The excellent book Sisterhood of the Squared Circle discusses the long struggle women have had in wrestling. From treated as almost slave labor to the top of their game, women have long fought for success, to be taken seriously and be treated well. It’s not always been easy, far too many judged on just their looks than their real talents and too many pushed just for looking hot. However, it’s not helped by how some ladies are put through some seriously bad stuff. Wendi Richter’s time on top in WWE was ruined by a double-cross that made Montreal look nice. Other ladies have been treated poorly, leading to bad exits and bad blood. For every success story, there are other horrors and too many ladies have had to put up with bad stuff in the ring.
It’s not just stuff that’s disturbing or bad, but stuff just plain damn dumb. WWE is naturally the largest culprit with so many hot ladies about. But WCW had its share of bad times for ladies too. TNA also seems to be going out of their way to treat their once strong Knockouts division with some frankly stupid stuff. It’s not bad matches, more crazy angles, moments and more that make these women look foolish. Here are 15 of the dumbest things hot women in wrestling have had to endure and how, despite all their progress, there’s still the potential to ruin them too much.
15 The Lockbox Challenge
When the TNA Knockouts division started, it was truly top notch, an emphasis on great wrestling over “diva” like antics. Sadly, this ended when Vince Russo took more power and soon putting the Knockouts through some hard times. The topper has to be this gem, one of those ridiculously over-convoluted ideas Russo loves yet still stunning. Try to follow this one: The Beautiful People, ODB, Daffney, Tara, Hamada, Madison Rayne and Lacey Von Erich fought it out in a truly terrible match. At one point, Lacey did a moonsault, landed on her feet then fell down. The rules seemed to make no sense, someone eliminated yet somehow that meant the person making the pin also had to leave the ring and the women trying to grab keys to open up four lockboxes.
Oh and that’s where things get really dumb. First, Velvet gets an open invitation to a match of any type she wants (which she’d use for a “Leather or Lace” battle with Angelina). Tara (the titleholder) was happy her box contained her pet tarantula. Angelina opened hers to “win” the Knockouts title. And Daffney opened hers to show she had to do a strip tease in the ring. She was interrupted by Lacey who stripped as Angelina and Tara brawled it out. Totally stupid for all these women and how Russo’s mind can be too complex for its own good.
14 Sable Wins Match But Loses Belt
Hands down, the lowest point for the WWE Women’s title. When the belt was reactivated in 1998, it was thanks to how the “Divas” of WWE were rising up. Leading the charge was Rena Mero, better known as Sable. The stunning blonde in leather outfits took fans by storm with her attitude and showing off, including a Playboy spread. But behind the scenes, Sable’s ego was starting to get out of control. She’s even admitted to listening to the wrong people and not ready for the fame. She started holding out for more money and causing a major fuss.
To send a message, WWE had Sable and Debra go at it in an evening gown match, meaning to win, you peeled the other person’s gown off. Sable managed to do it, leaving Debra in just bra and panties. However, then-Commissioner Shawn Michaels declared that because Debra looked so great in her underwear, she was the winner and new champion. Sable soon left and hit WWE with a major lawsuit although, amazingly, she later returned in 2003. Still, to cheapen the belt like this was dumb and sad both ladies had to be involved.
13 Farting Natalya
Sometimes, you have to wonder what goes through the minds of WWE’s creative staff. From her debut, Natalya was pushed as a fantastic worker, top notch in the ring, tough and strong and beautiful as well. She and Beth Phoenix were teamed as a power duo and it looked like she was ready for more of a rise. During a promo, the mics clearly caught Nattie passing gas, an embarrassing moment. But rather than let it just die out, the writers suddenly turned it into her character, farting at inappropriate moments. They even had farting sounds dubbed in for her matches with opponents reacting badly, ruining her attempts to pick up guys and causing Hornswoggle to “pass out” after a release. To saddle a worker as great at Natalya with such a stupid idea was just amazing. Thankfully, she’s bounced back as a top worker in NXT and the main roster but this was one character trait fans loved to dump on.
