A Londoner’s Eye: Models vs Wrestlers – When Did the Battle Lines Get Drawn? And Why Do We Have to Choose?

The “wrestler vs model” debate has plagued women’s wrestling fans for as long as I can remember. Being the editor of Diva Dirt for the past four years, I’ve seen a wide spectrum of opinions from wrestlers, writers and most importantly, fans. For it’s the fans who use their ability to have a say on the Internet and are always the most vocal.

In 2011, WWE themselves finally acknowledged this debate that has been argued heatedly amongst Internet fans for years in the current Beth Phoenix and Natalya storyline, and somewhere along the way, it feels like the “heated debate” has turned into something more serious. Perhaps WWE drawing more attention to the debate has made it that much more topical, and made fans that much more fervent in their opinions on the situation — and thus, that much more aggressive towards people with opposing views.

It feels like fans have drawn the battle lines and you’re either one side or the other.

But why? Why do we have to choose? And why do we have to go to war over something that, compared to the real issues going on in the world, is so insignificant?

As the saying goes, opinions are like you-know-whats – everyone’s got one. It’s okay to have them. It’s okay to disagree. However, I can’t help but feel some take it a step too far. I don’t support the need to make blanket statements such as “all models need to be fired”. Doesn’t that sound familiar? Living in London, I’ve heard similar blanket statements such as, “All ****** need to go home”. Those statements would be considered intolerant, sexist, racist, homophobic etc. Of course, I don’t mean to suggest that this little debate we have online is anywhere near as important as very real issues such as racism and homophobia, but the sentiment is similar. Aren’t these comments just as sweeping and bigoted as telling people of an ethnic minority to “go home?”

I can’t help but wonder if the fact that we’re talking about women in a male-dominated sport perpetuates the need people feel to call these women derogatory names such as “rats” and “hoes”. In a business where the males are respected and for a large majority, the women are seen as inferior, does this make it more acceptable to try and denigrate these women as prostitutes because they come from a background in modelling or dancing? It’s offensive that all it boils down to in the end is calling women “sluts” and “hoes”.

I don’t blame anyone for the way they get into the business. If I was a model and a global company dangled a big money TV job in my face, passion or no passion, I would jump at the opportunity. And frankly, I’m guessing so would millions of other people.

I’m not saying that these girls can’t or shouldn’t be criticized. But shouldn’t we base our criticisms on something that is grounded? For example, “I saw XYZ in a match and she was really bad, look at that move she messed up.” Shouldn’t we be criticizing what we see instead of what we think we know? Even then, you may look at a certain former model and see an awful wrestler, while another may see that person and enjoy their work. In that instance, do we need to deride that fan as a “moron” or “idiot” because of who they like?

And let’s not forget, there are alternatives out there. If you don’t like what — or who — you’re seeing in WWE, pick up a WSU DVD, or a SHIMMER DVD, or watch Impact Wrestling on Thursdays. You’re not being chained to the TV and forced to watch. As someone put it to me on Twitter, however, some are creatures of habit and do tune in to Raw because it’s “all they know”. That makes sense, but there are other products out there. Creatures can change their habits, no?

That brings me to the main point I’m trying to make: why do we have to choose? What is this “with us or against us” mentality? “If you’re a fan of Kelly Kelly, you couldn’t possibly be like Sara Del Rey. You have to choose.” Well, no, you don’t. Who says we have to? Who’s forcing us to pick a side? Someone typing furiously into their keyboard?

Personally, I watch WWE and have nothing against the “models”. In fact, some of my favorite Divas came into WWE as former models or dancers – Layla and Alicia Fox, for example. Eve Torres, a former dancer, has impressed me this year. Kelly Kelly has certainly been impressive this year. I find the Bella Twins incredibly entertaining as heels. So does that mean I’m not a “real wrestling fan?” And am I not allowed to like what people consider “real wrestling?” Someone show me the rulebook. Sure, the Divas product isn’t very wrestling heavy, but I’ll support it because of the girls involved. But beyond WWE, I watch TNA which does a better job at presenting matches on TV, as well as WSU and SHIMMER. That’s a pretty broad spectrum. I like the Bellas, but hey, I like Sara Del Rey and Cheerleader Melissa too.

Why do I have to choose a side? And what happens if I don’t?

Editor at Large - Read Profile
  • elsimate

    It tends to be a tedious blight on the comments section sadly.

    • norisclouds

      THIS ^

  • http://hailbarrett.tumblr.com/ thestarsabove

    There are so many things right with this article that I can’t even begin to get started.

    I think that so many people want to be the fans of the “wrestlers” that they deem any person who comes from a modeling background to be less-than in comparison. Or more so, the females who aren’t necessarily up-to-par with the greats like Sara Del Rey. Admittedly, some females are better than others in the ring, just as some are better as /characters/, and I think that’s what a lot of people lose hold of.

    Personally, I find it incredibly pathetic that any person can mouth any individual who knowingly goes down to that ring on a constant and puts their body on the line and yet tries to be an elitist critic simply because they aren’t “the best.”

