Before wrestling went PG it was heavy with exposing the sexual nature of the business. Sex sells and WWE jumped on that concept and ran with it. The company spotlighted its sexiest female wrestlers and exposed them to the fans in the form of "Bra and Panties" and "Playboy Pillow Fight" matches. This eventually led to wrestlers posing nude in Playboy magazine, which gave way to a whole other audience of non-wrestling fans.
This list is not exclusive to just wrestlers who posed nude for Playboy, but also wrestlers who have directed films in the adult entertainment industry. Furthermore, this list also includes wrestlers who have done sex tapes, and wrestlers who have starred in featured x-rated adult films. Enjoy this blast from the past as you think back to the days before the PG era. The WWE was a whole lot different in the nineties, and these superstars with their adult entertainment backgrounds is one of the main reasons.
Considered the first “Diva”, Sunny was one of the most popular female wrestlers in the industry. She had that girl next door appeal that male wrestling fans adored. Sunny was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2011. Sunny posed nude once for the adult website Wrestling Vixxxens, which she said she later regretted. However, just recently Sunny has started doing “pay for play” nude Skype peep shows. Just a warning, Sunny doesn’t look anything close to how she did in the past, so keep that in mind before you consider looking her up these days.
Sable was the crush of most male wrestling fans in the nineties. She didn’t have much wrestling skill, however Sable made up for it with her beauty and sex appeal. Playboy took notice of her, and she was featured as the cover girl for the April 1999 issue. The issue was a huge success, it is one of the highest selling issues of Playboy ever. She went on to grace the cover of the magazine two more times.
Today Sable is happily married to current WWE superstar and former UFC champion Brock Lesnar. The couple has four children.
X-Pac had a successful career in wrestling, winning numerous championships in three major promotions (WWE, WCW and TNA). However, wrestling isn’t the only thing X-Pac is successful at. In 2004 he co-starred with then-girlfriend Joanie Laurer - known to the wrestling world as Chyna (remember that name, you will be seeing it again) - in the amateur adult film 1 Night in Chyna. Catchy name, isn’t it? The film was named top-selling release in 2006 by Adult Video News Awards. Its sequel Another Night in Chyna also won the award in 2009.
7 Lizzy Borden
Borden created and ran the now defunct Xtreme Pro Wrestling. It was a small promotion that used former adult entertainers as valets and wrestlers. It didn’t last very long (obviously). Before Borden got into the wrestling industry, she was an adult film actress and director. Borden’s films were known for their extreme content. Her film Cocktails showed women drinking vomit and other bodily fluids, and her film Forced Entry, depicted simulated rape. The latter film landed Borden is prison as she was sentenced to one year and one day for distributing obscene material.
6 Torrie Wilson
What Sable was for the nineties generation, Wilson was for the new millennium. Like Sable, Wilson had sex appeal and for a short period of time she was the hottest thing in wrestling for the women’s division (which came to be known as the Divas Division). Wilson followed suit and posed for Playboy for the May 2003 issue. She also posed again for Playboy alongside Sable for the March 2004 issue. Sable officially retired from WWE in 2008 but stayed in the spotlight due to her relationship with New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez from 2011 to 2015.
5 Major Gunns
Tylene Buck, or Major Gunns, as she was known in the ring, had a brief wrestling career in WCW that lasted just over two years. She then went on to XPW where she’d valet for Sandman and feuded with owner Lizzy Borden, although her career at XPW didn’t last long either. Gunns decided to enter the adult entertainment industry and is now performing in adult films for Seymore Butts Lighthouse Talent Agency. You can also check her out on MyFreeCams.com, as she is a cam girl on the site.
Gangrel had a brief but successful run in WWE, portraying a Vampire and being the leader of the group “The Brood” with Edge and Christian. However, Gangrel had weight issues and was fired twice because he couldn’t maintain a proper weight. He opted to pursue another career path and entered the adult film business. Gangrel thankfully doesn’t perform, as that wouldn’t be a pretty sight. He directs adult films, and recently signed a deal to direct 12 films for “The New Porn Order.” His debut film is called Miami Rump Shakerz 2.
3 Candice Michelle
Michelle's wrestling career didn’t last long, but although it was short-lived it was rather successful. Michelle became the first Diva Search contestant to win the Women’s Championship (now the Divas Championship.) Michelle followed past counterparts Sable and Torrie Wilson and posed for a cover and nude pictorial in the April issue of Playboy. Michelle has also done a number of soft core adult films, however they aren’t very revealing and are similar to any sex scene you see on HBO. Sorry to disappoint.
2 Mickie James
James had success runs in both WWE and TNA, winning both companies' Women’s Championships many times. She also has two country music studio albums, so there's that. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention, James has also done some "adult content." Before she was famous and wrestling in the independent circles, James posed nude for magazines Leg Show and Naughty Neighbors. It's interesting to note that James had her adult entertainment experience before she became a pro wrestler, as opposed to the majority of the entrants on this list who fell into it later on.
Chyna is arguably the most popular and successful wrestler to transition into the adult entertainment industry. So far she has starred in six films, winning two AVN Awards; one for “Best Selling Title of the Year” and another for “Best Celebrity Sex Tape.” In addition, she has posed nude for Playboy twice in 2000 and 2002. Her story is quite bizarre, as it appears the once iconic wrestler totally fell apart once her in-ring days came to an end. She has had various problems with substance abuse and mental illness, and in 2008 appeared on the reality show Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew. Here's hoping she now has her life back in order.