There are a few sports like beach volleyball, diving and swimming where athletes wear as little clothing as professional wrestlers, but none of those have storylines written by a creative staff constantly looking at ratings. Wrestling’s lack of clothing gives it the credibility of similar sports like boxing and MMA fighting, but it also gives it the sex appeal of a Miami beach.
In 2014, Cosmopolitan magazine said 89% of women they surveyed around the age of 21 had taken naked photos of themselves and less than 1-in-5 regretted it. Clearly, we like to be naked and we don’t mind it being documented. Famous people also like to be naked and we like to look at them which probably explains why celebrity nudity is one of the largest adult entertainment website and magazine genres.
WWE’s Attitude Era was a time when the product, formerly geared toward families and young children, became increasingly adult, going with a TV-14 rating. Now that those little boys were older and starting to like girls, WWE went through a puberty of its own and began experimenting with its content. The dramatic rise in sexual storylines and skin being shown did attract viewers, as the ratings attest, but it also turned off a lot of people.
With a “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” mindset, other wrestling companies at the time followed suit by easing their restrictions on how many clothes their performers could wear. It’s hard to imagine the ladies of NXT agreeing to take part in some of the shenanigans of this time period, when big hair and big boobs, not in-ring talent, was the criteria by which women were judged. And it wasn’t just the women, plenty of guys got in on the action, too. Some of them even happened outside of the Attitude Era. Here are 18 instances of nudity in professional wrestling.
19 Terri Runnels
18 Kimona Wanalaya
When there’s an unexpected delay in the action and you’ve got to improvise, who does Paul Heyman turn to? The experienced stripper, of course! Considering its extreme, outlaw attitude, ECW had relatively little nudity compared to the Attitude Era of WWE at the time. Perhaps WWE could easily pay fines or take heat where ECW was always one stunt gone bad away from going out of business. One night, at the ECW arena, there was a technical problem and the crowd was beginning to get restless. Heyman scrambled and asked Kimona Wanalaya to do a striptease for the crowd. She obliged, giving fans seven minutes of pasty-covered adult entertainment.
17 Drew McIntyre
13 Rory Fargo
12 Mae Young
11 Dawn Marie
10 Stacy “Miss Kitty” Carter
8 Shawn Michaels
5 Stacy “The Kat” Carter
4 Billy “Mr. Ass” Gunn
Once the tag team of The Smoking Gunns broke up and Bart disappeared into obscurity after getting knocked out by Butterbean, the WWE thought it would be a great idea to repackage Billy Gunn as Mr. Ass, a character who liked ass and liked to shake his, as was evident based on the lyrics to his entrance music, which included: “I love to love 'em. I love to kick 'em.I love to shove 'em. I love to stick 'em. I Love to flaunt 'em.I love to watch 'em. I love to pick 'em. And I'm gonna kick 'em."
3 Sherri Martel
2 Trish Stratus
1 Vince McMahon
The Internet could have been the tool to lead humanity to new places of technology, science and communication. Instead, it’s a place that documents one of the strangest storylines in professional wrestling, Vince McMahon’s “Kiss My Ass” Club. McMahon debuted the club, forcing people to literally kiss his bare ass on TV in order to keep their job. His explanation of the club was actually pretty funny, with the WWE head honcho explaining how nice his ass was and how “it could do tricks” which he followed with ass flexing. Done by anybody else, it would have been pathetic, however with McMahon it was surreal performance art. We saw the boss’ butt multiple times, with William Regal, Jim Ross and Shane McMahon all joining the club against their will at one point or another.
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