    I know it’s a puerile and futile wish, but I just hope that one day people can shut the heck up and enjoy the show.

  • Melina&Mickie4ever!

    Models vs Wrestlers is going to be a debate amongst diva fans for years to come just like the great Trish & Lita debate. It will never get settled because fans the pros & cons will always be at the same level.

    I have watched wrestling dated back to 1999 when i was 9 years old , but i got into womens wrestling in 05. Trish was the 1st diva i fell in love with lol. Back then i didnt know much about the divas i didnt know about the models , indy wrestlers. At one point i thought Ashley was better than Jillian because she pinned her all the time. Then i read more into it and learned Jillian could beat ashley will her eyes closed and one hand tied behind her back while hoping on one leg lol.
    I admit i have sided with the wrestlers side a few time over the models but that dosent mean i favor one side over the other because a few of my favorite divas are or were some type of “model”or w,e people calls them Layla & Alicia ! I would just be contridicting my self.
    One of the reason why i think people have problems with models in the wwe is because some feel they havent worked as hard as the real wrestlers who started off from the egg and hatched into a chicken. Ex:Beth Phoenix she started wrestling from high school and worked her way up to wear she is , whereas someone like Kelly Kelly just shook her boobs and ass and now she is a former divas champion. You could say in your had divas like Eve , Kelly , Alicia , The Bellas has worked as hard as Beth , Nattie , Kong , Ivory , Del Rey has but on paper in reality its way different.

    Which brings us to the #1 theory but Trish Stratus & Victoria were models turned wrestlers and people praise them as 2 of the best in the world. While Kelly , Eve , Maria , Alicia etc gets negative heat..

    • Melina&Mickie4ever!

      *Say in your head divas like*

    • Jamesgangforever

      I began watching wrestling in 07 when i was 10 or 11 and Mickie James was the first female wrestler I fell in love with and is currently the only female wrestler that I am attached to. I think mainly because i dont really follow the females on the indies. I know some of them because i read diva dirt, but in my head Mickie is the best.

      • http://au.groups.yahoo.com/group/WWE_Divas/ art

        the bit about jillian beating ashley was hilarious…

    • GetFoxy

      trish was the first diva i fell in love with and that was in 03 i think.i like both models and wrestlers and i think that iftheir willing to go out there and put their lives on the line to entertain us then they deserve a lot more respect than people give them.

  • TheTruth

    I 100% agree with you there.

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/JayJay2307Q?feature=mhee KellyKay23

      Me too

  • elsimate

    Another point is that WWE is marketing and merchandising company & so there is commercial need to have Diva’s with model looks.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/ElectricMVx ElectricMVx

    I don’t choose sides either, because lots of women have come into the WWE as models, and have had successful careers or have become athletic wrestlers.

    If WWE never hired models, would there be a Trish Stratus, a Michelle McCool, a Victoria? or even a Sable? ..and if there’s no Sable, would there be no Divas division today?

    I don’t think people are hating on models as wrestlers, they are hating on the fact that their favourite wrestlers on the indies are not in the WWE or TNA, despite them criticising the ‘E for short matches etc. They also wouldn’t want their favourite wrestler to lose to a former model, yet they want them to be signed by WWE? I don’t get it and I won’t get it.

    As far as I’m concerned, WWE can hire as many models and wrestlers as they can, because models can become athletic wrestlers, it’s the WWE creative that are stopping them from showing their true potential

    • missawesomeness

      the fact is that they didn’t earn the right to be called to the wwe.
      example kelly kelly she got her contract handed to her on a silver plate has she payed us back no! she continues to botch she’s wasted 5 yrs doing bull crap im not saying all models are the same but it’s a diva like kelly who brings down expectations. i mean look at someone like aj she’s been there almost a year and has been doing circles around kelly. it’s divas like kelly who fill up all the diva roster space so none of actual good wrestlers like kanna, sara del rey won’t be able to be in the wwe. what im trying to say is at least the non model divas earned their contract.

  • moogle

    People like Layla, Trish and Alicia Fox have shown that models don’t have to fit the “useless in-ring model” stereotype. All of them improve, Kaitlyn is a wonderful example, who has grown incredibly since NXT3

    All of the models must have dedication to train and go through wrestling.
    Eden maybe not, since she just quit, but it proves it would be hard, just as hard as it is for the indie wrestlers when they first start. These ladies are simply thrown into the deep end, with a steeper learning curve

    Beth Phoenix put it perfectly in an interview before; the girls don’t have the experience because WWE want younger and prettier faces in their shows. It’s not their faults.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOyzTv-g8FA Piggie James

    It’s probably better to point the blame at WWE rather than the Divas themselves. WWE has been the ones consistently promoting models over the last 5 years. At the moment, the majority of their Diva roster seem to be models. I think a lot of us wouldn’t really mind the ‘models’ if there were only two or three on the main roster, and presumably they would be the best ones that can actually work wrestling matches, but WWE/Vince McMahon takes the ‘model philosophy’ too far and essentially saturates the program with models.

