Wrestling has entertained crowds since ancient times, but it was not really considered to be an actual athletic sporting event until ancient Greece and Rome. Back then, wrestling was simply a competition of strength and endurance, that usually did not provide much wealth or fame to the competitors. Now though, wrestling has become quite the lucrative profession, especially if you are a truly talented individual, or have a certain something that allows you to greatly appeal to the audience. It is true that wrestling is a primarily male dominant profession, but that proportion does not eclipse the fact that women have been involved in the wrestling business for decades as well.
A majority of the time, women in wrestling served as managers or valets for other performers, and it is also worth mentioning that for the past fifteen years, televised women’s wrestling has been dominated mainly by women who were more like models than actual wrestlers. Luckily though, there are still many women who have shown impressive in-ring skills in both the past and the present. With all that being said, whether a wrestler is good or bad in the ring, or whether they are male or female, there is only one thing that all wrestlers need to be at least moderately good at in order to survive, and that thing, is the ability to act. Acting is an integral part of wrestling, and for some wrestlers, it has allowed them to pursue full-blown acting careers, with The Rock being the prime example. Male wrestlers though, are not the only ones who get movie roles though, as there are also quite a few women wrestlers who have at one point also appeared in movies. Here is a list of 10 wrestling divas you never knew appeared in movies.
10 Summer Rae
Summer Rae has been around for a couple years now, making her initial WWE debut in the developmental territory called Florida Championship Wrestling. When the FCW was dissolved, Summer moved on to the rebooted NXT in 2012, where she started out as a ring announcer. By 2013, she transitioned into an in-ring performer, and spent a lot of time feuding in one way or another with Paige or Natalya. She may have not been the most talented of the women wrestlers who recently moved onto the main roster, but like them, she worked her way up to get a spot. Since she has been on the main roster though, she has not really wrestled much, she has mainly served as a valet to several other wrestlers, including a stint that saw her become Fandango’s dance partner.
The Montreal born Diva known as Mayrse, spent years as a glamour model before making her way into the WWE in 2006. She had participated in that year’s Diva Search, and was later signed and sent to developmental for two years until she was finally assigned to the SmackDown brand in 2008. While on the main roster, she went on to become a two-time Divas Champion, the first Diva to win the title more than once, and the third longest reigning Divas Champ in history. WWE released her from her contract in 2012, but any bad blood from then must have dissipated, as she has finally returned to the company as the valet to The Miz (her real-life husband).
By now, nearly all of us know Paige’s story, as we have heard it so often. Her entire family is involved with wrestling in England, her mom was wrestling without knowing that she was pregnant with her, Paige herself started wrestling at 13, she wrestled under the name Britani Knight, and has wrestled with and against her mom. The self-proclaimed Anti-Diva would go on to thrive in NXT, becoming its Women’s Champion, she then got called up to the main roster in 2014, where at only 21 years old, she won the Divas Champion (the youngest one in history). She went on to win the title again, and then later ignited the flame that turned into the “Divas Revolution.”
7 Eve Torres
Prior to participating in and winning the 2007 Diva Search, Eve Torres was a model and dancer, who had also appeared on some TV shows, including Deal or No Deal. When she debuted, Eve began competing in the ring in non-wrestling competitions such as bikini contests and dance-offs, but by the time 2009 came around, she was working as a full-time wrestler. She would go on to be a valet for a few other wrestlers, become the "Executive Administrator" of both Raw and SmackDown, and she won the Divas Championship three times before retiring in 2013.
6 Kimberly Page
For those who remember Kimberly Page, you will know that she never spent any actual time with the WWE, she in fact spent her entire six year career with then rival WCW. Most of her time in wrestling was served as a valet, primarily with her then real life husband Diamond Dallas Page, and as a founder and member of the Nitro Girls who would dance for fans on Monday Nitro. Kimberly was an active participate in some feuds with the likes of Miss Elizabeth and Miss Hancock, and WCW also put her in the ring for a small number of actual matches; and she also posed with other WCW women in a non-nude spread for Penthouse.
5 Stacy Keibler
We all remember Stacey Keibler and her long legs, they were some of the best parts of wrestling in the early 2000's. Shockingly, Keibler did not start out her career as a wrestler, she in fact started out as a member of WCW’s Nitro Girls dance group, and quickly started playing a more prominent role in the company when she portrayed the manager known as Miss Hancock. When the WWE bought WCW, they brought Stacey into the fold as well, and she went on to perform in the ring for quite some time, feuding with Trish Stratus, Lita, Torrie Wilson, and Sable along the way.
Tamina is the daughter of Hall of Famer Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, and is therefore a member of the Anoa‘i family of American Samoa professional wrestlers. The former AJ Lee bodyguard, debuted in 2010 as the manager of her real-life cousins The Usos, who were heel at the time. Since that debut, WWE has kept her in a heel role up until today, and even though she does not get that much in-ring time, and has a rather limited move-set, being a heel suits her.
3 Brie and Nikki Bella
Nikki and Brie Bella have been two of the most popular “Divas” for nearly a decade now, and they first got on WWE’s radar when they failed to make the cut in the 2006 Diva Search. Despite not liking them enough to make them a part of the search, WWE still signed them to developmental contracts, and when they eventually debuted on the main roster in 2008, the pair began to soar in popularity, primarily thanks to their sexual appeal and the fact that they were twins. To be fair, their wrestling skills did improve considerably over the years and they both became Divas champion, with Nikki having the longest Divas title reign in history (whether it was a deserved achievement or not though is up to interpretation).
2 Trish Stratus
Trish Stratus will go down as one of the best and most memorable women wrestlers of all time. The former fitness model debuted in 2000 as a heel manager, but she quickly transitioned into an in-ring competitor whose skills greatly increased over time. Her career saw her win the Women’s Championship a record seven times, and the Hardcore Championship once. She would also be named Diva of the Decade, and get inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2013.
Before entering the WWE as Lana, C.J. Perry was a full-time actor, model, dancer, and singer by trade. The US-born beauty, was once in a girl-group and served as a backup dancer for several music performers; she also appeared in several TV shows (including Cinemax’s Banshee series) before being signed by WWE in 2013. She debuted in 2013 on NXT, and since then she has spent more or less all of her time with her real-life fiance Rusev, serving primarily as his manager/valet; but she has recently been doing some brief in-ring work since returning from an injury.
Being an actor, she has appeared in movies as well, with uncredited roles in both 2014’s American Hustle, and 2011’s Big Momma's: Like Father, Like Son. Her most noteworthy roles came from the Pitch Perfect movies, as she has appeared in both films as one of the minor members of the “Bellas” the main a cappella group that is the focal point of both movies.
Sources: IMDB, RottenTomatoes
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