This statement likely won't come as a surprise to any wrestling fan, but it takes more than a little technical know-how and natural athleticism to be a professional wrestler. There are some major skill sets one needs to develop, mainly the technical/physical side of the sport, but also the charismatic side: how you are with the microphone in your hands. Of course, these two major necessities can be broken down even further.
On the physical side, cardio is important, as is proper technique for taking falls, applying holds, and being able to manhandle opponents so that neither of you get hurt, while still making it look as painful as possible. On the acting side of the sport, delivery of lines, along with facial expressions go a long way. William Regal actually compiled a very decent run-down of what was needed to succeed in wrestling today and posted it on Twitter.
While these things apply to men and women, there is an additional requirement for most of the women who get into wrestling: looks. Obviously guys have to look a certain way too, but there is more leeway, and a promotion can market and make a story around a male wrestler who is ugly or on the hefty side, in ways that are largely unavailable for female stars. Especially these days, female stars have to worry about looks almost as much as the finer aspects of the sport in a way that men don't have to think about.
There are a great many female wrestlers, both past and present, who are talented in the ring, can act and talk well, and also look amazing, such as Trish Stratus, Lita, Paige and Becky Lynch (just a few notable "full package" stars among others). There are also women who were never hired for their looks but could act and wrestle such as the late Nicole Bass. Finally, every now and again, whether they're short on female talent or just make a mistake, major promotions sometimes hire women who look great but can't handle the mic or work inside the ring. Here are fifteen of those women who were purely in the WWE as eye candy and nothing more. While there may be some worse Divas overall, we were looking for the hottest eye candy but who couldn't wrestle or even work with a mic in their hand.
15 Carmella DeCesare
Over the course of this list, we'll see many ladies who were first found by the WWE on that ludicrous mess of a show they called WWE Diva Search. It was like American Idol but with more cat-fights and frankly, less talent.
Carmella DeCesare was the runner up in that 2004 season, losing to Christy Hemme. Despite there being just one winner, six women got contracts in that year, because it's the WWE and anything goes. Before getting her start in wrestling, Carmella was a nude model for Playboy. We imagine the choice to give her a contract was little more than a publicity grab by a company that knew then, as well as it knows now, how to get people to tune in.
Three years after her 2004 release, she married Pro Bowl NFL quarterback (Grey Cup winner too, but who cares about Canadian football?) Jeff Garcia.
14 Maria Kanellis
We need to make a distinction about Maria being on this list: we are only looking at her time as a Diva in WWE, when we say she was nothing more than eye candy. Since getting released and heading off to Ring of Honor, New Japan and TNA (now Impact) and some smaller ones, she developed into a decent performer.
WWE never used her right, as the "ditzy moron" gimmick she had in the promotion did not fit her. As a valet she was at least okay, but nothing more, and when she was actually wrestling, botches and poorly worked matches were consistent. It was nice of her to pose for Playboy though, that was always a big plus to any wrestling starlet who wasn't any good in the ring.
13 Torrie Wilson
After a rough childhood and adolescence, which involved an eating disorder, Torrie Wilson got into fitness modeling. That part of her story is similar to that of current Raw Women's Champion (at the time of writing) Alexa Bliss, who took up working out as a way to combat anorexia.
That's where the similarities between the two ends though, and while she has the reputation of being a great person, Torrie Wilson was not a wrestler, and Alexa certainly is. Torrie was the epitome of the Attitude Era/Ruthless Aggression Diva, and wasn't much more than a sexy outfit and a willingness to show off a ton of skin from time to time. We'll admit, she was a part of some very decent and entertaining story lines, but her neither her input on the mic nor her physical abilities ever did anything to add to those stories. Then again the picture of her licking Sable's face was something special.
12 Kelly Kelly
Kelly Kelly showed some improvement over the course of her 2006-12 run with WWE. Unfortunately, the improvement was from "terrible and completely untrained" to "not very good and not very trained." But with that said, the one-time Divas Champion, who won her title over Brie Bella after being voted to be her opponent by the fans (power to the people match), still earned her place among the hearts of the fans, even if it was primarily because she was so beautiful. The whole striptease routine helped her image with fans early in her career for sure.
