Just like your favorite WWE superstars, before their rise to fame, these divas took different paths in order to get to where they found fame. Some tried several alternatives before landing in the WWE; the beautiful Lana is an example of this. Before signing with the WWE on a developmental contract, Lana attempted a career in dance, modelling, music and acting. Finally in 2013, Lana signed on with the WWE managing Rusev for the developmental brand NXT. For most WWE Divas, wrestling wasn’t on the radar, but not for all of them. AJ Lee decided at the age of 12 that she was going to be a WWE superstar one day. Paige (like AJ) decided on that early on as well. At the age of 13 Paige already began to wrestle for her father’s promotion, and by 14 years old, she was touring all across Europe by herself. Quite remarkable. Each diva had their own distinct path to making it in the business. Let’s now take a look at what some of these divas were doing before they got to the WWE, with these rare before they were superstars pictures. Enjoy.
15) Dolph and Nikki Bella
Back in their earlier days in the company, Dolph and Nikki were an item. The two dated for a couple of years. They developed a close bond together while wrestling for the FCW, WWE’s developmental territory at the time. While it is unknown why the couple called it quits, both have moved on. As you probably already know, Nikki is now dating the face of the company John Cena, while Dolph dated comedian Amy Schumer for a little while.
14) Lana in The Film Pitch Perfect
Before she became known to wrestling fans as Rusev’s sexy, blonde manager Lana, C.J. Perry spent her earlier days trying to make it as a musician, dancer, model and actress. Although she found some rather impressive success in those fields, her biggest success remains with the WWE. After releasing her first single with her group “No Means Yes”, Perry was cast in the musical film Pitch Perfect, alongside actresses Brittany Snow and Anna Kendrick. She later appeared in sequel which was recently released, Pitch Perfect 2.
13) Lita Debuts As A “Ho”
Terry Funk was in large part the reason for Lita signing with the WWE. Funk put together a compilation of Lita’s work with ECW and sent it over to the WWE. After seeing the video compilation, Lita was signed to a deal by the WWE. Early on though, the WWE was unsure of how to use Lita. To get her some on screen time, they decided to make her accompany ‘The Godfather’ to the ring as one of his “hos”. Later on, Lita would find a more permanent role managing Essa Rios and later, the Hardy Boyz.
12) Ric Flair With A Young Charlotte
Despite his busy schedule, Ric Flair always found the time to make his kids oatmeal, waffles or a protein shake in the morning. Flair would also always be there to pick up and drop off his children. In fact, Charlotte says she was very spoiled by her father who always managed to find time for his kids. Charlotte also thanks her father for all the opportunities she’s been able to get in her life. Being a pro wrestler wasn’t always the plan though, Charlotte graduated with a Bachelors in public relations and was also a certified personal trainer. In 2012, at the age of 26, Charlotte signed a developmental deal with NXT. In 2014, Charlotte became the second women in history to take home the Rookie Of The Year by Pro Wrestling Illustrated, an accomplishment her father also achieved 39 years prior.
11) Torrie Wilson’s Fitness Career
After finishing high school, Torrie Wilson decided to pursue a career in modelling. She was told she needed to lose weight in order to do so, and unfortunately for Torrie, this lead to a downwards spiral. Torrie developed anorexia nervosa and then bulimia. After recovering from this, Torrie changed her focus to the world of fitness. She started eating 6 meals a day and working out frequently. Wilson won her first competition in 1998, placing first in the “Miss Galaxy” competition. She would go on to win other competitions, as well. She later moved to LA to focus on an acting career.
10) Stacy Cheerleading For The Baltimore Ravens
Since the age of 3, Stacy began to enroll in ballet, jazz and tap dance classes. After attending Towson University on a partial scholarship, Keibler was hired by the Baltimore Ravens of the NFL. At the young age of 18, Stacy was a cheerleader for the NFL team. Following her cheerleading career, Stacy made her debut with her boyfriend at the time Kris Cumberland, for World Championship Wrestling. Keibler earned this gig by winning a contest to find a new “Nitro Girl”. Stacy beat 300 other contenders and took home a $10, 000 prize.
9) Trish Appears On The Cover Of MuscleMag Before Her Rise To Fame
Before becoming one of the most popular divas in wrestling history, Trish Stratus was a receptionist at a local gym. While working her job, she was approached by a publisher for MuscleMag International. The publisher of the popular magazine was interested in doing a test shoot with Stratus. The shoot was a success and Trish would land the cover of the magazine in the May 1998 issue. Additionally, she also signed a two-year contract with the magazine. One year later, Trish signed a multi-year deal with the WWE.
