Women in wrestling and specifically WWE have been rapidly increasing their standing in the business, proving they are equals to their male co-workers in virtually every way imaginable. Of course, there are certain elements of being a wrestler that the women perhaps would have liked to avoid, such as forming real-life resentment and hatred amongst one another behind the scenes. Certain women have, however, for reasons that are both somewhat understandable and completely confusing, possible only in the bizarre world of pro wrestling.
One of the biggest criticisms against women’s wrestling in WWE until quite recently has been that females were often presented as having little character aside from irrational hatred of one another, and though that isn’t usually the case, there were indeed a few situations where that representation wasn’t that far off. The more prominent women have become in wrestling, the more bitter some of the feuds between them have been getting, but that doesn’t mean there haven’t been some harsh battles from day one.
The real life wars between female wrestlers have been so intense as to end careers, and in the worst cases, have come near to putting women’s wrestling in America to a halt altogether. Other times the hatred was less severe, with the women ultimately either making up or admitting things got blown out of proportion. Fans of Total Divas are probably already aware of the more recent issues amongst the ladies of WWE, but a history lesson might be in order before you realize just how long women in the WWE Universe were as bitter and resentful as the men. Keep reading to discover which 15 WWE divas hated each other’s guts.
15. Sunny Hated Ashley Massaro
Fans of Sunny were aware her life has been a rollercoaster for some time when was surprisingly inducted to the WWE Hall Of Fame in 2011. It wasn’t surprising in the sense she didn’t deserve the honor, as Sunny was one of the few women to stand out during the New Generation era, with her personality defining what a diva would be when the company started injecting more attitude into the show. However, her personal problems caused her to burn almost every bridge in the business, and that would continue even after she earned the Hall of Fame honor. Starting that same year, Sunny engaged in a number of online wars with Ashley Massaro, winner of the 2005 Diva Search. Massaro never accomplished much in WWE aside from getting publicity when she posed for Playboy in 2007, hardly comparing to Sunny’s sterling career. That doesn’t give Sunny the right to continually harass her, though, which she has done on Twitter since 2011. Sunny claims Ashley ignored her at a Playboy related event, while Ashley countered Sunny has been badmouthing her and the rest of the women in WWE for decades and didn’t deserve her respect. The two reignited their war in 2015 when Sunny alleged Ashley was a prostitute, causing Ashley to post an unflattering naked photo of Sunny amidst insults about her weight gain. The two have mostly been quiet since then, and it’s worth noting neither had been in WWE for quite some time before the incidents.
14. Lana Hated Paige
WWE and sports entertainment companies in general have been starting to blend kayfabe and reality on the Internet and some semi-legitimate news sources like ESPN, generally confusing rather than entertaining them. Because of this, even wrestling insiders were a little unsure about whether or not there was any genuine resentment between Lana and Paige, considering the two warred exclusively on Twitter without it ever getting mentioned on TV. The problem was that it technically started because of kayfabe action, with Lana showing her support for Charlotte while she was feuding Paige. Lana’s tweets alleged Paige had bullied her in NXT, something Paige vehemently denied, accusing Lana of trying to get involved so she could be on TV. As we mentioned, however, it is because what Paige believed Lana’s plan didn’t work that the whole thing might have been real. Whatever the case, the two appeared to make up not long after, with Paige tweeting a picture of them hanging out together and Lana replying they both love one another and break the Internet together, again making the whole thing a little questionable.
