When it comes to entertainers, which professional wrestlers certainly are, getting naked hardly phases some of them while others swear on their grandmother’s grave that they’ll never do it. It’s hard to deny, though, that it certainly does get attention and we’ve seen actresses at the beginning of their career try to jump-start things by posing for Playboy or somehow otherwise showing some skin. On the flip side, we’ve also seen actresses, trying to hold on to their careers for dear life, finally agreeing to do a nude scene long after that ship has sailed. And it’s not just women. Actors have walked this fine line of nakedness as long as there has been a Hollywood.
Professional wrestlers are no different. Some, especially during WWE’s controversial Attitude Era, probably had no designs on being wrestlers. They were just athletic models who were in the right place at the right time, so whether the posed nude before, during or after their wrestling days, it didn’t have much effect on their career. Then were those who wanted to be wrestlers, or at least be famous, who posed hoping the idea would propel them to stardom. It most cases that plan failed, but there are some interesting cases of wrestlers doing nude scenes or nude photo shoots that many people still don’t know about.
Most interesting to us are the wrestlers who appeared nude on film during their career, or just after, when they realize their options for bringing home a paycheck have greatly decreased. Whatever the time or reason, it’s their business, but we get to see the results. Here are 16 wrestlers who appeared nude outside of professional wrestling.
16 Candice Michelle
Cinemax, HBO’s dirty little brother, came upon a formula for its programming in the late 1990s that was heavy on bad acting and super softcore skin flicks where very little is actually seen and almost everything is implied. These movies and shows all blended together with most featuring the same casts with the same bad acting in the same bad lighting, but to be fair, nobody was watching hoping for any Emmy-winning performance. Candice Michelle entered this world in 2002, appearing in the series Hotel Erotica and the movie Roommate Wanted. Apparently this wasn’t her thing as the gigs dried up after 2002 and she became a fixture in WWE rings for many years to come.
15 John Cena
Based on his previous track record in film, be it cheesy WWE releases like The Marine or in family-friendly fare like the Fred movies, it seemed like a longshot that John Cena would ever appear in a raunchy R-rated film, much less have his first nude scene, but he did. Cena played the nice-enough, but pretty basic boyfriend to Amy Schumer in 2015’s Trainwreck. During a sex scene, Schumer’s character asks Cena for dirty talk in the bedroom, but he’s not too good at it, opting to talk about the gym. Many in Hollywood feel he has a bright future since he stole the few scenes he had in this film. The only guy to bring any meaning to the US Title in the last decade also has a part in the upcoming Tina Fey movie, Sisters.
14 Kimberly ‘Diamond Doll’ Page
Like so many others on this list, Kimberly Page, the former wife and longtime valet for “Diamond” Dallas Page has worked with Playboy, actually doing a shoot in character while working for WCW with her husband (fully clothed) in the pictorial. What makes Page special compared to most on this list is that her on-screen nudity actually came in one of the most popular movies of the last 20 years and the film that made Steve Carell huge, The 40-Year-Old Virgin. Page played a sweet woman at a speed dating session who is oblivious to the fact her breast has fallen out of her shirt while talking to Carrell.
13 Shawn Michaels
While you’ll find plenty of women on this list who appeared with the WWE’s blessing on the pages of Playboy magazine during The Attitude Era, you’ll only find one guy who did the same with Playgirl, and who else would it be but “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels. While the born-again Christian probably wishes he’d never done so now, he appeared as the centerfold, with nothing but the WWE championship belt hiding his man parts. Michaels talks about regretting a lot of his antics early in his career, but this is one he especially likes to forget, especially since his kids are now at an age where it’s easy to hop on Google.
12 Gail Kim
Gail Kim, who has always been technically one of the best wrestlers during his stretches at both TNA and WWE, but has never been “the” star at any given time appears to be reaching the end of her career, and who can blame her? She’s coming up on 15 years as a wrestler and her marriage to celebrity chef Robert Irvine probably has her thinking about what’s next in life. However, during a lull in her career in 2005, between gigs with WWE and TNA, she was paid a pretty penny to appear topless in a series of ads for a Korean cell phone company. We have no idea if the advertising did what the company wanted, but we thank them for Kim’s only known nudity outside of wrestling.
11 Maria Kanellis
Yes, Maria was one of the long line of WWE Divas who appeared in Playboy during the streak of annual WrestleMania issues back in The Attitude Era, but our favorite nudity of hers appeared years later, in the 2014 movie The Opposite Sex, starring a host of people Hollywood has passed by, like Eric Roberts, Mena Suvari, Jonathan Silverman and Joey Fatone. Kanellis’ role is small, but she makes the best of it. Her character, billed only as “Hot Mess.” comes downstairs from a bedroom wearing nothing but her panties. The guy she’s with is busy playing video games, so she stands in front of the television and starts pointing at her chest, telling the guy he has to make a choice whether it’s the game or her. He throws her a towel to cover up and get out of the way. Wrong choice, man. Wrong choice.
10 Torrie Wilson
When the WWE machine was churning out blonde-haired, big-breasted eye candy during The Attitude Era, one of the two women they got from the purchase of WCW was fitness model Torrie Wilson. Maybe they thought she could learn to wrestle and fill the role that Trish Stratus did, but despite her best attempts, Torrie Wilson was no Trish Stratus. As far as women from that era went, Wilson was a decent actress, but was relegated to bra-and-panties matches. Despite a weird angle with her real-life stepfather, Al, who married Dawn Marie, Wilson rarely had the main Diva storyline at any given time. The only other time we can recall was when she appeared on the pages of Playboy in one of the annual WrestleMania editions. She’d leave WWE eventually and try to start a career in Hollywood, but is mainly known as as one of Alex Rodriguez's ex-girlfriends.