12 Angelina Love Brainwashed
TNA was in a rough spot in 2010 with the influence of Vince Russo hurting the Knockouts. A key example is this bad storyline. It started with Angelina Love spotting a “fan” called Winter in her mirror but other people saying they couldn’t see her (even though the cameras and audience could). Calling herself Winter, the woman came to help Love with the Knockouts tag team titles when Velvet Sky was injured. Soon, vignettes showed Winter giving Love “special drinks” clearly laced with drugs and soothingly talking to her. She was soon brainwashing Love, preventing her from saving Sky from an attack. Soon, she was leaning on Winter totally, seemingly giving up control and “understanding” Winter, who boasted of Love as her slave. It was disturbing as Love helped Winter win the Knockouts title and kept on fighting.
But like so many storylines in TNA, the ending was truly abrupt when Winter was cut and Love injured. So when Love returned, the entire thing was dropped with her and Sky reuniting and TNA making no mention of the months of Love as a brainwashed slave. No wonder it’s so easy to mock this company.
11 Torrie Wilson, Dawn Marie And Al
Amazing as it sounds, WWE spent nine months on this insane angle. Torrie Wilson was a stunning knockout blonde well over for her looks. Dawn Marie was known for her fame in ECW and a great sexy presence in her own right. The two began a feud with Dawn Marie wanting to hit Torrie badly. So she went out to seduce Torrie’s “dad” Al Wilson. For weeks, videos played of the two dating, going into hotels and other bits to drive Torrie nuts. The bits of them in bed were disturbing and then crazier with Dawn Marie making out with Torrie and even hinting of a threesome.
It built up to a wedding between Dawn Marie and Al and then the revelation of Al “dying” of a heart attack on their wedding night. This was hardly a great time for women in WWE and that so much time was wasted on this stupid angle remains astounding.
10 Lita And Snitsky
Pregnancy angles in wrestling never end well and here’s a prime example. In an already crazy angle, Lita was forced into a “black wedding” with Kane despite being known to be with Matt Hardy at the time. Soon, Lita was forced to acknowledge that she was pregnant by the “demon” and worried about it as she was pushed into a feud with Trish Stratus. Meanwhile, Kane was battling the nutty Snitsky, a massive muscle man. During a match, Lita took a bump off the apron and was explained to have suffered a miscarriage.
That was bad enough but then Snitsky started moaning on “it’s not my fault” which somehow became his catchphrase. He then took to the ring holding a baby doll, doing a promo and then kicking the doll into the crowd in a truly crass move. Bad enough? How about Lita then turning heel on Kane leading to her openly thanking Snitsky for making her lose her child and making out with him on camera? Stupid on so many levels and Lita didn’t deserve to be put through it.
9 Trish Barking
It’s almost funny to look back at the early Trish Stratus. Before she became one of the best female wrestlers around, Trish was into just being eye candy, albeit great one. She was a stunningly stacked blonde with an affinity for loose clothes and cowboy hats and surprisingly tough like taking a Dudley power bomb through a table. In late 2000, she and Vince McMahon began an on-air relationship which included making out before a “comatose” Linda McMahon in some disgusting segments. But involving with the wild Vince is never a good idea and Trish learned that the hard way.
Thinking she was working against him, Vince dragged Trish into the ring and verbally berated her. He then demanded she strip down to her bra and panties, made her get down on all fours and bark like a dog. As the topper, she had a dirty mop shoved in her face by Stephanie. Trish did get revenge on Vince at WrestleMania but it was a disturbing moment to say the least. That she would transform into the best female worker on the roster after that is just astounding.
