Wrestling is a very special sport: entertainment, acting, athletics, wrestling, and beauty are mixed in it. It is the emblem of American show business, in which a performer, to be a true star, must be able to do everything: dance, hit, jump, interpret.
And it is no coincidence that women also have a leading role in this sector, both inside and outside the ring, as managers and sometimes also as spectators: their beauty and their attractiveness are in fact just one of the many ingredients you need to breakthrough, and not necessarily the main one, given how much the ability to choose the right character, to find moves that characterize you, to give an all-round show also affects.
Many wrestlers have thus trod the rings of the various wrestling federations that have followed one another in these decades, since the 20s of the twentieth century; some, however, more than others, have managed to enter the legend, to leave their mark in a world that is whirling and in which careers often last only a few years. Let’s find out together.
The Blonde Beauty of Florida
To best present our five we have decided – in the absence of a better criterion – to order the athletes we have selected in chronological order, from the youngest to the oldest, in order to immediately present the most vivid ones in the memory of the fans and only in, later on, the wrestlers who have become legendary.
And the youngest, from this point of view, is undoubtedly Kelly Kelly, born Barbie Blank, born in 1987 in Jacksonville, Florida. Her ring debut took place in 2006, at just 19, after some experience mainly as a model; chosen – by the organizers’ own admission – mainly for her beauty, Blank assumed the ring name of Kelly Kelly and began performing on the ECW roster, alternating fights with winking curtains.
In 2008, then gained some experience and more and more loved by fans, she moved on to perform within Raw, giving life to other storylines based on her attractiveness and on the fact that various wrestlers fought for her. Then, in 2010 came a momentary move to SmackDown, while the following year, thanks also to the polls that elected her sexiest fighter, she won the title of Divas Champion in combat, which she managed to defend for a few weeks.
Finally, in 2012, she retired from the activity to devote herself to an increasingly flourishing career as a model: she posed for some calendars and for many photoshoots and, despite some sporadic returns to the ring, it seems that her interest is now directed towards the acting, so much so that rumors want her in the cast of a future horror film.
The Wrestler Who Became Engaged with George Clooney
Born in 1979 – also retired for some years now from the WWE rings – is Stacy Keibler, one of the female wrestling divas of the early 2000s, capable of attracting attention not only for her skills as a fighter but also for her very long legs (it is 1.80 meters high) and for the genuine beauty.
The debut took place around 1999, just twenty years old, in the World Championship Wrestling, a federation founded by Ted Turner which in 2001 was acquired by the WWE (then still called the World Wrestling Federation), which decided to keep the contracts of only some athletes: the Keibler she was one of those who were saved from dismissal, because the federation thought – a posteriori, wisely – that it could count on her for a bright future.
With her and her colleagues Trish Stratus (which we will talk about shortly), Torrie Wilson and Lita gave life to the league’s first bra and panties matches, in which the girls, fighting, undressed each other, literally ending the fight in bra and underpants, to the delight of the male audience, in a custom that would soon become a tradition.
Her career in the wrestling field ended in 2006 when her participation in the American version of Dancing with the stars (ended with third place overall) opened the way to the star system and a career as a leading model: she posed like this for many magazines and began appearing in TV series ( About Brian, How I Met Your Mother, Chuck, and others) and movies ( The worst coach in the world ). Most importantly, she jumped to the headlines for her relationship with George Clooney, which lasted from 2011 to 2013. After the breakup with the actor, she became engaged to the entrepreneur Jared Pobre, whom she married last March and with whom she had, in August, the first daughter, Ava Grace.
The Diva of the Decade
Perhaps the most famous and loved among the athletes we remember today is Trish Stratus, a seven-time winner of the WWE Women’s Championship, as well as Diva of the Decade according to the vote of the fans, who had already elected her three times Babe of the Year.
Canadian, born in 1975, Stratus – whose real name is Patricia Anne Strategies – made her debut in the world of wrestling almost by chance. After high school, in fact, she had enrolled at York University in Toronto to study medicine; a few exams from graduation, however, a strike blocked the university’s lessons for a few weeks and she took the opportunity to find a job, useful for saving some money. She ended up working as a receptionist in a gym and was noticed by the editor of a fitness magazine, who asked her to take some shots for the cover of the magazine.
