Two things every fan of pro wrestling knows about the females who represent the industry is that they are gorgeous and most of them can snap their dates into a mean headlock. The more popular a wrestler is, the more their die hard supporters know about their lives, yet this typically relates exclusively to the time they spent in the ring. Whatever these women did prior to entering the world of wrestling is a mystery to most, with only their absolute biggest fans able to tell people what they did before entering the WWE Universe, or wherever they started grappling.
Quite frankly, given their looks and general dispositions, a very large number of these women happened to hold some pretty similar jobs in preparation for their future careers. That said, there have also been dozens of female wrestlers who put aside relatively interesting provocations in order to follow their dreams of WWE superstardom. Believe it or not, scattered amongst this cavalcade of cheerleaders, beauty queens, and part-time models, there have also been a handful of telemarketers, teachers, farmers, and even sanitation specialists. Of course, not just anyone knows which woman held which job.
Take our quiz and find out if you can name what these gorgeous WWE divas did for work before becoming wrestlers.
So strikingly beautiful she actually got people to watch WCW in the year 2000, Stacy Keibler could and has succeeded in just about every field of media, at least to some degree. While Keibler’s acting has never been that high profile, she has been in a number of films and TV shows, and has done plenty of modeling before, during, and after her time in the ring. On top of that, her long legs wowed viewers of Dancing with the Stars, plus fans of a certain football team back when it all began.
Nothing about AJ Lee’s tenure as a WWE superstar fit the usual script, which is what made her such a big hit amongst younger female fans who related to her character. Lee also had a pretty intense personal history that gave her an endearing quality, like the fact her family overcame poverty when she was younger. Of course, the Lee's are probably doing all right now that she’s a bestseller author, having written Crazy Is My Superpower: How I Triumphed by Breaking Bones, Breaking Hearts, and Breaking the Rules.
Born into wrestling royalty thanks to her father’s status as the 16-time World Champion, Charlotte Flair couldn’t have escaped a life of athletics if she tried. Accepting her fate from a young age, Charlotte played plenty of different sports and typically excelled at them, hence her “Genetically Superior Athlete” nickname. Ultimately, though, there was no escaping her fate following her father’s footsteps directly with no less than 4 Women’s Championships thus far. Too bad she has apparently also inherited his tumultuous love life.
So beautiful she somehow makes her husband The Miz fun to look at no matter how annoying he’s being, it would be easy to assume Maryse is one of the many female wrestlers who got her start as a model. Unsurprisingly, Maryse did indeed spend some time as a model and beauty queen, winning the Miss Hawaiian Tropic Canada 2003 contest and placing second in the same contest a year later. Before that, however, she had been practicing a side job since high school.
Something about Kelly Kelly’s personality coupled with the fact her birth name was Barbie Blank makes her the most obvious women in the entire WWE Universe to hold a certain job. On the other hand, maybe she was born to be a WWE superstar, as she at least held the Divas Championship for a solid four months. Kelly also made history by being the only woman to defend the World Heavyweight Championship in a mixed tag team match, bizarrely getting fired onscreen for the act.
Upon marrying The Undertaker, former WWE Women’s and Diva’s Champion Michelle McCool forever cemented her status in sports entertainment. Regardless of who she’s married to, McCool was well on her way to history already by unifying those titles, and perhaps in a manner of speaking she was already on that path way back when she debuted with a pretentious gimmick imitating real life. The real question is whether or not her pre-wrestling career is relevant during her modern day life with The Dead Man.
Looking like she was created in Vince McMahon’s wildest fantasies, Trish Stratus has a body that made her tailor-made for modeling, or at least some other profession that would put her in the public eye. At one point, she started co-hosting a Canadian talk radio show about wrestling, furthering that theory about McMahon thinking she was the perfect female wrestler. The 7 WWE Women’s Championships that came later were only icing on the cake, and the same could be said about her Hall of Fame induction.
As one of the best female technical wrestlers of her generation, fans might expect “The Glamazon” Beth Phoenix would be one of the many divas with a profession that prepared her for a life of sports entertainment. Phoenix did play sports throughout school, but when it was time to start her wrestling training, she needed a day job in order to make ends meet. The WWE Hall of Fame was still a long ways away, so she took up a far more traditional profession until she was ready.