8 Beautiful People And “Sarah Palin”
This is nuts even by TNA’s standards. When Sarah Palin came to fame, the Beautiful People (Velvet Sky and Angelina Love) pushed for her to be invited to TNA. They extended an invite, eagerly awaiting as out came a limo to reveal…a woman (actually Daffney) in a red dress, tight bunned hair and glasses. Yet somehow, Love and Sky seemed to believe this was Palin and started worshipping her. For the next month, the Governor (as they called her) showed up to do a very bad Palin impression as Love and Sky boasted of how they were going to the White House with her and only Kip James seeming to know something was off.
This led to the Governor taking them through challenges to prove they could join her cabinet, including falling in manure at a farm and other bits. This kept up despite how the election happened and everyone with a brain knew there was no way Palin was going to the White House outside of a tour. Finally, the Beautiful People were ready for their grand joining of the Cabinet only for Taylor Wilde and Roxxi to interrupt, explain this wasn’t the real Palin and this was all payback on the duo’s antics. They were then covered in mud. Amazingly, “The Governor” was kept as a character for a bit before reverting to Daffney but showcases how even the Beautiful People couldn’t avoid an ugly angle.
7 Bella Twins: Their Feud
For two very hot ladies, their actual feud was pretty damn ugly. For years, Brie and Nikki Bella were known for their very sexy style and amazing looks. The reality show Total Divas pushed them up more thanks to their wild antics and they improved in the ring. In 2014, Brie started clashing with Stephanie McMahon, standing up for boyfriend Daniel Bryan. This led to a match at SummerSlam where Nikki suddenly turned on her sister. This led to Nikki accusing Brie of always being jealous of her and their promos turned ugly. The worst had to be when Brie openly snapped she wished Nikki “had died in the womb.” An appearance by Jerry Springer just sealed how dumb this was with Brie forced to be Nikki’s “servant” for 30 days.
Amazingly, it was to continue for a while but for once, WWE realized the fan reaction was not as hoped. So with no warning, at Survivor Series, Brie kissed AJ Lee, allowing Nikki to win the Divas title. Even the Bellas didn’t know this was coming but that it even got this far was dumb.
6 Christy Hemme: Fighting Fat Oily Guy
Christy Hemme had broken out in WWE as part of the Diva Search and its first winner. They gave her a push but it didn’t work out due to her lack of real ring skills. So she moved to TNA where they eventually settled on her being an announcer. She soon began yelling about wanting more time in the ring and Jim Cornette declared she’d have her shot in a tuxedo match. She came out, ready to fight and out came her opponent, the Big Fat Oily Guy. The former ECW character was known for…well, being big, fat and covered with oil, usually in just a thong.
Even Don West and Mike Tenay couldn’t help moaning as they watched this travesty unfold. The fans hated it as they fought it out, Christy forced to strip BFOG down to just that red thong, a truly disgusting sight. A priceless image had him rolling out of the ring right in front of a fan sign talking of “TNA real wrestling” and marching out in just the thong (“Fire that cameraman!” West howled). Instead of putting Christy over, it was a true joke and among the lower bits TNA has done to its ladies.
5 Sherri Amnesiac And In Love
When Sherri Martel came out in the AWA in 1986, she was a great worker, truly gorgeous and very skilled in the ring. She was not only champion but also managed Buddy Rose and Doug Somers to the tag team titles. In WWE, she was one of the last Women’s champions of the original belt but more famous as Sensational Sherri, manager for Randy Savage and later Shawn Michaels. In WCW, she had a bit with Ric Flair but found major success with Harlem Heat. As “Sister Sherri,” Martel led the Heat to multiple WCW Tag team titles and over with her tough attitude and fondness for leather outfits.
In 1995, the Heat were feuding with Colonel Robert Parker’s Studd Stable. During this, Parker was clearly flirting with Sherri who wanted nothing to do with him. But after an attack knocked her unconscious, Sherri was suddenly shown to be in love with Parker. The Heat couldn’t believe her hiring him as their “promoter” and hanging over him in interviews and matches. It built up to a wedding interrupted by Madusa who knocked Sherri hard, snapping her back to normal. This led to some bizarre feuds and fights and remarkable that just a few months later, WCW would be taking off with the New World Order after such a cartoonish angle.