    There’s an extreme emphasis at the moment that the Divas are all ‘just girls’ and therefore have to act like girls by doing girly things. Even Beth and Natalya have been reduced to this level. All of this just antagonizes most of the Diva fan base that want to see a proper Diva wrestling product.

    Top onto that the fact that the Divas are continually booked poorly and given no airtime, and the ‘models’ easily become the scapegoat for a lot of people, when they really shouldn’t be blamed. It’s inevitable that the fans of the model Divas are going to defend their favourites further aggravating the people taking their anger out on the models.

    At the end of the day, the current Divas products sucks, and most people here (Diva/women’s wrestling fans) are incredibly discontent about it. When people are unhappy, there’ll be conflict, and it’s no surprise that there are so many arguments here. If things were going well for the Divas, then there would be a lot less complaining that’s for sure, since most of us would be enjoying the product too much to be fighting (of course there’ll always be a few whiners).

    It’s really not fair for the talent to cop the blame. You can’t exactly blame Kelly Kelly for being pushed so much. That’s not her decision. You can criticise her though for not making the best use of her opportunities, but it’s not her fault that management doesn’t seem to care about that. Essentially it should be WWE itself that should be buried for not having any genuine interest in pushing women’s wrestling.

    • Jamesgangforever

      “You can criticise her though for not making the best use of her opportunities, but it’s not her fault that management doesn’t seem to care about that.”

      I agree on that. I feel that some of these divas that are giving the opportunity should really grab a hold of it and run like the wind and never look back, but if someone like K2 doesn’t want to do that then thats her. I blame management/Vince for the reason that I am not into kelly the way i used to be. When she won the divas title I was jumping all over my room, then I began to get tired of her.

  • ricky_says_hi

    I think a lot of it comes from the fact that fans feel models only use WWE as a stepping stone for something else and thus don’t care about wrestling. What they don’t realise is that the break-a-nail types who don’t care about the business don’t last long. Some fans don’t appreciate how hard wrestling training really is – if someone gets through it and gets to the stage where they can wrestle on TV then they sure as hell have some kind of passion for it. True WWE does place importance on looks but it’s the exact same in the men’s division as well. All the male wrestlers on the roster are young in shape attractive guys and the ones who aren’t have the freak factor like Mark Henry, Big Show, Kane etc and then in the women’s division you have Kharma. Even over in TNA all the Knockouts are attractive and a lot more sexualised than the Divas.

    And another huge double standard is that a Diva will often get labelled as a “model” purely because she looks a certain way. Michelle McCool and Eve were never models before WWE. Michelle was a *teacher* and Eve has an engineering degree and her modelling career consists of a few photoshoots and nothing else. And if they were dancers before WWE they’ll often get labelled as weak as well. Do people not realise how athletic you have to be to be a dancer? Dancing and gymnastics backgrounds can be really beneficial in wrestling training as Naomi is living proof of. I personally know a very gifted indie wrestler who is a pole dancer and she’s miles better in the ring than someone like Tamina who gets a free pass because she doesn’t look like a model. I will say that in wrestling everyone needs to prove themselves and the likes of Kelly, Eve, Alicia, Michelle, Layla, Trish Stratus, Kaitlyn and Maxine have all proven themselves in my opinion. Need I remind you that Kelly has been hit in the face with the Sandman’s cane, been thrown into the security wall, pushed off the apron and taken all other kinds of daring bumps? Beautiful women and models can indeed become good wrestlers and hopefully one day they can earn respect from fans.

    • Jamesgangforever

      Yeah Michelle was teaching before she came to WWE. I don’t know why in the hell people are calling her a model. I guess because she was apart of Diva Search, that is because she never went on Tough Enough. She signed up but I don’t remember if she didn’t turn the application in or what.

  • Lanoom

    tl;dr: Again, tt’s vastly WWE’s fault, not necessarily the women.

    Firstly, we can’t go into this without highlighting the vicious cycle effect that is thus:
    -> WWE puts no effort in recruiting girls that can REALLY hold the audience’s attention in the ring or as characters, nor do they put any sort of effort into compelling storylines for the women
    -> The audience is trained to not care because there is absolutely no emotional pay-off for what they’re presented on TV/at the main shows that cannot be gotten from looking at the photoshoots on WWE.com
    ->Experiencing the lack of response, WWE continues to put less and less effort in, because there’s no reason to work on it
    ->Audience continues to get trained more and more to not care, and even begin to outright disrespect the entire division (piss breaks, much?)
    ->Continue until cycle is broken.

    The schism is caused by the distressed feelings of fans scrambling for any sort of tangible excuse, because we rarely get footage of the writers and Vince meeting and be able to point at them and say “Ah ha, they really DON’T care!” It’s much easier to point to the exposure that someone like Kelly gets and blame her.

    Secondly, WWE has wanted to have it both ways since Trish, trying to recapture the “lightning in a bottle” that was probably a perfect blend of mass attractive appeal and athleticism. The problem is that it’s inherently rare and Trish was exceptional herself. Sure enough there have been people who fit the mold, but we’ve gotten way more subpar-to-horrible in-ring women who get overexposed, pushed too fast, and, surprise, left relatively quickly. It’s unarguably damaged the image of the division, which combines with WWE’s mismanagement to raise the ire of people looking for scapegoats.

