Much has been made of the modern revolution that has been happening with women’s wrestling in WWE over the past couple of years. For a long, long time WWE never saw women as having the potential to put on as compelling a show as men and referred to these women as “Divas” while the men were labeled “Superstars.” This led many to feel that women weren’t a respected part of pro wrestling and it all came to a head when AJ Lee publicly called out the company on Twitter over gender inequality in the company.
Here we are in 2017 and the WWE Divas are now also referred to as “Superstars” and are frequently getting main event spots on television, and sometimes even on pay-per-view. We are in the midst of an era where Raw and SmackDown Live each has its own Women’s Championship and each of those titles exists almost on equal footing with the World Championships. There is still some work to be done for equality, but things are much better now than they were years ago. However, no matter how far we’ve come, there will always be a less than PG history of these women that Vince McMahon will want to remain in the past, and here are fifteen photos worth of examples.
15. AJ Lee
AJ Lee, as mentioned above, was somewhat of a catalyst for the modern women’s wrestling movement. Not only did she publicly shame WWE and Stephanie McMahon in particular on Twitter for gender inequality, she consistently presented herself as a poster girl for the respectable female athlete during her run with the company. She racked up three reigns with the Divas Championship and became the most popular Diva of her time.
AJ always refused to show us too much skin, insisting on being remembered for her wrestling rather than for her body. She certainly came off as a role model for young girls everywhere, but as this photo proves there is apparently something less than PG lurking in the former WWE Superstar just waiting to get out.
14. Brie Bella
Brie Bella has been gone from WWE for well over a year after she “retired” at last year’s WrestleMania and went off to give birth to a baby girl with her husband and fellow retired WWE Superstar Daniel Bryan. Brie has been apparently training for a return to the ring, though it has yet to happen, and it remains to be seen just how well she’ll fit in with the newer crop of female athletes. But if her past is any indication she should be fine as she is one of the most iconic WWE Divas of all time, having had a run with the Divas Championship, a match against Stephanie McMahon at SummerSlam, and one of the longest runs in the company of any female before her.
13. Maria Kanellis
Until somewhat recently Maria Kanellis hadn’t been seen on WWE television for years and it appeared as though her time with the company had ended a long time ago. She left the company and became a star on the independent scene occasionally wrestling but usually managing her real life husband Mike Bennett. Now known as Maria and Mike Kanellis the couple has begun to make their mark on SmackDown Live and for the first time Maria is bringing her trademark skills as a heel to WWE cameras.
It should come as no surprise that Maria Kanellis has plenty of non-PG pictures out there considering she once posed for Playboy during her initial WWE run, but here is yet another example of just how edgy Maria can get.
12. Kelly Kelly
Kelly Kelly was a hit for WWE in every sense of the word. She joined the company at a very young age as a model who would then go on to become pretty gifted as an actual wrestler, at least as far as the crop of Divas from her time were concerned. Kelly was insanely popular with the WWE Universe and athletic enough that having her compete in the ring meant having a wrestling championship around for the women was still believable.
She helped usher in the PG era for WWE as a role model for little girls, but her debut with the company actually saw her stripping in front of the camera as an exhibitionist. Needless to say, in today’s WWE climate Vince McMahon probably doesn’t want you to remember that, or to remember photos like this one of Kelly in white lingerie.
For over a year now Maryse has been a key part of what has helped her husband The Miz revitalize his wrestling career. Before Maryse rejoined WWE in 2016 it appeared as though The Miz was on a slow decline and that he would never again contribute anything very meaningful to the product, but her presence at his side has breathed new life into his Hollywood shtick and the two have become one of the most consistently entertaining parts of the program.
Don’t forget that in Maryse’s original run with WWE she was a very respectable competitor and Divas Champion. What you should also not forget is that, despite working on a PG wrestling program, Maryse is capable of sexy photos like this very revealing one.
10. Stacy Keibler
At one point in time, Stacy Keibler was something akin to the Lana of her time. She didn’t need to wrestle in order to become one of the most popular Divas in the company. In fact, she didn’t regularly compete for championships but instead fought other women in bra and panties matches and other revealing contests which were the norm throughout the early to mid-2000s. Stacy got her start as one of WCW’s biggest draws but became an even bigger hit in WWE when Vince McMahon bought out that company and scooped up her contract.
