WWE: 8 Diva Pushes That Failed MiserablyDecember 18, 2011
WWE: 8 Diva Pushes That Failed Miserably
Not every woman in WWE can be Trish Stratus. Trish, as most will remember, joined WWE in 2000 as an inexperienced model and, over the years evolved into one of the best all-round performers that the company had.
Alas, in their desperation to create the next Trish-like female star WWE management have pushed some rather questionable female talent over the last few years...often with disastrous and hilarious results.
With this in mind, here is a list of eight divas that WWE brass deemed worthy of a push at one time or another...but in hindsight really needn't have bothered.
I know what you're thinking: Who?
Well, why her name may not be well known to fans, she still deserves a mention for the astounding circumstances around her exit from the promotion in December 2006.
Signed straight out of the that year's Diva Search (she didn't win, but since when does that matter?) model Amy Zidian endeared herself to those in management and was soon put with Smackdown cruiserweight Jimmy Yang, who was doing a cheesy cowboy gimmick.
Let's see: Getting the inexperienced girl to valet for an under-utilised wrestler, thereby allowing her to learn the basics of the business without getting thrown in the ring before she was ready? Sounds like a good idea, right?
Except Zidian made some colossal blunders backstage, which have now become infamous, leading to her swift exit from the company.
Dave Meltzer would note in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t wrestlingnewsworld.com) that the rather clueless model had insultingly asked Vickie Guerrero how she became a diva when the rest of the woman in WWE were in shape. Yes. Really.
Amy apparently had no clue who Guerrero was or what she was doing on television (Vickie's husband, the famous Eddie Guerrero, had died a year earlier and she had been written into the storylines in the wake of the tragedy). Unsurprisingly, upsetting Vickie won her few fans in the WWE locker room.
Per the report, she also boasted to Layla El about how she was a runner up in the Diva Search and already on television, while Layla had won the contest but was on the shelf "collecting dust." Then she mocked Kristal Marshall's hair extensions, greatly offending the former Barker's Beauty.
Despite these infractions, WWE's Vince President of Talent Relations, John Laurinaitis, saved Amy's job. He was a big fan of hers and felt she could go places in WWE. Thus, her push with Yang continued.
Had Amy learned her lesson? Eh, not exactly.
Shortly after, at a Smackdown taping, Stephanie McMahon went up to Amy backstage and gave her some pointers for an upcoming segment. An annoyed Amy then asked Stephanie who she was to give her advice, not realizing that she was Vince McMahon's daughter. Yikes.
Not even Laurinaitis could save her after that one. Never mind Brian Pillman, this girl was the real "loose cannon."
Former Playboy model Ashley Massaro managed to fend off fierce competition and emerge victorious from the 2005 Diva Search by winning fans over with her good looks and rock-chick personality.
Hopes were high her that her charisma and enthusiasm for wrestling could turn her into the women's division next big babyface, and management gave her a mega-push for the next couple of years (she was on the cover of Playboy in April 2006 and was assigned by WWE to star in ratings hit Survivor when CBS went to the company and requested a wrestler for the show). Make no mistake about it: the company wanted big things for this girl.
So what went wrong?
Well, despite her efforts, Ashley was atrocious in the ring. I mean, like, unbelievably bad. Botch-prone, clumsy, uncoordinated and plagued with injuries, this woman should have never been let near a wrestling ring, for her own safety if nothing else.
It also didn't help that, after a while, her Avril Lavigne wannabe act started to grate. Indeed, Lita came off as far more genuine and likable when she did the "I'm not your typical generic diva" act in 2000-2004. By constantly calling attention to her piercing and tattoos, Ashley just seemed like a poser.
The Diva Search winner ran in to more problems during her time in WWE and was eventually released from her contract in 2008 for reasons that have never been fully specified. Fans weren't really that bothered.
With her good looks, charisma and in-ring skills, WWE were hopeful that former beauty queen Melina could become a big star when she, along with real-life boyfriend John Morrison was called up in 2006.
So, what went wrong? Eh, where do you want to start?
First of all, she's a heat magnet. Seriously. Even the easy-going Lita once kicked her out of the women's locker room for causing problems. She never did Morrison's career any favours either.
She was also plagued with injuries throughout her time in WWE, which also derailed her momentum. It didn't help that, after all the knee problems, Melina ended up becoming a shell of herself as a wrestler.
Oh, and the woman really needs to stay away from Twitter.
Unsurprisingly, Melina never became the huge star people like Mick Foley and Bret Hart thought she could be. Although she can at least comfort herself with the knowledge that she managed to deliver one of the greatest matches in history when she faced Alicia Fox on Smackdown. A dazzling five-star classic.
In what must have been a nerve-wracking role for the former Playboy model, Taryn "Tiffany" Terrell was thrust into the high profile role of ECW General Manager in 2009 and 2010 after the company discovered her in one of the Diva Search contests.
Despite some questionable promo skills and a distinct failure to connect with the masses, it seemed management were high on the former diva search contestant...even when ECW was cancelled, she was moved to the Smackdown brand and heavily featured.
What went wrong? Well, WWE didn't look too kindly on her getting arrested during SummerSlam weekend for assaulting husband Drew McIntyre in 2010. She was released from her contract shortly after.
Despite being signed mainly for her looks, former model and actress Candice Michelle made great improvements as a wrestler during her time with WWE and eventually won the Women's Championship at WWE's ill-fated Vengeance 2007 pay-per-view (becoming the first of the Diva Search alumni to do so).
Alas, a serious shoulder injury severely derailed her career and she was never the same. Partly due to her nails-on-a-chalkboard voice, she never really caught on with the masses as a female babyface like Trish Stratus or Lita did, either.
Pin Up Strong/Divas of Doom/Whatever
Note to the WWE booking team: when attempting to get two women over as monster heels who are viciously tearing through the division it is a good idea not to have them, you know, lose all the time.
Man, what did poor Beth Phoenix and Natalya do to deserve this shoddy treatment?
Despite the smaller, more fragile Kelly beating down feared monster heel Beth Phoenix on several occasions and pinning her clean on pay-per-view twice (eh, how does that work again?) the former bikini model never managed to connect with WWE audiences in the way that was hoped.
Perhaps the reason for this is that while the photogenic Kelly undoubtedly has the looks, she still lacks sufficient personality and charisma to endear her to the masses.
Her patchy in-ring work does not help matters either (her in ability to run the ropes properly has become a running joke in wrestling).
She tries hard, of course, and could possibly overcome these flaws, but faced with an indifferent booking and limited time in the ring, it seems difficult to see how she can be given the opportunity to improve,
Rumor has it, Kelly is currently exploring options outside of WWE. Looking at the way her career is going, and promotion's apathy to their women's division in general, this may not be such a bad idea.
I know what you're thinking: Gail Kim got a push in WWE? When? Did we blink for a second and miss it?
But yes, putting the current TNA Knockout in a terrible romance angle with Daniel Bryan and the Bella Twins was apparently the company's way of giving her a higher profile.
It didn't work.
Some of the blame is undoubtedly on the booking team for coming up such a convoluted angle, but neither Bryan nor Kim looked comfortable in their roles and they should shoulder some responsibility for the botched storyline too (this was probably the worst on-screen pairing since Natalie Portman and Hayden Christensen in Star Wars).
A frustrated Gail eventually got fed up and quit, deciding that TNA was a much better fit for her. We can't say we blame her.