9 The Rock
There’s a funny tweet exchange hanging out somewhere between the Cloud and cyberspace between Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and producers of his HBO comedy, Ballers. The most electrifying man in sports entertainment is asked if he wouldn’t mind showing his “ass-ets” at some point during their first season. Ever the entertainer looking to get the biggest bang for his buck, The Rock agreed, but only if it was in the final episode of the season. In typical fashion, he played the very funny scene for all it was worth, giving fans who always were wondering about what the Rock was cooking a real answer.
The story of Rena Lesnar is an interesting one. She married Marc Mero who went on to become Johnny B. Badd in WCW for several years. While Rena was raising their small daughter, Mero signed with WWE. He brought her along to his first few shows and after management got one look at the statuesque blonde, they signed her to a contract too. It didn’t take long to see the audience liked her far more than Mero, so she broke off on her own, during which time she posed for Playboy magazine twice. After a divorce and a lengthy absence from the ring, Rena returned and fell in love with Brock Lesnar, who was quickly losing interest in wrestling. When he left, so did she and they ended up getting married. Lesnar eventually returned, by Rena stayed at home raising their kids.
7 Christy Hemme
The Divas Search was an annual contest where a dozen athletically inclined models would compete to see who would end up with a WWE contract. For most of The Attitude Era it was the No. 1 tool for the recruitment of Divas, whether they won or lost. Christy Hemme was the winner one of the years over a Playboy playmate, so course, Hemme appeared in the magazine herself, during one of the annual WrestleMania issues that appeared for about a half-decade. Hemme didn’t last long with the WWE but moved on to regular work with TNA and is even now a part of their booking committee. Please come up with some good ideas fast, Christy.
6 Mickie James
The bottom line is you’ve got to pay the bills even when you’re chasing your dreams. Sometimes that means a girl trying to get through college will pick up a few shifts at the local strip club. For Mickie James, who was going to school and trying to make it as a professional wrestler, it meant a little nude modeling on the side. She was known on the indie circuit as Alexis Laree when she made the decision to model nude for fetish magazine Leg Show and Naughty Neighbors. She was in wrestling at the right time as those pictures never came back to haunt her during her years with WWE and TNA. It’s hard to say if a diva was found to have such pictures in her past today if management would just look the other way.
5 Beulah McGillicutty
She now spends her days chasing the kids she had in real life with Tommy Dreamer around the house, but before she became one of the staples of the original Extreme Championship Wrestling, Beulah McGillicutty was trying to figure out a way to make it into the entertainment business and aside from dating athletes, musicians and actors, could only come up with nude modeling as a solution. She was at the time just another nameless model when she appeared in very explicit photos for magazines like Cheri and Penthouse. Once she became known as the Queen of Hardcore, those magazines became collector’s editions. She never made the transition out of ECW when her husband left, but thankfully, she never had to go back to the B-level skin magazines either.
4 Taryn Terrell
Sexy TNA Knockout Taryn Terrell has made a pretty good career for herself on both the small and big screen, with wrestling being just one of her outlets. Terrell has worked as a stunt double in a lot of movies and television shows and has even managed to pull double-duty as an actress on some of them, like the Will Ferrell movie Get Hard. She’s a topless biker chick who does a dive onto a moving car in that movie. It’s a little less violent, but just as topless in the indy film Jake’s Road. Her best work as an actress, which does include some nudity would be from the former HBO series, Treme.
Before she became “Ravishing Russian” Lana to Rusev’s Bulgarian brute, CJ Parker had begun putting a decent resume together as an actress, with her highest profile role coming in the first Pitch Perfect movie. Prior to that she had guest spots on shows like Big Time Rush and Fresh Beat Band (where she appeared appeared in a dinosaur outfit). If you want to really see her acting chops and think that her shirt only gets in the way of her performances, she appeared in an episode of Showtime’s Banshee in 2013 that has flown under the radar. With her recent wrist injury and horrible storyline prior with Dolph Ziggler, we wouldn’t mind if she returned to the big screen fulltime.
If you weren’t around to see it, it’s pretty unbelievable but there was a tiny point in time where it looked like Joanie “Chyna” Laurer was going to be a big star. She was the only woman to win the Intercontinental title, had already done Playboy, and had a recurring role on NBC’s Third Rock From The Sun. After The Rock, she was wrestling’s best shot at mainstream success. Then she got between her ex-boyfriend and the boss’ daughter. Then she started to drink a lot. Then she started to be unreliable. Then she appeared on bad reality shows like The Surreal Life and Celebrity Rehab. Then she made a 'home movie'. Then she made another. They were just adult videos by the third. She pops up on the Internet making rambling statements from a Japanese apartment once in a while these days on the Internet.
1 Missy Hyatt/Tammy Sytch
Timing is everything in this world. Missy Hyatt was the sexy blonde bombshell wrestling valet that turned heads in the late 80s and early 90s. When she faded from the scene, Tammy Sytch filled that void and order remained in the universe. How these two women fell so far could be the subject of a college course, but the clear first step into their descent was when Hyatt decided to start a website showing naked pictures of herself and other female wrestling personalities. Her big grab was Tammy Sytch who had been fired from the WWE by that point. Their Wrestling Vixxxens site wasn’t the cash windfall they expected and each took bookings where they could find them. The story is especially sad for Sytch, who once turned down Playboy (presumably for a boatload of cash) and is now doing Skype shows for the change in fans’ pockets.