Especially in times of revolution, it can be hard to remember every person who passes through the halls of World Wrestling Entertainment. It doesn’t even matter if those people happen to be shockingly beautiful, possibly because time can only cause that beauty to fade. Women in wrestling are typically hired for one of two reasons, and until recently, being beautiful was arguably far more important to Vince McMahon’s hiring practices than any particular wrestling talents. Although the true winds of women’s revolution only recently began to blow, there have always been more female superstars than wrestling fans have been able to pay attention to at once, and now that the genre is truly exploding, many performers have found their legacies falling through the cracks.
To be entirely honest, working for Vince McMahon alone doesn’t necessarily mean these women did anything particularly noteworthy during their careers in WWE or otherwise. Plenty of them weren’t memorable whatsoever, although at times this was as much Vince’s fault as it was that of the superstars. On the other hand, many of these ladies proved they had plenty to offer by impressing fans while working for other companies, yet another of the many examples that Vince doesn’t always get it right on the first try. In fact, had the right woman been given the opportunity to succeed at the right time, maybe the whole revolution could’ve started years or even decades earlier. To see who failed to set the spark of change, keep reading and join us in remembering 15 gorgeous female wrestlers you forgot once worked for Vince McMahon.
15 Ryan Shamrock
Awkwardly pretending to be the sister of the man she was dating, Ryan Shamrock made her WWE debut in 1999 to work an angle as Ken Shamrock’s younger sibling. Her main storyline was making her brother jealous, intentionally or not, by hooking up with wrestlers he had beefs with, namely Val Venis, Goldust, and Billy Gunn. Possibly because Ken and Ryan were actually dating at the time, the whole affair never quite clicked, and was rife with nonstop awkward moments. She did have one particularly memorable moment when The Undertaker crucified her on his symbol, though that was largely eclipsed by him doing the same to Steve Austin and Stephanie McMahon in subsequent weeks. Once the controversial high profile angles faded, Shamrock was relegated to the Pretty Mean Sisters, a quasi-offensive group of bitter, angry women led by Terri Runnels. Shortly after her PMS went away, she tried her hand in WCW and TNA as Symphony and Aleesha respectively, and later earned greater fame in Mexico than she ever did in America as the manager of X-Pac.
Smiling her way through dozens of over enunciated words, Taryn Terrell made her official WWE Universe debut as the assistant to ECW General Manager Theodore Long in 2008 using the name Tiffany. The next year, Long was promoted to SmackDown and Tiffany usurped the tenuous title that would make her the final ECW authority figure. And we mean that literally, as Vince McMahon made the decision to fold the brand under her rule. With ECW gone for good, Tiffany was likewise promoted to SmackDown and began teaming with Kelly Kelly against the bullies in LayCool. This, too, wasn’t to last, however, although this time it was directly Tiffany’s fault. She was released from WWE in November 2010, three months after allegedly starting a domestic incident with her husband Drew Galloway. Reverting to her real name, Terrell then jumped to TNA where she held the Knockouts Championship for record time. She decided to leave wrestling altogether in November 2015 for religious reasons, believing the industry led her to “a life of sin.”
13 Krissy Vaine
Predicting a later career on the Home Shopping Network, Krissy Vaine made her wrestling and promotional debut as a manager named Special K in the summer of 2000. She gradually transitioned into a wrestling role, adopting the new name Krissy Vaine and forming a team called Team Blondage with Amber O’Neal (later Gallows). Vaine and O’Neal tried unsuccessfully to get into WWE for years, instead wrestling for indy promotions around the country until Vaine alone signed a deal in 2006. She spent two years in developmental promotions DSW and FCW, where she met her future husband, Konnor, and then debuted in the WWE Universe on a late 2007 episode of SmackDown. She attacked Torrie Wilson and had a short segment with then SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero, only to disappear from the business almost entirely the next week of her own request. Her husband momentarily left with her, citing family related health issues. While her husband eventually made a full time return to the sport, Vaine only briefly returned to compete in a few matches on the independent scene before retiring entirely in 2011.
Uniquely revealing ring gear notwithstanding (and pictured above), Trinity did next to nothing to make herself stand out during her few months with WWE. She made her pro debut in 2002 and spent the next couple years honing her skills in CHIKARA, the NWA, and Queens of Chaos, catching the attention of a nascent Total Nonstop Action and getting hired to be Kid Kash’s valet. The alliance with Kash made her the first woman in NWA history to challenge for a men’s title when she vied for his X Division Championship, and yet her real skill in the business seemed to be managing stereotypical Italian guidos. In TNA, it was the New York Connection, and her main role in WWE was managing The F.B.I. during the ECW revival. She also competed in a handful of matches against women like Jazz and Michelle McCool, albeit generally in losing efforts. Outside of a one night only return to TNA, Trinity has mostly been out of the business since 2008.
