Women's wrestling is awesome. The only reason women's wrestling hasn't historically been as popular as men's is simply due to how frequently they have been showcased. Trish Stratus and Lita proved during their time that they could be just as if not more popular than the men. The current roster of women's wrestlers in WWE prove every week that they can have matches every bit as good as the men can as well.
For women's wrestling to truly hit par with men's there is only one thing that needs to occur: they need to receive equal TV time. It can be hard to treat the Raw and SmackDown women's championships as just as important as the men's when there are only half a dozen women wrestlers on each brand. If half the roster was women, those championships would seem far more significant. This would also make it easier for WWE to create profitable stars from the division, the kind who can main event a show as big as WrestleMania.
WWE developmental has increased the rate of women they train, leading many to believe we could see gender parity in wrestling someday. Should that occur the 20 women listed in this article will have played a pivotal role towards bringing this to fruition.
Here are what 20 former WWE Divas look like today.
20 Ashley Massaro
Ashley Massaro was discovered during the 2005 Diva Search, and many fans are glad that she was. Massaro's unique look and style caught on with fans and she became an immediate hit once starting with the company.
Massaro never would win a Divas or Women's Championship in WWE, but she earned a lot of fans. She also managed to get herself a spot on the 2007 edition of the reality TV show Survivor. She travelled to China to film the show, but was promptly voted off in the second episode.
In 2008 Massaro announced to her fans that she was leaving WWE due to her 8-year-old daughter being sick. Now the 37-year-old is involved in a class action lawsuit against WWE alleging the company concealed the risks of concussions to their performers. Massaro also alleges she was sexually assaulted during a WWE Kuwait tour.
She still looks pretty smoking hot!
Melina sure has transformed herself since last she appeared on WWE television. In fact she looks completely different from when she appeared on Lucha Underground programming briefly in 2015.
38-year old Melina is looking good with her silver hair, and she still looks good in the ring as well. It's been six years since Melina left WWE but she's still going strong on the independent circuit. Melina did take a sabbatical from wrestling from 2012 to 2015, but decided to get back into the indie scene in 2015. Shortly afterwards she would appear on Lucha Underground, helping her old real-life partner Johnny Mundo defeat Alberto El Patron.
Most recently, Melina just finished a two month tour of England, where she competed for the SWE, PWC and Kamikaze Pro promotions. She wrestles frequently in Maryland, where she is the current MCW women's champion.
18 Dawn Marie
So Dawn Marie got a little older. There was no way her youthful and buxom measurements were going to hold up in older age, that would be mathematically impossible. For a 46-year-old mother of two she looks just fine.
Dawn Marie was a prominent figure in ECW, serving as something of a manager for Lance Storm, though he would refer to her by a less respectful name at the time. She would be signed by WWE and again played a major role on SmackDown when Paul Heyman was the booker for the brand. She would be involved in a bizarre angle with Torrie Wilson and her father, which resulted in the on-screen death of Al Wilson.
Following her release from WWE in 2005, Dawn Marie filed suit against the company alleging they released her because she was pregnant. The two parties settled out of court.
When Celeste Beryl Bonin retired from WWE in 2014, it surprised a lot of people. The popular bodybuilder was still in her late-20s, and arguably had the most profitable years still ahead of her.
During her brief run on WWE television from 2012 to 2014, Kaitlyn was immediately placed at the top of the division. She was a onetime Divas champion, and also won Season 3 of NXT, back when the show was more of a reality series-type competition.
Kaitlyn is now an entrepreneur, owning her own fitness clothing line, and co-owning a smoothie bar in Florida with her husband. Unfortunately for that business relationship, Kaitlyn announced earlier this year that her and her husband are no longer together.
She can occasionally be seen as a contributor to hardbodynews.com.
55-year old Ivory played the heel wrestler throughout her career, but outside the ring she is anything but. Ivory, whose real name is Lisa Moretti, has found a second calling in life following her departure from WWE in 2003.
Ivory lost the WWE Women's Championship to Molly Holly at Armageddon 2003, then lost to Victoria the next night to close out her WWE career. She would wrestle on the independents from 2004-06 before finding another calling.
Nowadays you can find Ivory working with animals. After volunteering for various animal charities she, along with a partner, opened the Downtown Dog pet-boarding and grooming company in 2007. They even have a bus they use to take dogs on outings.
Ivory was a three-time women's champion in WWE, but as of yet has not been inducted into the Hall of Fame.
15 Bull Nakano
You can't make this stuff up. After Bull Nakano retired from pro wrestling in 1996, she became a pro golfer in 1998. She qualified for the LPGA tour in 2006.
What Bull Nakano did to slim down and become significantly less scary-looking is currently not known. She certainly looks to have undergone a DDP Yoga-esque transformation, however.
Some of you may not remember Nakano, but she was a monster woman wrestler at a time where few of such wrestlers existed. Nowadays, Nia Jax and arguably Tamina Snuka are able to play that role. Kharma/Awesome Kong could have played this role, but she kept getting fired from promotions she worked for.
