With Christmas just a few short hours away, anticipation is at its height. One of the cornerstones of the holiday is gift-giving. Since the inception of the WWE Divas division, the company has given its fans gifts in the form of Christmas-themed Divas photo shoots.
From Sable to Lita, Stacy Keibler to Dawn Marie, Kelly Kelly to Eve Torres, it has become a tradition.
This is a countdown of the hottest "Santa's Little Helpers" in WWE history, just in time for the most joyous holiday of the year.
It was brought to my attention that I left Kelly Kelly off of the list. Considering the fact that she is the reigning Slammy winner for Diva of the Year, I cannot explain how I forgot her. Anyway, here she is for all of your Christmastime needs.
An ECW original, Dawn Marie made her WWE debut in 2002 and immediately set her sights on fellow Diva Torrie Wilson. The feud between the two resulted in some of the most memorable, interesting moments in Divas history, including a much-hyped lesbian kiss at the Armageddon pay-per-view and the infamous wedding between Dawn and Al Wilson, Torrie's father.
After the completion of the of the rivalry, Dawn floated around the company for three more years, feuding with fellow "Santa's Little Helper" Jackie Haas along the way but never again reaching the level of exposure (pun intended) or success she did in her initial program with Torrie.
Is there anything sexier than a beautiful woman, with a British accent, from Miami who was once a dancer for the Miami Heat? If you said "no," you would be correct.
Layla is one of the longest-tenured Divas on the current roster and appears poised to break out as a singles competitor for the first time. A partnership with Michelle McCool resulted in one of the most successful Divas acts in recent history. LayCool was a duo straight out of Mean Girls, with attitude and a mean streak a mile long. They made fun of Mickie James' weight, dominated the Divas division for nearly two years, and was the most consistently-featured female act during their run.
An injury put Layla on the shelf early in 2011 but she looks poised to return in 2012, better than ever.
While Sunny was the original Diva, Sable was the woman who stepped in and really embraced her role as the sexual icon during the celebrated Attitude Era. One of the few women to ever become a star on the level of their male counterparts, she revolutionized the role of a woman in wrestling during her short stay with the company.
Upon returning in 2003, she not only reminded wrestling fans across the globe why she was considered one of the hottest women in wrestling history, she also provided the photo shoot that led to her inclusion on this list.
A Chicago native, Maria was a popular Diva not only for her stunning good looks but because she was never shy about showing personality in her performances. One of the original Diva Search competitors, Maria managed to stick around as long as she did because she forged a connection with the fans that other ex-models did not.
Her release from the company was a surprise at the time but she has managed to stay busy, appearing with real-life boyfriend Mike Bennett for Ring of Honor just this weekend.
The reigning "Geek Goddess," AJ's WWE career has only just begun. One of the most popular women amongst the Internet Wrestling Community due to her love of all things video games, comic books, and science-fiction, AJ has a bright future ahead of her. Filling the role of "plucky underdog babyface," she will undoubtedly be a favorite of WWE fans for years and years to come.
The epitome of the woman every man wants to be with and every woman simply wants to be, Maryse was released in 2011 after what appeared to be a promising career with World Wrestling Entertainment.
In 2008 and 2009, Maryse had built a solid in-ring career for herself, winning the Divas Championship and appearing poised to become the first super hot, former model to succeed in the ring since Trish Stratus. An ill-timed knee injury, however, put her out of action and whatever confidence Maryse had built for herself seemed to have disappeared upon her return. She became hesitant and never again found the same success.
She ended her career as a manager and hostess of the NXT program. One has to wonder how much potential went untapped with this incredibly beautiful French Canadian.
In this writer's mind, there has never been a WWE Diva as beautiful as Stacy Keibler. But that is strictly opinion.
Stacy was, during her stay with WWE, one of its most popular female performers. Mostly serving as an assistant or valet, she did occasionally step into the squared circle for a number of gimmick matches. Bra and panties matches and lingerie matches were her fortay and she was as popular as any other woman because of it.
Now known world-wide for dating George Clooney, Stacy is garnering the attention from the general public that wrestling fans were all-to-quick to give to her years before.
Joy only lasted with WWE for a few months in 2004 and 2005 but there was something about this self-proclaimed "MILF" that captured the attention of the WWE fans.
I cannot imagine what that would be.
But with a name like Joy, how could she not be included here?
Often described as "the girl next door," Torrie ranks as one of the most popular Divas of all-time. Gracing the cover of two Playboy magazines, as well as several other publications, she was the object of affection for male fans across the globe.
Never much of an in-ring competitor, Torrie managed to have a highly successful career with WWE anyway. She retired in 2007 after years of bumping caused injury to her back.
A Christmas Cowgirl? Somehow, Mickie makes it work.
Mickie James is among the most decorated women in the history of the sport. A multiple-time Women's Champion with WWE, Mickie rose to prominance as a psycho-stalker of Trish Stratus. Despite being positioned as a heel, the persona got over with the fans and she became the most popular woman in the company. From 2007-2010, she carried the Divas division as its top babyface performer.
During that time period, she took her fair-share of Christmas-themed photos, including the incredibly sexy shot here.
Melina, if nothing else, has proven her ability to attract controversy. A highly-talented in-ring performer, the Los Angeles-native was a mainstay on WWE television from 2005-2011. Her in-ring success was matched only by the dubious nature of her relationship with John Morrison.
A multiple-time Women's and Divas Champion, Melina was a favorite of the creative team before her backstage heat built to the point of no return. That said, she is one of the most decorated women to step into the squared circle.
The fact that she was incredibly hot did not hurt her staying power, either.
Like AJ, Kaitlyn's career is only just beginning. With absolutely zero wrestling training when she first appeared on NXT, Kaitlyn has improved dramatically in-ring and has even been rumored to be joining Beth Phoenix and Natalya in their "Divas of Destruction" group. Time will only tell if Kaitlyn can have a long and successful career with WWE.
Beth Phoenix is beautiful in a way no other Diva is. She is sexy, powerful, and a proven in-ring great. The current Divas Champion, there is little to be said about the best all-around in-ring performer in the Divas division that has not already been said. So instead of trying, sit back and enjoy Beth in all of her Christmas glory.
Natalya is a third-generation Diva, the product of the Hart family, which is one of the most celebrated in the history of the sport. Already a former Divas Champion, Natalya is destined for greatness. One of the best in-ring workers amongst the current crop of Divas.
Lita was always the alternative Diva in comparison to the roster full of blonds that the WWE employed in the early 2000s. This shot is proof of that.
Lita did more to transform the opinion of what a WWE Diva could be than anyone will ever give her credit for. When she arrived in the company in 2000, the women were used solely as eye candy with matches often occurring in pools of water, pudding, or mud and with the girls clothed in as little as possible.
With her high-flying abilities, she proved to the world that women could kick ass and look good while doing it. She was the prototype for the Divas division that would rise to prominence in 2002 and for that alone, she has earned a future spot in the WWE Hall of Fame.
We conclude our list with the most athletic and, perhaps, the most intelligent Diva on the WWE roster. A graduate of USC with a degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering, Eve has proven to be successful in every stage of her young life.
A two-time Divas Champion, Eve has become one of the top Divas on the roster. Her recent battles with Beth Phoenix have been praised for improving on what has been a terrible year for women's wrestling. Her out-of-ring activities, including training at the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy and serving as a spokesperson for the WWE's Be A Star anti-bullying campaign has also reaped praise.
One of the most beautiful women to ever step foot in a WWE ring, Eve is poised to be one of the top Divas in the company for years to come.