Hi everyone. A few days ago, I asked our Facebook community for a top three on who they thought were the worst women’s wrestlers of all time. And they weren’t shy in sharing their opinions. I’ll add my own choices at the end, but for now I’ll focus on their choices and why I think they were listed. In 2018 we’re celebrating women’s wrestling, and WWE is taking it a step further with the Evolution PPV. But we have to remember how bad women’s wrestling was for decades, and some of the listed didn’t help the perception that most women’s matches were either toilet breaks, or sexualized to appeal to demographics.
So I counted up all the votes and I’ll give an opinion for each. I do not have to automatically agree to all. Just, please bear in mind some of the entries were bound to be controversial as it’s subjective and some may have strong bias towards talents they never liked.
Brooke Hogan = 1 – She was never a wrestler so it doesn’t really count. Annoying though. GM of the Knockouts Division? Really?
Mickie James = 1 – Sorry, but I don’t agree with this at all.
Shaniqua = 1 – She was rushed to the main roster and was more of a basketball player than a wrestler. As the manager of The Basham Brothers, she’d whip them and .. well, following a loss on Smackdown to Rikishi & Scotty 2 Hotty, she got too heated and started dropping F-bombs in the middle of the ring. She didn’t last long after that.
Mona = 1 – Not sure about this one, Mona is basically Molly Holly in WCW. She was inexperienced, but could still pull off better matches than others mentioned.
Emma = 1 – No .. I say go watch the first NXT Women’s title match between her & Paige, and then tell me she can’t wrestle.
Sonya Deville = 1 – Is it because she’s more of a fighter? Sonya’s had some good matches. Ok so they aren’t blowing people away, but at least she’s got the basics. She does more wrestling than Rousey anyways.
Scarlett Bordeaux = 1 – Hmm. Well, I’ve seen her wrestle and she’s no Daniel Bryan, but she’s certainly not the worst wrestler I’ve ever seen. And no, I’m not just saying that because I’m entranced by her gimmick.
Candice Michelle = 1 – Always had a love/hate relationship for her. On one hand she’s absolutely gorgeous .. but on the other, it’s very obvious she only became Divas Champion because Vince had a thing for her. She was like a replacement for Trish Stratus, except she never got over due to her ring work being so difficult to appreciate.
Stephanie McMahon = 1 – Not as much nowadays, but when Steph held the Women’s title in 2000 it made little sense. There were much better wrestlers around, and she made them all look terrible. She got better over time, but I still consider her the worst wrestler of the McMahon family to step in the ring. She didn’t do bad with Ronda though.
Nidia = 1 – Was she that bad? Trying to remember. I enjoyed her matches from what I can. Clearly needed more experience, but I think she was given a bad character and she never got over. She was more of an asset to Jamie Noble than her own career.
Bull Nakano = 1 – She’s a funny one. She had periods where she was just the big girl of the division, and didn’t work anything memorable. But she had a sweet match against Alunda Blayze at Summerslam. I guess it depends on the year.
Joy Giovanni = 1 – She was so bad she never got to work an actual match on Raw or Smackdown. The only singles match she was scheduled to show up for was against Amy Weber, but she didn’t come out and lost by forfeit.
Debra = 1 – Oh boy .. I remember her being one of the worst rated wrestlers in the early Smackdown games. She had no right being in a ring, and was nothing but eye candy. She was popular though .. for a while.
Christy Hemme = 1 – Yeah .. WWE pushed her way too soon despite not being experienced. There’s one match she had in TNA which remains one of the worst of all time. If you dare .. check out her Tuxedo match against the Big Fat Oily Guy.
AJ Lee = 1 – Nope, don’t agree. I agree she wasn’t the greatest female wrestler ever, but she was far from being the worst.