Nakano was involved in feuds with Alundra Blayze in WWF in the mid-'90s, but when that program failed to gain traction WCW signed them both. Eventually WCW gave up on both of them as well. Now she golfs! Go figure.
After falling in with CM Punk's Straight Edge Society, Serena Deeb had a short-lived career in WWE which ended under some bizarre circumstances.
Deeb was a planted audience member who volunteered to be cleansed by CM Punk's straight-edge lifestyle during the faction's time on SmackDown in 2010. The Straight Edge Society then consisted of CM Punk, Joseph Mercury, Luke Gallows and Serena. The faction would feud with Rey Mysterio and Big Show before disbanding later in the year.
Deeb was released from her contract later in 2010, reportedly for not living up to her straight-edge gimmick on the road. She would wrestle on the independents until 2015 until finally retiring.
Now her hair is all grown back, and she makes a living as a yoga instructor in Los Angeles.
13 Candice Michelle
So Candice Michelle is still smoking hot. Since leaving WWE in 2009, the former GoDaddy model has concentrated on starting a family. She is now a mother of three daughters ranging in age from 2 to 7.
Michelle slowly earned the respect of her peers after joining WWE following a fitness modelling career. She was voted Most Improved and Woman of the Year by Pro Wrestling Illustrated in 2007. She's also a onetime former WWE Women's Champion.
Her career in WWE lasted from 2004 to 2009, until injuries started to creep up with her. She was eventually released from her contract in the summer of '09.
She attended the WrestleMania 32 Axxess expo in 2016, and dropped jaws with her appearance. The 38-year-old looks just as good as she ever did.
Ariel, a.k.a. the former vampire manager of Kevin Thorne on the revamped version of ECW, briefly retired from pro wrestling, but is now back at it on the indie scene. Now known by her real name Shelly Martinez, she signed with TNA after her WWE career ran its course. She wrestled as a member of Konnan's LAX faction briefly.
Martinez returned to TNA in 2016, but not in a good way. She wrestled Rebel at a TNA one-night only PPV titled Knockouts Knockdown 2016. The match included Martinez executing possibly the worst suicide dive to the outside that has ever been recorded on film. The match earned Wrestling Observer's "Worst Match of the Year" for 2016.
Martinez has a good modelling career outside of wrestling as well. She also serves as an event correspondent for the horror film news website MoreHorror.com.
When Jazz debuted in ECW she was immediately put in matches with men. She held her own as well, and even became a fan favourite in the promotion. Following ECW going under, Jazz signed with WWE where she won the promotion's women's championship on two occasions.
Jazz retired from wrestling in 2011, but would make a return to the independent scene in 2016. Now at 43 years of age, Jazz's rough-and-tumble look has become to look a little weathered. She can still hold her own in the ring, however. She most recently competed over WrestleMania weekend in Orlando at the WrestleCon SuperShow. She ended up losing that match to 25-year-old Kennadi Brink.
Jazz and husband Rodney Mack have twin girls and own a gym and wrestling school in Lafayette, Louisiana.
Lisa Marie Varon, better known to WWE fans as Victoria, has made a new career for herself as a restaurant owner, though there are rumblings that the 46-year-old could find her way back to WWE. She was one of several women wrestlers who were rumoured to have been contacted by the promotion for an appearance at WrestleMania 33, but no such appearance occurred. Kelly Kelly was another name rumoured for the show.
Just recently Varon closed down her Chicago area restaurant, The Squared Circle, after four years. The restaurant business can be a tough racket and sometimes restaurants will close, move, and reopen just to keep things fresh. Varon says she plans to continue in the restaurant business.
Varon was a two-time women's champion and a five-time TNA knockouts champion. She was on the WWE roster for 7 years and could end up in the WWE Hall of Fame one day.
9 Stacy Keibler
Keibler got her break in wrestling when she won a contest to become the newest member of the Nitro Girls cheerleading squad in WCW. She was also a cheerleader for the Baltimore Ravens at the time.
Keibler was dubbed "Miss Hancock" when the company decided to give her a push. She would wear sexy business suits and dance seductively on top of tables. She came over to WWE during the Invasion angle and even briefly became a member of the Dudley family with D-Von and Bubba Ray.
In 2006, she was a success in her appearance on Dancing With The Stars and left WWE shortly afterwards.
Keibler was romantically linked to George Clooney from 2011 to 2013. After her relationship with Clooney ended, she married her longtime friend Jared Pobre. So there you go guys, if you're in the "friend zone" with Stacy Keibler, hang in there, you never know what might happen.
8 Terri Runnels
Former WWE Hardcore champion (it's true, look it up) Terri Runnels is now 50 years old and largely out of the lime light.
Wrestling fans last got a glimpse of Terri at the 2016 Hall of Fame ceremony, where she was there to support her friend Jacqueline and to witness the induction of her deceased friend, the Big Boss Man.
From 2009 to 2011, Runnels was linked romantically to New Jack, but as you might guess that relationship soured. Things got litigious between the pair when Terri was forced to take New Jack to court to prevent him from spreading private nude photos of her.
Runnels had various different roles throughout her lengthy pro wrestling career, though none more notable than her time as Marlena, the eccentric manager of her one time husband "Goldust" Dustin Runnels. The couple divorced in 1999.
