WWE chairman Vince McMahon tends to be very picky when it comes to naming his wrestlers. When it comes to female talent, McMahon loves to use one-word names. Also because of trademarks, McMahon typically steers clear from calling a wrestler their actual name; in that case, the WWE would not hold the rights to the Diva's name.
However, as fans will see in this article, there are a couple of cases in which the company decided to leave the Diva’s name the same. This was either done in the early 2000s or just because the person's real name was already popular. Ronda Rousey is a current example of that.
The rest of the article is entirely focused on those using a fake name. Due to the realism aspect of pro wrestling, fans often believe these Divas are using their actual names. But more times than not, that isn’t the case. Take the Bellas for example: the twins' reality series is called Total Bellas, yet Bella isn’t even their real last name, and their first names are fake, too! That’s the case with a lot of the talent, both current and past.
Enjoy the article folks and like always be sure to share the article with a friend. Without further ado, here are 15 WWE Divas that use a fake name and 5 that actually use their real name. Let’s get started.
20 Fake Name - Alexa Bliss (Alexis Kaufman)
Before she became a WWE star and multi-time Women’s Champion, Bliss was simply known as Alexis Kaufman living out of Columbus, Ohio. She was a sporty type growing up, enrolling in several sports such track and field, gymnastics, and even thriving as a cheerleader. Bliss also had a brief run in the bodybuilding world prior to inking a WWE deal.
Alexa’s parents worried that she had too many interests, however, ultimately such a resume caught the attention of the WWE. In fact, Bliss signed up to be a WWE Superstar online if you can believe it. Clearly, it all worked out for the WWE talent.
19 Fake Name - Bayley (Pamela Martinez)
It is hard to imagine Bayley with any other name. She grew to stardom with the name during her run with NXT. Arguably, she became the most popular performer in the developmental brand’s history.
Fun fact: the name wasn’t even her first choice. As stated on the Stone Cold Podcast, Bayley actually requested the name Davina Rose–the same name she was using with other independent promotions prior to her WWE signing. However, the company turned down the request due to the number of Divas already using the name Rose. Although Bayley wasn’t too thrilled with the decision, it is quite clear that she struck gold with her current name.
18 Real Name - Torrie Wilson
Back in the ‘90s and early 2000s, both WWE and WCW were a lot more flexible when it came to names–lots of Divas used their real names and that included both Torrie Wilson and Stacy Keibler. Wisely, given their valuable fame with WCW, WWE chose to keep their names the same once they made the jump. This wouldn’t happen nowadays especially because the company usually elects to keep Diva names to one name.
Now retired, Wilson made quite the impact despite her limited abilities in the ring. She had that rare connection with the crowd that most wrestlers aspire to have. These days, she’s enjoying the retired life as a fitness enthusiast.
17 Fake Name - Becky Lynch (Rebecca Quin)
Things could have turned out to be quite different for Becky Lynch, who is now the most popular WWE Diva in the entire company. However, this came close to not happening at all. Lynch left the business at one point, pursuing a job as a stewardess alongside her mom. Wisely, she chose passion over stability and returned to the world of wrestling shortly after.
She used the name Rebecca Knox prior to the WWE. Once she inked a deal with the company, she was instantly changed to Becky Lynch. The name stuck and fans truly believe that’s her real name but in fact, she goes by Rebecca with her close friends and family.
16 Fake Name - Renee Young (Renee Jane Paquette)
We can understand the in-ring talent using a stage name but really, even the commentators!? In a lot of cases, the company allows commentators to use their real names. However, in Renee’s case, she was forced into changing it. During her days on The Score as a host, Young went by her real name Renee Paquette. Once she made the move to WWE, it was immediately changed to Renee Young.
Maybe the company worried that the US audience might have a hard time pronouncing her last name? WWE loves to keep it simple, so in all likelihood, that was the reason for the change.
15 Fake Name - Trish Stratus (Patricia Anne Stratigeas)
Given that Trish is an alum and the fact that she made her debut during the Attitude Era, some might assume that she was allowed to use her real name. Again, that couldn’t be further from the truth. We can understand why WWE made the change, though: crowning a champion named Patricia does sound kind of weird.
