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Fitness Women Wrestling
Female Fitness Competitors and Female Wrestling featuring Tara (Victoria), Torrie Wilson, Trish Stratus, Chyna and other female fitness competitors
The world of female professional wrestling is filled with models and ex-models these days.
A lot of the girls come from swimwear catalogs and bikini contests, but there is another area that female wrestlers have been pulled from for quite a while now.
The world of fitness.
Yes, female fitness models, bodybuilders, figure competitors and fitness competitors have all made their way into the squared circle over the years.
If you are familiar with wrestling, you may think that Trish Stratus was the first...but she wasn't.
Before Trish there were fitness beauties in the ring.
So here are the fit ladies from the past, present and possibly future...
In 1997, Joan Marie Laurer, better known as Chyna hit the ring in the WWF.
Joan had competed in fitness competitions in 1996, but because of her size, she usually didn't place well.
(She probably would have been better off aiming at bodybuilding)
Despite that, she still got to the New York City regional level of the Fitness America competition in 1996.
She was trained by legendary Wladek "Killer" Kowalski and actually made her wrestling debut in 1995.
On April 20, 2016, Chyna was found dead at her home in Redondo Beach, California.
In 1998, six foot two, 240 pound Nicole Bass debuted in Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW).
She went on to appear in the World Wrestling Federation, XPW, and the National Wrestling Alliance.
Before wrestling, Nicole won the 1997 NPC National Bodybuilding Championships.
The nWo girls
In 1999, World Championship Wrestling (WCW) debuted the nWo girls.
The nWo girls were April Hunter, Tylene Buck, Kim Kanner (Shakira), Midajah (Melinda O'Hearn) and Pamela Paulshock.
April was a fitness model appearing in all the major muscle magazines (MuscleMag, IronMan etc) and before the WCW she won Ms. Fitness Philadelphia 1998.
I don't think Tylene (Major Gunns) was in competitions, but like April, she appeared in all the major fitness magazines
Kim Kanner was also a fitness model, but really wasn't much into the wrestling side of the business. She also appeared in Iron Man Magazine and Muscle & Fitness.
Midajah was not only a fitness model, but was also certified as a personal fitness trainer and nutritionist.
Pamela was also a fitness model before the WCW.
Asya (Christie Wolf)
1999 also saw "The Head Nurse" Christine Marie "Christie" Wolf appear in the WCW in a Ric Flair storyline.
Now Christie had a major fitness background having won the 1995 NPC Florida State Championship, the 1997 Ms. Florida Bodybuilding Championship, the 1997 Pro Invitational Strength Extravaganza Championship and the 1998 NPC Nationals.
Besides being involved in the Flair storyline, she managed David Flair, Dean Malenko, Perry Saturn and the KISS inspired Demon (Dale Torborg) and was later known as Asya.
Also in 1999, "Samantha" debuted in WCW.
Of course "Samantha" was actually Torrie Wilson who would go on to work for the WWF/WWE and finally retire in 2008.
Before wrestling, Torrie won the Miss Galaxy competition in 1998 and was part of the Extreme Fitness Team, based in Orlando.
At the 1998 Miss Galaxy, she met Lisa Marie Varon who would go on to become Victoria and Tara in TNA.
March of 2000 saw the debut of fitness model turned wrestler Trish Stratus.
As a fitness model, Trish first showed up in the pages of MuscleMag International. then she got a cover and they signed her to a two year contract.
She did fitness modeling for about six months before showing up in the WWE.
Trish Stratus Update
Trish Stratus Update
Since leaving the WWE, Trish has let her hair go back to it's natural color (which I think looks even better) and opened "Canada's largest eco-friendly yoga studio".
The studio is called Stratusphere, which is also the name of her Travel + Escape television channel travel show.
And she has shown up now and then in the WWE, much to her fans delight.
Trish Stratus at Amazon
Victoria - Tara - Lisa Marie Varon
In 2000, we saw the debut of Victoria, who I mentioned earlier.
Before wrestling, Lisa Marie Varon was a personal trainer, aerobics teacher and competed in ESPN2's Fitness America Series in 1997 and 1998, the Miss Galaxy Competition in 1998 and in 1999, she got her IFBB Pro Card after coming in second at the National Physique Committee Team Universe show in New York.
Besides meeting Torrie, she also met Trish during that time, which they tried to work into a storyline in the WWF.
Moving on a few years down the road, 2005 saw the wrestling debut of Canadian bodybuilder and fitness model Melissa Coates.
Melissa was trained by Killer Kowalski and started out working for Ultimate Pro Wrestling's Ultimate University before moving on to World Wrestling Entertainment's developmental territory Ohio Valley Wrestling (she was actually at WWE's Backlash) then World Xtreme Wrestling, Deep South Wrestling and many others.
Before wrestling, Melissa won the 1991 Windsor Physique, 1992 Eastern Ontario, 1993 Ontario, 1994 Canadian Championships and the 1996 Jan Tana Classic.
She also competed and placed at both the IFBB Ms. Olympia and IFBB Ms. International.
Aksana - Zivile Raudoniene
2009 saw the debut of a couple of fitness stars in the ring.
Lithuanian fitness model and bodybuilder Živilė Raudonienė left a very promising IFBB Figure career to go to work for the WWE as Aksana.
Before wrestling, Živilė was killing as a figure competitor taking first place at the 2006 NPC Metropolitan, the 2006 NPC Pittsburgh, the 2007 IFBB New York Pro and winning the prestigious Arnold Classic in 2009.
Kaitlyn - Celeste Bonin
Also making her debut in 2009 was Kaitlyn (Celeste Bonin)
Celeste made her fitness debut at the age of nineteen and won the 2007 NPC John Sherman Classic Bodybuilding, Figure & Fitness Championships, placed 5th at the 2008 IFBB Arnold Classic Bodybuilding, Fitness And Figure Contest and came in 16th at the 2008 NPC Junior USA Bodybuilding, Fitness and Figure Championships.