Thus in 1998 Strategies suddenly found herself transformed from a young university student into a model and by 2000, after an intense workout in the gym, she was ready to make her debut in the world of wrestling. Alternating, at least in the early days, the activity of a manager to that of a real fighter, the Stratus quickly began to make a name for itself in the environment, winning the first WWF Women’s Championship title in 2001, then repeated several times during the course. Some years.
With the aforementioned Stacy Keibler he fought the first bra and panties match but also posed for a calendar entitled Dream Team; a series of injuries around the mid-2000s, however, convinced her of the need to retire, making only sporadic appearances from that moment on. She was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2013, and in recent years she has mainly dedicated herself to fitness and modeling.
The Diva of the Nineties and Her Problems
If the girls we’ve featured so far have all fought and made federation history over the past decade, now we’re starting to move backward, trying to highlight the historical female wrestlers from when wrestling was in its infancy or was starting to move towards that ” war machine ”of the American show system that is now. The first of these fighters is Sunny, aka Tammy Lynn Sytch.
Born in 1972 in New Jersey, after high school she also enrolled in the Faculty of Medicine with the aim of becoming a pediatrician, but in the early nineties she thought – together with her then-boyfriend, Chris Candido – that she could try the path of wrestling to earn some extra cash; she then entered Smoky Mountain Wrestling, a very short-lived minority federation, initially playing the role of a feminist wrestler, Hillary Clinton’s fanatic.
In 1995, thanks to the failure of Smoky Mountain Wrestling, she joined the WWF, and it was at this moment that she assumed the ring name of Sunny, immediately becoming extremely popular, so much so that already in 1996 the famous American provider AOL named her the “most downloaded woman of the internet ”(in an era in which, in truth, connections were still very slow). In those years she so she began to alternate the activity of a wrestler with TV appearances both on MTV and CBS.
In the late 1990s, however, the first problems began to arise. In 1998 she was fired from WWF for a variety of reasons, but also for alleged abuse of painkillers and truancy from shows; even in the subsequent federations for which she performed, however, there were rumors of problems with various drugs, until, in 2000, Sytch was forced to switch to the independent circuit, with appearances also abroad but in any case of little importance for his career. In 2011 she was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
The Fabulous Moolah
The First Hall of Famer in History
We conclude with an authentic legend of this sport, the first woman ever inducted into the WWF Hall of Fame: The Fabulous Moolah, born Mary Lillian Ellison, a wrestler born in 1923 in South Carolina and passed away in November 2007 following complications resulting from shoulder surgery.
Ellison fought from 1949 until 1987, at the ripe old age of 64, continuing however even after that date to appear in some events organized by the federation and taking part in angles and storylines. She is celebrated and appreciated in the last years of her life, she has also appeared in numerous television broadcasts, host of talk shows, and celebratory events.
Her private life was, on the other hand, as turbulent as her activity in the ring: married at just 14 to a boy of 21, she had a daughter with him but divorced after just two years; a few months later she decided to try the way of wrestling, a sport that she had learned to appreciate as a child (main thanks to the example of the legendary wrestler of the 30s Mildred Burke) because her father often took her to matches her. In the early years, she had numerous problems: for example, when announcing the entry into the ring of the Mexican The Elephant Boy she used to kiss him on the cheek, but because of the very dark skin of the fighter and the fact that he could look like a black man in the ‘ 50 was nearly stabbed by a fanatic who didn’t like a white girl kissing an African American.
She became world champion for the first time in 1956, taking on the nickname of Fabulous Moolah on that occasion. She won the title three more times and greatly helped the sport to establish itself in the American imagination over the decades: she toured Japan, was the first woman allowed to fight inside Madison Square Garden in New York, while in the 80s he signed exclusively for the WWF, which in those years was beginning to conquer a prominent role in the wrestling scene. She was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1995 and in 1999, at the age of 76, she even won the WWF Women’s Championship title.