When you sit down to watch WWE programming today, the Divas are portrayed as strong, sexy, powerful women. They can wrestle lengthy matches and sometimes even get two bouts on one episode of Monday Night Raw. While yes, the Divas Division can still use some improvement (just watch NXT on any given week to see what it’s lacking), it’s a far cry from the Attitude Era, where women were little more than stage props or managers to the men. The biggest “match” these women participated in typically involved an objective where one had to strip the other to her bra and panties.
Even as wrestlers like Jacqueline, Trish Stratus, and Lita redefined women’s wrestling post-Attitude Era, bad hiring decisions led to a bevy of models coming in who wouldn’t know a wristlock from an arm bar. Once again, the quality of the Divas Division dropped until enough talented women were hired that the ones who couldn’t wrestle either had to learn (like the Bella Twins) or be forced out (like countless others).
That said, today’s Divas Division isn’t free of cringe-worthy moments, even if these women are respected and get to keep their clothes on. While we’ve already written about a few embarrassing Divas moments before, here are 15 more that WWE would prefer you forgot about.
15. Fulfill Your Fantasy Battle Royal at Taboo Tuesday
Yes, you read that right. Taboo Tuesday, a Pay-Per-View, took place in 2005, not 1995, so why oh why was one match on the card the Fulfill Your Fantasy Battle Royal? The whole crux of the event was that viewers got to go online and choose the types of matches they’d see (kind of like WWE’s app before that existed), and fans picked a Women’s Championship match where the wrestlers were sporting lingerie.
Talented women like Victoria, Mickie James, and Trish Stratus fought against Candice Michelle, Maria Kanellis, and Ashley Massaro in as little clothing as possible. It very much felt like a throwback to the Attitude Era, and not in a good way. While Stratus, who was the Women’s Champion at the time, ultimately retained her title, do you really think anybody remembered this match for the wrestling? C’mon.
14. Kelly Kelly Takes It Off in ECW
Who doesn’t love a good house show? You get to see your favorite wrestlers compete without all the glitz and glamor of camera-people, a commentary team, backstage segments, and expensive TitanTron setups. It’s just about the wrestling. That said, since these aren’t recorded, nothing too crazy ever really happens. Well, except that time Kelly Kelly stripped at an ECW house show in 2006 (as a refresher, WWE purchased ECW and “revived” it).
Of course, Kelly Kelly wasn’t stripping without a reason. She was part of a bikini contest. Yes, somehow bikini contests were still a thing at this point. As mentioned, house shows have an old school feel to them, like going to a gymnasium to see a wrestling gig. Somehow watching Kelly take her clothes off and shimmy to a bunch of dudes in a dark, small building is even creepier than if she had just done it on Raw.
13. Charlotte’s Hair Falls Out
WWE seems to be on this odd long hair kick for its Divas. If you’ve noticed the likes of Charlotte, Paige, Lana, and others suddenly have longer hair, it’s not because they’re using some sort of magical growth serum. They’ve simply been asked to put in excessively long extensions.
Charlotte likely fired her hairstylist after going toe-to-toe with then-NXT Women’s Champion Sasha Banks last year. Midway through the match, Charlotte’s blonde hair started separating, floating down in messy tufts around the ring. If this had been a match on Raw, Michael Cole and JBL would have relentlessly mocked Charlotte for the incident. Given that NXT is more professional in general, everyone just moved on, but still, the match was marred by this unnecessary blemish.
12. Jackie Gayda’s Botched Match Against Trish Stratus
Do you remember Jackie Gayda? No? She was the second woman to win Tough Enough, and her heyday in WWE was between 2002 and 2005. She’s wrestled in TNA and in the independents after her stint with WWE didn’t work out. Sure, she can hold a match now, but you couldn’t say that at the beginning of her career when she had an infamous inter-gender tag team match with Christopher Nowinski and battled against Bradshaw and Trish Stratus on Raw.
Now, part of this is WWE’s fault, as Gayda obviously wasn’t ready for a match, even if she didn’t have to carry the whole thing. Stratus was shaping up considerably as a wrestler at this point, but even she couldn’t save the bout, which was a botched mess and one that Gayda never did outlive during her time in WWE.
11. Cameron Claims Her Favorite Match is Alicia Fox vs. Melina
What’s your favorite match in wrestling history? Is it Andre the Giant versus Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania III? Stone Cold versus Bret Hart at WrestleMania 13? The TLC matches? Sasha Banks versus Bayley at NXT TakeOver Brooklyn? Whatever your answer, we’re sure it’s probably a good one. Not so for Cameron during her run on Tough Enough.
