How many lists are there online highlighting the best female wrestlers or the best parts of their shapely anatomies? This list isn't one of those, instead we're celebrating many forgotten divas that have stepped foot into a 20 by 20 wrestling ring. Throughout the annals of wrestling history, dozens upon dozens of woman have come and gone, just like the men and in some cases, they were held higher regard. Read up on the early days of Hall of Famer, Johnny Mae Young, who had quite the career before the WWE Attitude came calling. In fact, just watch the documentary film, Lipstick and Dynamite to catch a glimpse of what it was like for females in the industry before they all started running around in their skivvies.
Sometimes it seems like the WWE wants to play fast and loose with the history of women's wrestling - as if there was Moolah and no one else for years upon years. Then Madusa came along in the form of Alundra Blayze and eventually heaved the Women's title into the trash on Nitro, which set WWE Women's wrestling back almost five years.
But once it got going again, the train hasn't stopped at all since ladies like Lita, Trish, Sable, Sunny, and Miss Jackie took to the ring. But for every Ivory or Molly Holly, there's a a bevy of babes that have hit the ring and have left the fans' collective conscious. This list pays homage to the Amazon warriors of the squared circle past and present. The Tigresses that captured our hearts and then they were gone. Ladies, you've all earned your stripes.
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20 Nicole Bass
While not quite the mess that fellow muscle-bound female Chyna is, recently arrested Nicole Bass was one of the first female bodybuilders to step into the ring. Thanks to her association with Howard Stern, the wrestling world caught wind of her first in ECW, as one of Justin Credible's heavies. When WWE came calling and her career as bodyguard continued, first for Sable at WrestleMania XV and later has a brief alliance with Val Venis. Then she was gone and her attempt to sue the company for alleged sexual harassment from Steve "Brooklyn Brawler" Lombardi has cemented that Bass will stay forgotten.
Long before genetic anomalies like Chyna and Beth Phoenix, the WWE tried to showcase a giantess known as Mad Maxine. Trained by the Fabulous Moolah, she would debut as Moolah's insurance policy. Clearly with the Mad Maxine moniker, she looked like someone out of those movies. Maxine briefly appeared on WWE programming and even was planned to be on the Rock n' Wrestling cartoon. There are a few theories as to why she didn't stick around longer, whether she wanted to pursue her journalism career instead or Moolah may have politicked her way into the cartoon instead of Maxine, or that she simply couldn't cut the mustard.
The Brood worked and is still remembered to this day. The same can't be said for Kevin Thorne and his buxom vampiric bride, Ariel. Debuting as a tarot card reader on ECW, Ariel resembled cult comic book hero, Vampirella and with or without Thorne, seemed destined for a pretty decent career in the company. With her unique look, she definitely appealed to the darker members of the WWE Universe. But backstage, problems with Batisa arose and since stock was considerably higher than Ariel's, she was shipped off to Future Endeavored-land, and after spending brief stint as part of LAX in TNA, she left the business.
Once the Divas division was re-established, the WWE locker room was filled with all sorts of women. Former bodybuilder, Marianna Komlos debuted as part of the godawful Beaver Cleavage gimmick that was quickly dropped as Beaver became Chaz and walked out on his "mother," who was revealed to be his girlfriend. Marianna and Chaz lasted almost briefly as Beaver and his mom, and had a boundary-pushing domestic abuse angle that went nowhere fast. With her beauty, she could have been remembered for more than she was, but she chose to resume her bodybuilding career instead. Tragically Komlos lost her battle with Breast Cancer and passed away in 2004.
It has often been said of Vince McMahon that he wouldn't ask his performers to do anything he wasn't willing to do himself, up to and including embarrassing himself on national TV. In that regard, in 2000 Vince would pair up his own daughter with a psychotic fitness fanatic, Muffy. Portrayed by stuntwoman Caryn Mower, Muffy was originally supposed to debut with Trish Stratus, which would have made sense given her fitness background as well. She made two appearances before heading back to UPW and eventually being released from her contract, a victim of "creative has nothing for you."