    Speaking of image, here are the nails in the coffin (until this division rises from its grave) that make people point to the “models” as a problem:

    -”Smart, Sexy, Powerful” : Which part do you think the general audience really thinks WWE focuses on? The only time intellect has been used is when Eve has to defend herself in the model-argument saying she actually doesn’t come from a modeling background and has a degree? Are we counting the Hiroshima Surprise Roll-Up’s as smart? (I don’t.) And powerful? What power is there when the two dominant women, both of whom are physically-looking and in background stronger than most of the girls, are made into a joke where the fans EXPECT them to get rolled-up now?

    -The continued use of ear-grating generic light poppy “SHE’S SO SEXY/GIRLY” dance music as themes. Remember Gail Kim’s theme? Remember Torrie WIlson’s theme? Lita’s? Jazz’s? Heck, even Trish, Melina, Maryse, LayCool? KHARMA? Entrance music goes a helluva long way in defining image, and “All the girls in the club say woah!,” “You can look, but you can’t touch,” “She looks good to me” “Whatever the heck the lyrics of AJ’s theme are (if it’s even still here theme since they’re now just using it for general Diva walks) don’t get one pumped for wrestling skills OR characters. This is on par with the generic rock themes most of the generic “Firstname McLastname” guys have now.

    -The biggest offender: That title belt. How can anyone take it seriously when it looks like something that comes as an accessory to “Mattel’s (TM) WWE Diva Barbie (TM).” A giant pink butterfly does not inspire skill, strength (in-ring or of character), and hype. Sure, it inspires grace and beauty. Also: Weakness, frailty, briefness, insignificance, ability to be replaced. Kind of like…models.

    Lastly, many are angry because, in their mind, there’s been no alternatives for the longest as far as WWE is concerned. It’s great that places like TNA and Shimmer showcase women’s wrestling and characters properly (or try to, at least). But, like it or not, for many if it’s not WWE it’s not legit. The general audience is silently hungry for change, which is why Kharma went over astoundingly well in so little time, and why they were more than happy to sit on their hands so quietly that you could hear Beth give directions to Kelly this past PPV. Even though it’s not neccessarily the “models’” fault, people want something different. Which causes the schism.

    • Lanoom

      Addendum: I’m going to add Ashely’s theme to the list of good entrance themes, Though it still perplexes me why she got pyro and…no other woman does.

    • wl75

      I think the Divas belt is unique- and it’s a great marketing tool. (and believe it or not, I’m still shocked they haven’t done a Diva Barbie, given Mattel’s relationship with WWE).

      • Lanoom

        Unique is good. Cody bringing back the unique, white-strapped Intercontinental title is good. Ryder’s Internet Championship is unique and good, as is the U.S. Title seeing as it’s dominant element is the flag. Even the current tag titles are good.

        Unique and good are not synonymous. The WWE Title is unique and garish, a holdover from “Doctor of Thuganomics” John Cena that doesn’t look right on anybody else (MVP could’ve rocked it, but alas). Likewise, the Diva title is way too obnoxiously, focus-grouped and marketing-agent “girly” to look right on any non-”model” Diva, hurting its legitimacy and prestige that one would hope would come from holding the only title available to your division.

        I can think of a number of symbols that could be centric to the belt design and still “girly,” if that’s what WWE wants (diamonds are a girl’s best friend, anyone?) But if anything needs to change after WWE’s ability to actually put effort in the division, it’s the belt.

        • Lanoom

          And I just realized I contradicted myself. #3.5hoursofsleep

          Unique CAN be good. Unique and good are not synonymous.*

      • perceval

        “I’m still shocked they haven’t done a Diva Barbie, given Mattel’s relationship with WWE”

        Mattel would probably want to do a Trish Barbie, with the Gold & Red belt.

    • Jamesgangforever

      I hate the fact that most people in this world feel that if it’s not WWE it’s not legit. Well they’re wrong. People think that the divas are better simply because they are WWE Divas. I disagree. I became a Mickie James fan when she was in WWE. I felt that she was one of the best, but that wasn’t because she was a diva. I still am a huge Mickie fan one of the biggest even though she is a knockout.

      • Lanoom

        I want to clarify that I did not mean it as a “WWE vs. Indies” argument, but more as a “Yay, this Raw is cool…oh, it’s them again. *Goes off to the bathroom*” anti-generic argument.

        Was anybody leaving when Kharma was a looming threat? Imagine a Divas division where Christina Von Eerie//Toxine is punk rocking it out, where Naomi and What’s-Her-Face are doing the (so bad it’s good) ghetto girls gimmick, where the Chickbuster split actually happens and Kaitlyn and AJ join DoD and Kelly/Eve/Alicia respectively. People want stuff to happen, and nothing has happened since the DoD first formed.

        Like I said, it’s great that TNA/the indies are holding it down, but we’re talking about improving WWE. Companies outside that are non-arguments in this case.

