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Female Wrestling - The History of the WWE Divas 5
The WWE Divas from 2005 to 2007 with Mickie James, Melina, Beth Phoenix, Ashley Massaro and more.
Here is my fifth article about the history of the beautiful WWE Divas.
This one covers the WWE Divas from the years between 2005 and 2007.
In these two years, the WWE hit an eclectic balance between actual female wrestlers and models.
They had models that wanted to wrestle...really...and real wrestlers who they really didn't give much in ring time to and they turned them into jokes.
And they also lost several women who were real staples of the Divas Division.
As I mentioned in the last article, Ashley Massaro won the 2005 WWE Diva Search.
This was the first Diva Search where the WWE was rumored to have emphasized that the contestants didn't need any wrestling experience, or even really a desire to wrestle.
But the lady that won it actually wanted to wrestle.
Ashley Massaro came from a family with an amateur wrestling background and she really did want to get in the ring.
Another lady that placed in the top ten was Kristal Marshall who came in at fourth place.
Kristal went on to work for the WWE from 2005 to 2007, and eventually leave there to work for TNA.
She is the real-life significant other of pro wrestler and MMA fighter Bobby Lashley, and they have a son together.
The second place winner that year was Leyla Milani, who went on to do some work for the WWE, Deal or No Deal and several other shows.
She will be the hostess on the "upcoming" GLOW update Wrestlicious, if it ever actually airs.
And finally from the 2005 Diva Search, was Trenesha Biggers.
Trenesha signed a developmental contract with the WWE and was sent to Deep South Wrestling (DSW) for training.
She stayed there for about a year, then left to work in Japan, then worked for some independent wrestling promotions before finally winding up in TNA as Rhaka Khan.
Then she left TNA and is now on Lucha Libre USA: Masked Warriors as Tigresa Caliente.
Trish Stratus was the WWE Women's Champion for all of 2005, having taken the belt from Lita in December of 2004.
Mickie James started with the WWE in 2005 as Trish Stratus' biggest fan.
If you know anything about Mickie, you know that before that, she had a pretty successful career in the Independent wrestling promotions and with ECW and TNA before she showed up in the WWE.
The Mickie Trish storyline owed a lot to the Sable/Tori angle years before.
Mickie went psycho at one point (I still think that owed a lot to the early Victoria appearances) and going crazy and feuding with the WWE's "fan favorite" Trish seemed to actually increase her popularity. At one point, Mickie was even getting a bigger "pop" than Trish when they were introduced.
Mickie has gone on to hold the WWE Women's Championship four times, and the WWE Divas Championship once.
On the April 14th, 2005, edition of SmackDown! the tag-team of MNM made their debut.
And of course with them came Melina.
Melina had worked extensively in the Indy circuit, and was even a participant in the WWE's Tough Enough III.
She went on to hold the WWE Women's Championship three times and the WWE Divas Championship once.
Melina at Amazon
Jillian Hall made her debut on the July 28, 2005 episode of SmackDown! as "fixer" for MNM.
Jillian was and has been under-used by the WWE since her debut, considering she was trained by Dave Finlay at his wrestling school, and debuted on the Indy circuit in 1998.
She wrestled as Macaela Mercedes and won eleven wrestling championships before coming to the WWE.
Her only title so far in the WWE was the WWE Divas Championship that she held for about five minutes.
Stacy, Trish and Lita
2006 was a rough year for the women's division.
First, Stacy Keibler asked for time off to appear on Dancing with the Stars, then she left altogether.
Then on September 17, 2006 at Unforgiven, Trish Stratus retired from wrestling after winning her seventh WWE Women's Championship.
She defeated Lita for the belt at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario.
Adding to the women's division woes, was Lita retiring at Survivor Series in 2006, but the WWE was keeping up with the losses by using more talent.
On the May 8, 2006 episode of WWE Monday Night Raw, Beth Phoenix showed up.
I have sung Beth's praises on various Hubs and blogs, so let me just say that if the WWE has a female version of Kurt Angle, Beth is it.
Beth had to leave the WWE for two months though as Victoria legitimately broke her jaw in a match.
Despite having surgery and nine screws placed in her jaw, Beth was only out for two months, and came back as a heel in 2007.
She went on to win the WWE Women's Championship belt twice.
On a side note here, Sharmell Sullivan-Huffman joined the WWE back in 2005, but even though I suppose she could be considered a "Diva" she never actually had a singles storyline of her own.
She was usually considered the valet for her husband Booker T even though when she was in the WCW, she actually did some ring work there.
Maryse Ouellet made her debut in the WWE on August 24, 2006.
She was part of the 2006 WWE Diva Search, made it to the top eight contestants, but was the second one cut.
However, as was often the case in the Diva Searches, the WWE liked her, and she was sent to Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), along with Brooke Adams.
Although she started out as a model, Maryse was trained by Al Snow, Steve Keirn, Tom Prichard, Dave Finlay and Ricky Steamboat.
Add that to a pretty extensive martial arts background (she won a karate competition at the age of twelve) and she had a good basis for becoming a pretty successful Diva.
And she did.
Maryse held the WWE Divas Championship twice, won the 2010 Divas Championship Tournament and in 2009, Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) ranked her #9 of the best 50 female singles wrestlers in the PWI Female 50
Plus, she could act and she became one of the best "Heels" that the WWE had.
Ariel (Shelly Martinez)
After training at Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) from 2005 to 2007, Ariel (Shelly Martinez) debuted in the WWE's new ECW brand as a tarot reading fortune teller.
Originally she was supposed to be part of a Vampire team along with Gangrel and Kevin Thorn.
And there are a LOT of pictures online of a fanged Ariel.
But the WWE didn't go that way.
Which was a shame actually since she made a really good Vampire.
Brooke Adams aka Brooke aka Brooke Tessmacher and aka Miss Tessmacher made her debut in the WWE in 2006.
Before trying out for the 2006 WWE Diva Search (she didn't make the top eight), Brooke was a Miss Hawaiian Tropic, Miss Swimsuit USA and Miss Hooters.
But even though she didnt make the final cut she and Maryse were sent to Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW).
Brooke left OVW and went to ECW , teaming up with Kelly Kelly and Layla to form Extreme Exposé which is better off forgotten.
Things didn't last long there because on November 1, 2007, she was released from her WWE contract.
After that though, she did go on to enjoy some success in TNA, becoming the TNA Knockouts Championship three times and on half of the TNA Knockouts Tag Team Champions with Tara (another former WWE Diva Victoria).
Barbie Blank aka Kelly Kelly, made her debut in the WWE in 2006.
She was picked out of a swimwear catalog by WWE official John Laurinaitis.
A wrestler was picked out of a swimwear magazine.
But Kelly was so drop dead gorgeous that a lot of WWE fans didn't care when she first debuted.
Kinda like Eva Marie today.
But Kelly actually put her heart into it and on June 20, 2011, in Baltimore, MD at Raw: Power to the People, she defeated Brie Bella and won the WWE Divas Championship.
She held it for 104 days before loosing it to Beth Phoenix.
Eve Torres (now Eve Torres Gracie) started out as a model and dancer, but she entered the WWE Diva Search in 2007 and was one of the eight finalists from a group of 50 women.
She went on to win the 2007 WWE Diva Search and became an official WWE Diva.
Eve then went on to in ring competition and win the WWE Divas Championship three times.
While she was in the WWE, she began Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training at the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy and went on to marry Rener Gracie.
She left the WWE in 2013 and is now a BJJ instructor with the famed Gracies