Not unlike most wrestlers or perhaps athletes in general, Dana Brooke practiced a handful of different sports prior to settling on her true calling. At first, Brooke attempted diving, although she apparently didn’t last long in this field. Her next athletic endeavor and pro wrestling have been going a lot better for her, to the extent Brooke has been able to continue both career concurrently. While some fans feel she was called from NXT to the main roster to fast, perhaps it was her prior career that convinced execs she could make the leap.
Depending on if one saw her in ECW, wrestling fans probably viewed Dawn Marie as either extremely hot or extremely ridiculous. It’s not that WWE did anything to hide her beauty, it’s just that it was harder to notice when she was locking lips with Torrie Wilson’s real life father, Al. Believe it or not, Dawn Marie was probably used to old men already, having spent years studying business at NYU. That's not to mention her long friendship with Paul Heyman, who's closer to her age, but just as creepy in his own right.
Personal issues mean Chyna may never enter the WWE Hall of Fame, and yet real pro wrestling fans will never forget her incredible impact on sports entertainment. Known as the 9th Wonder of the World, Chyna was easily the most dominant female in WWE history. She was the first woman to enter the Royal Rumble or King of the Ring tournament, one of the few female challengers to the WWE Championship, and thus far the sole woman to win the Intercontinental Championship.
The Bella Twins
Two is better than one, but we’re a little bit hard pressed at thinking up any benefits to having waitresses that looked like. On the other hand, if they look like Brie and Nikki Bella, it doesn’t really matter what they do for a living. The girls knew this when they headed to LA looking for work as actresses, wrestlers, or whatever other entertainment type job they could find. Of course, just about any business would be happy to have two identically gorgeous employees, so it wasn't that hard for them to get started.
Standing at five feet of fury, Alexa Bliss is one of the smaller ladies in World Wrestling Entertainment. Of course, they say that big things come in small packages, and Bliss most certainly lives up to this cliché. After overcoming an eating disorder during her teenage years, Bliss turned to athletics to keep her body in good condition. Being the first woman to win the Raw and SmackDown Championships is probably enough to make it clear she's done a great job at it.
Considering her status as the self-professed Anti-Diva, there’s no surprises in the fact Paige had one of the cooler pre-fame jobs this quiz covers. Of course, things get a little less cool and a bit sketchier with the information Paige was only 15 when she started it, more or less forced to do so by her parents. This wasn’t out of the ordinary for Ricky Knight and Sweet Saraya, either, as they had already been letting her rumble in the ring for a good three years at that point.
Naturally, due to her family and surroundings, Neidhart was forced into wrestling most of her life, which is probably why she didn’t bother sticking with any other professions for particularly long. Knowing her family, they also probably wanted to instill a strong work ethic in her regardless of whether or not she could snap on a Sharpshooter. Coincidentally, she picked a career that would also prepare her for a life of traveling, although that could probably be said of any former athlete on the list, as well.
In WWE, most people probably ignored announcer Eden Stiles the same way women in her position are always forgotten about. No disrespect to her talents, it’s just that announcers generally don’t play a huge role in the storylines. That never quite sat well with Cody Rhodes’s wife, who apparently inspired her to get more involved when left the WWE Universe for Impact Wrestling and elsewhere. Before she became part of the Rhodes family, though, Brandi had plenty of outside interests, including her first career.
Whether showing her ditzy side in the WWE Universe or acting like image obsessed wife of Mike Bennett, the self-proclaimed “First Lady of Professional Wrestling“ Maria Kanellis has been playing different sides of a cliché based on her former profession for most of her time in the business. Oddly enough, she once said she didn’t want to be typecast in this way, and yet the characters she play imply something a little different. On the other hand, maybe she's trying to break a stereotype by being meta or something.
Generally speaking, one might think a person who dances around to a song called “I Know You Want Me” is probably the type more likely to be behind the camera. In many respects, Sunny defined what it was to be a WWE diva, also setting the tone for a new breed of powerful woman in professional wrestling. Boyfriend Chris Candido had to get left in the dust to make it possible, but that's wrestling for you. Before that happened, though, she studied pre-law and pre-med at various colleges while working as what part-time?
