When it comes to the world of WWE, most people think of professional wrestling but it is forgotten that the company’s “E” means “entertainment.” A lot of the time, a person who works for WWE may not be great in the ring but they easily can be stars within the entertainment portion. Due to this big part of WWE, wrestling isn’t always a focus for talent within the company.
For years WWE has had an issue with hiring people, mostly female, who absolutely suck in the ring. When Jim Ross was in charge of talent relations from 1996 to 2004, WWE brought in some of the best talent they ever had. He is partly or fully responsible for people like The Rock, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, John Cena, Batista, Randy Orton, Brock Lesnar, Edge, and every major star of the last few decades.
He initially had a role in recruiting talent slightly before this with JJ Dillon which made a role in the department easy for him to go into.
Ross also hit high with the ladies as well. He is responsible for hiring some of the greatest female talent in WWE history.
John Laurinaitis was the man who took the role from him and began the slide. He hired women mostly based on looks and practically nothing else when he took over the role in late 2004/early 2005. While Ross was removed from talent relations in the mid-2000s, he was not without his misses, but Johnny Ace had a pattern of stupidity with women.
Every person in talent relations focused on something different, but looks played a huge role for the women they brought in. This was especially true when WWE no longer had competition. In this list, we count down the fifteen women WWE signed only for their looks. While some may have developed into something big, WWE only cared about one thing at the time. Check it out.
Layla El was a Miami Heat cheerleader originally from the UK when she joined WWE’s Diva Search in 2006. WWE loved Layla and thought she had a great deal of talent even though she was nearly 30 coming in. At the time, WWE was mostly hiring girls that were young but they needed another ethnic woman in a world of white girls to help with diversity.
Layla and just about every single girl in the WWE Diva Search was hired only, and I mean ONLY, on looks. The entire Diva Search was based on pretty much that and rarely was wrestling even a thing. It was mostly challenges that we saw on shows like NXT when it first came about.
While WWE hired many women through this, it was usually those who won that got hired. Since Layla won, she got hired in what was seen as a big thing for WWE at the time, as again, they needed someone like her and she would have gotten hired whether she won or not. She was nothing special early on, but then ECW came back as a brand and WWE had the ability to use her with a dance group or burlesque group of sorts in the Extreme Expose.
This fit Layla well and allowed her to dance mostly, where she had a good background, while she trained in the ring. Layla went on to become a solid wrestler but she was never the greatest worker of her time.
She won both a Women’s and Diva’s Championship with WWE in her career. However, before any of this we have to consider the fact that she was hired based mostly on how she looked.
We all seem to love Lana these days. She is seen as gorgeous and every male on earth seems to be jealous that Rusev is with her and not them. Trust me, we understand. So it should come as no surprise that WWE hired her mostly on the fact that she looked amazing.
She came in initially with a few acting credits that were worthy of note for WWE but nothing big. She did have a small role in the original Pitch Perfect, but it was nothing to write home about.
WWE liked that she had some acting ability and the fact that she was in shape led to thoughts that she could be good for WWE as an in-ring talent. Sadly, she was hurt during training very early on. This allowed her to mostly focus on promos where she would be able to develop the mic ability with the help of people like Dusty Rhodes who would aid her in becoming a very good manager.
WWE felt that due to her excelling as a manager, there would be no reason to push her into the ring full time. She will get in the ring eventually, but WWE won’t ever make her a normal in-ring talent.
Before all of this, her looks were mostly why she got hired. She came into the company in 2013 when WWE was moving away from hiring based on looks, so she might be one of the last girls WWE hired without some in-ring or fitness background. Now Triple H sees the greatness of those with in-ring or fitness backgrounds who the company can develop much better.
WWE was at the height of model hunting in 2006. Maryse was part of the WWE Diva Search during this time but she was unable to win the competition. WWE liked her so they felt it would be good to bring her in to have her observe the training it took to become a WWE Diva. She would love the idea of it. While Maryse was a fan of WWE before this, she had no prior in-ring experience and mostly did modeling before WWE was an option for her.
She ended up getting signed in August of 2006. WWE was trying to develop girls by this time instead of throwing them on television right away. Maryse lucked out and was able to train well enough to be a solid worker when she came in. However, the former Playboy model didn’t wow anyone in the ring for a while.
She eventually was able to be a pretty good worker toward the end of her career. She became the first two time WWE Diva’s Champion and would become sort of a sex icon for WWE in a time they were shifting to PG programming.