If current Tough Winner and Runner-up, Sara Lee and Amanda really want to make a name for themselves in the industry they could look to original Tough Enough winner, Nidia for inspiration what to and what not to do. While her career wasn't terribly memorable, she did a lot for a girl with no experience. From 2001-2004, the girl won Tough Enough and got called up from OVW. She would have one decent angle during her time on the main roster, as Jamie Noble's trailer park girlfriend. She would eventually be blinded, which led to a match between the two at No Way Out 2004, where Noble had to be blindfolded and cheated to win.
We all know that WWE like to change the narrative of their history sometimes and you can't blame them too much with Victoria. After all she did claim retirement and then head to TNA. But make no mistake about it, while ladies like Trish and Lita are heralded for their contributions, Victoria was right there with them, paving the way for their group of Divas and the current class. Armed with a killer physique and a move set including several variations of Gory Guerrero's moves and the twisted looking Gory neckbreaker she called the Widow's Peak. Once she leaves TNA, it stands to reason that she will take her rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame, but for now her legacy remains unnoticed by the WWE.
Out of all of the "Divas" on this list, the one that should stay forgotten is Kloudi. During the latter days of the WWE New Generation, the Body Donnas and Sunny were on fire, thanks largely in part to how on fire Sunny was. She'd melt every man's heart that came in contact with her. Then she left the Body Donnas to hang around the Smoking Gunns. What sort of vixen would Skip and Zip unveil to become their new manager? We would all find out before the 1996 King of the Ring as Kloudi would accompany the Donnas to ringside. Kloudi, a tattooed man done up to look like the one–time most downloaded woman in the world. After making a few appearances, Kloudi was thankfully gone from our thoughts forever.
12 Barbara B.B. Bush
Nurse B.B. was another Attitude era Diva in the category of girl next door. Her above average frame and above average looks had her quickly move from being a ringside nurse to full–fledged bra–and–panty match warrior, along with beauty pageant contestant. Debuting in late '99 as an EMT, BB found herself inside a Thanksgiving gravy bowl match on Smackdown and we were off to the races. Like some other releases even to this day, backstage politics would spell the end of BB's WWE run - she became linked to Bob Holly. BB would eventually head to WCW to become Papaya, Kwee Wee's wife and after a stint in TNA, the industry bid adieu to Nurse BB.
11 Velvet McIntyre
If Superstar Billy Graham was 20 years too soon for the men, then Velvet McIntyre was about 15 years too soon for the ladies. The Irish–Canadian wrestler had that girl next door attitude about her and a never say die philosophy in the ring, Bailey could learn a lot by watching tape of Velvet. She was a high flying flashy female long before the Divas began to fly around the ring. Besides having the distinction of beating Moolah for the Women's title in Brisbane, Australia, she is also a former Women's tag team champion. Known also for wrestling barefoot, the WWE should start educating its current audience and Divas revolution on the efforts of Velvet McIntyre.
10 Ryan Shamrock
She looked like a proto–Stacy Kiebler, blond hair, cute face, and all legs but sadly, Ryan Shamrock had zero of the charisma Ms. Kiebler had. Combine that with the less than interesting storylines she was involved in - Ken Shamrock pounding everyone who would dare look at his sister, and then a brief stint as part of Pretty Mean Sisters just proved that she couldn't hang with divas like Jacqueline and Terri Runnels. The long standing rumor is that she and Ken Shamrock both turned down a proposed incest angle and Ryan was released shortly thereafter.
9 June Byers
To the victors always go the spoils and the opportunity to tell the history of wrestling. That means the WWE has been telling and retelling wrestling history for decades now. But that also means certain legends tend to be lost forever. They like to tell us that the Fabulous Moolah was the first women's champion, but they're wrong. After Moolah's trainer, Mildred Burke had a falling out with her hubby, promoter Billy Wolfe, a tournament was held and June Byers claimed the gold. For ten years, she held on to the title like grim death until the Baltimore Athletic Commission decided to strip Byers of the title in 1956 when she decided to retire as champion.
With interest in WCW waning, Eric Bischoff decided to go in a different direction than the WWE when it came to women. Besides the cheerleader Nitro Girls, in 1999 he would bring in fantastically fit women like April Hunter, Tylene Buck, Shakira, and Midajah. The latter would eventually become the leader of Scott Steiner's freaks, and even appeared with him at the Final Nitro. She would stay at Steiner's side while he worked a few Indy shots, but when the WWE signed Big Poppa Pump in 2002, he arrived without his freak. There were a slew of WCW divas that had nothing to add to the product, but Midajah added to Scott Steiner, it would have been interesting to see how the WWE would have promoted the pair.
