On the surface, the sport of cheerleading may seem like it's all fun and games. However, it can be a very difficult arena to succeed in. In truth, even making the cheerleading squad for certain schools or sports franchise can be a monumental task.
Moreover, cheering requires a great deal of coordination and athleticism – skills that are also very useful in professional wrestling. This is probably why so many of today’s top female wrestling stars have previously been involved in cheerleading.
To get a feel for how many top female stars used to cheer, here are 10 of the most famous.
10 Alexa Bliss
Though she has only been a part of WWE’s main roster since 2016, Alexa Bliss has already had a Hall of Fame career. The 5-foot-1 star out of Columbus, Ohio's list of accolades is a long one. She is a Money In The Bank ladder match winner and became the first female to hold both the Raw and SmackDown versions of the women’s title. More recently, the 27-year-old was the host of WrestleMania 35.
Before becoming one of wrestling biggest stars, Bliss was a cheerleader at Hillard Davis High School. She took her cheer career to the next level by becoming part of the University of Akron’s Division I squad.
Carmella is a second generation wrestler out of Spencer, Massachusetts. The 5-foot-5 grappler is perhaps best known for beating Charlotte Flair to capture the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship. She also made history by winning the inaugural women’s Money In The Bank match. Known for signature dance break; Carmella has become quite popular with members of the WWE universe.
The former SmackDown champ happens to have one of the most impressive cheer resumes on our list. She spent three seasons cheering for Tom Brady and the New England Patriots (2008-2010). She was also a member of the Los Angeles Lakers dance team during the 2010-11 season.
8 Stacy Keibler
After becoming a star in World Championship Wrestling in the late '90s, Roseland, Maryland’s Stacy Kiebler went on to have a very memorable run in WWE. She was involved in several successful storylines with acts like The Hurricane and The Dudley Boys. After parting ways with WWE in 2006, the 5-foot-11 starlet went on to become a mainstream celebrity. She wowed audiences with her performances on the reality show Dancing with the Star and even dated A-list actor George Clooney for a while.
Before becoming a celeb, Kiebler was a professional cheerleader with the Baltimore Ravens – having landed the gig when she was just 18 years of age.
7 Vanessa Borne
Vanessa Borne just turned pro in 2015 and has already signed with NXT – WWE’s developmental territory. She spent the early portion of her NXT career as an enhancement talent (a performer who loses to make other wrestlers look good) but is now starting to become a star in her own right. She currently part of a tag team with another NXT star named Aliyah and is making waves in the promotion.
Prior to attending wrestling school, Borne had a very successful career as a cheerleader. She was a member of the Arizona Cardinals squad and was also a dancer for the Phoenix Suns.
6 Layla El
London, England’s Layla El (aka Layla) got her start in WWE by winning the company’s Diva Search back in 2006. She is in the wrestling history books at the first British-born wrestler to capture the WWE Women’s Championship. El is probably best known as one-half of the faction LayCool – along with her tag team partner, Michelle McCool. After nearly a decade with World Wrestling Entertainment, the former champ officially retired in 2015.
Layla El spent several years as a dancer, before joining WWE. At one point, she danced for Carnival Cruise Lines – before becoming a member of the Miami Heat cheer/dance team.
5 Charlotte Flair
By the time she decides to hang her boots up for good, Charlotte Flair may go down as the greatest female performer in the history of professional wrestling. As it stands, her resume is already elite. The North Carolina is former NXT champ who has won both the SmackDown and Raw women’s titles several times over. Moreover, along with Ronda Rousey and Becky Lynch, Flair is the first women to headline a WrestleMania.
Like her father Ric, Charlotte Flair is an outstanding athlete. In her youth, she was a state champion volleyball player and played in college as well. She was also a cheerleader in high school.
Naomi made her main roster debut in WWE as a backup dancer for Brodus Clay back in 2012. Now roughly 7 years later, she has had a career that has eclipsed “The Funkasaurus.” She is known for her athleticism and being the first African-American women to hold the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship. Naomi also became the first female to with the WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal at WrestleMania 33. Reality television fans also know her as a cast member on the E! hit series Total Divas.
Some year back, the Sanford, Florida product was a member of both the Orlando Magic cheerleading squad and dance team.
3 Eve Torres
Boston, Massachusetts’ Eve Torres had a very solid run in World Wrestling Entertainment that lasted from 2007 until 2013. Torres is a former Diva Search winner and a 3-time WWE Divas Champion. She spent the latter portion of her time in WWE as an on-air authority figure. Following her departure from the company, the former champ married Rener Gracie – from the legendary Gracie Jiu-Jitsu family. She is now a Jiu-Jitsu instructor.
Growing up, Torres was captain of the University of Southern California (USC) Fly Girl dance squad, during her college days. During the 2006-2007 season, she was also part of the Los Angles Clippers dance/cheer team.
2 Taryn Terrell
During her time in WWE (2007-2010), Taryn Terrell performed under the ring name Tiffany. She was best known as an on-air authority figure during her run with World Wrestling Entertainment. In 2012, she signed with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) and revitalized her career. While in TNA, Terrell’s ring work noticeably improved. She also had a very memorable feud with TNA legend Gail Kim. In 2017, she parted ways with TNA and has yet to resurface with a major promotion.
The New Orleans native was a cheerleader in both high school and college. In fact, she even played a New Orleans Pelicans cheerleader in the Will Ferrell film Daddy’s Home.
Rebel is a pro wrestler out of Owasso, Oklahoma. She is best known for her run in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) from 2013 to 2018. She was a member of the stable known as the Menagerie – who portrayed a group of carnival performers. She wrestled many of TNA’s top stars including Rosemary and Taya Valkyrie. In January of 2019, she wrestled her first match in NXT – taking on Kairi Sance and Io Shirai.
Before her time in TNA, Rebel was a member of the world-famous Dallas Cowboys cheerleading squad. As folks who follow the NFL know, making the Cowboy’s cheer team is no easy task.