13. Leilani Kai Hated The Fabulous Moolah
Two people hating one another can easily end one of their careers, but to think it could destroy an entire industry seems like a bit much. Unless, of course, one of the people involved practically control that industry going into the struggle, and the incident is caused by one of her underlings revealing her misdeeds and getting them both blackballed from different sides of the wrestling community. For over a decade, Leilani Kai was one of The Fabulous Moolah’s star clients, with the highlight of her career having been losing the WWE Women’s Championship to Wendi Richter at the inaugural WrestleMania. Their relationship started to disintegrate when Kai revamped her character from a Hawaiian to a bleached blonde Glamour Girl, with Judy Martin as her partner. Several Japanese stars were brought overseas to feud them, including The Jumping Bomb Angels, leading to matches that were years ahead of their time, which easily could’ve revolutionized women’s wrestling if they had been allowed to continue. Moolah intervened when she realized this would mean WWE would no longer be relying entirely on her students for the first time, tricking the Glamour Girls into losing the titles for a Japanese promotion without Vince McMahon’s permission. The Girls were fired, but at the same time, far less women were willing to work with Moolah (and by extension WWE) when they told their side of story, and women’s wrestling came to a halt for nearly a decade.
12. Melina Hated Candice Michelle
Not long before there were Twitter wars, wrestlers were already taking to the Internet and writing hurtful blogs about one another. That was still enough for WWE to turn things into a feud, though, as was the case with Melina and Candice Michelle, who started complaining about one another online in early 2007. It started when Candice accused Melina of stealing one of her signature moves, the Candy Clutch, which to be fair was a relatively simple Inverted STF. Melina laughed off her Candice’s accusation and countered she had been using the move since she was wrestling on the independent scene as early as 2003. Instead of simply defending herself, Melina turned it into an attack by insulting Candice for joining WWE through the Diva Search, while she had actually trained to become a wrestler. Candice was offended by the comment, noting she had been working hard to improve herself, something that apparently paid off later that year when she defeated Melina for the WWE Women’s Championship. Like with the Twitter wars, there was a question to how real the whole thing was once WWE started mentioning it onscreen. However, it lasted long enough before they mentioned it there’s a good chance they turned something real into a storyline rather than merely fabricating the whole thing.
11. Peaches Hated Missy Hyatt
Though she rarely appeared on camera, Peaches quietly played a huge role in ECW history as The Sandman’s wife, not to mention also his manager during key moments of his career. She was there when he was a weird surfer winning his first ECW Championship, and she was integral during his first big feud against Tommy Dreamer. She went on to play an even bigger role in Sandman’s war against Raven, which is where Missy Hyatt starts to come in. Hyatt initially appeared to have a crush on Raven upon her ECW debut, revealing it to be a ruse and aligning with Sandman shortly thereafter. Raven’s mind games with Sandman included stealing his wife, causing a sub-feud between Peaches and Missy Hyatt. All parties involved have later explained in shoot interviews that the animosity between Peaches and Hyatt was entirely real, with the reasons not entirely clear but obviously relating to their shared connection to The Sandman. Missy soon faded away from ECW and Peaches reunited with her husband onscreen if not off, putting an end to whatever problems they had between them.
10. Luna Vachon Hated Sable
Upon Sable’s debut in 1996 as the valet of Triple H and then her husband Marc Mero, there were no immediate plans for her to enter the ring. She had never been trained for wrestling, and there weren’t any other female wrestlers in the company to begin with. She very quickly became significantly more popular than her husband, though, and soon enough WWE hired a few other women and Sable decided to get in the ring and wrestle them. Though Jacqueline defeated her to revive the Women’s Championship, the division was clearly based around Sable’s popularity, and Luna Vachon was specifically instructed to help her learn the ropes as her career in the ring started to take off. Sable wrestled Luna until she was ready to win the championship from Jacqueline, and the two continued feuding after she did so, with Sable reportedly refusing to lose the belt to Luna. In the course of their feud, Luna made a comment to WWE Magazine about Sable not paying her dues and forcing her way into the business, and given their personal industry, Sable believed this comment to be true. Luna argued it was kayfabe, but nevertheless was annoyed by Sable complaining about it at all, with the situation ultimately spiraling into her challenging Marc Mero to a fight. That situation was eventually calmed down, but the bitterness between them lasted well beyond both of their WWE careers.
