Professional wrestling has been around for over 100 years, and although the men always seem to get more attention, there have always been women getting involved in the action as well. Since WWE has reached a level of near monopoly in North American wrestling, they often get to write the entire history of wrestling by themselves, and when it comes to the history of women in wrestling, they primarily focus on only two things: physical beauty and the “Fabulous Moolah.”
Though there have been countless talented female grapplers in WWE, physical appearance, and overall presentation of personal image, became far more important than wrestling chops. Each of the following women were gorgeous, inside of the ring and out. Some simply weren’t memorable beyond their bodies, while others have various personal issues that all but promise they’ll never been seen or heard on television again.
Regardless of their personal lives, when looking at these ignored women, it’s hard to imagine how anyone could forget what they see.
B.B. was short for Barbara Bush, and her tenure in WWE was nearly as short as her nickname. She first appeared under the guise of an EMT, getting dragged into the action during a “Gravy Bowl” match, later challenging then Women’s Champion Ivory as a result. B.B. appeared in a variety of bikini contests and gimmick matches accentuating her looks over her wrestling acumen before being powerbombed through a table by Bubba Ray Dudley, starting one of the more misogynistic angles WWE crowds went wild for. She would later appear in WCW as Papaya and in TNA as Taylor Vaughn.
Melina is one of the more recent entries on our list, and it’s not impossible that one day she and WWE will mend their ties, but for now, she’s persona non grata. The former Diva’s champion spent most of her career managing her real-life boyfriend John Morrison, who now performs as Johnny Mundo for Lucha Underground. Her boyfriend’s current success elsewhere combined with her negative feelings surrounding WrestleMania 27, where she feels WWE Hall of Famer Trish Stratus “stole her spot” on the card, make it unlikely she’ll be popping up on Raw any time soon, but fans could always hold out hope she’ll appear in the Temple.
13. Dark Journey
Dark Journey may not have as many sexy photos as the other divas on this list, but her fire extended beyond her looks. There haven’t been very many women of color in professional wrestling, and Dark Journey may have been the first to see a major stage. She appeared alongside Tully Blanchard and the Four Horsemen during their legendary WarGames matches at NWA’s Great American Bash 1987. Earlier in her career, she nearly caused race riots by appearing alongside Dick Slater in the conservative south, sending crowds into an unfathomable frenzy when she was DDT’d by Jake Roberts.
12. Missy Hyatt
Missy Hyatt was one of the first true divas in professional wrestling, but she never worked for Vince McMahon, so it isn’t likely she’ll get a whole lot of credit for it. Hyatt started in WCCW and the UWF, but it was after she joined WCW when she became a household name. She started as a backstage interviewer and commentator, but quickly rose to prominence in a feud with a young Paul E. Dangerously. Standing up for women everywhere, she beat the sexist Dangerously in a series of arm wrestling contests, and even won some contests against veteran grappler Madusa. Her efforts towards women’s rights ended somewhere in the 90s however, as she now runs an adult film site featuring herself and other ex-Divas, so it’s unlikely Missy Hyatt will be entering the Hall of Fame any time soon.
The lesser known of two divas named Tori, Tori debuted in late 1998 “stalking” Sable, but grew to much greater fame about a year later when she became the on-screen girlfriend of Kane. She would later turn on Kane, allying with X-Pac and becoming a member of the extremely popular D-Generation X. After leaving DX, her career fizzled, forming a poorly explained partnership with Raven, with whom she appeared as The Black Ninja. Despite her career ending on a down note, her association with DX leaves plenty of room for her in the history books, and yet she’s always mysteriously absent.
10. Kimberly Page
Kimberly is the ex-wife of WCW Legend “Diamond” Dallas Page, and the leader of the WCW Nitro Girls. She made several appearances in Playboy and Penthouse, all the while a major focus on WCW television. Though the Nitro Girls at first merely warmed up the crowd, as they became more popular, Kimberly got involved in major WCW angles, often with or against her then husband. She later had a cameo in The 40-Year Old Virgin. Although she never made it to WWE, her fame and her ex-husband make the fact everyone ignores her somewhat curious.
9. Baby Doll
Most people called her Baby Doll, but Tully Blanchard always made sure to point out the girl wrapped around his arm was “The Perfect 10.” She helped Blanchard against legends like Dusty Rhodes and Magnum TA, before turning on him to join Rhodes. While with Rhodes, she helped him in his legendary feud against the Four Horsemen. After her success in NWA, Baby Doll attempted to get a job in WWE, but apparently was turned down. Considering that decision allegedly took place in 1988, it’s highly unlikely they’ll change their minds all these years later.
8. Mrs. Yamaguchi-san
One of the shortest tenured divas on this list, Shian-Li Tsang, better known as Mrs. Yamaguchi-san only lasted about a month in WWE, but her role was one fans still look back on and laugh at to this day. The then 23-year-old Japanese model appeared as the wife of Mr. Yamaguchi-san, only to cheat on him with in-ring adutl film star Val Venis. In retaliation for the cuckolding, Yamaguchi-san attempted to castrate Venis with a sword. Beautiful as she is, it isn’t hard to see why she was forgotten along with the whole ordeal.