With no experience, Trish climbed her way up the WWE ladder, debuting as a manager and then changing to an actual performer. Trish wowed fans for years with her in-ring work, becoming one of the most improved talents in Divas history. At the age of 43, she still looks great and hasn’t missed a step in the ring either!
14 Real Name - Mickie James
Mickie James has been around the block and back again. She made her debut way back in 1999. Other names used by James include Alexis Laree and Vicki Adams.
For whatever reason, she was allowed to keep her real name when signing a WWE deal back in 2003–that’s a big-time rarity especially nowadays. Mickie is one of the few talents to have both a first and last name, though she is typically referred to as Mickie by the WWE commentators. At the age of 39, James hasn’t slowed down, and she really is aging like a fine wine.
13 Fake Name - Charlotte Flair (Ashley Fliehr)
This one might be the biggest surprise on the list. Of course, Charlotte is the daughter of the great Ric Flair. However, the family name is actually spelled differently, Fliehr not Flair.
Charlotte excelled as a volleyball player at a young age. Thankfully, she decided to join pro wrestling and she’s an absolute natural. WWE decided to change her first name, calling her Charlotte. Father Ric still gets the two mixed up, referring to his daughter as Ashley on WWE programming. We can’t fault Ric for making the mistake—it is his daughter after all!
12 Fake Name - Nikki Bella (Stephanie Nicole Garcia-Colace)
Nikki entering the wrestling business was a long shot back in the day. She moved to LA in search of fame. Nikki wanted to break into the modeling industry alongside her sister Brie or work on anything Hollywood related. Her calling came in the form of the WWE Diva Search. Nikki and Brie weren’t offered spots on the show, but they would get something even better after the audition: actual contracts.
Nikki’s name was immediately changed; she actually goes by the name of Stephanie Nicole Garcia-Colace. We rarely hear any reference to that, and even on Total Bellas, she’s typically referred to by the stage name Nikki. Heck, the show is called Total Bellas and not Total Colaces!
11 Fake Name - Sasha Banks (Mercedes Kaestner-Varnado)
Sasha Banks had one goal in mind from a young age and that was to make it in the wrestling business. She made her debut prior to the WWE as a teen, using the name Mercedes KV. The name was actually a strong one, though again, given that it was too close to her real name the company decided to change it. They typically do so in the event that they can trademark the name–WWE cannot trademark a real name.
Once she joined NXT, she was instantly labeled as Sasha Banks. She later added the Boss moniker to her name–a nickname that stuck till this day.
10 Real Name - Natalie Neidhart
Changing the Neidhart name would be foolish given the legacy of the family name in the wrestling business. Wisely, the company chose to keep it intact when Natalya made her debut with the company. These days, her name is slightly altered; she’s either referred to as Natalya or her nickname, Nattie.
Age 36, Natalya is another WWE Diva that has aged well. She’s the locker room leader and still among the top female talents in the entire locker room. Surely, once she calls it a quits she’ll stay onboard as a trainer or backstage agent.
9 Fake Name - Paige (Saraya-Jade Bevis)
Paige was practically born in a wrestling ring. Her family had their own promotion and Paige stepped into the ring as early as 13 if you can believe it. She used her first name Saraya for quite some time prior to the WWE–she also used Britani Knight at times, too.
Once she joined the WWE, Saraya was completely revamped into Paige. On her first night with the main roster, Paige won the Divas Championship, defeating AJ Lee. Although she’s now retired, wrestling fans will always remember Paige as one of the pioneers that changed the women’s division completely.
8 Fake Name - Nia Jax (Savelina Fanene)
It is hard to believe but Nia joined the WWE in 2014 with no prior experience. Just two years later, she was already competing on the main roster with the best female talent, and that’s not something that we see regularly.
Nia continues her fine work. Believe it or not, she was actually initially slapped with the gimmick name of Zada. Just months later, she was changed to Nia Jax, a name that clearly stuck with the former Women’s Champion. Out of the ring, Jax hails from South Wales, Australia, going by the name of Savelina Fanene with her close friends and family.
