WWE Ruthless Aggression Era Divas: Where Are They Now?

Travis Taylor@@WriterTaylorFeatured ColumnistNovember 16, 2012

WWE Ruthless Aggression Era Divas: Where Are They Now?

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    The WWE's Ruthless Aggression Era Divas were a successful result of events from the Attitude Era. During this period, the Divas division continued to grow in numbers and talent.

    This new era spanned roughly from 2002 to 2008 and featured a noticeable change from earlier years. Violent matches and adult themes got scaled back. With Vince McMahon's purchase of WCW, the ranks were now overflowing with talent, so much that the WWE split into two distinct brands.

    The Divas roster during the Ruthless Aggression Era was much deeper but still featured many athletic women, such as Melina, Mickie James and Victoria. So deep that along with the brand split, the WWE introduced a second women's title, the Divas Championship.

    Since the era ended in 2008, many of these women have gone their own ways and left the WWE. Where are they now?

    Some women are noticeably absent from this list, mainly Trish Stratus, Lita, Sable, Ivory and Molly Holly. These women and several others included in the "Attitude Era Divas Where Are They Now?" article are not listed here.


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    Melina Perez came to the WWE in 2003 and quickly came to dominate the Divas division. (WWE.com

    She first managed MNM to three tag team titles before she moved to singles competition in 2005. She would go on to hold the WWE Women’s Championship three times and the WWE Divas Championship twice. Bret Hart said she was one of the best wrestlers in the world. (WWE.com)

    Released from her contract in August of 2011, Melina began to wrestle on the independent circuit.

    She made appearances in Women Superstars Uncensored, World Wrestling Fan Xperience, Family Wrestling Entertainment and the World Wrestling Council.

    In September, she wrestled former WWE Diva Jillian Hall for East Coast Pro Wrestling. She is now dating John Morrison and working on a movie project, The Darkness Descending. (RealMelina.com

Mickie James

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    Mickie James first signed with the WWE in 2003 and went to work in Ohio Valley Wrestling. She debuted in the WWE in 2005 as Trish Stratus’ biggest fan.

    Called the most popular Diva of the modern era by WWE.com, James would go on to win five WWE Women’s Championships and one WWE Divas Championship.

    James returned to the independent scene after being released from her contract in April 2010. She made appearances in several different promotions, including World Wrestling Council, Maryland Championship Wrestling, AAA and Women Superstars Uncensored.

    In 2011, she won Covey Promotions' first-ever women's title by defeating Hannah Blossom. (Coveypro.com

    She has completed two music albums. Her first, Stranger & Angels, was once on iTunes. Her second still unnamed album will be released in 2013. (Kickstarter.com)

    James is now signed to Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, where she is a two-time former TNA Knockouts champion. (PWTorch.com)

Christy Hemme

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    Christy Hemme first came to the WWE as the winner of the 2004 Diva Search. She had memorable feuds with Victoria, Melina and Trish Stratus, who criticized Hemme for appearing in Playboy. She unsuccessfully challenged Stratus for the women's title at WrestleMania 21.

    In November 2005, she was sent to train in Ohio Valley Wrestling but was released from her contract in December. (Lordsofpain.net)

    Hemme signed with TNA in 2006 and became involved in several different angles. She suffered a neck injury in 2009 while training and missed several months of action. (Onlineworldofwrestling.com)

    After her return, she had a few matches before retiring from competition. On Twitter, Dixie Carter announced a new deal for Hemme as a backstage interviewer and ring announcer for TNA.

    In 2011, she refereed a match for Family Wrestling Entertainment and has wrestled for World Wide Fan Xperience. (WWFXperience.com

Ashley Massaro

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    Ashley Massaro came to the WWE after winning the 2005 Diva Search. Torrie Wilson and Candice Michelle attacked her a week after her win (WWE.com).

