Partly conjecture on my part but after some deducing, I wonder if WWE hasn’t dropped it’s affiliation with Playboy in light of it’s new family-friendly PG rating. It looks as though WWE may have ended it’s long partnership with the magazine, as there hasn’t been a peep of news on who will be posing in time for WrestleMania 25.
Usually the spread is shot in the October prior to the March release, however the end of 2008 went by without a word of news on which Diva may strip for the magazine. There have been a few rumours on various message boards, but nothing beyond that in terms of legitimate sources.
With WWE now carrying a PG rating on it’s programming, a Playboy angle may be a little too risque for Raw or SmackDown. And the end of the WWE-Playboy affiliation couldn’t come at a better time because in recent years, the WrestleMania storylines plotted around the covergirl of the year have gotten staler and staler, particularly Ashley’s push heading into WrestleMania 23 and Maria’s into 24.
I’m going to speculate that while WWE may not be working with Playboy this year, they have compensated the loss of that partnership by working with two other publications. As you’ve probably seen on Diva Dirt, three Raw Divas will appear in Flex magazine, while three SmackDown Divas appear in Muscle & Fitness. Both of these issues are geared to go on sale in the next month or so. Sure it’s not on the scale of Playboy, but still garners WWE some publicity heading into ‘Mania.
Over the years, Sable, Chyna and Torrie Wilson (pictured) have posted sales successes. Meanwhile in recent years, sales have been down on the annual issue, Ashley is rumoured to be the worst-selling of the bunch.