more innocent days, pushed as almost still a teenager in various programs. This pic from her yearbook shows the future “Billion Dollar Princess” in good spirits, bright and chipper and looking professional. Her quote of the Billy Joel song “This Is the Time” is an interesting choice and even hints some of her future directives in WWE. She also gives props to her parents and Shane, showing how, dysfunctional as they may be, the McMahons are a tightly bound family. Today Stephanie has become a businesswoman, wife and mother and thus showing how well she’s grown into her roles and thus her line on “days to hold onto” shows she loves plenty of days to grab.
The stunningly gorgeous French-Canadian is known as a lady fans love to hate. Her debut played into her arrogance and used it to become a top heel in WWE. It served her well with runs as champion and currently pushing real-life husband The Miz to new success in the company. This pic of her in high school shows none of the incredibly sexy woman fans know today. She looks frankly rather plain with dark hair and the light smile isn’t the arrogant smirk fans have come to know so well today.
Looking at this pic, it’s amazing this woman turned to a career as a model who often flashed her body off as it took time (and a blonde hair dye job) to show herself off as a top hot face in the business. Everyone starts somewhere and so it’s fun to look at how this high school plain Jane became one of WWE’s sexiest ladies.
Tammy Sytch is a somewhat sad tale for many fans. Breaking out in the 1990s, she started managing Chris Candido in Smokey Mountain to get attention. In WWE, she was Sunny, dressed in spandex and managing various teams to tag team gold. More importantly, she took off with fans, dancing and flaunting her body, with her bikini pics nearly breaking the early Internet in download numbers. That shouldn’t be a surprise as these pics show Sytch in her high school days as a cheerleader. There, she learned the moves to showcase her beauty and that bright smile that lit up numerous fans. It’s true that many have noted her sad fall into drug use but in her prime, Sunny was one of the hottest women alive and these pics show her early start.
7 AJ Lee
AJ Lee was notable for her geeky side, enjoying video games and comics and often dressing like sci-fi characters. She became notable for her great skills in the ring and promo work but also spoke out against the company for their attitude toward female wrestlers and she hated the entire “Divas Movement.” This pic from her high school yearbook (when she was known as April Mendez) shows a surprising look back at Lee. Her teeth are crooked, her jaw not quite as sharp as fans know and it’s funny seeing her dressed down. Lee would go on to have a tremendous amount of success and her run laid the early groundwork for the Women's Revolution in wrestling.
Lee is retired today and is still admired by fans and she shows how they loved seeing a “Diva” who hated the entire act.
6 Stacy Keibler
From the start of her career in WCW, Stacy was always eye-grabbing. There was her beauty of course and her dancing but most importantly, it was her legs. Her astounding 42-inch gams have been her calling card, able to do fantastic dancing from a Nitro Girl to pushed in various programs in WCW. Stacy has shown that as well in WWE, always a great sight with her performances and rocking a variety of fun costumes. This pic shows how Keibler was always a fun looker back in high school, bright and cheerful with a background in cheerleading. This pic at a dance shows her hanging with friends and having a good time. Keibler would move onto fame with other bits like “Dancing With the Stars” and even dating George Clooney but settled into married life today. Yet this photo shows the future lovely dancer/model in her earlier years and how well she fit wrestling.
5 Jillian Hall
Even Jillian herself has noted how crazy this change is. In high school, she had dark brunette hair and was, quite frankly, rather on the chubby side. She seemed like a good student but was also a bit distracted and not inclined to athletics. Hall changed that, undergoing training and paying her dues on the indie circuit and OVW. Her run in WWE was notable for first having a hideous “growth” on her face that got chewed off by The Boogeyman. Then came her long run as an atrocious singer who fans enjoyed booing massively. She even put out a “joke” Christmas album only to have it become an actual best-selling success.
Hall had some good skills in the ring and her exit cost WWE one of its more fun characters. She’s retired from the game today and noted during a visit to her high school how astounded people were at her change.
It’s hilarious how WCW tried numerous times to make David Flair a star but the kid just couldn’t wrestle. Meanwhile, Charlotte is showing she clearly inherited her dad’s skills. While Ashley (her real name) didn’t show that much attention at first, she was soon drawn into wrestling and has since excelled as NXT and WWE Women’s champion. It should be no surprise as this pic from her high school days shows that Charlotte was always a top athlete. She helped lead Providence High School to the state championships two years and the 2004 “Charlotte Observer” player of the year. Her spike in this volleyball game is pretty impressive and she’d considered a career there but decided wrestling was really her calling. That’s paid off as she’s done the old man proud in the ring and showed more than one person in the Flair family can be a champion.
This is just amazing. Mention Sable and you think of one of the most stunningly gorgeous women to ever step into a WWE ring. Rena Lesnar was a knockout from her debut with her lush blonde hair and killer body that she enjoyed showing off in various ways. To see this pic, you’d think you were looking at a totally different woman and not just because of the long brown hair. The teeth look a little crooked, she’s dressed in a simple blouse and doesn’t at all carry the overwhelming sex appeal that made her a star. Lots of folks grow up when out of high school but few have transformed as massively as Sable did to go from a mousy girl to one of the hottest women wrestling has ever known.
Since her breakout in 2000, Lita was known for her fiery red hair, her lavish shoulder tattoo and a fantastic skill in the ring. Whether on her own or with the Hardyz and later Edge, Amy Dumas was a standout as a woman who just sparked with a hot presence. Thus, it’s very bizarre seeing this pic of her in high school. Her hair is dark brown and the nutty shirt doesn’t showcase the hot body fans would come to know. It’s striking how different Lita looks without that trademark red-hot hair and outgoing attitude and she’s even talked of being a bit more withdrawn back in high school.
She sure grew out of that as Amy transformed into one of the best ladies in wrestling and showcases how you can’t judge by high school looks alone.
1 The Bella Twins
Brie and Nikki Bella have always had a fantastic following thanks to their looks. Twins are already alluring and two knockout brunettes just make it better. The duo have played on that connection for years, doing the usual twin pranks in school but also had a great bond between them. Then known as the Garcias, the twins hung out constantly in high school and clearly enjoyed their good looks as well as their athleticism. This pic showcases them with Brie wielding a soccer ball while Nikki appears to be leaning on a cane. Nikki has documented that a leg injury put her potential soccer career on hold.
The two are smiling and look great together, showing that mix of heat, mischievousness and skill that’s made the Bellas favorites for some time.