Lacey Von Erich = 1 – AHHHH! That’s the sound I make when I see Lacey. My goodness, I can’t describe how bad she was. She’s way worse than Eva Marie. She’s like Eva Marie and Kelly Kelly combined. And the fact she was a Von Erich? Made it worse. She should be way up there with more votes, but luckily she was only in TNA for a short time (as part of The Beautiful People), and was let go when management (finally) noticed she wasn’t getting better. Beautiful woman .. but no, she’s a Von Erich you never want in the ring.
Jackie Gayda = 2 – Totally agree, and she should probably have more votes. Look up “That Jackie Gayda match” and you’ll see what I mean.
Barbara Bush = 2 -Was she a wrestler though? She only ever did swimsuit contests. She was in a four corners evening gown pool match at Armageddon ’99 for the title, but it didn’t have much actual wrestling in it. Hard to judge.
Maria Kanellis = 2 – Seeing her work outside WWE after she left, I think she’s not that bad .. but she never was, and never will be a great worker. Her recent comments trying to claim Divas paved the way? Feels like she wants to be given credit for the revolution. She did what she could with what she had, and got out of WWE when she got tired of it.
Jillian Hall = 2 – Totally agree, I never understood what WWE saw in her. She got good heat at times, but her ring work is best forgotten.
Summer Rae = 2 – Nope, I must adamantly disagree. Summer put on good matches when she was allowed, and she puts many others here to shame. But her character was her downfall, and the way WWE wrote her was pretty cruel at times. She wasn’t intimidating enough, but she could certainly work a match.
Nia Jax = 2 – Another victim of early promotion from NXT. She was getting better, and Asuka/Bayley got some good matches out of her .. but when she moved up to Raw it highlighted her weaknesses. I don’t think she’s as bad as some claim, but it might be a couple of years til she irons out the creases.
The Bellas = 3 each – I try my best not to watch or listen to anything they do. They’ve had a handful of good matches between ’em, but I remember back when they were holding the Divas title despite being two of the worst ever. Twin magic was the only appealing thing they had. I’m still .. perplexed at their popularity. How did they get their own show? How do women look up to them? I don’t get it, and I probably never will. They make me angry, so it’s best I stop or I’ll go on a rant. What did AJ Lee say that time .. “talent is not sexually transmitted”.
Torrie Wilson = 3 – While it was obvious she was never going to tear the house down with her ring work, she managed to get over by playing to her strengths. She was consistent in working special gimmick matches to sell sex to the audience. I think she carried some of these “matches”, as her opponents were not trained well. Her character felt genuine and she loved the business. Did you notice how she never became champion? Crazy factoid considering those who have. And it’s hard to say anything bad about her as she’s always been one of my favourites, and not just because of her looks. She always seemed genuinely happy to be doing whatever she was doing; no matter how degrading.
6th – Sable & Cameron
At four votes each, Sable & Cameron come joint sixth in this list. Cameron’s career didn’t start out well, as (on Tough Enough) Steve Austin sarcastically commented on her favourite match of all time being Melina vs. Alicia Fox. She had a bit of an ego, despite never being anywhere near as good as her Funkadactyl buddy Naomi. One of the best examples of her lack of wrestling knowledge was her telling the ref to count a pin-fall when it clearly wasn’t.
As for Sable .. what can I say? She was hot and got over. She was a model before coming to WWE, and her partnership with Marc Mero got the fans support. WWE had to capitalize, so they had Marc Mero quickly train her. She wasn’t athletic though, and it was clear from her matches she was inexperienced. Still, the fans loved Sable and didn’t mind her holding the title a long time. She helped get eyes on the product when WWE was struggling against WCW.
3rd – Terri Runnels, Rosa Mendes & Stacy Keibler
Terri & Stacy were like Torrie in that they had the look and got over by being sexy. Where they differed? Terri & Stacy were more like managers than wrestlers, but they could do the basics if called upon. We may love these girls, but it’s no secret they weren’t very good in the ring. Terri’s matches were kept simple, while Stacy enjoyed using her long legs 99% of the time. If you’d seen one of these girls matches you’d seen them all. Again, it’s hard to say anything bad about them, but you wouldn’t put them in a match today if you want fans to take women’s wrestling seriously.