Back in 2011, Tough Enough was reintroduced and hosted by Stone Cold Steve Austin and Trish Stratus. When the former Funkadactyl was asked what her favorite match is by Austin, she proudly answered Alicia Fox versus Melina. Wait, what? Stone Cold reacted the way that we all did when we saw it, absolutely incredulously. He also had no idea who Alicia Fox and Melina are.
10. Snitsky Punts Lita’s Fake Baby
Lita is often regarded as one of the greatest women’s wrestlers of all time, but her career was not without its very weird moments. We all know that she cheated on her real-life boyfriend Matt Hardy with Edge (more on them later), but on-screen, she had entanglements just as baffling. Lita became “pregnant” with Kane’s child and was forced into marrying him when Hardy lost a “Till Death Do Us Part” battle in which the victor won Lita’s hand in marriage.
But wait, it gets better! Lita later “miscarried.” To add insult to injury, Gene Snitksy, who Kane was feuding with at the time, later took a fake baby and punted it into the crowd to represent her unborn child. Pregnancy storylines never work well in WWE because the writers often don’t have an endgame. Someone is either going to miscarry or give birth to a hand (remember that?), and both are equally awkward.
9. Snooki Has a Match at WrestleMania XXVII
For as long as WWE has needed ratings, the company has invited celebrity guests to make an appearance. Most of the time, these appearances are at the big shows like WrestleMania. From the days of Cyndi Lauper to Drew Carey to… Snooki? Yes, that’s right. Back in 2011, Jersey Shore was still a big deal, so WWE staff must have patted each other on the backs for landing Snooki on WrestleMania XXVII.
While most of the celebrities that appear on WWE programming tend to have little tussles with the wrestlers, Snooki had a whole match. Not only that, but it was a random pairing of her with Trish Stratus and John Morrison against Dolph Ziggler and LayCool (Layla and Michelle McCool). To make matters worse, Morrison’s girlfriend Melina (she of Cameron fame) was jealous that Stratus was wrestling instead of her, so Morrison gave the Canadian bombshell a wide berth.
8. “I Wish You Died in the Womb!”
WWE’s Divas class of 2008 also includes the Bella Twins, Nikki and Brie. After nearly a decade of Twin Magic, a feud between the two sisters seemed inevitable. It finally happened the summer of 2014. Although there were some embarrassing moments, like Nikki complaining about grievances related to Brie so minor that they were inconsequential, and oh yeah, when Nikki made Brie her slave, those pale in comparison to the Bellas’ god-awful mic work.
The girls had starred on Total Divas for a year at that point, so you would think that they would be comfortable talking in front of a camera. Not so much. Whether they just feel like they need to get into character, their overacting brought us the beautiful and cringe-worthy exclamation from Nikki that she wished Brie had “died in the womb!” Stephanie McMahon was involved in the feud. As a natural mic professional, Vince’s daughter just made the Bellas look that much worse.
7. Alicia Fox’s Psycho Phase
Having been signed to WWE since 2006 and debuting in 2008, Alicia Fox has almost been with the company for 10 years. For the career of a Diva, that’s a lifetime. However, to say that she’s done anything relevant in the past few years besides star in Total Divas is an understatement. Fox never really had a character (besides when she was a wedding planner when she debuted), so she just kind of coasted along.
In 2014, Fox got a small push. Her character now had a serious attitude, which on its own isn’t bad. When she lost, she’d have meltdowns, attacking crew members around her and destroying anything she could get her hands on. It was actually very entertaining to watch, until it just abruptly stopped and Fox went back to normal. Her crazy period was never mentioned again.
6. Miss Kitty Shows the Goods
Back in the Attitude Era, sex appeal was what drove up ratings, and with WWE engaged in a ratings war with WCW, writers often had the women stripping down to pretty much nothing on a weekly basis. Thongs were the norm, but if any of the women were topless at any point, they had to cover themselves up. Playboy Magazine had already courted Sable, who posed in the buff, and other women would follow in her footsteps until WWE became more PG. Otherwise, no one was ever fully naked.
Well, except for Miss Kitty, also known as the Kat. She was already in a weird storyline as Chyna’s mini-me (complete with a “slave” shirt that went with Chyna’s matching “master” tee), and she promised the world that if she won the Evening Gown Pool Match (ugh) at 1999’s Armageddon that she would strip. She did pull her top off before being quickly covered in towels. Sorry, no video for this one, but it is out there in its full glory.