Notably, WWE and Maryse parted ways in 2011. It was rumored at the time that she and WWE had to part ways as Maryse was “too hot for PG.” While this was clearly said to be a rumor only, it is interesting that it got out as WWE had many beautiful women.
It should come as no surprise that she was hired based on her looks but thankfully she worked on her in-ring ability to become one of the better WWE Divas of her time. The funniest part of the entire thing is that if the rumor is true on her being too sexy, she would have been removed for the same reason she was hired. We still don’t know why she married The Miz. I guess looks didn’t matter to her.
12. Brooke Adams
Maryse was not the only girl WWE brought in from the 2006 Diva Search. Brooke Adams was with Maryse when they brought girls in to observe training and she ended up being hired around the same time. Brooke pretty much ONLY got hired based on looks.
She had a huge background in modeling and bikini contests and still participates in them. She notably took a job at Hooter’s just to be part of their contests. No joke.
Adams did love wrestling, but she didn’t seem to work for WWE as they released her just a year into her deal. She, like Layla, was put into Extreme Expose very early, and with no clear direction to take her, she didn’t seem to fit.
She eventually went to TNA where she was visibly better as an in-ring worker. She became a three-time TNA Knockouts Champion in a pretty good female division. She impressed much more when she left WWE than when she worked there as they only focused on what she looked like.
11. Ashley Massaro
Ashley Massaro was a fun WWE Diva for most. She had a terrific look that was “punk rock,” a vibe that was vastly missing from WWE, which is what led to her being hired. She won the 2005 Diva Search and as mentioned prior, this was all based on looks. However, most would say that Ashley’s ability to connect to the WWE fans truly helped her out.
Ashley had some notable television time when she first came in, and like so many girls at the time, she didn’t get to train for very long before being thrown into a match. She did well enough for WWE to continue allowing her to work but it was by no means a good idea.
She was well liked by many in WWE which allowed her some television time with the top divas of the day. However, most of her television time was done as a way to promote her looks. Whether she was in a bikini, lingerie, doing a pillow fight, or stripping…there was always a reason to have her half-way clothed.
She managed to get a role on the CBS show Survivor toward the end of her run with WWE. Vince McMahon “storyline fired” her on television so that she could do the show. She graced the cover of Playboy in 2007 and was in a great deal of media during the time from music videos to television shows like Smallville, which happened to be a CW show when WWE SmackDown was on the network years ago.
She had a daughter years before she was hired by WWE in July of 2000. That makes her fifteen now, so just feel old for a second there. Her daughter got pretty sick in mid-2008, so Ashley ended up asking for her early release to take care of her, which the company granted.
She has since attempted to come back to WWE but the company has not been interested.
You may know Maria Kanellis today for her time with Ring of Honor where she works alongside Mike Bennett, her real-life husband. She is well liked there, but before this she was in WWE playing a ditsy redhead that would usually interview people backstage and wrestle from time to time.
While she played a dummy most of her WWE career, she was by no means unintelligent. Possibly the most memorable time she demonstrated this was in the Eric Bischoff trial where she testified against him as RAW General Manager. She memorably said:
“Last week Bischoff abused his power in a way that was both malicious and capricious, and it’s this rash of discourse that ultimately led to a locker room of disdain and mutiny, and it should be grounds for his immediate dismissal.”
Maria first came into our homes as a contestant on the 2004 Diva Search. She placed fifth in the contest but WWE liked her and felt she could do well for them due to her look. She was in OVW at the time Paul Heyman ran the training center. She was actually a contributor to some creative ideas there. Her role with OVW got her onto the main roster fairly quick.
She was notable for being the last girl WWE ever put in Playboy through the company. She had a long run with WWE but was released in February of 2010. We can honestly believe that WWE hired her only based on looks early on, but she was pretty good as a character for a while. She is showing how good she is today with ROH and some speculate she could be back in WWE one day.
9. Trish Stratus
Many people will probably hate that one of the greatest WWE Divas ever is on this list, but the fact is that she was hired because of her looks. Trish had a lot of modeling in her background and was making a big name for herself in that world. However, she liked sports and especially enjoyed wrestling. She was brought in and quickly put on TV as the big chested new manager of T&A.
She was loved by WWE, but she was not great in the ring for a while, despite being used on television a lot. Memorably, she won the WWE Women’s Championship for the first time at Survivor Series in 2001 to the shock of many as she was seen as the least talented girl in the ring. She worked the match with the likes of Molly Holly, Lita, Ivory, Jazz, Jackie, and many more.
Stratus eventually became the perfect WWE Diva that WWE has been attempting to find since. She became a very good in-ring worker after training hard to become great.