11 Carmella DeCesare
The first televised Diva Search was such a mess it remains confusing that WWE decided to keep the experiment going another three years. To be fair to WWE, a big part of the problem with the 2004 was the involvement of a gorgeous former Playboy centerfold named Carmella DeCesare. Easy on the eyes though she was, there was clearly something going on backstage with Carmella that the rest of the world was unaware of, explosively revealed on a segment called “Diss The Divas,” which aired live on Raw. The idea was for the ladies to cut promos on one another, but WWE never could have expected they’d be so vicious to one another when they did. Carmella got the worst of it, suffering an insult about her “gap,” getting told that “having a c*** in [her] mouth had nothing to do with wrestling,” and then in exact words was called “a c*m-guzzling gutter sl*t” by the woman who went on to win the competition. Amazingly, Vince still hired Carmella for a full-time job after all of this, though she was released only a few weeks after accepting it.
Always and forever the one true Queen of Extreme, Francine spent the vast majority of her mainstream wrestling career working for the original ECW as run by Paul Heyman. She debuted in 1995 as a Stevie Richards fan girl, soon engaging in a feud with Beulah McGillicutty and then turning on Stevie to manage The Pitbulls. Francine was even more successful with her next client, Shane Douglas, who started the trend of her managing more ECW Champions longer than any other performer, mostly due to Douglas but also with some help from Justin Credible. After ECW went out of business, Francine made a few appearances in TNA, but mostly faded from the spotlight until WWE produced ECW One Night Stand in 2005. Francine made her return to attack old friend and foe Tommy Dreamer, later signing with WWE to resume her ECW career when the brand was revived on Syfy. Francine even wrestled her first official match for WWE, as she wrestled Ariel Thorn in a catfight. That’s about all she did, though, getting released from the company only a month later.
9 Brooke Tessmacher
While she was one of the women to truly define what it meant to be a TNA Knockout, Brooke Tessmacher’s time in WWE was extremely short and without any notable incidents. She started her career in wrestling transitioning from modeling and competing in the 2006 Diva Search, although she didn’t even make it to television. She was, however, given the opportunity to work at the developmental territory Deep South Wrestling, which she did for a few months before getting called up to compete on the ECW brand. She debuted as a member of Kelly Kelly’s Extreme Exposé, chasing after the affections of seemingly polar opposite men like The Miz and Balls Mahoney. She wrestled one match on Raw in late October, the typical Halloween battle royal where the women all wore sexy costumes, but she was eliminated very quickly and was fired two days later. Three years later, she rematerialized in TNA as Eric Bischoff’s secretary Ms. Tessmacher, going on to win the TNA Knockouts Championship three times.
8 Mad Maxine
You probably don’t even really need to know what the “Rock and Wrestling Connection” was to understand Mad Maxine represented everything the era was about in her look alone. Dwarfing her trainer/manager The Fabulous Moolah even before you consider her wild green Mohawk, Mad Maxine was supposed to be the main heel in women’s wrestling throughout the ‘80s until Moolah’s infamous meddling came to play. The full story is a little hazy to this day, but many people believe Moolah realized how popular the Hulk Hogan’s Rock and Wrestling cartoon was going to be and decided Maxine wasn’t ready, so she’d get to take her place. This also meant taking Maxine’s place in the ring and basically icing her out of the company after she had only wrestled two or three matches on television. While Maxine herself has always claimed to simply grow tired with the business, the fact she returned to the ring for other companies only a year later has always made that dubious. Also, the sheer potential she exuded by look alone was more than enough for fans to forever wonder “what if?”
Not without controversy, Linda Miles made her WWE debut by winning the second season of Tough Enough in 2002. Though all press and the first season implied the show would have one male and one female winner, that year, Miles won alongside Jackie Gayda, another woman who could’ve made this list if not for wrestling one of the worst matches in Raw history. Miles doesn’t even have the benefit of a memorable mistake, barely participating in her few tag matches with women like Trish Stratus, Ivory, and Molly Holly, though she did find some success after reinventing herself as a dominatrix manager named Shaniqua. Shaniqua was memorable for her uniquely alluring look alone, and though she didn’t add much on the microphone, she often helped her clients The Basham Brothers by interfering in matches and becoming a more physical presence than average female wrestlers of the era. Shaniqua’s assistance lead The Bashams to a reign as WWE Tag Team Champions, but for whatever reason, Shaniqua was released from her contract never to return shortly after her team lost the belts.
The other, other woman in D-Generation X, Tori actually made her wrestling debut as Scotty the Body’s valet in 1988. After a decade honing her craft and traveling the world, Tori debuted for WWE in 1998 as a deranged Sable fan. She later unsuccessfully feuded with Ivory over the WWE Women’s Championship, leading to one of the first hardcore women’s matches in company history. She then hit pay dirt as X-Pac’s valet, making her a de facto member of DX. Tori was also integral in the high profile angle surrounding X-Pac’s friendship with Kane, where it was her love that first humanized the beast only to revive the monster when she rejected him. X-Pac eventually turned on Tori and her career went full circle, managing Scott the Body once more, though he had since changed his name to Raven. She assisted him in retaining the Hardcore Championship throughout early 2001, briefly trained on Tough Enough, and left the business in 2001.