WCW was able to defeat the WWE in the ratings for that epic 84 straight weeks due to Eric Bischoff being able to take old WWE creations and find a new way to rebrand them, although it usually meant putting an nWo shirt on them. One attempt had nothing to do with the New World Order, and that was Asya. After making a few appearances as Ric Flair's nurse, the gorgeous goliath started following around the Revolution. Clearly, the name and the look was a ripoff of Chyna, with nowhere near the output. Luckily for Asya, while she is forgotten in the industry, she did not shut suffer the same post-career fate as the Ninth Wonder of the World; she married other former forgotten WCW star, the Demon.
6 Bertha Faye
Male fans love to see svelte and sexy divas careen around the ring, but it's at times it's refreshing to see other body types take to the ring too. After all, we're not here to watch solely watch women in bikini contests, that’s what set the division back countless years. Wrestling fans want to see great wrestling, no matter the size or gender. Rhonda Sing would traverse the globe astounding crowds in Puerto Rico, Japan, and her native Canada until the WWE came calling and in 1995, Sing became Bertha Faye. Despite her short run there, she did manage to beat Alundra Blayze for the Women's title before waning interest in the division at that time and Sing's own growing disinterest, she left the company.
5 The Jumping Bomb Angels
One duo that the women of today need to look at, it's Noriyo Tateno and Itsuki Yamakazi, the Jumping Bomb Angels. In the mid–eighties, the pair blew up Japan as they captured the WWWA tag team titles from Bull Nakano and Condor Saito. They would arrive in the WWE for the first Survivor Series and were the survivors of their match, defeating the WWF women's tag champs, the Glamour Girls. The Angels defeated the Glamour Girls for the gold at the first Royal Rumble in 1988, in two out of three falls. Their moves in the ring were as crisp as any make tag team of the day. Vince McMahon seems to think that foreigners can't break through the language barrier the Angels were super–over with the fans.
4 Miss Kitty
When Chyna got so big that she needed a valet WWE was introduced to Miss Kitty. But when you're an exhibitionist most known for pulling your bra off at Armageddon in a was it scripted or not moment, then your then-husband leaves the company in protest of your talentless self being let go and now you're married to average B-plus player Kizarny, it's no wonder she is only remembered for a few risqué moments. But in the current PG WWE environment, chances are the Kat will only be remembered as Ernest "the Cat" Miller, and Miss Kitty will continue to fade into obscurity.
3 Cherry Pie
While most people seem to always be nostalgic for late 50's / early 60's "street - tough" acts and movies like West Side Story, the transition to bring greaser type characters to Smackdown didn't work out that well. Deuce and Domino debuted on Smackdown and even became tag team champions, but this was in an era where those belts didn't mean a whole lot. The pair debuted with Indy diva darling Kara Slice, as Cherry Pie. WWE's answer to Sandy Olsson didn't get over with the Universe the way the WWE had hoped and her time with the company was short, as she was released in 2008, the shame being she never got to show what she could truly do in the ring besides look dynamite in a poodle skirt.
Before Mickie James stalked Trish Stratus, Sable had her own stalker–Tori. She tried to get the respect of the bombshell, but she wasn't having it and even successfully turned heel in the process. Besides being part of the first women's hardcore match again Ivory, Tori is best known for her time as Kane's girlfriend while feuding with X-Pac, which involved Tori forced to spend Christmas with Pac. Much of Tori's character after this had wrestlers exploiting how paranoid she had become, getting overprotective Kane to destroy their enemies, until she turned on Kane and had been with Pac the whole time. Part of many storylines during the Attitude Era, Tori should be better remembered for her time in the WWE, but for some reason never gets mentioned.
1 Gail Kim
How Gail Kim never achieved the level of success as other just as capable divas is a travesty. According to J.R on his podcast, he had to explain to Vince that her being Asian is a huge plus as many men are attracted to Asian women. We all know that when Vince doesn't understand something, it's generally harder for that person to get over (re: Cesaro), but Kim never let that deter her and when she was released from the company, she would go on to make a name for herself in TNA. She tried one more time in the WWE, but when the company still didn't get behind her; she would immediately eliminate herself from a battle royal and ask for her release subsequently after.
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