Trish became a 7-time WWE Women’s Champion, which has not been matched since, and probably never will be, due to WWE using the Diva’s Championship now. Trish went from being a pretty face WWE hired only for her looks to a terrific in-ring worker who ended up being one of the few females inducted into the Hall of Fame as she was inducted in 2013.
8. Joy Giovanni
You may not remember Joy Giovanni, but she had a small run with WWE in 2004. Like so many others on this list, she was part of the WWE Diva Search. She didn’t win the 2004 version but was signed within days of her elimination from the competition.
So get this, she was out of the competition in mid-September. Then WWE signed her and made her into a massage therapist that November, only two months into her WWE career. Everyone knew she was clearly not in the business of massage and from here, her career never worked at all.
She was released due to “budget cuts” in 2005, so she spent less than a year with WWE. The company was said to have only hired her and put her on television so quickly due to her looks. She was one of the first Johnny Ace signings, so that should tell you something.
7. Amy Weber
Joy was not alone from the 2004 Diva Search, as contestant Amy Weber also came in from it. Amy was very beautiful but simply had no ability to work for WWE. She was signed in 2004 and appeared on WWE within weeks. She officially debuted that November, around the time Joy came in. She was part of the JBL cabinet storyline they were running at the time.
She was let go from WWE in February of 2005 over allegations of harassment by some of the other WWE talent. WWE brought in most every girl from this Diva Search simply due to looks alone and that was it. Amy has since made a name for herself in television, music, and film. However, she just didn’t work well for WWE.
6. Kelly Kelly
Possibly one of the hottest girls WWE ever had was Kelly Kelly. She came into WWE in 2006 when Johnny boy “scouted” her after seeing some of her modeling pictures. She had an athletic background and watched wrestling growing up so she jumped at the chance. She was brought in at age 19. Like so many, she was thrown onto television far too quick.
She was signed in May of 2006 and made her first televised appearance with ECW that July. She began doing “Kelly’s Expose” as her character was said to be an “exhibitionist.” You know, because it was ECW and WWE needed a hot girl to undress as often as possible.
Eventually she was joined by Brooke Adama and Layla to form the Extreme Expose. After this was over, she had rivalries off and on with several women in WWE but potentially had her best matches with Beth Phoenix. She won her first and only WWE Diva’s Championship after beating Brie Bella in 2010.
Kelly was with WWE until 2012 when she and WWE parted ways. She claimed she needed time off to heal from a neck injury and planned to model again. She wrestled a bit after her release from WWE but not much. She now is on the E! Channel for WAGS weekly.
Kelly was always known for her beauty and it is not hard for people to believe Johnny signed her only due to it. She developed into an okay performer, but was never known as a great in-ring worker during her time. She has stated in many interviews that she would love to come back to WWE for something, but nothing has happened yet.
5. Torrie Wilson
Torrie Wilson was always known for her beauty, but she had a genuine thing about her that made her very likeable too. She also was not a bad actress in her time and fans could only seem to love her.
When WCW was bought out by WWE in 2001, Torrie’s contract came with it and Vince decided to keep her. She was known most of her career as a manager or valet and even of course as WWE’s resident winner of all bikini and lingerie contests.
She is the only girl in WWE history to have graced the cover of Playboy twice in her career. Once she did so on her own again with Sable. Her looks were the main reason she was hired but her likeability kept her on.
Torrie left WWE to do physical therapy for a back injury in November of 2007 but due to never returning from it, WWE released her in May of 2008 during the “spring cleaning” period.
Torrie has had roles in television since leaving WWE but notably dated Alex Rodriquez from 2011 to 2015 which kept her relevant for years. WWE loved her and so did the fans but looks played a major role for her. No one cared at the time, as she was doing the modeling stuff while others like Trish and Lita killed it in the ring.
The problem came when WWE only had people like Torrie.
4. Stacy Keibler
Like Torrie, Stacy Keibler came over with the WCW contracts and WWE kept her on due to it. She had legs that went on for days and they made her into a star. She actually had them insured for quite a sum, which means she’s set for life with or without them.
WWE loved Stacy and so did the fans. She was not afraid to take crazy bumps and proved so when she worked with The Dudley Boyz as their manager for a while. Known as The Duchess of Dudleyville, she would distract people by exposing her butt or legs to them or take a crazy bump just because.
Whether she was kicked into a ring post, powerbombed through a table, or RKOed, Stacy was not afraid to do whatever it took to get the job done. However, she was brought in due to her look and that was it. She did her best to prove she was more than this and did perfectly, but like so many others, she could not escape the reason she was hired.