    She had a feud with Victoria and then Mickie James. The angle with James got cut short when Massaro fractured her leg during a 2006 edition of Monday Night Raw (WWE.com). She returned to action in late 2006 and eventually appeared in Playboy in 2007.

    Massaro asked for and was granted her release from the WWE in 2008 to care for her sick child.

    In 2011, Official Wild announced that she had signed with World Independent Ladies' Division (WILD) Wrestling. In October of that year, she also became the general manager of the organization.

Dawn Marie

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    Dawn Marie Psaltis debuted in the WWE in 2002 as Mr. McMahon's legal assistant. After a brief feud with Stacy Keibler, she entered memorable angles with Torrie Wilson and her father, as well as with Miss Jackie and Michelle McCool.

    Released from her contract while on maternity leave in 2005, Marie filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against the WWE. Slam Sports reported that it was rumored the lawsuit was settled out of court in 2007. 

    A pregnant Marie appeared at a non-WWE related ECW reunion show in late 2005. She appeared in National Wrestling Superstars in 2006, and in 2009, she signed with Dragon Gate USA as a Live-Event Hostess. (DGUSA.tv)  

    She made several appearances for Women Superstars Uncensored in 2008 and was inducted into its hall of fame in 2009.

    Marie is also the founder of Wrestler Rescue, a company that raises money to help with the health care needs of retired wrestlers. 

    Married in 2005, she is the mother of two children. 

Michelle McCool

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    The former Florida schoolteacher was a part of the 2004 Diva Search, a competition that she didn't win. Nevertheless, she was brought on to SmackDown later in the year. She quickly moved up the ladder to dominate the women's division. (WWE.com

    McCool would go on to win two WWE Women's Championships and two WWE Divas Championships and would unify the titles. (WWE.com) She holds the honor of being the first women to hold both of the WWE's women's titles. At Extreme Rules in 2011, she lost a Loser Leaves WWE match to her former teammate, Layla. 

    In June of 2010, She married Mark Calaway, aka The Undertaker. In 2012, they welcomed their first child together, a little girl. (Wrestlingnewssource.com

    In 2012, she appeared on Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition, along with Kelly Kelly and Eve.


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    After briefly appearing as one of The Godfather's "hos" in 2000, Lisa Marie Varon spent time in Memphis Championship Wrestling. She then returned to the WWE and debuted as Victoria in 2002. (Viciousvixen.com

    Victoria would engage in memorable feuds with Trish Stratus, Molly Holly and Candice Michelle. Along the way, she would win two WWE Women's Championships before retiring in 2009.

    In 2009, she began training for a career in MMA. (Daytondailynews.com) At the same time, she signed a deal with TNA, where she debuted as Tara in 2009.

    In TNA, she won the TNA Knockouts Tag Team Title and is the five-time, and current, TNA Knockouts champion.

    In 2011, she appeared in Family Wrestling Entertainment's FME: Fallout pay-per-view. She has also appeared on V.I.P. and Nikki.

Jackie Gayda

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    Jackie Gayda was the co-winner of the second season of the WWE reality series Tough Enough. After some poor performances in the ring, she was sent to Ohio Valley Wrestling. She returned as Miss Jackie and managed Rico, before turning on him.

    Her real-life relationship with Charlie Haas was worked into an angle on SmackDown with Dawn Marie. In 2005, Gayda and Haas were released along with several other wrestlers. (WWE.com)  

    After the WWE, she spent some time on the independent circuit before signing with TNA in 2005, but she was gone by 2006. 

    She returned to the indie scene in 2010, appearing in Perros del Mal Producciones and in 2011, she debuted with Family Wrestling Entertainment. 

    Married in 2005, Gayda and Haas now have four children. They opened a nutrition shop in 2008. (WWE.com

Linda Miles

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    Linda Miles was the co-winner of the second season of the WWE show Tough Enough. She was on Monday Night Raw for a short time before being sent to Ohio Valley Wrestling for more training.