4 Mickie James: Thrown In Front Of A Train
Mickie James has been through a lot of wild angles. Her breakout in WWE was as a crazy stalker for Trish Stratus that got her over as a champion. Then there was actually dressing up as Trish for a time. Sadly, the low point came when LayCool mocked her as “Piggy James,” an angle James herself absolutely hated as much as fans. So James went to TNA and soon a major star there. She was a face for a while but later turned herself into a wicked heel using her country music career for fame.
After a break, James returned to TNA and soon confronted by James Storm (doing a “cult leader” act) who lured her to Nashville. TNA warned of a “serious video” coming and played a “security camera” feed from a train station of the two arguing and then Storm throwing Mickie onto the tracks just as a train came in. The announcers actually waited before saying she was okay and her husband Magnus promising payback (only in pro wrestling is attempted murder answered by “fighting in the ring”). No wonder James thought returning to WWE was better than a company putting her through this idiocy.
3 Bayley And Alexa Bliss, This Is Your Life
The latest entry on this list and it’s already one of the most loathed segments in recent WWE programming history. On paper, Alexa Bliss and Bayley shouldn’t need much to fire up a feud. The two former NXT stars have both done great in WWE and having great matches, trading the title back and forth. With Alexa as an awesome heel and Bayley a huge crowd favorite, there shouldn’t be a need to spark it up more. But leave it to someone in creative to try and resurrect the old “This Is Your Life” segment with Alexa presenting one. To call it a train wreck is to give a disservice to train wrecks. From Alexa somehow thinking Bayley was “lame” for watching WWE rather than hanging out at the mall as a teenager to Bayley’s “ex-boyfriend” admitting her only dated her to get with her “best friend” and then the two making out, it was utterly painful to watch.
It all ended with Bayley attacking only to get beaten down by Alexa, so not even some revenge for this. How terrible has been the fan reaction? WWE themselves are already editing the segment out of their feeds, showing how even they know when something is too terrible to remember.
2 Stacy Keibler: Marrying David Flair
With her long blonde hair and of course those 42-inch legs, Stacy Keibler was a knockout from her debut in WCW. Originally “Miss Hancock,” she was set up as a Nitro Girl before moving to bigger programs. This included in business suits and then doing hot dances to the cheers of the crowd. Soon, she was put into a “relationship” with David Flair who WCW was trying in vain to transform into a wrestler. The two actually dated in real life as Stacy and it built to a big wedding angle. However, it was ruined by the arrival of Daffney who suddenly revealed she and David were having an affair. By the way, is it a surprise Vince Russo was running WCW then?
Things got even crazier as Stacy was kicked in the gut and moaned she was actually pregnant. According to reports, Vince Russo was going to reveal that Stacy slept with Ric Flair and he was the dad. When Flair wisely turned that down, Russo intended to reveal he was the father. Thankfully, Russo was removed from WCW before that happened, the “pregnancy” revealed to be fake and amazing how Keibler had a good career after this horrible mess.
1 Cheerleader Melissa: Covered Up
For years, Cheerleader Melissa was seen as the best worker in the indies. In SHIMMER, she rocked fans with her amazing skills, style and hot outfits. Many believed it was only a matter of time before WWE snatched her up and pushed her to fame but Melissa seemed concerned about being put through their “Diva” antics. So she signed with TNA, expecting them to give her a good push thanks to their Knockouts division so strong. Instead, they decided to make her merely the manager for Awesome Kong. They then gave her the name of Raisha Saeed and had her be covered in a burka and robe.
Look at that photo and realize someone in TNA creative believed that covering this woman head to toe was a great idea. Robbing the Knockouts of what should have been a prime player is idiotic even by TNA’s standards. She did nothing useful for Kong and was given a brief push as Alissa Flash but she realized she was getting nowhere. To blow this potential is just amazing and one of the dumber moves of TNA.