Ranking the 10 Best Divas of All Time
What is it exactly that makes a great Diva? How does a woman manage to make her mark in America's No. 1 wresting company?
Is it sex appeal? Wrestling skills? Good matches? Popularity with the fans? Mainstream recognition?
Really, it's a bit of everything, as the following group of women illustrate.
Looking at all the previously mentioned factors, as well as their overall influence, we've ranked the top 10 Divas of all time.
Psychos, superheroes, Playboy cover girls, monster heels—they're all on here.
10. Molly Holly
One of the great underrated Divas in history, Nora “Molly Holly” Greenwald was the glue that held WWE’s women’s division together during its fantastic 2002-03 period. Let’s face it: The likes of Trish Stratus—who frequently fought Molly over the Women's Championship—and Victoria could not have blossomed from inexperienced fitness models into the great workers that they did without this woman’s help.
She also managed to churn out some great characters too. Her superhero sidekick character Mighty Molly—back when she was paired with The Hurricane—was terrific and as a prudish, snooty heel she was the perfect foil to popular babyface Stratus.
9. Eve Torres
Thanks to her looks, athletic pedigree and first-rate mic skills, former dancer Eve Torres was undoubtedly one of the most talented women WWE has ever had under contract.
Let's be honest: The company's women's division has been a total mess the last couple of years, with the booking team's indifference and short, terrible matches ensuring it became must-miss television.
However, no matter how terrible the material she had to work with, Torres made the effort and was always worth watching. Heck, she even managed to carry the botch-prone Kaitlyn to the best match of her career back in January (this also marked Eve's retirement bout from WWE).
She'll be missed for sure.
8. Torrie Wilson
OK, so she was a mediocre wrestler, but Torrie Wilson was still one of the most popular and photogenic Divas in company history. During her seven years in the company she managed to grace the cover of high-profile magazines like FHM, Playboy (twice, no less!), American Curves and Oxygen. Nowadays most Divas can only dream of such mainstream coverage.
Torrie's wrestling career was also full of raunchy and controversial storylines that got people talking. Who can forget the 2003 angle where the Diva found herself stalked by a totally infatuated Sable? Or trying to pry her beloved old dad Al from the evil clutches of stepmother Dawn Marie?
Her time in WWE was not boring, that's for sure.
7. Mickie James
Thanks to her crazy character and memorable feud with Trish Stratus in 2006, Mickie James managed to secure her place in WWE history.
She was also a very respectable wrestler too—her bouts with Michelle McCool in late 2009 and early 2010 were some of the best WWE women’s bouts ever.
Throw in her good looks and bubbly charisma and it’s no surprise that Mickie—who was shockingly released in 2010 and currently works for TNA Wrestling—was as beloved by WWE fans as she was.
Regardless of what anyone thinks about her personal choices over the past decade, it’s still difficult to argue Joanie “Chyna” Laurer's influence on WWE.
At her peak in 1999 and 2000, she was one of the biggest stars on the roster. She won the Intercontinental belt—making her the first, and so far only, woman ever to do so—posed for Playboy, guest-starred on several TV shows and even released her own best-selling biography If They Only Knew.
How many other women in company history can say the same?
5. Beth Phoenix
The fearsome, muscle-bound Beth Phoenix was the natural successor to Chyna in WWE. It also helped that she was a far better wrestler too, having spent much of her early career honing her craft in Shimmer and other indies.
For many years Phoenix helped keep the struggling division together with her powerhouse performances and flawless in-ring work. She was also a great personality. Check out some of her priceless skits with occasional on-screen love interest Santino Marella.
Unsurprisingly, WWE has been unable to find a proper replacement for the star since she departed from the company last year. Tamina Snuka tries, but she's just not up to the task.
For many, Rena “Sable” Lesnar was as much a part of the Attitude Era as Mick Foley, The Rock or Steve Austin.
Indeed, during 1998 and 1999 the raunchy Diva—and her willingness to wear increasingly revealing outfits—was a huge and integral part of the company’s appeal to young male fans. She was also the first-ever WWE Diva to pose nude for Playboy, a big deal at the time.
Fans were positively crazy about this woman. You could even say she served as a sort of wrestling version of ‘90s sex symbol Pamela Anderson.
Similar to Chyna, fans may prefer to focus on Tammy "Sunny" Sytch's memorable WWE stint than on the shocking and deeply sad downward spiral her life took after she parted ways with the company.
Certainly, Sytch was very much the Diva of the '90s, having an unrivaled beauty and charisma, as well as establishing, once and for all, that women were an important part of the show.
No wonder she was the first ever Diva inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2011; there probably wouldn't be any Divas without her.
Easily one of the most popular women to grace a WWE wrestling ring, Amy "Lita" Dumas managed to combine athleticism with attitude to create her memorable tomboy character, winning the hearts of the fans in the process.
Winning the Women's Championship, appearing in TV shows, main eventing Raw...this woman did it all.
She also had a memorable run as a manager, most notably when she valeted for "Rated R" Superstar Adam "Edge" Copeland in 2005 and 2006.
Really, who can argue that she doesn't deserve to be on this list?
1. Trish Stratus
The best model-turned-wrestler in WWE history, multiple-time Women's champion Trish Stratus had several great and outstanding matches, as well as numerous memorable angles, during her six-year stint.
No one was surprised at all when she was inducted into this year's Hall of Fame. Her body of work spoke for itself.
And while Stratus may have retired in 2006, her influence is still being felt to this day.
Former WWE writer Alex Greenfield even noted in an interview with WrestlingInc last year that Vince McMahon will frequently rage in booking meetings that none of the current women on the roster have the talent that Stratus had, hence why he's reluctant to push any of them strongly.
This is unfair to many of the present Divas, of course, but Stratus is a pretty hard act to follow.