    She returned to the WWE in 2003 as Shaniqua, manager of the Basham Brothers. She was quickly released from her contract in 2004. (Lethalwow.com

    Today she is teaching in Cincinnati.

Candice Michelle

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    Candice Michelle was hired by the WWE in 2004 after appearing in that year's Diva Search, even though she was not even in the top 10. (Slamsports.com)

    Michelle gained national attention by appearing in several Go Daddy commercials. (Godaddy.com) She also appeared in Playboy in 2006.

    After appearing on both Raw and SmackDown (due to the brand split at the time), Michelle became the first Diva Search contestant to win the WWE Women's Championship. After she won the title in July, she would hold the belt until dropping it to Beth Phoenix in October.

    She was released from her contract in 2009. In 2012, she signed with World Wrestling Fan Xperience. (WWFXperience.com

    Michelle was married in 2005. In May 2012, she announced via CandiceMichelle.com that she was pregnant with her third child.

Jillian Hall

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    Jillian Hall signed a developmental deal with the WWE in 2004. After spending time in Ohio Valley Wrestling, she debuted on SmackDown in 2005, first as a fixer for MNM, then as JBL's image consultant. (WWE.com)

    Hall would have several feuds with Stacy Keibler, Michelle McCool and Ashley Massaro. She defeated Mickie James in 2009 to win her first and only WWE Divas Championship. (WWE.com

    According to Wrestleview.com, she became a trainer in 2010 and was sent to Florida Championship Wrestling. Her contract expired at the end of 2010 and was not renewed.

    After leaving the WWE, she returned to the independents. Hall has appeared in Xtreme Pro Wrestling, Women Superstars Uncensored, World Wrestling Fan Xperience and Crossfire Wrestling.

    Wrestleview.com reported in May of 2012 that Hall had suffered a miscarriage.

    In September, she had a tryout match for TNA against Tara. (F4wonline.com


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    Maria Louise Kanellis began her WWE career by placing fifth in the 2005 WWE Diva Search. She was sent to Ohio Valley Wrestling and trained under Paul Heyman.

    In 2008, Kanellis joined a growing list of Divas who posed for Playboy. She was then released from her contract in 2010.

    After leaving the WWE, Kanellis moved on to Ring of Honor in 2011 and Family Wrestling Entertainment, Crossfire Wrestling and Chikara in 2012.

    She defeated Winter in the final of a tournament to declare the first FEW Women’s Champion. She lost and regained the same belt from Winter over the course of the year. She still holds the championship. (Maria-kanellis.org

    Kanellis was a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice in 2010, placing fifth. (USAToday.com) She also released her debut album, Sevin Sins, in April of 2010. In March of 2011, she launched her own perfume line called Signature.

Torrie Wilson

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    As part of the Invasion storyline in 2001, Torrie Wilson had an immediate impact in the WWE because of her beautiful appearance. (WWE.com

    She had a memorable angle with Tajiri, followed by a run with Dawn Marie that saw Marie marry Wilson's father. Wilson appeared in Playboy in 2003 and 2004. She was released from her contract in 2008.

    Since leaving the WWE, Wilson has appeared in many magazines and television shows. In 2009, she was the runner-up in I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!

    She launched her own clothing in 2007 called Officially Jaded, and opened a corresponding store in Texas as well. 

    After divorcing Billy Kidman in 2008, Wilson began dating Alex Rodriguez in December 2011. (via New York Daily News)

Gail Kim

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    Nora Greenwald, aka Molly Holly, brought Gail Kim to the WWE. After signing a deal in 2002, she was sent to Ohio Valley Wrestling for roughly eight months.

    She made her debut on Monday Night Raw in June of 2003.

    In her very first match, she won a seven Diva over-the-top-rope battle royal for the WWE Women's Championship. She last eliminated Victoria to win the belt. She would hold the title for four weeks before losing it to Molly Holly. (WWE.com

    She was suddenly released from her contract in 2004.

