The women of the WWE are fans and athletes who have to keep their bodies in tip-top condition. Although it may be a double standard the ladies of wrestling are usually judged based on their looks, followed by their in-ring capabilities. Due to this, women who are normally knockouts (no pun intended fans of Impact Wrestling) have to do even more when they decide to join the WWE. Maybe they have to drop some weight, or gain some muscle or even get plastic surgery, but in most cases they look different than they did prior to joining the WWE.
Today we are going to take a look at 15 pictures that will make you do a double-take when you realize that the person in it is currently on the WWE roster. While some of the pictures below aren't shocking in the sense that your jaw will drop when you see them, the stories behind them could be; and then there are pictures that will no doubt cause you to do some Googling after you read this article.
As always feel free to let us know if you have already seen these pictures, or if we missed any other shocking photos in the comments section.
15 Alexa Bliss
Sure you knew that the current SmackDown Women's Champion was into cosplaying Harley Quinn, but did you know that she used to be a bodybuilder? Bliss got into bodybuilding after suffering from severe anorexia that threatened her life when she was an early teen. Bliss was able to overcome her demons however, and was successful in multiple sports in high school.
The picture above shows Bliss competing at the Arnold Classic. What you can't see in the picture though is Bliss holding the trophies that she has won as a fitness competitor before even thinking about joining the WWE. Since joining the WWE, Bliss has put on more muscle than she had during her competition days and so far it has been working out for her.
14 Summer Rae
It's kind of funny that the WWE doesn't utilize Summer Rae in more of a physical capacity given that she played contact football for three years prior to becoming a wrestler. Sure she wasn't playing in the NFL, but Summer did start as a cornerback for the Chicago Bliss in the Lingerie Football League from 2008-2011. The current member of the RAW roster wasn't a pushover either, participating in various All-Star games for the league during her tenure.
In the picture above you can see the type of outfits that Rae sported when she played football. You may be thinking to yourself "that can't be all they wore in games" and you are right. This picture is a publicity shot, usually during a game the players would also be wearing a helmet and shoulder pads.
Bayley has always looked exactly the same. Researching for pictures of the Huggable One wasn't exactly hard, but finding a picture that we could define as shocking became the problem. Bayley always wanted to be a wrestler, ever since she was 11 years old and attended Big Time Wrestling on a frequent basis. Since jumping into the business, you won't find a single picture of the former NXT Women's Champion not smiling; the same is true of her time before the WWE.
The picture above is of Bayley as a member of her high school basketball team. She is sitting at the top left of the back row, and is showing off that trademark smile for the camera. This photo is included because it shows that her obsession with wrestling was at least put on hold for a few seasons of basketball. She would go on to become the captain of the varsity team during her senior year.
12 Dana Brooke
We've got another bodybuilder on the list, with Dana Brooke coming in at number 12 on this list. The obvious thing that we should point out here is that since debuting on the main roster in May, the woman in the picture above looks nothing like the girl we have all come to love on RAW. At the least Brooke has packed on some serious muscle since leaving behind the bodybuilding scene for the world of wrestling. It's pretty impressive that she has gotten bigger since her competition days, considering that Brooke has won multiple awards from the National Physique Committee.
Rumor even has it that Brooke will be competing at the 2017 Arnold Classic, making her the first woman ever to be an active competitor in the WWE who participates in the event.
Asuka has been praised by many hardcore wrestling fans as one of the best workers in the business, man or woman. The current NXT Woman's Champion has one of the most impressive resumes in the world of wrestling, stemming from her background working all over the world. During her travels, Asuka (then Kana) became known for multiple things, one of them being her ability to wrestle with men during mixed tag matches.
The photo above shows Asuka eating a piledriver from Minoru Suzuki during a show in Japan. This photo is shocking because the WWE is a company that doesn't really allow men to put their hands on women, let alone allow them to be piledrivered. It's pretty safe to say that the WWE won't be duplicating this anytime soon.
10 Renee Young
While not technically a wrestler, Renee Young still receives more screen time than nearly half the active WWE roster. Prominently featured as the host of both Talking Smack and RAW Talk, Young has seen an increased role in the WWE since the launch of the WWE Network in 2014. Her role may be increasing even further, as there have been heavy rumors regarding her having a match following her verbal confrontations with The Miz in recent weeks.
But before all the in-ring segments, and talk show hosting, Young was a contributor on The Score Television Network's Aftermath, a show that would take place following every RAW in Canada. The photo above is a screenshot of Young moderating a conversation on Aftermath, possibly getting ready for her future career.
9 Sasha Banks
By now everyone should know that Sasha Banks has some famous relatives. She is first cousins with singers Brandy and Ray J, producer Daz Dillinger and most famous rapper Snoop Dogg. Despite having such high-profile member of her family, Banks decided to pay her dues in the wrestling industry, and in doing so has built up quite a reputation for herself. Banks has been wrestling for six years, spending her first three on the independent scene as Mercedes KV.
The photo featured here is of Banks as a young girl standing next to her famous cousin during the height of his fame. It's shocking to think that Banks wouldn't leverage the fame of Snoop (who is a huge fan of wrestling) to try to break into the industry.