    • perceval

      “The continued use of ear-grating generic light poppy “SHE’S SO SEXY/GIRLY” dance music as themes. Remember Gail Kim’s theme? Remember Torrie WIlson’s theme? Lita’s? Jazz’s? Heck, even Trish, Melina, Maryse, LayCool? KHARMA? Entrance music goes a helluva long way in defining image, and “All the girls in the club say woah!,” “You can look, but you can’t touch,” “She looks good to me” “Whatever the heck the lyrics of AJ’s theme are (if it’s even still here theme since they’re now just using it for general Diva walks) don’t get one pumped for wrestling skills OR characters. This is on par with the generic rock themes most of the generic “Firstname McLastname” guys have now.”

      Yeah, the themes these days do suck. The classics… The lyrics to Trish’s “Time to Rock N Roll” fit her character, perfectly, and worked regardless of her face or heel status. Plus, that laugh as the opening cue… During her Dominant Heel run, as soon as that laugh hit, the audience reacted, knowing whichever poor Diva was in the ring at that moment was in serious trouble. As we saw with Kharma, the laugh as the cue can STILL create that effect.

      So many great themes, then… LoveFurePassionEnergy (with those EYES in the Titantron), All The Things She Said, Need A Little Time (sung by Lillian Garcia), Legs, Be Yourself (It says something about how good a theme is when I’m watching old videos and it gives me that nostalgic feeling… then I remember it’s just Ashley)…

      Compare AJ’s Disney style theme to her FCW one, Feelin’ Ya. No lyrics, but it doesn’t need them. It presents a woman who is about to kick whoever’s ass is out there. The only Divas with great themes currently are Beth, Kharma, and Layla (assuming she’ll still use the LayCool theme, which is, significantly, one of Torrie’s old ones, the one she used with Vince’s Devils).

      “The biggest offender: That title belt. How can anyone take it seriously when it looks like something that comes as an accessory to “Mattel’s (TM) WWE Diva Barbie (TM).” A giant pink butterfly does not inspire skill, strength (in-ring or of character), and hype. Sure, it inspires grace and beauty. Also: Weakness, frailty, briefness, insignificance, ability to be replaced. Kind of like…models.”

      Yeah, pretty symbolic. When Trish talks about the classic Gold & Red belt being retired… She says it in the nicest, most diplomatic way possible (She’s still doing business with the company, after all), but she obviously views the Divas Division (She makes a point of referring to the Women’s and Divas Divisions as separate things) as not up to the standards of the belt she lost a knuckle to.

      Though, in the Butterfly’s defense, the Spinner Belt sucks even more. And, obviously, someone at TNA liked the Divas Championship design, since the TNA Championship belt was modeled on it for a few months. It was such a strange sight seeing what looked like the Butterfly belt lowering dramatically from the rafters on Impact with Hogan going on about how it represented immortality. :)

  • DIVAsupporter

    You Go Melanie.. Preach it…

    I started watching wwe because of lita.. until now I think she is an awesome person… but right now, honestly I am a bog fan of Kelly… but it doesnt mean I constantly root for her.. just few days ago at tlc I was rooting for Beth because I want to see her more on tv

    Everything said above is true.. most of the model divas are as entertaining as the vet divas… and actually I havent even chosen which side I’m on.. I just wanna be entertained and thats what matters

    • perceval

      I have to disagree. Kelly as entertaining as Trish, Lita, Victoria, & Mickie? What’s she got, besides being pretty?

      • norisclouds

        It’s hard to recreate those characters of the past for a lot of these women. Victoria was just a natural character-actor, and Trish and Lita pulled those characters from somewhere deep inside of themselves.

        I think both Lita and Trish’s heel characters were super exaggerated versions of like a mirror-universe version of themselves. I loved loved loved Lita’s heel attire–it was the “fuck your rules man” rock look on the other end of her anti-establishment, daredevil punk look she’d taken on previously. Her face character was basically herself, same is true for Trish-smart, saavy, a little sexy but cute and a good person that never gave up.

        I don’t feel like any of the divas today are playing themselves really–except maybe AJ. It’s not really a mark against them–how much opportunity do they have to build characters?

        I dunno in terms of dichotomy Trish and Lita were just perfect at the perfect time–two polar opposites that the fans could get behind that meshed well as friends or enemies. I really wish we’d gotten an Xtreme Stratusfaction heel run OMG–Trish and Lita as heels together. I would love that comeback.

  • Valese

    I agree with the article. I mean, i like Kelly Kelly and i like Madison Eagles and i stay clear of aligning with the “models” or “wrestlers”. I simply like whoever i find appealing to watch. But i think why people are so divided on the matter is because women, more specifically, Sara Del Rey, have worked hard to perfect their craft in the independent circuit and the models have just been hired based on their looks not talent. So the wrestlers themselves get shunned for the likes of these models- who when start training, aren’t as good. It’s no-one’s fault but the WWE’s and now apparently they don’t care for the divas division…Which is kind of contradictory considering it’s their fault for hiring inexperienced women in the first place.