    After leaving the WWE, Kim made appearances in Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling and World Series Wrestling. She signed with TNA in 2005, staying until 2008 and becoming the first TNA Knockouts champion. (Slamsports.com)

    Kim re-signed with the WWE in 2008 and stayed with the company until 2011, when she tried to quit. PWTorch reports that she was officially released two months after telling the WWE she had quit over her self-elimination from a battle royal.

    Since 2011, Kim has been signed with TNA. Since her return, she won both the TNA Knockouts Championship and Knockouts Tag Team Championship. After a record-breaking run, she lost the belt in June.

    In 2012, she married Robert Irvine, host of Restaurant: Impossible. (PWTorch.com)

Stacy Keibler

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    WWE.com has called Stacy Keibler one of the most gorgeous Divas of all time.

    She came to the WWE as part of the Invasion storyline but became a fan favorite. Over the next four years, she would manage superstars and have memorable matches with Trish Stratus and Molly Holly. (WWE.com

    In 2006, Keibler placed third on Dancing with the Stars. After appearing on the show, she left the WWE to pursue other interests.

    WWE.com notes that the success she found from Dancing with the Stars led to appearances on Chuck and Psych, as well as What About BrianOctober Road and How I Met Your Mother.

    She has been dating actor George Clooney since July 2011.


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    Kristal Marshall finished fourth in the 2005 WWE Diva Search. Despite her finish, she was offered a contract and sent to Deep South Wrestling.

    Once she returned to the WWE in 2005, she was first a backstage correspondent, then a wrestler. After that she was Teddy Long’s love interest, and the two attempted to get married. (Onlineworldofwrestling.com

    After her release in 2007, Marshall began to appear in TNA, as part of a move with her then-husband Bobby Lashley. They both left the company in 2010 when Lashley decided to pursue his MMA career. (Fightday.com

    Marshall and Lashley had one child together, a boy, before the two split in 2010. WrestleZone.com notes that Marshall announced their split via Twitter. 

Kelly Kelly

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    Barbie Blank signed on with the WWE in 2006 and was sent to Ohio Valley Wrestling to hone her skills. She debuted in ECW as Kelly Kelly, and quickly grew a strong following of fans. (WWE.com)

    According to WWE.com, she was selected by the WWE Universe to face Brie Bella for the women’s title in 2011. She would hold the title for four months before losing it to Beth Phoenix.

    In December 2011, she appeared on the cover of Maxim magazine. (WWEdivakellykelly.com)

    After she was released in September of 2012, Kelly has scheduled appearances for Northeast Wrestling. (Northeastwrestling.com

    She also released a 2013 swimsuit calendar.


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    Nidia Guenard was the co-winner of the first season of WWE Tough Enough. She debuted in 2002 and became part of onscreen couple with Jamie Noble. She moved to Raw in 2004 and began to feud with Gail Kim, Molly Holly and Trish Stratus.

    She was released from her contract in 2004. After her release, Nadia made appearances in Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling, World Series Wrestling and Nu-Wrestling Evolution. (Onlineworldofwrestling.com

    In 2007, she gave birth to a baby girl.


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    Shelly Leonor Martinez, better known as Ariel, signed with the WWE in 2005. After a stint in Ohio Valley Wrestling, she briefly appeared on SmackDown in 2006 before returning to OVW, then moving on to ECW.

    In ECW, she appeared alongside Kevin Thorn. After a few brief matches for ECW, Ariel was released from her contract in 2007. (WWE.com

    After the WWE, Ariel moved on to TNA, where she wrestled more often. She participated in the battle royal to crown the first TNA Knockouts champion. Renamed Salinas, she would continue to pursue the women’s title and eventually had her head shaved.

    According to PWInsider.com, Ariel left TNA to film an Italian thriller movie.

    Since she left TNA, Ariel has appeared in Perros del Mal in Mexico and World Wrestling Fan Xperience. (WWFXperience.com

    MoreHorror.com reports that she works for the site as a host and reporter.