As for Rosa Mendes .. wow. She’s probably more popular for her wardrobe malfunction than anything else. She was employed by WWE for years, yet she never looked like improving. Rarely used, and totally forgettable. It’s hard to put a finger on why she was so bad .. can anyone tell me why? Was she just poor in general? She didn’t win many matches in her career. Not sure what else I can say about Rosa. Her finisher was a neckbreaker .. in case you didn’t know.
2nd – Kelly Kelly
With 6 votes, the former Divas Champion has left a lasting impression. She had some athleticism, but it wasn’t enough to cover up her sheer lack of wrestling skill. She couldn’t run the ropes properly, and there’d be the occasional botch. It was difficult for the skilled veterans who were made to lose to her regularly. I guess WWE hoped she’d improve, but it didn’t happen. After losing her push, Kelly and WWE decided it was time they moved on. Kelly worked some matches outside WWE, but left the world of wrestling shortly after as she had plans to model.
1st – Eva Marie
With a staggering 14 votes, Eva spent much of her short career being criticized for her lack of wrestling skill. I was one of few who tried finding positives (to waves of animosity) .. but in the end, she proved she didn’t belong when she dumped WWE for a movie career last year.
When she started wrestling on Raw, she’d only worked a handful of matches in NXT since she signed earlier the same year. It was clear to everyone she wasn’t ready, yet WWE saw some potential and wanted to get her in the mix immediately. She worked tag matches for a while, til they gave her a singles win to Summer Rae in May 2014. She got two wins over AJ lee in August too, which probably didn’t help her cause. She was demoted back to tag matches for the rest of 2014, til a ruptured breast implant kept her off TV til her return to NXT in Summer 2015. Clips were shown of her commenting on her wrestling and saying she wanted to improve, so she asked Brian Kendrick to train her.
Her push in NXT was universally hated. She unsuccessfully challenged Bayley for the Women’s title twice. She kept relevant by finding a partner in Nia Jax in 2016. She found her way back to the main roster in Summer 2016, but her matches with Becky Lynch and Naomi ended in no contest. She was making excuses not to wrestle, but nothing came of it because she was suspended for violating the Wellness Policy. The suspension was due to her being late giving paperwork to prove she had a prescription for Adderall. WWE decided not to bring her back after her 30 days was up, and kept her under contract til Eva decided to leave in February.
There’s a few more I’d like to mention, as I feel the Top Three requirement made it difficult to get more names.
Aloisia AKA Isis The Amazon – She was almost the tallest women’s wrestler to ever compete in WWE, but her attitude and lack of skill meant she was replaced in Season 3 of NXT by Kaitlyn. At the time, reports stated she was difficult to work with both in, and out of the ring. Even TNA had the chance to sign her, but chose not to.
Kaitlyn – Not going to post it here as it might be fun if you looked it up, but Kaitlyn vs. Maxine in NXT was so bad .. that Michael Cole almost fell asleep watching it! I can’t remember a time when I’ve heard Cole sound so disgusted calling a match. And she didn’t get much better when called up to the main roster. Luckily she had AJ Lee to make her look half-decent. Let’s hope she’s trained well for the Mae Young Classic.
Aksana – Anyone remember the botch? The one that cost her a job with WWE? I always knew she was bad, but after seeing what she did to Naomi, I knew WWE wouldn’t keep her on. You can’t have careless wrestlers almost blinding their opponents. Skip forward to 1:06.