3. Eva Marie
Can you think of one thing Eva Marie has done in WWE since being hired EXCEPT be hot? That is about all she is good for, it feels like. Like many others on the list though, she was thrown into a no-win position very quick into her WWE career. She was hired by WWE and immediately thrown on WWE Total Divas. She didn’t have enough time to breathe before being pushed on to the fans.
She was good for the show, so it made sense. However, the powers that be wanted to put her on television to wrestle and she simply couldn’t do it. She absolutely sucked and her promos were lacking as well.
Several divas were said to have disliked her at the time because she was getting a role she didn’t earn or deserve, and they were 100% right. She has been training with THE Brian Kendrick and works with NXT, but WWE still makes excuses for her.
She was not good enough for the time of Amy Weber and the rest, much less is she capable of working great matches with the likes of Sasha Banks and Bayley. WWE often makes excuses for her when she screws up on TV and even tried to present her to fans as a babyface with NXT fans booing the hell out of her every single week.
She needs a lot of work before she can even come close to championship material. She still has a lot of time with her career and she could very well become a great in-ring worker. If she does not, she might only go down as a face and body for WWE and nothing more.
Sable was one of the most popular WWE Divas ever and one of the first. She was well known for going above and beyond to bring skin to WWE programming during the Attitude Era. She came in originally as a valet for Triple H, going by the Hunter Heart Helmsley “blue blood” gimmick. She was actually married to then WWE Superstar Marc Mero who wanted to bring her in with him.
WWE agreed, but she stood out far more than her husband. It truly got to him backstage as she was big in a world he dreamed of for years, and she didn’t even have to try. WWE eventually split them up on TV and even though they stayed together off screen, the marriage didn’t work out and the two filed for divorce in 2004.
Throughout her time with Marc and without, she was one of the top Divas ever, due to how she looked. She was the first of the WWE Divas to do Playboy, which ended up selling huge for the magazine and became a driving force for WWE to go back to them yearly in the 2000s.
Sable would get in the ring and actually be kind of good here and there, and she eventually won the WWE Women’s Championship.
She left the company in 1999, the same year she was in Playboy and at the height of her popularity. She left over what she claims to be sexual harassment, as WWE wanted her to go topless and she refused. She filed a $110 million lawsuit over it. Vince McMahon and Sable eventually settled out of court. She appeared in Playboy yet again that year, making her one of the few to be in the magazine twice in the same year and the first to do so in the history of Playboy.
She would return to WWE in 2003 and have various high profile roles on WWE SmackDown with Vince and Stephanie McMahon as well as Torrie Wilson. She had some of the hottest moments on television during her stint from 2003 to 2004. While she only spent a year back, she was possibly used as much or more than any other Diva. She went on to appear in Playboy for the third time, a first among WWE Divas, when she appeared in the magazine with Torrie Wilson.
While she only spent a short time back, she met Brock Lesnar during this period and the two became an item after Sable was divorced. They would eventually get married and now have three sons together. She left WWE on good terms this time around and while she has not been back since, Brock is obviously back and Sable being used might eventually happen. We can only hope.
Known as the “original diva” Sunny would become one of the top females in the pro-wrestling business during her time with WWE. She was used in various managerial roles where she was known to have been great. However, her looks allowed her to do roles with WWE Superstars that allowed for her guys to get a leg up.
WWE eventually used her in bikinis as often as possible and pretty much made her into a sex symbol in the 90s. It seemed however that Sunny did not have many skills away from the spotlight and had a great deal of anger issues, which eventually led to her removal from the WWE.
She was said to have been very jealous of Sable when she came in, as she took the spot at the top that she had. This led to several issues between the two of them. Sunny also had problems with pain killers and missed several appearances. WWE did try to remain on good terms with Sunny and she would appear off and on for WWE over the years and eventually was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
From there, the bottom fell out. She had issues with alcohol and drugs reportedly and would get DUIs as well as trespassing charges. She also violated court orders and in 2014 into 2015, she saw herself arrested several times. WWE has refused to continue to fund her rehabilitation due to her not seeming to get help or even care about what was said.
She now does Skype calls for money where she’ll do just about anything someone asks her to do on camera. She claims she does not have sex for money outside of this, but she has said to have signed a deal with VIVID Entertainment, an adult film company. This would throw her into the “adult entertainment” world, which would alienate her further from WWE.
She truly was hired only on looks and might be the greatest example of a person who had nothing much to offer outside of her physical appearance. At least with others on this list, they were able to make something of themselves during or after their WWE career. Sunny has yet to accomplish this.