5. Stone Cold Rips off Stephanie McMahon’s Shirt
Most people tend to prefer to remember Stone Cold Steve Austin and Vince McMahon as mortal enemies. However, their feud ended and eventually Austin even aligned with McMahon when he bought WCW. The Texas Rattlesnake became the leader of WCW group the Alliance even though his own stint in WCW had been short and he had been ruthlessly fired.
Of the rest of the McMahon family, Austin only spared Linda from any torment. He had no problems harassing Shane and Stephanie, but that still makes this segment out-of-character. Stone Cold was never portrayed as sexual, yet as Stephanie came down to the ring, she was coerced into wearing a beer vendor’s container. Austin eventually implores her to remove it, and when he takes it off for her, he yanks her shirt right along with it. While Stone Cold was trying to “embarrass” Stephanie, it seems more like he has a crush on her.
4. Lita Exposed During The Live Celebration
We’ve already mentioned how once upon a time, Matt Hardy and Lita were dating both off-screen and on-screen. Hardy and Edge were also really friends. When an injury took Hardy out of the picture though, Edge hooked up with Lita. At first, when the story broke, Hardy was fired, then Vince McMahon decided to rehire him and use the whole situation as the basis for a storyline.
As if that wasn’t uncomfortable enough, the raunchy Edge and Lita promised the WWE Universe a lewd live sex show. Yes, they were going to have sex on Raw. After weeks of buildup, there was a bed placed in the middle of the ring. The two stripped down to their undies and rustled under the covers. Lita may have forgotten that she was in front of thousands of people since she actually took her bra off, momentarily exposing her one breast if you were to pause the TV at just the right second. It’s not like we believed Edge and Lita would really have sex on air, but jeez. Poor Matt Hardy.
3. Sunny Gets Naughty with Elmo
These days, former WWE Diva and Hall of Famer Sunny is best-known for her questionable life choices and her ability to fly off the handle and make incendiary Twitter comments about WWE’s current talent. That said, back in the mid-1990s, she was the woman in the WWE. It took a while before she was usurped by Sable, but Sunny was the archetype for what a woman in the Attitude Era was: sexy, flirty, seductive, and not afraid to use her feminine wiles to get what she wanted.
We’re sure that back then, Sunny could have gotten any man on the planet. That makes it all the stranger that she was in bed with a dude dressed in an Elmo costume. Yes, like Elmo from Sesame Street. As this segment starts, Sunny’s in bed with a Tickle Me Elmo (ugh, the connotations), claiming that the hottest woman in WWE should get the hottest toy. Then a man dressed like Elmo in a black leather thong who calls himself “Fondle Me Elmo” and talks just like the puppet gets down to business with her. Yeah…
2. Vickie Guerrero Fat Jokes
First, by no means were the fat jokes just limited to Vickie Guerrero. LayCool nicknamed Mickie James “Piggy James” in one segment because the Diva supposedly had a few extra pounds to lose (but really, she didn’t). However, Vickie, the late wife of Eddie Guerrero, was never a wrestler. She never trained and dieted the way they do. She did have a TV role, and she did lose weight over the years, but the fat jokes never stopped.
Anyone who could poke fun at Guerrero’s weight did, but in this particular segment, it’s John Cena, who is supposed to be a role model for millions of kids the world over. That’s not necessarily vilifying Cena, because as mentioned, he was far from the only one who targeted Vickie. She always took it in stride, but it’s unfortunate that Vince McMahon would still approve writing that includes fat-shaming.
1. Team PCB Is Originally Named After an Adult Site
The Divas Revolution, when it was first announced, seemed so promising, even though we think that these days, WWE would prefer that it never happened. The Divas roster, who had no previous alliances with one another (with the obvious exception of the Bella Twins), joined together into three teams. Team Bella was Nikki and Brie with Alicia Fox. Team B.A.D. consisted of Sasha Banks, Tamina, and Naomi. The Submission Sorority included Paige, Charlotte, and Becky Lynch.
Oh wait, you mean that’s not their name? Nope, but for one night, the trio better known as Team PCB was indeed called the Submission Sorority. On its surface, the name makes sense, since the women are known for beating other Divas into submission. So why the fast name swap? Well, because WWE found out too late that Submission Sorority is an adult site. In a world where you can speak to your phone to search for something, that is absolutely inexcusable.