By signing a contract to appear on Total Divas despite losing season two of Tough Enough, to a certain extent, it looked like Mandy Rose was doubling down on entering the WWE Universe through non-traditional means. The one thing about her past that justified the sudden moves were the years Rose spent in her pre-fame career, which definitely prepared her for a life of sports entertainment. Still relatively new to wrestling, there's no saying yet which career Rose will ultimately be better known for.
This might be a slightly trick question, as Michelle actually competed in the first televised Diva Search before nabbing the star making role. It wasn’t until afterwards that she signed as a full-time performer, though, making it close enough to fit the basic description as her pre-wrestling career. Nonetheless, Michelle remains a special case as a rare wrestler arguably more famous for her work outside the ring. Of course, that's what tends to happen any time someone appears in a Super Bowl commercial.
The male counterpoint to this list could easily see more football players than models and cheerleaders combined. At the same time, the idea of women getting involved in mainstream sports other than wrestling is still a pretty rare concept, especially when ladies decide to do so on a professional level. Perhaps if her employers focused more on the inherent toughness required of a woman playing the game she did, Rae wouldn’t be viewed as such a minor figure. Or maybe she just prefers dancing these days.
With bright red hair and ring gear reminiscent of punk rockers, Lita looked like she hung out with musicians during her time in the ring. Considering the Hardy Boyz status as teen idols, one could even say her gimmick was living the dream of every alternative styled female fan of the WWE Universe. This makes plenty of sense considering her pre-fame tenure traveling around the US with a bunch of musicians. That said, there’s no doubt Lita eclipsed their relevance by becoming a WWE Hall of Famer.
As a blonde woman from Florida calling herself the Ravishing Russian, it should go without saying that Lana is well versed in the art of deception. Granted, her nickname is in part related to her husband Rusev, aka the Bulgarian Brute, and if nothing else, Lana did indeed spend many years in Latvia as a child. Some people do indeed jump from foreign countries to the WWE Universe, but Lana's life story meant a middle ground was needed. What pre-fame job could have helped her bridge the gap?
Unlike everyone else on this list, Stephanie McMahon was very much born into the wrestling business. Considering her father Vince is the key figure to his WWE Universe, it makes sense that Stephanie would get a job working for the company at a younger age than virtually anyone else ever could. She actually started out as a model, wearing WWE apparel for magazine shoots, but her adult career didn’t officially start until she achieved a different position. From there, she moved up to a point where there's almost no chance in hell she won't one day take over.
Flexible enough to split her way into the ring and tenacious enough to survive contorted submission holds for record time, Melina Perez was a uniquely physical female wrestler considering her era. This doesn’t mean she wasn’t as beautiful as the competition, though, something she proved well before joining the WWE Universe as well as after. On top of that, few people could contort their bodies the way Melina does, making her a naturally unique talent in any sort of performance art.
Boasting that men everywhere wanted her while women wanted to be her, Sable pretty much had to have a pre-fame career behind the camera in order for her gimmick to work. Before long, her ability to shine on camera lead to Sable eclipsing her husband Marc Mero in fame, though things are a bit different today now that she’s married to the Beast Incarnate. However, that may just be by choice, as a woman like Sable could make an impact in any era, regardless of her age.
Sports fans all over can appreciate a woman who makes them feel the glow, so Naomi fit in working for the NBA with equal ease as she has the WWE Universe. Obviously, she wasn’t one of the basketball players, but she got to be pretty close to them while cheering on the a certain team. Naomi also spent a few months as a background dancer for pop music sensation Flo Rida. But was she one of the cheerleaders who supports her home state, or did she travel to nab the role?
She may be lacking in Sanity, and yet Nikki Cross was apparently able to keep it together at least enough that she could be a qualified personal trainer. Before making it big, Cross spent close to ten years honing her craft on the British independent scene, where her talent for performing interviews and doing character work made her a clear hit, something that has already followed her to the WWE Universe. Based on her past in and out of wrestling, once called up from NXT, Cross can make a major impact.
By winning season three of NXT, Kaitlyn was wasting no time in proving she was the strongest new female wrestler the WWE Universe had seen in quite some time. Of course, anyone paying attention to her background would have already known this about her, considering she has one of the most impressive pre-fame sporting resumes of any WWE superstar, male or female. This is why winning NXT was such an easy task for her, and how she became the WWE Divas Champion so soon afterwards.