  • http://au.groups.yahoo.com/group/WWE_Divas/ art

    its the models who haven’t(or much) improved that get the heat from wrestling fans in general because their used more often then the girls who can work or just sloppy & painful to watch…

    trish was a model,she worked her ass off & became a wrestler…
    divas like layla,eve & alicia who dont have indy experience have improved so much where they have the feel of a wrestler…they dont fit the model mold..
    they have proven themselves…

  • Spike7000

    This always been an issue since November 2004.

    I side myself with more on the wrestler side because that’s just me with a old school mentality and it’s always considered a insult especially with Divas with the average wrestling fan if someone with no wrestling type of background beating someone with experience it’s considered a insult.

    Even girls like Kelly Kelly (not a fan but do not discredit her over anything) and Eve Torres when pulling off stunts such as slapping/shaking asses when wanting to to shed off the Model image and when doing those stunts it does not make them look serious in a audience’s eyes.

    I have no issue with girls who come from a Modeling background because that you can work hard to become a prospect or even legit as along is that if you are there for right reasons not for TV exposure or using WWE as a stepping stone to get into Hollywood. There has been a few successes with names such as Michelle McCool, Angela Fong, Naomi Night who became legit while Alicia, Layla, Maxine, Aksana, Kaitlyn, and Eve have become prospects.

  • ecwroh

    I have to say that for the longest time, I have hated on the models and I have been on the Wrestlers side for as long as I can remember. But as of late, I have come to accept the models and I have let all of that hate and anger go, for I don’t see any good reason to have it. All that matters to me is that the women themselves have a passion for the business. If not, then I will have a problem with them.

    Also, Lanoom said, “But, like it or not, for many if it’s not WWE it’s not legit.”. I feel sorry for the people who have been brainwashed to think like that. Because they are missing out on a lot of great stuff that is outside of the WWE. A lot of the best wrestling and the best wrestlers are in companies that are not the WWE. Companies like ROH, Shimmer, Chikara, etc. Some of the best wrestlers in the world are not in WWE like Sara Del Rey, Cheerleader Melissa, MsChif, etc. So those people are missing out on a lot of great stuff because of the way they think. They need to change that way of thinking so they can enjoy wrestling at its best. That is what i did because I used to be one of them. For those who don’t change, well it is your lost.


    I am very happy to see very talented people be the champions at the moment. I saw this picture that had all of the champions together backstage and I just got this big smile on my face. Punk, Bryan, Ryder, Rhodes, Beth Phoenix, Kofi, and Evan all together with their belts. I’m happy to see talented people finally get their due. Thank you Punk.

    • Jamesgangforever

      I was soooooooooooo happy when Bryan won the title. He is such a great wrestler, but also those people who have brainwashed themselves are really missing out on things. I have heard that shimmer is awesome and they have some really great female wrestlers.

  • laqisha

    Wrestlers >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Models

    • Kaledrina

      then stop watching wwe. stop watching tna. stop torturing yourself. you’re actually on a website now with diva in the name, you should be embarrassed.

      • http://www.youtube.com/jillfan1 Jillfan1


      • perceval

        You’ll notice that this site covers Shimmer and other indie promotions, and promotes women wrestlers, heavily. It isn’t all about Kelly Kelly photoshoots.

        As Jillfan1 said, the Knockouts are primarily wrestlers.

        And yes, there was a time when “Diva” meant Trish Stratus, Lita, Molly Holly, Jacqueline Moore, Ivory, Jazz, Victoria, Gail Kim, Mickie James, and Melina.

        You notice no one identifies Trish & Victoria primarily as models, despite their fitness backgrounds? You wonder why? Go to Youtube, and look up…

        “Victoria vs Trish MV – The Feud”

        …for a great tribute to the four year rivalry that took women’s wrestling in North America from a novelty to the upper card, a draw unto itself.

        Then, look up the Kelly vs Brie feud for the Championship, THIS year.

        After that, maybe you’ll understand what DIVA fans are griping about.

  • wl75

    A lot of good points here- I think also people don’t remember that WWE is a business- they have to cater to not only the hardcore fans, but to the casual fans as well. So personalities are vital to help draw those casual fans in- Maryse was a prime example. She might not have been the best wrestler, but she had one hell of a personality…

  • Kaledrina

    i’ve always found it a shame that it tends to be women’s wrestling fans that are more hateful towards women in wrestling. it seems so counter-productive. why do we expect the general, run of the mill wrestling fans to care about the women, or even the big companies like wwe to focus on the ladies.. when us, the actual women’s wrestling fans, seem to be spending every minute unnecessarily criticising them and basically calling them shit.

    • Lanoom

      Criticism is ALWAYS necessary for the betterment of any craft. And unless anybody who has been serious about wrestling has been lying to me, from HBK to backyard-wannabe-superstars, wrestling is a craft.

      It is our duty as fans to NOT just accept what is given to us when we know the competitors and management are capable of doing better. I have the entirety of Kharma’s run as evidence that the general audience can and WANTS to care, as well as further past examples such as Trish, Lita, Mickie, Laycool, etc. Nobody buys a ticket/PPV or turns on USA/SyFy to sit on their hands. If we are dissatisfied, we must speak up or else no change will come.