8 8. Nia Jax
Billed at 272 pounds, Nia Jax is bigger than most of the WWE roster, and has imposed her will on the ladies of RAW since her debut this year. It seems that WWE is planning on building up Jax as the monster heel character that they haven't had since the days of Chyna competing in the women's division. The irony of it all is that despite being portrayed as a beast, Jax was actually a plus size model prior to her time in the WWE. Perhaps pulling strings from her cousin Dwayne Johnson, Jax used to look like the woman above before donning the bodysuit and shoulder pads. At this point it looks like we as WWE fans will never see the sexy Nia Jax shown above, but at least now she is a needed change in the WWE.
If nothing else with her glow in the dark entrance, Naomi wins the award for the best entrance on SmackDown right now. Have you ever noticed that no matter what character she is playing that the former Funkadactyl always seems to incorporate dancing? Well, that is because prior to signing to the WWE in 2010, Naomi was a cheerleader for the Orlando Magic from 2007-2009. During the same time, Naomi also worked as a background dancer for rapper and WWE fan Flo Rida.
The photo above is taken from her team glamor shots for the Magic. Although she looks a bit different in the photo above, one thing that remains the same is her big beautiful smile shining through. Her gimmick definitely fits the type of person she is.
Living up to the family expectations of the Harts was going to be a tall order for anyone who tried to make it in the WWE on the families name. Now 16 years into her career, and a decade into her WWE run, Natalya is the only Hart left in the WWE. Nattie entered the WWE during a time where there was more emphasis put on looks than actual wrestling ability for women. Knowing that, the former WWE Divas Champion changed her look before entering into the WWE in 2007.
The photo above shows Nattie during her early years, looking more like her father Jim Neidhart than a WWE Diva. A bulkier Natalya shows off her fighting pose in the picture, and in the process looks like someone who can actually do some damage in the ring.
5 Eva Marie
After taking a year hiatus from the main roster to develop her skills in NXT, Eva Marie is back and better(?) than ever. Well at least that is what WWE would have us believe, but since being drafted to SmackDown, the red-headed Total Divas cast member hasn't had a single match. Her constant excuses to not have a match on television were compounded by her real life wellness policy violation in August.
Despite wanting to get away from the swimsuit model women's division, the WWE seems intent on pushing Eva Marie as a legitimate contender. And while she may not be the best wrestler in the world, one thing that Eva Marie seems to be a pro at is stripping. While participating as a contestant on Spanish dating show 12 Corazones, Marie showed off her striptease skills. The segment ended with Marie soaking wet, and the WWE's interest peaked.
Carmella is one of the few second generation stars who are currently in the WWE. Sure her dad was Paul Van Dale, a jobber for the WWE, but you can't fault her for that. Growing up as a cheerleader, Carmella was eventually able to work on the professional level as a cheerleader for the New England Patriots. What many people don't know however, is that prior to joining the WWE in 2013 Carmella worked as one of the Laker Girls for a year; she was even featured as Miss May in the Lakers' calendar that year. Sporting a much different look than she currently has, Carmella used her background as a fitness instructor and personal trainer to work the basketball court like she works the ring.
3 Becky Lynch
Trained by Finn Balor in 2002, there was no questioning that Becky Lynch was going to make it in the world of professional wrestling. The Lass Kicker wrestled on and off before finally making it to the WWE in 2013. We all know what Lynch is currently doing over on SmackDown Live, but her life prior to WWE was a roller coaster adventure, filled with acting, using drugs, working as a stuntwoman and even flight attending. Yes the former WWE Smackdown Women's Champion was once a stewardess on Aer Lingus. Working the gig for over two years, Lynch claims that she was able to hold on to the job for so long because her mom was the "Ric Flair of Flight Attendants".
It just shows that you can never give up on your dream when you have one.
Charlotte, the face of the WWE women's revolution is also the face seen above in a mug shot from 2008. The current WWE Women's Champion was arrested in 2008 for a domestic dispute that involved her, her then boyfriend and of course her father Ric Flair. While details about what happened remain sketchy, what we do know is that Charlotte resisted arrest after assaulting The Nature Boy. Although Flair refused to actually press charges on his daughter, Charlotte was forced to pay a fine and was sentenced to 45 days in a county jail for her role in the dispute. Since then it seems as if Charlotte and her old man have patched things up, but I can't help but wonder if the domestic dispute looked anything like this.
So there are a few things to consider here. First, prior to joining the WWE Lana was an actress who had appeared in multiple movies/television shows. One of the shows that Lana (real name CJ Perry) guest starred in was a Cinemax show called Banshee. Though she only appeared in one episode, Perry made a memorable impression as one of her scenes featured a character snorting cocaine off of her exposed breasts. Not very PG.
Obviously you can't get the full effect from the photo above, but you get the idea of what was happening. The WWE has a pretty hard stance on drugs and nudity, so the fact that this picture is floating around and the WWE still hired Lana is surprising and shocking. It's unlikely we'll see something slip under the radar like this again.