Most of these pre-fame professions had little to do with wrestling, but some women like Terri Runnels might not have entered the industry without her initial career. Runnels had a job working for one of Ted Turner's other networks, eventually leading to a position doing the same thing at WCW. Before long, executives realized she had a look that just might work on television, and Alexandra York was born. Years later, she found a money gimmick as Marlena, that first gig was essential in making her the performer she would become.
Despite a rumor that she was rather overweight earlier in life, the truth is that Beulah McGillicutty was pretty much always a beauty of the extreme variety. When her wrestling career began in earnest, she instantly proved as much by becoming the object of Raven, Tommy Dreamer, and Stevie Richards’ affections all at once, not to mention virtually every man in the ECW audience. Though she found little success outside of Paul Heyman's violent company that was, Beulah never seemed to regret it.
Known for her sweet and gentle image compared to some of her more vicious co-workers, it’s a little hard to picture Molly Holly doing anything people would consider particularly annoying. Defying expectation, before getting into wrestling she had one of the most irksome provocations one could possibly imagine. Granted, fans more familiar with her work as a heel might think it was entirely in character, as Molly could also annoy with the best of them when the situation called for it.
Based on his personality, some fans might think Enzo Amore is his own personal cheerleader, so there must have been some reason he was given a valet like Carmella in spite of his natural skill towards self-promotion. Perhaps the rub was that Carmella used to be an actual cheerleader for two of the top teams in entirely different sports, and our question focuses on her time in basketball. For the record, she also cheered for the New England Patriots before changing sports.
From the moment Cameron claimed her favorite match was Melina versus Alicia Fox, more cynical WWE fans have likely been thinking she needs some therapy of her own. In fact, Cameron has nobly been proving her patience by entering a very noble career. Chances are she simply didn’t have the time to watch that many matches. It was either that or she just wasn't funky enough for her role as one of Brodus Clay's back up dancers, which may be little hard to believe.
As the female voice of the most conservative stable in WWE history, the Right to Censor, Ivory was the last person Attitude Era fans would have expected to hold a job with the word cheer in the title. Even before she became the Lilith Crane of pro wrestling, Ivory’s character was an ultra bitch who treated her competition in the meanest and most vile way possible, making it even harder to believe she was a cheerleader prior to ending the business.
Victoria was one of the craziest and more hardcore female wrestlers of her era, so the idea of her being a personal trainer is a little bit scary to any potential clients. At the same time, of course, it makes perfect sense that someone possessing her intensity and drive would be good at sharing that quality with the world by inspiring others to be the best them they could be. Hopefully, this never involved screaming at them or leaving anyone a bloody mess.
Most people would probably see marrying into jiu-jitsu’s legendary Gracie family as a sign someone is fairly fitness minded, and that was likely at least partially the case when former wrestler Eve Torres accepted Rener Gracie’s proposal. That said, Torres didn’t really start showing interest in combat sports or fitness until joining the WWE Universe, which was a few years before she and her future husband even met. What could this gorgeous brunette have been doing before she realized her fighting spirit?
Beautiful as she is, Rosa Mendes was completely serious about starting a career in contact sports from a young age, actually training to compete in MMA fights before deciding to play it a little bit safer with pro wrestling. This probably came as a surprise to people who knew Mendes before any of her fighting instinct started to shine through, considering what she had been doing up until that point. Even if you didn't know Mendes personally, violence is probably the last thing on anyone's mind when taking a look at her.
Hearkening back to the day Debra maintained her smooth Southern Belle composure as she stood next to some of the craziest maniacs in the business, like her real life husband “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, makes it pretty easy to imagine the beauty queen calmly directing people through some intense situations. That's not to mention she was a former valet to the Four Horsemen during one of their craziest eras, though she did have tendency of losing her temper at that point.
While most wrestling fans were probably unaware of Reby Sky until she married Matt Hardy and started getting involved with his Broken Brilliance, she had actually been wrestling on the independent scene for a few years before the two hooked up. Not only that, Sky had also been in the entertainment business for quite some time prior to entering the ring at all, finding acting roles in TV shows and dancing work for notable musicians like Ringo Starr and Fat Joe.