      Of course there will be haters, but we are not concerned about them and I’m certain that every woman in WWE is mature enough to distinguish between criticism and hate.

      • Kaledrina

        oh, i understand that and agree with you. i think i could’ve worded what i was thinking in my head better, though. like, myself, i can be pretty critical with wwe at times, if not most of the time, but i always try to do it in a constructive way rather than just criticising for the sake of hating. :)

  • capricornscott

    I have been watching women’s wrestling since the early 90′s. Back in the days where Madusa would battle with Luna Vachon or the current Japanese star, Bull Nakano and Akira Hokuto. I also watched the brawls between Luna and Sensational Sherries. I was spoiled on women that could reallly wrestle. Then came the days of Ivory, Molly Holly, Jazz, Victoria, Trish and Lira. Again it was full of women that knew the business.

    I lost interest when the Diva Search rolled around. There are a few solid workers that came out of the diva search, but I felt that for the most part these girls weren’t here to wrestle. Sometime around 2007, I stumbled across this all female promotion called Shimmer and a wrestler called Cheerleader Melissa. At first thought I didn’t want to waste my time on someone with a cheerleader gimmick. Boy was I surprised.

    Shimmer is a company that puts talent first. As a fan of the “wrestlers” over “models”, Shimmer is my preference. I keep up on the WWE and TNA girls and often find the matches enjoyable. I think we can all appreciate female wrestlers. It’s hard work and kudos to the women that are doing it.

    My problem is when people are doing greatest wrestler lists and people like Kelly Kelly and Maryse are there. Yes they are (were) decent wrestlers not anywhere near the beat. It also annoys me when people claim to be such a big fan of womens wrestling yet they refuse to watch and non WWE/TNA stuff. These are just my personal heartburns for fans of the sport I love so dearly.

    *I wrote this from my cell, so please forgive typos. :)

  • MNM4ever

    i think when people use the term ‘model divas’ they are more angered that these divas with far less talent (not to offend any of the divas) whilst others who are extremely talented and can put on a highly entertaining match are either pushed aside or let go of (e.g. gail, melina, Jillian)
    IMO people are also angry at the state of the division compared to the thriving division it was during 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and even 2009 with divas such as melina, lita, trish, mickie, beth and michelle at the forefront, Its not completely the current diva’s fault as wwe are not creating storyline and interest into the matches and are NOT GIVING THE DIVAS ENOUGH TIME to put on a meaningful match apart from those rare ppv matched. TNA does a much better job of this..
    Honestly would you rather see Melina vs Beth (i quit match from 2008) or Kelly kelly vs Brie Bella.. I thought so lol im not trying to diss the bellas or kelly as each diva is talented in their own way but it a sure thing that melina and melina will put on a classic that will probably steal the show.

    In saying that if WWE could at keast give the current crop of divas a meaningful storyline and the time necessary to have a meaningful match, maybe they could surprise us and make us more interestedd.
    We just want better storyline and better matches (which can be achieved quickly by using the more established wrestlers whilst newer divas are,properly trained and tone their in ring skills)

    I’m just hopeful that one day the divas will get the proper attention needed from WWE in order to make it thrive once again as it has in the past. Until then, the knockouts divison will be much more highly regarded than the divas division, in my opinion.

    • MNM4ever

      *melina and beth LOL im tired

      • Jhonmarco

        I found nothing wrong with Melina being released, she had a good run with many title reigns as a heel & face. & tbh if she didn’t start drama on twitter, things might’ve been different for her.

        • MNM4ever

          HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA so your telling me that someone who did so much for the company during her 6 year wwe career (on television- 5 women’s titles, Manging MNM to three tag titles and managing John morrison to 2 intercontinental titles deserves to be pushed aside to let non-talented wrestlers gain more spotlight. not only that but her and gail were forced to perform their rivalry on wwe superstars (which contained a great series of matches) whilst kelly and brie were on raw competing over the divas title (which included much less memorable matches)

        • MNM4ever

          ** and not only that but she didnt even get a “goodbye” match

        • Jhonmarco

          I’m sorry but don’t label all women wwe has as untalented at the time I think all women have their positives. & I’m sorry I don’t think it was a travesty that Melina was released for younger girls like AJ & Kaitlyn. They’re the future, granted Kelly’s been pushed this year. It’s clear those 2 are the future. & if anyone’s release was a shame it was Jillian’s. She made the best out of all situations, was a joke, etc. Why does everyone feel for Melina, when others have gotten much worde treatment? Let’s be honest people.

        • MNM4ever

          I can see where your coming from, but its pretty saddening that a woman as talented and giving to the company (as melina) was thrown away like that without a goodbye match or anything

        • Jhonmarco

          Oh I agree with that, she goes in the same boat with Mickie James.

        • MNM4ever

          i think i get over emotional when i bring melina into the topic :p and yep mickie and melina both left losing their last match. they were both so good in different ways!