7. The Kat
Stacy Carter, also known as Miss Kitty, The Kat, and for a short while the real-life Mrs. Jerry Lawler, is one of only two women in WWE history to intentionally bare her breasts during a live WWE broadcast. During the Attitude Era, her willingness to go topless at Armageddon 1999 was probably a big part of what made her a former WWE Women’s Champion, but given the current PG structure of the company, it’s that same attitude which gets her name erased from the history books (and censored on WWE Network). On top of that, she divorced Jerry Lawler shortly after he quit his job for her. Since Lawler asked for that job back, both he and the company he works for have thought it better not to mention her.
6. Jackie Gayda
It’s amazing Tough Enough lasted six seasons, especially when you look at what happened shortly after Season 2. The competition show seeking the next major WWE superstar picked two female winners in its second season – Linda Miles (later known as Shaniqua) and Jackie Gayda. Neither woman was without her charms, but Gayda was the knockout of the two. Unfortunately, she is also responsible for arguably the worst match in the history of WWE Monday Night Raw. She teamed with Christopher Nowinski against the team of Trish Stratus and Bradshaw, and after falling down for no reason almost a solid week after Stratus missed a bulldog, Gayda sealed her own fate far away from the history books.
5. Major Gunns
Tylene Buck, or Major Gunns as she was known professionally, just barely missed out on a potential WWE career, being released by WCW only one month before that company went out of business. It’s unknown whether or not WWE would have taken her contract, but what is known is that she seemed to accept this as the end of her wrestling career, having instead turned to soft-core adult entertainment, performing for Lighthouse Talent Agency. Given her post-wrestling career, it’s highly unlikely she’ll ever be mentioned in any kind of WCW retrospective.
4. Mickie James
James started her career in independents and TNA, but reached the peak of her fame when she joined WWE as Mickie James. James isn’t quite as ignored as the rest of the women on this list, as she still wrestles occasionally for TNA and the budding GFW, but the biggest moment of her career has more or less been erased from WWE history books. Starting in late 2005, James began an angle in which she gradually fell in love with Stratus.
The feud peaked at WrestleMania 22, with James blatantly feeling up Stratus in order to block her finishing maneuver, followed by triumphantly licking between her fingers with a crazed, sexual look on her face. The crowd went absolutely wild, but the moment no longer even exists on the WWE Network, with cameras cutting away to the crowd. Though extremely popular at the time, the current PG structure makes it unlikely this controversial angle will get the attention it deserves for some time, nor will Mickie James’ career.
3. Stacy Keibler
Stacy Keibler is a former Baltimore Ravens cheerleader who debuted in WCW as Miss Hancock near the end of 1999. She migrated to WWE in 2001, and the leggy beauty managed such major superstars as Scott Steiner and The Dudley Boyz, before ending her wrestling career as Super Stacy, sidekick to The Hurricane. Since retiring, Stacy has mostly ignored wrestling, so wrestling has, in turn, ignored her. Keibler always had bigger things on her mind, spending several years in a high profile relationship with George Clooney. After that relationship ended, Keibler married Future Ads CEO Jared Pobre and started a family.
2. Beulah McGillicutty
Beulah is an ECW Legend, and although she only appeared in one official WWE match, it’s safe to say she was the victim of the most sexual pinning situation of all time. She and her team lost at ECW One Night Stand 2006. The missionary style pin which was performed by Edge was dangerously close to sexual assault. It was somehow WWE’s fitting end to the only match of the real life Mrs. Tommy Dreamer. Years before, she was the key player in the central storyline of ECW, acting as the ex-girlfriend of both Dreamer and his archrival Raven; her rejection by Tommy years earlier in summer camp being the spark that ignited the entire feud.
McGillicutty is still married to Dreamer, who has worked for WWE for decades, but given the sexual nature of her only true WWE appearance, not to mention her past as a Penthouse model, it’s unlikely she’ll be brought up until Tommy retires again and thanks her in his speech.
1. Woman (Nancy Benoit)
Given the fact “diva” basically means “woman” in WWE, it almost feels like cosmic irony Woman isn’t remembered as a diva. It isn’t just her stage name that causes history to ignore her, however: her real name is far more controversial. Unfortunately, Woman is one of the victims of what is still considered the most heinous real life crime in the history of professional wrestling. Of course, Woman had retired at that point, preferring to go by her married name, Nancy Benoit.
Prior to marrying Chris Benoit, Woman had a widely successful career in ECW, WCW and NWA, managing champions such as The Four Horsemen, The Steiner Brothers and The Sandman. Her association with the Sandman is often considered integral in the early success of the Hardcore Icon, and her sultry and domineering presence gave her power over every man she managed, including Ric Flair. Given the tragic circumstances of her death, however, it’s very unlikely she’ll ever be considered for the Hall of Fame, or any other kind of official WWE tribute.