Bizarre clothing, terrifying beautiful women, and Japanese overtones in general are all trademarks of most video games these days, so one could say Asuka looks like she could fit into a Final Fantasy universe as easily as the WWE one. This is no mere coincidence, as the Empress of Tomorrow actually used to design video games just like the Final Fantasy series while working for both Microsoft and Nintendo. That might feel like giving away the answer, but video game production can be a gigantic task, requiring many people doing different jobs—which one was Asuka's?
Quite frankly, regardless of what fans chant each time she enters the ring, Eva Marie probably doesn’t care whether or not people think she can wrestle. Vince McMahon most certainly wasn’t interested in her technical abilities when he signed her to appear on Total Divas first and started thinking about how she could actually adapt to the industry second. From Marie’s perspective it must have felt like a fairly normal way to start an gig, perhaps not realizing this would be vastly different from her earlier, less physical work.
While appearances in the Diva Search, the short-lived Deep South Wrestling, and ECW all made Brooke Tessmacher start to look like a complete bust in sports entertainment, three runs with the TNA Knockouts Championship made it clear she still had plenty to offer inside the squared circle. Getting released from WWE probably wasn’t too surprising to Tessmacher, as she had already had trouble fitting in to the mainstream. If only to prove critics wrong, Tessmacher went on to be one of the strongest women in Impact Wrestling history.
Being the eldest daughter of Eddie and Vickie Guerrero meant Raquel Diaz was practically born into the wrestling business, and that’s not even mentioning her three famous uncles and legendary grandfather. It was most likely this familial influence that brought Diaz to the ring, and the general charisma her father always exuded may have been what inspired her to attempt an alternative career until she was old enough to start wrestling. For fun, try and picture Latino Heat also train his daughter in the answer to this question.
As many fans are aware, Lilian Garcia often sang the National Anthem prior to WWE events during her lengthy tenure as the promotion’s main ring announcer. In fact, Garcia has a fully fleshed side career as a pop singer, but before she started showing off her pipes, she was already promoting other musicians. Hopefully she didn't spent too much time focused on herself, as WWE would give her plenty of help in that category by producing and releasing her eventual debut album, ¡Quiero Vivir!
Arriving on the scene by winning a reality TV show was a pro and con for Nidia, the first female to come out on top of Tough Enough. On the one hand, she entered the business with a really high profile, readymade to make an impact before she was even trained in the finer points of sports entertainment. The downside was others within the industry didn’t think she was ready, and her career before wrestling didn’t exactly help her case.
Winning the first televised Diva Search was a sign Christy Hemme had instantly endeared herself to the WWE Universe, and yet the process may have occurred even faster if she dug into her pre-fame persona. Like many female wrestlers, Hemme’s intention was to be a model or actress, but somehow she found herself doing something a bit different. If she somehow utilized these skills in her wrestling career, maybe Hemme wouldn't have come and gone as quickly as she did.
The Fabulous Moolah
Representing an era decades before Vince McMahon ever came up with the branding opportunity that is the term “diva,” The Fabulous Moolah was trailblazing what women could achieve in pro wrestling. Despite some controversy surrounding her teaching and booking methods, Moolah was nonetheless the longest reigning WWE champion in history, carrying the Women’s Championship for the lion’s share of three decades, the ‘50s to the ‘80s. Given her age and the timeframe she was alive, her pre-grappling occupation was appropriately a bit more old-fashioned than the rest of those in this quiz.
In many respects, WWE could be considered the Hollywood of sports entertainment, and Impact Wrestling is at best a low budget B-movie filled with interesting characters. One of the most interesting such personalities may be the one time Knockout’s Champion Rosemary. Hearing about the death of Eddie Guerrero made her rethink things and switch back to her childhood love of wrestling, and Rosemary never looked back to the film industry from then on. With this in mind, though, is Impact Wrestling really the best place for her?
Fans today might not even Dark Journey, despite the fact she was in certain respects an absolute trailblazer for women in the industry. Journey found most of her fame in Mid-South Wrestling, where she was amongst the first black women to find a high profile in a managerial role. She started out with Dick Slater, who had discovered her working her pre-fame job. Despite the fact she almost immediately faded away from the business after her relationship with Slater ended, she would find prominence again by accompanying the Four Horsemen for a few months in the late '80s.