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/JayJay2307Q?feature=mhee KellyKay23

    Its really funny how people rant on models but they have a diva/model as their profile picture.

    • iLUVwrestlingValets

      LOL so true, i actually want Lacey VE as my avatar but i dont know how to get one

    • http://www.youtube.com/jillfan1 Jillfan1

      you can admire a diva like me Maxine she’s beautiful so i can’t have her on my avatar? she improved she is no SDR but she is without a doubt talented some had LVE icon too you can prove your point without contradicting yourself just saying

  • JSciola

    My stance on this is it doesn’t matter where you come from, it matters where you are now, and where you’re going to be tomorrow.

    And this is something that seems to be wholly unique to women’s wrestling. I really can’t recall to many complaints about former bodybuilders or football players getting signed.

    I believe if you have had training and have matches in the ring, you are a wrestler.

    One thing I would like to cite of “just a model” doing something big is Kelly Kelly at WrestleMania XXVI. She took a top rope splash from Vickie Guerrero.

    Any training Vickie’s had must have been minimal at best, and probably not the best choice to do a move from the top and really be able to protect the person taking the move, but they did it anyway.

    Kelly has in a way reminded me of a female Mick Foley. Not the most technically sound one out there, but she is not afraid to take a big bump for the sake of the match.

  • iLUVwrestlingValets

    Honestly i like both the models and the wrestlers, but at the end of the day they are female wrestlers busting their asses to get some attention in a male dominated spot. Each and every one of these girls bring something different to the table, which creates entertainment. The real thing these internet wrestling fans should be complaining about is WWE’s piss poor treatment and management towards their women. These girls could bring in so much value , money, and entertainment to the company, but they dont care because from what i here managment doesnt believe in the current roster of divas despite the fact that these girls have given us consistently good PPV matches this year. Everybody is waiting for Kharma to come back and save the division, but whose to know if anything will even change when she comes back. All in all they need to work with the girls they have before the current roster of girls get so used to doing absoulutey nothing, because these girls are talented, and talent should never go to waste

  • adifferentsame

    Where to begin?

    There is a perception that those who enjoy the model vanilla in the Divas division are either unappreciative or unaware of the era in which the WWE once had pride in strong female competitors. I’m not simply talking the much lauded Golden Age where Trish Stratus emerged into the definitive hybrid of model wrestler, but the mid-90s when Alundra Blayze was battling hard hitting joshi talent.

    Then there is the perception that the current prototype of Divas is the reason why mainstream followers are likely to never witness such greatness again. That isn’t altogether fair, since the stagnant division we are struggling with is unfortunately reflective of a company that has shifted far beyond the traditional elements of wrestling into what purists revile as “sports entertainment”. As CM Punk acutely critiqued earlier this year, wrestling has become a tarnished art.

    Every fan needs to accept the duality of sexuality in women’s wrestling. Why? For example, enter Sable, a woman whose made weapon of seduction helped in part establish a colossally popular character and arguably resurrect the Women’s Championship (ironically after Alundra Blayze denounced it). Was she an ideal spokesperson for a wrestling cause? No, but most would be lying if they didn’t find her work appealing. Juxtapose Ivory’s crusade to bring morality and class into a frivolous division with the fluff of Miss Kitty and Terri Runnells pulling hair while clad in bikini’s. What about Torrie Wilson’s feud with Dawn Marie as an additive to the serious wrestling of Trish and her many rivals over the years. Again, the sports entertainment and wrestling fan in me can appreciate both factors because they mix two very different components of the craft.

    The problem now is that there is abundant lack of either. WWE book their women so haplessly and script them into irrelevance. One might say that the crop of current Divas barely inspires greater material, but I think it’s more of a case that the creative team have written off the division as a lost cause. Dirt sheets barely waste two sentences on anything they do and usually then it’s only to pour distaste. The majority of male wrestling fans are either ambivalent or casually sexist. That and maybe the fact that fans of WWE’s output are now too familiar with women who have little to offer in terms of in-ring skill.

    My only gripe with models in wrestling is Vince McMahon’s belief that any model can be a decent wrestler. And that, say, a model taught a few tricks in the ring defines what everyone wants to see. My problem is a lack of diversity for both. Sure we’ve had Michelle McCool to name but one revelation of the Diva Search institution, but we also saw the exodus of several good wrestlers in favour of girls who lasted as long as it took for the kettle to boil.

    Women’s wrestling is certainly a niche market; the WWE is in the best platform to promote and capitalise on that niche. The fact they don’t even try is disheartening on so many levels: to the women who work tirelessly to make it, to the women they have wrestle on their shows, to the fans that desperately want more and most importantly, it’s disrespectful to the art itself.

  • mojodoom

    It was never an issue when Sable was around or Debra or Miss Kitty or Trish. The word model was almost non existent on wrestling message boards. It only started when the WWE fired half of the wrestling divas and started bringing up Diva Search rejects and start putting them on storylines and in the ring. All most all of those girls where gone within a few months and the ones that stayed find success in WWE. Sadly their improvement in the ring was not enough to erased that label. And every girl that came in after that with no wrestling background was labeled as such.