Rena Lesnar, better known to wrestling fans as Sable, is enjoying family life as the wife of the highest-paid star in pro wrestling. In 2016, Lesnar's earnings from WWE topped even John Cena's.
The former Playboy model doesn't look as though she has aged one bit despite the fact she will turn 50 in the summer of 2017. She married Lesnar in 2006 and the couple have two sons together. Turk Lesnar was born in 2009, and Duke Lesnar was born in 2010. The couple live in Saskatchewan and enjoy their time off by being hockey parents in the Canadian prairies. They each have another child from a previous marriage as well. Sable is 10 years older than Lesnar.
Sable was the first woman in the WWE to be referred to as a Diva, even if it was Sunny who pioneered the role.
6 Stacy "The Kat" Carter
Stacy Carter's biggest moment in pro wrestling occurred at the Armageddon PPV in 1999. It was the day wrestling fans finally saw "full puppies" on TV. After winning an evening gown match on the show, Carter opted to take off her gown anyway. Once the gown was off she probably said, "what the heck, I'm going to take my bra off as well." Moments after she did so, Sgt. Slaughter covered her up, arguably a bigger heel move than when he was an Iraqi sympathizer in the buildup to WrestleMania VII.
Carter was released from her contract in 2001. Jerry Lawler, her husband at the time, left with her. Their relationship would end shortly thereafter. For years Carter left wrestling's spotlight and worked in real estate. She would return to the indie scene briefly in 2010.
5 Jillian Hall
You might best remember Jillian Hall as a member of JBL's cabinet during his lengthy WWE championship reign on the brand. At the time, her gimmick was that she had a hideous growth on her face. WWE promptly ended that angle without warning by having the Boogeyman simply tear off and eat the growth.
Following her run with JBL, she adopted a gimmick where she was a singer who couldn't really sing. Shockingly, the angle was not well received by fans. After being released from WWE in 2010, Hall spent a few years on the independent scene before retiring from the business in 2014.
Now 36, Hall lives in Orlando. She was arrested for battery in 2012, and while details surrounding the incident are scarce, she is said to have split up with her husband shortly afterwards.
4 Torrie Wilson
Don't tell Torrie Wilson she is now 41 years old, as you wouldn't know it to look at her.
Torrie Wilson has led an eventful life since leaving WWE in 2008. She married Billy Kidman in 2003, but the couple would divorce the same year Wilson left the business in 2008. Wilson started a clothing line in 2006 with Mitch from the Spirit Squad of all people, and the two began dating before Wilson's divorce to Kidman was finalized as well.
Wilson was romantically linked to baseball great Alex Rodriguez from 2011 to 2015. The couple called it quits just before A-Rod decided to announce his retirement from baseball.
Nowadays Torrie continues to work on her fitness projects and businesses. She still looks as good as she did during her time on WWE programming!
Lita has been around WWE frequently in recent years. Whether she has been a spokesperson to the new revamped women's divisions on Raw or SmackDown, or as a pre-show panel member, Lita is someone WWE finds excuses to bring back regularly.
Lita helped break new ground for women wrestlers during her time with WWE from 2000 to 2006. She actually got her career started in ECW in 1999 when she was known as "Miss Congeniality." She turned heads in WWE when she debuted with Essa Rios, and showed off her ability to do moonsaults and other lucha libre-style moves.
Now 42 years old, Lita makes a living through appearances and working with her animal charity ADORE. She was romantically linked to CM Punk from 2009 to 2013, until Punk began dating his current wife AJ Lee.
2 Trish Stratus
Sorry everyone, Trish Stratus had her breast implants removed in 2008 and is now a mother of two. Of course Trish was never really someone on the market anyway. She was married to her high school sweetheart in 2006. Her husband, Ron Fisico was a smart guy. He knew he landed above his league when the couple started dating in the early-'90s and he locked that down.
Trish opened a yoga studio in her hometown of Toronto shortly after retiring from WWE in 2006. Stratusphere has been a positively reviewed studio since that time. In 2013, the studio was honoured by the Top Choice Awards as the Best Yoga Studio of the Year.
Stratus is also involved in charity work. She has taken a particular interest in working with Ronald McDonald House as well as the Special Olympics.
She was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013.
Everyone's favourite trainwreck, 44-year-old Tammy Lynn Sytch has had a rough go of it in recent years. She has continued to struggle with drug and alcohol problems, and for some reason DDP has yet to invite her to live at his house. Come on DDP, get on this one!
Current rumours have Sunny staying at a sober house that costs $10,000 a month. In 2016, Sunny starred in an erotic film titled Sunny Side Up: In Through the Backdoor. She also released her autobiography in 2016 titled A Star Shattered: The Rise & Fall & Rise of Wrestling Diva Tammy “Sunny” Sytch.
For whatever problems Sunny has had outside of the ring, no one can take away the contributions she made to the wrestling business. Sunny was a pioneer for women during the Attitude Era, almost singlehandedly creating the role of a WWE Diva, even though she was never referred to by that term.