7 Fake Name - Brie Bella (Brianna Monique Garcia-Colace)
Like sister Nikki, Brie moved out to LA and took on a job as a waitress in search of fame. She caught on even quicker than Nikki with the WWE fans. She later met Daniel Bryan behind the scenes and two would start a family together.
WWE uses the Brie Bella name as opposed to her actual name, Brianna Monique Garcia-Colace. At the very least, Brie is, in fact, her real nickname. Even sister Nikki got the name from her middle name Nicole, another nickname the WWE ultimately decided to go with. Nowadays, we can't picture calling Bella anything other than Brie, and certainly not Brianna.
6 Real Name - Kacy Catanzaro
Rarely in this day and age does WWE choose to keep a member of their roster’s name the same. However, that’s not true for athletes from other sports that have already developed popularity behind their name. Ronda Rousey is an easy example of that; WWE didn’t dare to touch anything about the former UFC Champion.
The same goes for new WWE recruit Kacy Catanzaro. Given her success in gymnastics along with her history in obstacle course competitions, WWE felt it was okay to leave her name intact. Definitely a wise choice and given what we’ve seen so far, she’s a big-time gem for the future.
5 Fake Name - Sonya Deville (Daria Berenato)
Sonya Deville is a rare example of a wrestler that started with her real name only for it to be switched later on. She joined the Tough Enough reality show with her actual name and that continued when she was signed to a WWE deal. However, a couple of months in, the company changed Daria’s name to Sonya Deville, and in truth, the reason is unknown.
The name stuck and she was quickly brought up to the main roster despite her green experience. To her credit, Deville looks like a natural in the squared circle, and that’s saying a lot given she’s still only 25.
4 Fake Name - Peyton Royce (Cassie McIntosh)
Only 26, Royce is another talent that envisioned joining the WWE from a young age. She got her start with smaller wrestling companies and she would even train with former WWE star Lance Storm at his wrestling academy.
Before she joined the company, Peyton went by Cassie and KC Cassidy, both in reference to her real first name. WWE decided to go the other way, naming the Iconic Duo member Peyton Royce. Even her partner Billie Kay uses a fake name; her real name is Jessica McKay. Kay had a similar rise to the WWE—it might be hard to believe, but the two actually grew up together and are now teaming up in a WWE ring.
3 Real Name - Maryse Mizanin
She entered the WWE through the reality show Diva Search. Perhaps for that reason, WWE felt the need to keep her real name intact. Following the show, Maryse was signed to a deal and her real name was kept the same. Though the company did remove the Ouellet part, so she is simply known as Maryse.
Nowadays, the 36-year-old is spending most of her time out of the ring as a proud mother. Maryse is now living the mom life out in Austin, Texas. Miz remains on the road with WWE. Fans expect to see Maryse back at some point but she’s definitely not in a rush to return.
2 Fake Name - Carmella (Leah Van Dale)
Some WWE fans might say Carmella was better off using her real name given that it has a legitimate history in the business. Her father Paul Van Dale worked as an enhancement talent back in the day. Despite the popularity of her last name, WWE decided to change it completely opting for Carmella.
She made her debut with NXT as a hairdresser. Carmella would then go on to play the role of a manager and later became an in-ring talent. She completely thrived when joining the main roster, even winning the Women’s Champion, an accomplishment that seemed unlikely just months prior.
1 Fake Name - Lana (Catherine Perry)
Lana plays her role so well that fans actually believe she’s from outside of the US. Lana’s fooling those fans as she’s actually from Gainesville, Florida and oh, she doesn’t really go by Lana outside of the ring either; her real name is Catherine Joy Perry. As evidenced by Total Divas, Lana goes by CJ or CJ Perry with her close friends and family.
She did, in fact, spend a bit of time in Latvia, aside from that though, Lana is just playing a role on television as a foreign heel with an accent. Fans were surprised when the accent suddenly went away completely on the Total Divas reality show. Yet, they still refer to her as Lana at times on the show. Weird.