5 Malia Hosaka
Ironically considering the nature of this list, Vince McMahon’s biggest mistake with Malia Hosaka was presuming people wouldn’t know who she was. Because her time in WWE was spectacularly unmemorable, she’s more or less been forgotten today, but things were different in 1999 when she made her WWE debut. Hosaka was fresh off a run as one of the few women to earn long term employment in WCW, wrestling women like Akira Hokuto and Madusa over the WCW Women’s Championship. Hosaka also had experience in the early days of ECW, and albeit for only one day, she even reigned as the NWA Women’s Champion. An undercard role in also-ran companies doesn’t mean much in 2016, but in 1999, it meant a good deal of wrestling fans was familiar enough with her work that Vince’s idea to make her a nameless fan in the crowd was totally dead on arrival. Allegedly, Vince intended to make Hosaka a female Rocky Balboa, but when that failed she merely served as Taka Michinoku’s valet for a few weeks until she decided to return to companies that at least acknowledged who she was.
4 Maria Kanellis
A lifetime of competing in beauty pageants made Maria Kanellis a natural fit for the 2004 Diva Search, and yet she was unable to win the contest, placing in fifth and losing to Christy Hemme. She was signed to train at Ohio Valley Wrestling anyway, and soon re-debuted on Raw as a ditzy and often humorous interviewer and the host of the Kiss Cam. She occasionally wrestled throughout this time, but was mostly remembered for her comedic persona, leading to a clumsy and uncoordinated presence in the ring. Though an appearance in Playboy and a run as a contestant on The Celebrity Apprentice would boost her profile at varying points throughout her career, Maria was released from WWE without ever winning a championship in 2011. Shortly after her release, Maria met independent wrestler Mike Bennett and the two started dating and later wed, meanwhile reinvigorating Maria’s career as she turned into a vain heel managing her husband. The two became top names in Ring of Honor, New Japan Pro Wrestling, and Total Nonstop Action, where Maria would finally win her first wrestling title as TNA Knockouts Champion, something she probably never would have done had she only worked for Vince McMahon.
3 Dawn Marie
Though she claims to have been a fan of Bob Backlund and Roddy Piper from her childhood, Dawn Marie decided to enter wrestling basically as a joke, first managing Tony Atlas for some forgotten indy promotion. Lucky for Dawn and her fans, the joke turned out to be pretty funny, and it only got better when she joined ECW in 1998, and her clumsy valley girl character linked up with the aloofly serious Lance Storm. Her highest profile angle in WWE was an entirely different sort of comedy, though, and possibly one only enjoyed by insane billionaires named Vince McMahon. It started out decently enough, with Dawn debuted as Vince’s secretary. Vince was getting ready to move off screen, though, so Dawn moved her now manipulative interests to Torrie Wilson. To get under Torrie’s skin, Dawn decided to let Torrie’s father get under hers, as it were, marrying the septuagenarian and literally having sex with him until he died on their honeymoon. Dawn was involved in a handful of other angles, but this is the one most people remember, so there’s no surprise her career hasn’t been highly publicized. There’s also the fact WWE fired her when she was pregnant, and her decision to sue for wrongful termination has left her ostensibly blackballed from the company.
Suddenly switching gears after receiving an education in criminology, Karlee Perez signed a contract with WWE developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling in 2009. She debuted as a character named The Candy Girl, soon changing her name to Liviana, and then settling on Maxine by the time FCW morphed into NXT. Maxine stood out as a conniving and manipulative heel during her time on the brand, allegedly also giving constant suggestions to management on how to better use her character. This may have come to her detriment when WWE allegedly stole one of her ideas and gave it to Aksana, and then forced her to switch up her own gimmick and come up with something new. Annoyed by this sort of treatment, Maxine quit WWE in 2012 without even appearing on the main roster. She has since shown up in Lucha Underground as the mysterious and sultry Catrina, with her each passing appearance making it more and more evident it was a huge mistake for Vince McMahon to let her go.
1 Missy Hyatt
Considering she would later become one of the first true icons of women in wrestling, the most surprising thing about Missy Hyatt’s brief time working for Vince McMahon is that it didn’t work out in the slightest. Missy was only a regional star in the UWF when Vince contacted her about jumping to WWE, wanting her to become the female face of his product and replace Piper’s Pit. The two of them worked together to create a segment called Missy’s Manor, interviewing legends like Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Harley Race, and Jimmy Hart, but for some reason Missy simply never clicked with any of the wrestlers, and the segments have since been labeled a “disaster.” They never made the air, and Missy left when Vince tried to demote her to a ring girl, a role she thought was beneath her talents. She went on to prove what she meant by signing with WCW, eventually engaging in a landmark feud against Paul E. Dangerously and Madusa. She was equally infamous for suing WCW over sexual harassment when she was fired a few years later, though it hardly affected her career, the rest of which she spent in ECW and on the independent scene, never returning to McMahon.
Sources: WWE, Wikipedia