9. Mildred Burke Hated June Byers
The term WWE Diva has been going by the wayside lately and perhaps for good reason. It doesn’t have much history behind it, and chances are it would come off as downright offensive to a true legend of the wrestling industry like Mildred Burke. Burke was the first female superstar of the sport, having wrestled hundreds of men before she could find other females ready to face her. She won the Women’s World Championship from Clara Mortenson when she was 22, and she held on to it for nearly 17 years when she lost to June Byers. Burke’s loss wasn’t without controversy, as Byers was the daughter-in-law of Burke’s ex-husband Billy Wolfe, who held a stranglehold on women’s wrestling for decades, including Burke’s own career. The match turned into a shoot won by Byers, with Burke relying on the then-standard rule that title matches were contested in two out of three falls, planning to get her comeuppance on the next two falls. The promoters stopped the match after the first fall, though, giving Byers the victory and only serving to upset Burke further. She retired from wrestling two years later, having been unable to work after more-or-less being blackballed due to Byers and Wolfe’s influence.
8. Dawn Marie Hated Francine
Given the hardcore atmosphere of ECW, one might expect the few women working for the company to band together and protect one another in the often violent environment. Depending on who you believe, however, they found a constant deterrent in this lifestyle in “The Queen of Extreme” Francine, who Dawn Marie in particular has alleged made her cry almost every single day she worked for the company. Their problems continued all the way to WWE’s inaugural ECW One Night Stand Pay-Per-View in 2005, when Francine snubbed Dawn backstage. Dawn claims she ultimately forced Francine to stop bothering her by turning a catfight into a shoot, legitimately attacking Francine while screaming about how much she hated her. Dawn also claimed Francine tried to get practically every woman to work for ECW fired at one point or another, something Francine later vehemently denied. In fact, according to her, she went out of her way to help Sunny get booked on more than one occasion, though this was well after they had all left ECW. Francine also heavily denied the bullying, saying she always helped the other women in wrestling and didn’t understand what Dawn was upset about.
7. Natalya Neidhart Hated Summer Rae
It’s confusing enough when wrestlers appear to engage in a real life feud over the Internet, so we don’t blame anyone who questions one that started on a reality show. Still, the hatred seems pretty real whenever Natalya talks about Summer Rae on Total Divas, and Summer slapped her for it in a particularly explosive episode. The slap notwithstanding, Summer claims she always tried to be understanding of Natalya, who she feels hates her for no particular reason. Natalya counters that Summer’s denial of their issues has always been a big part of the problem, citing a time when Summer appeared at her house unannounced and acted like they were friends. The slap garnered big ratings for the show, leading to accusations the whole thing was faked, something that always happens with reality programs. The rest of the women on the show typically appear to side with Natalya in their battles, adding to the speculation it was all for show considering they all work together and have never had any incidents reported when cameras weren’t rolling.
6. Maria Kanellis Hated Melina
Wrestling isn’t the only industry in the world where inter-office dating often poses a major problem, and yet the times it does almost always makes headlines. Melina in particular has a perhaps unfair reputation for having dated a high number of wrestlers, most importantly to this discussion multi-time World Heavyweight Champion Batista. According to Maria Kanellis, because of this status, Melina would hold backstage meetings about who the other women were allowed to date. She also claimed Melina would demand other workers not use certain moves, despite the fact that in Maria’s eyes she wasn’t a good wrestler to begin with. Several other women have seemed to agree with Maria that Melina was a general backstage menace, including Lita, Sharmell, Trish Stratus, Miss Tessmacher, and specifically Mickie James, whom Maria claimed Melina was constantly trying to emulate and one up throughout her career. On the other hand, Melina has rarely commented on any of these matters herself, leaving her side of the story a mystery.
5. Wendi Richter Hated The Fabulous Moolah
Years before Vince McMahon screwed Bret Hart in Montreal, he conspired with The Fabulous Moolah to do the same to Wendi Richter at Madison Square Garden in 1985. Richter was wildly popular in her second reign as WWE Women’s Champion, having regained the belt from Leilani Kai at the first WrestleMania. Despite her popularity, Richter was having some sort of financial dispute with McMahon, and he decided to ice her out immediately and without any warning. Masked as The Spider, Moolah went against script and legitimately pinned Richter during a match to win the title, causing Richter to never speak to her again. Richter and Moolah had previously been quite close, with Moolah responsible for Richter’s training and career up until then. Why exactly McMahon and Moolah didn’t simply reason with Richter and talk out their contract disputes has never been made clear, likely owing to the resentment between her and Moolah. Though the two women never made up themselves, Richter eventually forgave McMahon when she was inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame in 2010.
