The state of professional wrestling in North America changed forever in the middle of the 1990s. It was during those years when the World Wrestling Federation and World Championship Wrestling were engaged in the “Monday Night Wars,” and the WWF, in an attempt to spark the “Attitude Era” and drive up the company’s ratings for programs such as Monday Night Raw, turned female performers into “Divas.” The impacts from that decision can be seen in World Wrestling Entertainment programming to this day, as Divas are required to be talented inside of the ring along with being models and actresses.
Some of the original WWF Divas became the more-popular performers in all of the company, due in part to the growth of the technological marvel known as the Internet. Sunny, seen by some as the original WWF Diva, became an international superstar during her first brief stint in the company. Sable, on the other hand, had a successful and tumultuous run with the WWF that ended with her suing the company, but those harsh feelings did not prevent her from making a return to the WWE. It was during that second run when she linked up with and eventually married Brock Lesnar.
Not all WWE Divas who have worked underneath the company’s umbrella made lasting impressions that have kept them fresh in the memories of wrestling fans. Some were seemingly gone from the WWE almost as quickly as they ascended from the main roster. Others did so little during their runs that one would have to look up their names to remember what it was that they did while with the WWE. The woman who sits atop this list originally obtained her gig because of her stunning good looks, but she also did well to earn her keep in the WWE by improving as an in-ring worker who was rather underrated during her time with the company.
Unless you are a WWE viewer who also actively follows Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, your mind has probably erased memories of Tiffany and instead filled that space with useful information. Perhaps the best run that (real name) Taryn Terrell enjoyed while with the WWE was when she served as the general manager of the Extreme Championship Wrestling Brand. She was rather easy on the eyes, and her wooden deliveries of promos made for unintentional comedy that fans looked forward to each and every week that ECW programming aired on television. Terrell has, to her credit, found personal successes working for TNA
Savanna, real name Angela Fong, deserves credit for doing just about all that she could to make her dreams come true and become a true WWE Diva. She tried out for a Diva Search competition but failed to qualify for the finals. She went through developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling and she also did whatever was asked for her as it pertained to on-air roles on the ECW brand. She was also briefly part of the NXT team, but that was where her run with the company ended. Fong did not give up the ship following that letdown, however, as she has worked on the independents and also for Lucha Underground.
There are some diehard fans of the industry out there who would claim that Maxine does not deserve to be featured on this list because of the fact that she was never technically a WWE Diva. Maxine spent several years in FCW without ever earning a call-up to the company’s main roster, and the wrestler who also played the role of the manager attempted a second go at it as in-ring performer while with NXT. She never saw her day in the sun while with the WWE, however, and she asked for and received her release in the summer of 2012. Her wrestling career has continued, however, as Maxine has spent time with TNA Wrestling and with Lucha Underground.
7. Rochelle Loewen
Loewen was one of several women performers who were given a shot by the WWE during a time when scouts for the company were more so looking for models than the organization was searching for females who had athletic backgrounds. She would go on to be just one of several such women who would fail to find success with the WWE, and Loewen made sporadic and forgettable appearances during televised broadcasts. Outside of the world of pro wrestling, Loewen spent time as a player in the Lingerie Football League and also as a radio and television broadcaster up north in Canada.
6. Ryan Shamrock
Alicia Webb made her WWF television debut in January 1999 as Ryan Shamrock, the kayfabe sister of former Ultimate Fighting Championship champion and then current WWF superstar Ken Shamrock. She would be gone from the company in less than a year, but Webb did play a role in a storyline that grew into one that prevented the WWF from losing steam to WCW in the “Monday Night Wars.” The Shamrock character became a target for the Undertaker and his on-air disciples, and those segments would prove to be the early days of the successful “Ministry of Darkness” angles.
5. Joy Giovanni
Giovanni did not earn her spot on the roster through the 2004 edition of the WWE Diva Search competition, but the company nevertheless offered the model a contract. There were hopes that Giovanni could improve and become an adequate performer in the company, and the company made her the 2005 Rookie Diva of the Year Award. She would not survive with the company through the summer of that same year for budgetary reasons, however, although she did receive one last call-up from the WWE when she participated in the women’s battle royal at WrestleMania XXV.
4. Amy Weber
Those of you who may have taken a break from pro wrestling back in the fall of 2004 may have no idea who Amy Weber was as a WWE Diva. She entered the company’s main roster as a heel and part of “The Cabinet” faction that was run in storyline by John “Bradshaw” Layfield. She did not even make it to a first ever WrestleMania payday, however, as she resigned from the company in February 2005 following alleged incidents of harassment. One of those moments may or may not have had something to do with Randy Orton, although what exactly happened with that incident has not been confirmed to have been true.
Cherry was arguably the stand-out star of tag team act “The Throwbacks” which eventually became the duo of “Deuce n’ Domino.” Yes, a group of individuals dressing and speaking as if they were in the 1950s during the 2000s is a ridiculous concept, on paper, but it somehow worked out during those editions of SmackDown. The beginning of the end of her WWE run kicked off when she split from the team, and there was little chance that the character was going to get over on its own. She, in fact, became an afterthought in the company, and she was last seen as a member of the WWE in August 2008.
Have you not yet forgotten about Askana? That is likely only because her run with the WWE did not end all that long ago. Give it time, because she did not achieve much success while with the company. Aksana was thrust into multiple storylines when she made her main roster debut in August 2011, and none of them got her over with the fans outside of the occasional chuckle. It did not help that she was not all that great of an in-ring worker. The company cut ties with Aksana and others in June of 2014, and she has not since appeared with the company. I would not hold by breath waiting for an Aksana return.
1. Candice Michelle
There was a time when Candice Michelle was, no disrespect meant to the former actress, a lackluster in-ring performer at best and an awful wrestler at absolute worst. She kept at it during practice sessions and matches on the road, and Michelle eventually evolved into one of the better Divas on the roster when she was with the company in 2007. Injuries slowed her run in WWE down, however, and she was dealt from the Raw to SmackDown rosters while not being on camera during television broadcasts. Michelle, said by some to be potentially the next Trish Stratus, moved on from the company in 2009, and the former Women’s Champion next reached such heights with the WWE.
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