8) Stephanie McMahon’s High School Yearbook Picture
This picture dates way back to Stephanie McMahon’s teenage years at Greenwich High School (and certainly way before becoming the huge personality she is today with the WWE). After graduating High School, Vince’s daughter Stephanie attended Boston University, where she successfully completed her program and earned a degree in Communications. After receiving her degree, Stephanie began working full time for the WWE in 1998, and her father is certainly proud of his daughter’s accomplishments.
7) Eva Marie Modelling For Powertec Fitness
Before signing on with the WWE in 2013, Eva Marie pursued a career in fitness modelling. This picture of a dark haired Eva Marie is from her time spent with Powertec. Eva Marie won the 2012 Powertec Model Award, and also took home other awards from a variety of competitions. Eva also appeared on the Sports Illustrated website as the lovely lady of the day in 2012. In addition, Eva appeared on many other magazine covers, such as Glam Fit Magazine, Import Tuner Magazine and Maxim, where she ranked number 83 in Maxim’s coveted hot 100.
6) A Young AJ Lee Brought To Tears Meeting Her Idol Lita
If you haven’t watched the video yet, I advise you to do so, as it is truly a great moment for a young AJ Lee, who met her wrestling idol, popular WWE Diva, Lita. The former Divas Champion was brought to tears when meeting her in ring idol Lita. At the age of 12, A.J. decided she was going to be a pro wrestler, and Lita was one of the main reasons for this decision. It is very apparent when watching some of AJ’s matches that she took a lot from her long time idol in the ring.
5) Nikki’s Soccer Career
Both twins began to play soccer at a young age, but Nikki pursued soccer till college. In High School, Nikki got an opportunity to play sweeper for Arizona State University as the team needed players. Nikki had a rather promising future and even took home Player Of The Year in her region during her freshman year. Nikki had big plans, either playing pro in Italy or playing pro in Arizona, but her ultimate goal was to try out for the World cup team after college. Sadly, due to an injury to her leg her soccer career was set back. But fortunately, due to this set back she changed her focus and left for LA with sister Brie, in search of an agent.
4) Paige Wrestling For SCW At The Age Of 18
Believe it or not, Paige made her WAW debut at the age of 13, in a promotion that was run by her father. At age 14, Paige had already began to wrestle all around the world, in places like Scotland, Germany, France, Turkey, United States and many more. What is most remarkable is that at such a young age, Paige traveled alone. In 2010, she got her first try-out with the WWE, which was unsuccessful. Although, the next year in April of 2011, she would succeed, signing a developmental deal with the WWE. Still only 22 years old, Paige has an incredible future ahead of her in the WWE.
3) Lana With Her Band “No Means Yes”
In 2009, Lana shifted her focus from modelling to singing. Lana (born Catherine Joy Perry) joined a girl group called “No Means Yes”, and the group was signed under Ne-Yo’s record label. The group would end up releasing one track entitled “Would You Like That”. They would later release two other tracks entitled “7 Years Bad Luck” and “Burn Rubber”. The group broke up in 2010, but her role with the band would open the door for Lana to appear in the popular musical film, Pitch Perfect.
2) Sasha Banks And Cousin Snoop Dog
What many people probably don’t know about NXT’s champion is that she is in fact the real life cousin of popular rapper Snoop Dogg. As a kid, Sasha would dream of being in the entertainment business like her cousin, someone she really looked up to as a child. Now that her dream is in the process of becoming a reality, Sasha hopes that one day Snoop Dogg can sing her theme song on that way to the ring (and let’s face it, we would like that too). Sasha is currently the new face of the WWE’s diva division in NXT.
1) Trish’s New Look And New Career
What makes people that much greater is their ability to recreate themselves after they’ve been so successful doing a particular job for so long. In Trish’s case, she climbed as high as she could as a wrestler, and figured it was time to pursue other things. Not only did she pursue her passion, she succeeded greatly in doing so. A now dark haired Trish runs her own yoga studio named “Stratusphere”. In 2009, her new business took home the award for “Best New Business” at the Top Choice Awards. Stratus also took home the honors for “Business Women of the Year” and “Best Yoga Studio” in 2013.