If you’re just judging by crowd reaction then Lana is without a doubt one of the most popular women in all of WWE and has been for some time. There’s something about Lana; whether it’s her looks or her charisma or both, she’s been a compelling part of WWE television since she debuted alongside her real life husband Rusev. Even when Lana was just a mouthpiece she was standing out as a star, and now that she’s competing in SmackDown Live’s women’s division as a wrestler – and a pretty good one at that – the sky is the limit for her.
There’s not a straight male fan in all of the WWE Universe who doesn’t wish WWE would drop the PG act on account of Lana alone, especially considering her willingness to pose for suggestive photos like this one.
8. Eve Torres
Being one of the winners of the aforementioned Diva Search competition, Eve Torres was never any stranger to revealing photo shoots. She came to WWE, as many women did at that time, as a model. However, Eve eventually trained to compete in the ring as a wrestler and the natural athlete in her led her to a pretty impressive in ring career as one of the most popular Divas Champions ever. She left a respectable mark on the Divas division before retiring to teach self-defense to women and become a mother.
7. Amy Weber
At one point in time, the status of women’s wrestling in WWE got to such a low point that the actual wrestling side of things was less than an afterthought. As hard working women like Trish Stratus, Molly Holly and Lita were working to build a respectable division, WWE decided it was going to head in an entirely different direction and start hiring women out of catalogs based on their looks alone. The dreaded Diva Search competition was born and women’s segments on Raw and SmackDown became something more like the Bachelor.
One of the women to come from this competition was Amy Weber, who basically was around for the span of a hiccup before being released from the company. She, along with most other Diva Search competitors, was anything but PG as evidenced here.
6. Eva Marie
Eva Marie, having recently departed from WWE, is probably on her way to a genre of entertainment which will be better suited to her abilities. It didn’t seem as if she would ever catch on to the physical side of wrestling after she got off on the wrong foot a few years back with the WWE Universe as we all had to watch her learn the craft live on television. Just as she was beginning to get some interesting storylines, though, she was suspended and never returned to the company.
If you follow Eva Marie on social media, you can see that it’s probably for the best as there is definitely a tigress in her. Check out this photo from her Instagram account where she’s looking hotter than ever.
5. Sasha Banks
Sasha Banks has an undeniable star quality about her. She has a lot in common with former WWE Diva AJ Lee in that she grew up a huge wrestling fan and is in the business to make history inside the ring instead of posing in revealing underwear. Granted, that is the case with a lot of the newer women in WWE but Sasha, in particular, has struck a chord with the audience as a pure athlete and has become one of the company’s biggest stars of any gender.
But don’t be fooled; Sasha Banks is not entirely wholesome. She can embrace her femininity like any other woman and this poolside photo of her in a bikini proves she’s got the body to match the talent.
4. Nikki Bella
This list also includes a hot photo of Brie Bella, but her sister Nikki is a different story. That’s not to say Nikki isn’t known for her steamy photos, but that Nikki might actually have even more revealing photos hanging around out there than Brie herself. Like Brie, Nikki has been a WWE mainstay for a decade and has been one of the most influential WWE Divas of all time. Her highly public relationship with John Cena has helped catapult her into true superstardom, but Nikki made a successful career for herself on her own hard work.
3. Michelle McCool
Michelle McCool will go down as one of the more purely athletic Divas of the late 2000s. She was a former WWE Women’s Champion and the first ever Divas Champion, and she’ll always be remembered as one-half of the team known as “LayCool” with fellow former Diva Search competitor Layla El. Michelle took naturally to the wrestling business and had some of the best matches of the Diva era. She even ended up marrying the most respected man in all of wrestling, The Undertaker.
2. Alexa Bliss
Alexa Bliss has served as one of the faces of the modern day women’s division on Raw and SmackDown Live. She became the first woman to hold both the Raw and SmackDown Women’s Championships and is now a three-time champion and one of the most consistently entertaining members of the roster. It’s been years since a woman has come along with the microphone skills of Alexa, who at times seems to be channeling a classic heel, Trish Stratus. She’s all business in the ring, but she’s got looks to kill.
1. Christy Hemme
Christy Hemme is one of those former WWE Divas who would never manage to be passable in a family friendly PG environment. Christy won the first televised Diva Search tournament based on her charisma and smoking hot looks as well as her willingness to sit on a pie while wearing a bikini on national television. She soon went on to pose nude for Playboy magazine during her WWE run before leaving the company and joining TNA Wrestling for a lengthy career.
She’ll always be remembered as one of the wildest WWE Divas of all time and photo shoots like this one she did while working with TNA are probably not how Vince McMahon would want you to remember a former female employee of WWE today.
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