Lana – Don’t get me wrong! I do like Lana as a personality, but in the words of Stone Cold Steve Austin after her first title shot:
““Naomi deserves better, the title deserves better. Lana wasn’t up for this task at hand, at this point in her career. I thought she had much more mystique as the valet, whatever the term is, with Rusev. Man, they kind of killed her gimmick off, and reinvented her, and I just liked her the way she was. So, if she wants to be in the ring, that’s more power to her, but a lot of the stuff I got on Twitter was, ‘Hey man. For a first match, she did a lot better than I expected.’ Ok. As I say that, good for her. But as a company who’s striving for excellence in sports entertainment/professional wrestling, the best of the best belong on a pay-per-view”
Ashley Massaro – Another girl failing to be the next Trish Stratus/Lita. She was destined for titles after winning the 2005 Diva Search, but had little time to learn her craft before being thrown in the deep end. You’d think being trained by Trish Stratus, Finlay and Ricky Steamboat would be enough, yet she proved time and time again she didn’t have what it takes to be a wrestler. She left WWE to look after her daughter and never looked back.
Jenna Morasca – There’s probably a few more names, but I’ll end here as I think we got the point. Morasca was a reality TV star on Survivor. TNA wanted to use her fame to their advantage, so they signed Jenna as a wrestler in 2009 despite very little training. She became involved with the Main Event Mafia, and Angle later revealed she was the financial backer (which helped persuade Samoa Joe to join). Sharmell didn’t like her much, so the two valets often argued between themselves. This inevitably lead to a catfight backstage.
Morasca hired Awesome Kong to train her for a match against Sharmell at the Victory Road PPV. I won’t say much more .. other than it was rated “Minus Five Stars” by the Wrestling Observer. It’s probably the worst women’s match in history. I don’t blame Sharmell as much for it. Can you believe people paid money to see this on PPV? Morasca makes Eva Marie & Kelly Kelly look good. You’ve been warned.
Firstly, I want to thank the Facebook community for giving me your top threes (and sometimes sixes/sevens/eights) so I could make this. Secondly, I don’t mean any offense by any of this, it’s a representation of how far women’s wrestling has come, and how our standards have changed over the years. We expect more ring skill than ever before from our female superstars. We changed the game and forced WWE to treat women with equality, letting our voices be heard so WWE would give them opportunities. Many of the women we loved growing up, wouldn’t cut it the way women’s wrestling is now.
You also have to look at WWE’s recruitment process. In the past it was all about looks, and can we blame WWE, or (some of) the talent .. for the way they were showcased? Should we blame a talent for winning a contract in a reality series? When it was there to win?
Personally I feel it’s more WWE’s fault, that so many inexperienced wrestlers were allowed to not only embarrass themselves, but injure opponents needlessly. After all, it’s not just about our entertainment, but the safety of the talent putting their bodies on the line for us. Would WWE have hired Aksana if they knew she’d injure Naomi like that? Would she’ve been hired in the first place if she didn’t look the way she did? WWE forgot they put on wrestling matches and hired models instead of athletes. Every woman stepping in the ring should have decent experience before being expected to perform live to the world.
All I’d like is to appreciate what we have, because we’ve been through the dark times, and we’re finally seeing women being used the right way. There won’t be Sasha vs. Bayley classics every night, but at least they’ll be watchable. I remember when Vince was quoted as saying something like .. “we only book the women to please a certain demographic”, which was basically him implying if he had the choice, he wouldn’t book them at all.
Times have changed thanks to Triple H’s NXT, AJ Lee’s tweet to Stephanie, the #GiveDivasAChance movement, as well as other women’s divisions; in Japan, and the TNA Knockouts showing the possibilities. There were many factors which changed the mindset of WWE, but it didn’t happen overnight, and it certainly wasn’t all on one person. The Womens Revolution could only have happened with the fans approval, so I think we should be grateful WWE has taken steps. Yes, they really like to cram it down our throats, but I’d rather that than watch anymore Eva Marie or Kelly Kelly.
I can’t say much more about this. I’d like to see what you think about our communities choices, and if there’s any glaring omissions; please let us know. I’m much looking forward to Evolution, as decades of inequality gets repaid on one special night. As always, I appreciate the help, and thank you for reading. I’ll post something more positive next time.