There was some uproar among fans earlier this year when it was announced that Kelly would be returning, as many thought she's be completely unable to work in the new era of at least relatively technically talented female superstars, but it turned out she was just brought back as an ambassador. Why she was chosen for an ambassador role? Likely the same reason she was brought on in the first place: she's hot and sex sells.
The gorgeous Lithuanian former fitness model was signed to FCW in 2009 and got onto the main roster a couple of years later, ultimately staying with WWE until mid 2014. There are two schools of thought with regard to what went wrong with Aksana. Some will argue that she wasn't used properly, while others simply say she was no good and had no passion for the work. They both have a point, but at the end of the day, the promotion thought they had a hot, teachable, athletic hottie, and that they could turn her into a real superstar wrestler. They should be applauded for their confidence and for giving it a try, but she was abysmal on the mic and never picked up enough mastery of any moves to look like a natural.
10 Joy Giovanni
We certainly won't deny that Joy Giovanni is one of the most beautiful women who ever worked for WWE. The third place finisher on the second (2004) season of Diva Search worked for the promotion for about nine months between September 2004 and early June 2005. She was released because...well...in terms of mic skills and actual, physical wrestling ability, she wasn't making any improvement that would warrant keeping her around for any prolonged length of time for further development. Could she have been good if given more training? Maybe, but we wouldn't have bet on it. She was a beautiful valet but only got one actual match, which was a 25-Diva Battle Royal at WrestleMania XXV, which was won by Santino Marella in disguise as "Santina." She was eliminated second by Brie and Nikki.
9 Christy Hemme
Much like Maria Kanellis, who we mentioned earlier, Christy Hemme wasn't used to her potential in WWE, and has fared better in TNA/Impact. She won the second season of Diva Search and started her feud with Trish Stratus shortly thereafter. Her quick rise to the level of challenging and feuding with someone like Stratus, had little to do with her in-ring gifts, and more to do with her in-shirt gifts and overall sex appeal. Just over a year after her debut, she was sent down to Ohio Valley because of budgetary issues and lack of creative direction for her.
In early 2006 she signed with TNA and actually thrived for a couple of years, before becoming an announcer and interviewer, a position that has treated her well.
Back in 2011, Cameron (Ariane Andrew) was the first contestant to be eliminated from the fifth season of Tough Enough. She quickly demonstrated, in just one episode of the show, that she was very little related talent that would translate into wrestling, and that she didn't know the business, but shortly after her elimination, got signed anyway.
Over the next few years, she showed little in the way of improvement, remaining relatively uncharismatic on the mic, and being unable to execute simple moves in many cases. Many fans didn't care for her beauty-obsessed heel gimmick, but for what it's worth, the lazy gimmick was the least of her problems. The woman could not wrestle, but damn was she hot.
7 Rosa Mendes
Rosa Mendes, who spent over ten years in WWE, getting her start on 2006's Diva Search, retired just a few months ago, citing new goals and motivations in life, including working on her own nutrition business, and spending more time with her daughter, who was born in 2016.
While we wish her the best in her retirement, we can't figure out how she lasted that long in the company. It has been suggested that the only thing that saved her from a dismissal in the last couple of years was her participation in Total Divas, a theory we think is spot-on. As a manager she wasn't anything special, and when actually wrestling, she looked clumsy in the ring, and at time disinterested, with little to no savvy in terms of working her matches. In other words, she usually looked like she knew the basic motions and was just going through them. Was she the worst Diva ever? Absolutely not. Was she kept with the company primarily because of her outstanding body? Probably. Next question please.
In a parallel universe, we might have never had to deal with seeing Debra Marshall in the ring as a wrestler. Had her husband, Super Bowl winning defensive tackle (Chacago Bears) turned wrestler Steve McMichael just enjoyed retirement from the NFL and not bothered to get into wrestling, Debra likely wouldn't have either. But then again, we don't want to be too harsh about her career, she was fine as a valet, but looking good was where her wrestling-applicable talent ended. She initially worked with Jarrett, and followed him to WWF after splitting up with McMichael.
