Female Wrestling - The History of the WWE Divas 3
More of the WWE/WWF Divas
Here is my third female wrestling article, continuing on with the history of the WWE Divas.
Of course then they were the "WWF Divas" because the company hadn't been legally forced by the World Wildlife Federation to change from WWF to WWE.
But 2000 saw major changes in the female WWF roster.
And the start of some very "unusual" WWE wrestling matches.
The "gimmick" matches were starting now and the credibility of the WWE Divas as athletes would suffer for years to come because of this.
Now the ladies would be looked at as "eye candy" no matter how well they did.
After ringing in 2000, as good ol' JR would say, "Business was about to pick up!" in the women's wrestling division.
Victoria (Lisa Marie Varon)
Former female bodybuilder and fitness competitor Victoria (Lisa Marie Varon) made her debut in the WWF in June of 2000.
She started out as one of the The Godfather's hos, and made her official in ring debut on Sunday Night Heat on July 7th, 2002
Victoria quickly established herself as a psycho and I really loved watching her chew up the scenery.
And like Lita, Victoria was tough, making her name in Street Fights, Hardcore matches, Fatal Four-Way matches, Table matches and she was the first woman in WWF history to be in a Steel Cage match with (appropriately enough) Lita.
But despite working for the WWF/WWE for nine years, she only held the WWE Women's Championship belt twice.
Jazz (Carlene Begnaud)
2001 saw a huge influx of female wrestling talent.
Jazz (Carlene Begnaud) debuted in a Six-Pack Challenge for the vacant WWF Women's Championship, at Survivor Series in 2001.
If you don't remember Jazz's debut, she was kinda like Brock Lesnar at first, plowing down any Diva that got in her way.
During her time in the WWF/WWE, she held the Women's Wrestling Championship twice.
The woman with the forty-two inch long legs, Stacy Keibler, debuted in the WWE in 2001.
Stacy started out in World Championship Wrestling (WCW) as Nitro Girl Skye and at the same time, she was going to school full time AND working as a Baltimore Ravens cheerleader.
When the WWF bought WCW, they wisely kept Stacy's contract.
Stacy was one of four Divas that competed in the very first tag team Bra and Panties match at the InVasion pay-per-view on July 22nd, 2001 at the Gund Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
She never held a WWF/WWE belt, but she was the WWE Babe of the Year in 2004.
Another WCW hold over was Torrie Wilson.
She made her WWF debut on June 28th, 2001 as part of The Alliance during the Invasion story line.
Torri often tag-teamed with her old WCW buddy Stacy, and she was another of the women in the first tag team Bra and Panties match.
She also took on Trish Stratus in the first Paddle on a Pole match which she won.
Torrie never won a title, but she did win the Golden Thong Award in 2002.
Golden Thong Award ????
Chyna (Joan Laurer)
Chyna left the WWF in 2001 because of the tension between her, Triple H, and Stephanie McMahon.
And if you follow wrestling news and rumors, you know that not having Trip and Stephanie on your side is NOT a good thing.
Having them against you is even worse.
Chyna at Amazon
Dawn Marie came to the WWF in 2002 not through WCW, but through the old ECW wrestling promotion.
She debuted as Vince McMahon's legal assistant in 2002 and she quickly started feuding with Stacy Keibler and Stephanie McMahon.
Following that was the surreal feud with Torrie Wilson that involved Torrie's real-life father, Al Wilson.
Dawn never held any titles in the WWF/WWE.
In 2002, Jackie Gayda won the Tough Enough II (a reality television show produced by WWE and MTV) competition along with Linda Miles (who we will get to in a moment).
Jackie was soon wrestling matches for the WWE but after screwing up several times in the ring, she was sent to Ohio Valley Wrestling for more training, and wouldn't show back up in the WWE until 2003.
As I mentioned, Jackie won Tough Enough 2, but her only other honor during her time wrestling in the WWF/WWE was the dubious honor of winning the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Worst Worked Match of the Year in 2002.
Shaniqua (Linda Miles)
Jackie's co-winner of Tough Enough II, Linda Miles first appeared in the WWE on WWE Velocity in a match against her former Tough Enough trainer, Ivory.
Linda had Jackie in her corner, but Jackie turned on Linda and cost her the match.
She proceeded to have a short lived feud with Jackie, with Linda often tag-teaming with Trish Stratus.
Linda was also sent to Ohio Valley Wrestling for more training, and re-surfaced in 2003 as Shaniqua, the manager of the Basham Brothers in another bizarre storyline.
As with Jackie, her only allocade in the WWF/WWE was wining WWE Tough Enough.
At least she didn't get Worst Worked Match of the Year.
Nidia (Nidia Guenard)
The female winner of the first season of Tough Enough, Nidia Guenard, made her debut in the WWE on June 6th, 2002.
(But before that, she made a few appearances on WWF episodes in 2001)
Nidia started out as a trailer-trash heel with Jamie Noble helping him to win matches.
She started a feud with Torrie Wilson, and they had several single and tag-team matches against each other.
Her big accomplishment in the WWF/WWE was winning the first Tough Enough.
Also in 2002, Lita was injured while filming the season finale of the television program Dark Angel.
She suffered three cracks in her vertebrae, an injury that put her out of action for almost a year and a half, and made her the first Diva to have neck fusion surgery.
And in 2002, the WWF changed their name to WWE because the World Wide Fund for Nature kicked their collective butts in court over the WWF initials.