As a fitness model she appeared in Flex Magazine.
Kira Forster - Taya Valkyrie
Kira Forster competed in 2003 in the ABBA and CBBF in Canada.
She was trained in pro wrestling by former WWE Superstar Lance Storm as Taya Valkyrie and was signed by the WWE.
For some reason they let her go (WWE's reasoning is beyond my understanding) and now she is in AAA (Asistencia Asesoría y Administración) in Mexico as a member of the Perros del Mal stable and is one of the hottest things in lucha libre at the moment.
Kim Nielsen is a real there and back again story.
Kim started out as a fitness competitor (she came in eighth in the 2000 Miss Galaxy competition), then went to wrestling where she was trained by "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes.
From there she did a brief stint in the WWE (less than a year) then went to TNA where she was known as "Every Man's Desire" and was the valet of Sonny Siaki.
She had a feud with Trinity that lasted almost a year and during that time she suffered a broken back after being fisherman suplexed onto the edge of the ring.
Kim finished the match.
She came back after that and finally retired in 2005 after she became pregnant with her third child.
Kim gained 80 pounds during that last pregnancy and was very unhappy about it.
Sonny (the father of her third child) suggested auditioning for The Biggest Loser during a casting call in Atlanta, Georgia.
She did, went on the show and lost 118 pounds, getting down to 134 pounds.
Madison Rayne - TNA Knockout
TNA Knockout Madison Rayne's story is a bit different.
Before she ever got into pro wrestling, she trained for fitness competitions, but she never entered any.
Then she started training under Jeff Cannon, and went into wrestling working for promotions like Dynamite Championship Wrestling, Ohio Championship Wrestling, Shimmer Women Athletes and finally Total Nonstop Action Wrestling where she was the TNA Women's Knockout Champion four times.
Now Madison has gone back to fitness in her "spare time" and in June of 2012 she entered Main Stage Muscle’s Victory Classic in Kannapolis, NC, and took first prize in the fitness bikini competition.
D'Arcy Dixon is a female wrestler who has worked for promotions like Billy Corgan's Resistance Pro Wrestling and PGWA LadySports.
I have read that she is a fitness model turned wrestler, but so far I haven't been able to find anything about her fitness past.
Although Sarah Bäckman isn't a fitness model or bodybuilder...you can't say she isn't fit!
Sarah arm wrestles and has been the European Champion eight times, the Swedish Champion eleven times and World Champion eight times.
She's five foot seven, she weights 160-165 pounds and personally I think she is gorgeous.
In addition to arm wrestling, Sarah was also Gladiator "Spirit" on the TV-show "Gladiatorerna", the Swedish version of American Gladiators.
And now she has been signed by the WWE, so I expect to see her pop up in NXT any time now.
Let's just hope the WWE knows what to do with her.....
UPDATE: Sadly, Sarah was released from her WWE contract.
Shaniqua - Linda Miles - WWE Diva
She may have not been a fitness model or a fitness competitor, but there is no way that you can say that Linda Miles aka Shaniqua was not one of the fittest WWE Divas to ever set foot in a ring.
Linda started out on the Rutgers University women's basketball team and after graduation, she tried out for the Seattle Storm of the WNBA.
She woumd up on the second season of WWE Tough Enough with Jackie Gayda, where they were co-winners.
Linda debuted in the WWE in 2002 as Shaniqua, the manager of The Basham Brothers and she left in 2004.
Five foot one, 102 pound Alexa Bliss may seem tiny, but she is in shape.
Before she signed a developmental contract with the WWE and started working at NXT, Alexis "Lexi" Kaufman was a rising fitness star.
Contrary to what Wikipedia says, she was never a bodybuilder but an IFBB Bikini Pro.
She competed at the Arnold Classic, the Valenti Gold Cup Pro, the Pittsburgh Pro and the IFBB North American Championships after turning Pro.
Carmella - NXT Diva
NXT and now WWE Diva Carmella (Leah Van Damme-Dale) is also a fitness instructor and personal trainer.
As you may have noticed by her abs.
WWE NXT Diva Dana Brooke (Ashley Mae Sebera) was well into a fitness career before she joined the WWE.
She competed in several national competitions like the IFBB Arnold Classic Brasil, IFBB Arnold Sports Festival and the IFBB Arnold Classic Europe.
She was also an IFBB Pro.
WWE NXT Diva Mandy Rose
WWE NXT Diva Mandy Rose (Amanda Saccomanno) was signed by the WWE after placing second on the WWE competition WWE Tough Enough in 2015.
Before wrestling, she took first place at the 2013 World Bodybuilding Fitness and Fashion Boston Show and was also the 2014 World Beauty Fitness and Fashion Bikini Champion.
She also appeared in Fitness Gurls Magazine, Fit and Firm Magazine and FitFemme Magazine.
WWE NXT Sara Lee
WWE NXT Diva Sara Lee was as one of the thirteen finalists for the sixth season of the WWE's Tough Enough.
Although she was almost eliminated five times during the competition,she was chosen by fan vote as one of the winners.
Sara's fitness background is that she was a competitive powerlifter.
She can squat 230 pounds and bench press 140 pounds.
Sara is five foot six and weighs 125 pounds.
WWE Diva Summer Rae
Okay, WWE Diva Summer Rae wasn't in the IFBB or WBFF...but she did play for the Chicago Bliss of the Legends Football League before joining the WWE.
She was a cornerback, team captain and she played in the LFL All-Star Game.
As far as fitness goes, she works with IFBB Physique pro Alex Carneiro, and does weights four days a week, and intense cardio twice a week.
And it shows.