Why they decided to have her start wrestling is beyond us: one of the unfortunate mysteries of life. She won the Women's Championship in 1999, despite losing an evening gown match to Sable. Yes, she lost, but Shawn Michaels showed up, explained his nonsense interpretation of the rules, and declared the woman no longer in her evening-wear to be the winner, because it was WWF in the 90's where the rules meant nothing and they made up stuff as they went along...more than they do today.
5 The Kat
How Stacy Carter ever won the WWE Women's Championship in 1999 is beyond us...oh wait, she was Jerry Lawler's girlfriend (wife as of 2000, ex-wife as of late 2001) at the time, never mind, we figured it out. Don't get us wrong, she was beautiful, and would have been fine if just left as a valet who periodically did something sexy, but this was not the case. Regardless of her lack of training, she managed to win the Women's Championship in December 1999 as Miss Kitty, beating Ivory, Jacqueline and Barbara Bush (B.B.) in a four-way evening gown match. After this win, she flashed the crowd and history was made. This was probably her greatest contribution to wrestling...not that we're complaining. While she did bring some entertainment value to the promotion, she certainly wasn't there because of any talent.
Remember what we said of Torrie Wilson earlier in this list? A great deal of it can be recycled here for Sable. After some time working as a model, she was introduced to the world of wrestling by then-husband Marc Mero and quickly became an icon in the sport, but nobody was showing up to hear her talk or watch her wrestle. They were there for the visuals. As was the case with a few of the women involved with WWF back then, she was willing to do what it takes to keep the ratings up, such as the bikini contest '98 when she appeared with nothing but painted hand prints on her chest. It was great, but it was also another of those Attitude Era moments that reminded us that any gorgeous woman could be marketed if she was willing to show off skin, regardless of wrestling talent.
3 Stacy Keibler
This may get us some hate, Stacy Keibler's status within the history of wrestling is clouded by how hot she was. She was very popular, despite having almost no skills that pertain to the sport of wrestling. She was passable at best with the mic, and while she knew how to convincingly pull off a couple of moves, the physical skill wasn't there at all. But: she was so beautiful, with a face beyond pretty and legs until next month, that it almost seems like everyone forgave her for being little more than eye candy. With many other Divas on this list, it is a criticism to call them "nothing but eye candy" but in Stacy's case, nobody even tries to hide it, we loved her because she was so beautiful that a lack of fundamental skill didn't even hurt her reputation.
2 Ashley Massaro
While we were never impressed with her performances in-ring, we'll never denigrate Ashley Massaro's willingness to try new things. After meeting a WWE executive during a swimsuit competition, she tried out for 2005's Diva Search and won, earning herself a hefty bit of cash and a contract. In the following couple of years, while working for WWE, she also did a couple of music videos, and appeared on Survivor: China. See, the girl sees opportunities and went for them, much like she did with her wrestling career. That deserves respect.
At the same time, while a botch here and there can spell trouble for a wrestler, Massaro would mess up moves several times per match in some cases. Her talents with the mic weren't much better, but she had the looks to stick around for about three years and left on her own terms after her daughter got sick and needed care. Don't worry, guys, the daughter got better, so there is a happy end to this story.
1 Eva Marie
We hope that by now, you've noticed the trend, and to many of those reading, it may not be anything new to you: just because someone is a gorgeous fitness model, does not mean they will be a great Diva... or even a passable one. Eva Marie is, without any fraction of a shadow of a doubt, one of the most beautiful women on the Divas' roster right now. The pictures of her working out are incredible, her outfits, fiery red hair, body and face are all stunning, but at the end of the day, fans want to see genuine talent and a beautiful package. That may be rare, but that elusive combination is not one that can be found in Eva Marie. Last year she achieved quite possibly her best gimmick: constantly being able to avoid actually getting in the ring, and she hasn't done so since July 2016. These days, if she is in the news, all we're hearing about is a potential release. At this point it seems like she doesn't even want anything to do with wrestling anymore, perhaps that release will be for the best.