4. Chyna Hated Stephanie McMahon
While several of the entries on this list probably weren’t common knowledge, just about every fan of the WWE Universe has some understanding of the real life animosity between Chyna and Stephanie McMahon. Unsurprisingly, Chyna never quite forgave Stephanie for breaking up her relationship with Triple H, a move that indirectly caused Chyna’s career to fall apart as Triple H skyrocketed to the top of the industry. Chyna and HHH had been dating for some time and even living together when he and Stephanie started dating, adding insult to the already hurtful act of being left for another woman. No one can really blame Chyna for feeling hurt by the situation, though her history as a severe drug addict meant she was prone to expressing her pain in especially damaging ways, soon getting herself blackballed from wrestling entirely. For her part, Stephanie was always as diplomatic as possible when talking about Chyna, acknowledging the Ninth Wonder of the World’s landmark contributions to the wrestling industry and expressing regret for the way her career ended.
3. The Bella Twins Hated Eva Marie
Regardless of what parts of the Internet have said about her, there’s no way to deny Eva Marie has been trying for some time to improve as a wrestler. She debuted on the main roster in 2013 and went to NXT to enhance her skills, but this apparently wasn’t enough for the other females in the company, chiefly the Bella Twins. On dozens of episodes of Total Divas, the Bellas openly complained about how they felt Eva wasn’t a great wrestler, sometimes even addressing these concerns with her directly. The Bellas were especially upset when Eva began receiving especially powerful crowd reactions and WWE apparently began paying for her to receive personal training, something that made the other women jealous. Whenever the three tried to settle their feud, things only got worse, and most of the other women in the company took the Bellas’ side. Tensions eventually cooled down, though they reignited at WrestleMania 32, when the two were forced to be partners and Brie tweeted her horror at the fact.
2. Missy Hyatt Hated Madusa
The fact women have almost always been involved with wrestling doesn’t mean the companies that hired them always did so en masse. For many years it was quite common for a wrestling promotion to only have one or two females on the roster, and in the early days of WCW, those two women were Missy Hyatt and Madusa. The two had also worked together throughout various 1980s territories, with the problems between the two brewing over a special co-worker of theirs. The issue wasn’t that he was a mere co-worker, of course, but rather that both Hyatt and Madusa were at one point married to “Hot Stuff” Eddie Gilbert. He was married to Hyatt first, even extending his long standing stable Hot Stuff International to Hot Stuff & Hyatt International during their marriage in her honor. They were divorced in 1989 and he married Madusa the next year, understandably leaving Hyatt feeling somewhat bitter. Apparently, it wasn’t any consolation to her that her marriage didn’t last long, either, ending in divorce after less than a year of matrimony.
1. Sunny Hated Sable
Groundbreaking and wildly popular though they were, there were few WWE superstars more controversial backstage than Sable and Sunny, so there’s no surprise that that they would have serious trouble ever getting along, especially given their status as the two biggest female stars of the Attitude Era. The animosity mostly seems to come from Sunny’s end, having been around the company slightly longer and getting worried about her spot when Sable debuted. Sunny herself argues that it had nothing to do with jealousy or any professional problem between them, instead stemming from a comment Sable had made about her deceased ex-husband that Sunny found extremely offensive. From then on, Sunny simply thought Sable had a horrible attitude and she wanted nothing to do with her. Sunny confirmed this feeling lasted far beyond both of their careers in wrestling, taking to the Internet and accusing Sable of being an absentee mother and mocking her for aging poorly. Sable has stayed above the insults, apparently content to ignore Sunny at this point, perhaps with good reason.