Joining WWE is a dream come true for a lot of the company’s employees. But some might be so blinded by the opportunity that they even neglect to recognize any of the terms they're agreeing to. One of them is the fact that all Divas are regarded as independent contractors. What this means is that technically, they aren’t employees.
When it comes to ground travel, hotel booking, hitting the gym, or eating a meal, those things are all up to the Diva and not the WWE. This can make the experience much harder than it seems–it isn’t just about going out there in front of the camera and working a promo or match.
Some Divas learned that the hard way–they either had short stints with the company or one that left a sour taste in their mouth. In this article, we’ll take a look at three past Divas that regret their experience, along with two that are rumored to be displeased.
For the most part, though, WWE employees are nothing but grateful. We’ll feature fifteen Divas here that are nothing but grateful for their current and prior WWE roles.
Enjoy the article folks and like always be sure to share it with a friend. Without further ado, here are five divas who regretted joining the WWE and fifteen who are forever grateful. Let’s get started!
20 Grateful - Mickie James
Mickie’s return story to WWE is definitely a heart-warming one. She left the company in 2010 under bad circumstances; she became a liability behind the scenes due to a certain love triangle. A return to the WWE seemed highly unlikely.
But James continued out on the indie scene in front of smaller crowds. Just as she was about to call it quits for good, the WWE came calling with a special match request for their NXT show. At that point, Mickie was overjoyed about the one time opportunity alone. That one match against Asuka would eventually turn into a multi-year deal.
19 Regretted – Kharma
Kharma signed a WWE deal with a world of hype surrounding her name. She was a popular star outside of the company at the time with Impact Wrestling. Her signing was met with a lot of excitement.
Just as she was starting with the WWE, Kharma was forced into taking a leave of absence as she was pregnant. She actually broke down in the middle of the ring–it was the total opposite of what fans expected. She would return months later, but at that point, she had lost momentum–WWE might have taken notice and she was released shortly after. Kharma never expressed any formal regret, but we do believe she regrets the timing of her deal and how it went overall.
18 Grateful – Becky Lynch
From flight attendant to the face of the WWE. Without a doubt, Lynch is one of the most grateful WWE stars behind the scenes.
The future looked bleak for Lynch at one point, believe it or not. She was working the independent scene barely making money to survive. This would lead to Lynch leaving the wrestling business searching for more stability. She would stumble across a job as a flight attendant–the same job as her mother. Wisely, Lynch chose passion over stability and it would lead to a WWE contract, one that at first seemed like a long shot. But all Lynch really needed was an opportunity. She ran with it and has never looked back.
17 Grateful - Alexa Bliss
Like a lot of teens, Alexa couldn’t really focus on one thing growing up. Bliss took part in softball, gymnastics, and cheerleading. Although that was all great, her parents worried that she couldn’t just stick to one passion. Bliss would change fields once again when she reached her 20s, entering the world of bodybuilding. Entering the field was a blessing for Bliss as she had an eating disorder. The world of bodybuilding helped to refine her habits.
All of her past experiences wouldn’t go to waste and in fact, her background caught the WWE’s attention. Bliss applied online and she was actually given a call back by the company. Today, she makes a six-figure salary and is a multi-time Women’s Champion.
16 Regretted – Sable
Some WWE stars want nothing to do with the company once they leave. That might be the case with Sable. She initially left on bad terms in the '90s, only to return again in the early 2000s. However, after her second departure, she would never return to the company nor is she ever acknowledged on the shows or the network.
It seems pretty clear that Sable wants nothing to do with the company despite her Hall of Fame reputation. Although she wasn’t the most popular backstage, Sable helped the company during the wrestling boom in the late ‘90s. It remains to be seen if we’ll ever see her on WWE television again–though it seems unlikely.
15 Grateful - Eva Marie
Although Eva Marie is now gone from WWE, she continues to speak highly about the company. Some might question that given the crowd response to Eva during her WWE time. However, Eva’s no fool; she understands all the doors that opened in her professional life outside of wrestling took place because of the WWE.
During her time with the company, Eva got so many modeling and acting gigs. Now that she’s gone from the company, the offers continue to pile on. Most recently, Eva took part in Celebrity Big Brother on CBS, a show viewed by millions. It gave Eva some great exposure and without the WWE, it would have never happened.
14 Grateful - The Bellas
Even if the Bellas leave the WWE for good, they’ll never speak ill about the company. After all, it gave them so many opportunities. It all started when they auditioned for the Diva Search. Ultimately, they didn’t make it on the show, but they got something even better: actual WWE contracts.
They would be released by the company only to get another offer months later, this time to star on Total Divas, a new reality show concept. The twins never looked back, becoming juggernauts both in and out of the ring. Today, they have various projects and companies outside of the WWE–and none of that would have happened without McMahon and his company.
13 Grateful - Charlotte
Prior to joining WWE, Charlotte’s life wasn’t the easiest. She dealt with many lackluster relationships. At that point, pro wrestling wasn’t on the radar. Instead, Charlotte worked as a personal trainer.
Her late brother Reid’s dream was to make it with the WWE. Following his passing, it only fueled Charlotte even more as she attempted to live out her brother’s dream. Charlotte was a pure natural in the ring from day one. Not only does she have wrestling in her bloodline, but Charlotte also has a natural athletic ability from her past as a volleyball player at the university level. It is safe to say it all worked out for Charlotte, and a lot of that is because of the WWE.
12 Grateful - Mandy Rose
Mandy Rose took part in the sixth season of Tough Enough. Rose was almost ousted earlier on in the competition but thanks to one of the judges, The Miz, she was saved and was allowed to prolong her journey on the show. Rose would make it all the way to the final two, though she would ultimately come up short, losing out to Sara Lee.
Despite the loss, Rose was still offered a WWE deal. Meanwhile, the winner of the show was out the door just a couple of months later due to her lack of in-ring improvements. As for Mandy, she’s already on the main roster wrestling in front of the millions watching at home every week. Surely, she’s grateful for all the opportunities.
11 Regretted – Gail Kim
Gail Kim has taken several shots at the WWE in the past. Most recently, she told the Fight Network that WWE doesn’t like strong and outspoken women. Clearly, she was taking a shot at the company for her time spent with them years ago.
Kim also stated that she was held back and that matches meant nothing during her WWE run. She claims to have been thrown into meaningless tag matches week after week. Kim told the Fight Network that she couldn’t be herself with the WWE and she was always trying to be someone else, walking on eggshells. Everything changed for Gail once she joined Impact. She was finally given the freedom she felt she needed to thrive.
10 Grateful - Liv Morgan
It isn’t every day that an aspiring WWE star gets noticed at a gym. But that’s exactly what happened with Liv Morgan, who trained at Joe DeFranco’s gym in New Jersey. DeFranco is Triple H’s trainer. Morgan is a lifelong fan of WWE and thanks to that connection, she was contacted by the company. At the time of her signing, Morgan was barely into her 20s and working at Hooters.
She became a quick learner given the fact that she had no prior experience whatsoever. Usually, those with Liv’s kind of expertise are told to join a wrestling school or wrestling promotion prior in order to gain experience. Morgan was given the royal treatment and surely, she’s forever grateful.
9 Grateful - Trish Stratus
Like Liv Morgan, Trish went from the gym to the WWE. She was noticed working at the reception desk of her gym. However, it wasn’t by the WWE but instead the fitness magazine MuscleMag. The gig gave Trish some great exposure and thanks to that opportunity, she would go on to catch the WWE’s attention a little later.
She would start off as a manager but then blossom into a fantastic in-ring performer and arguably one of the best. Trish helped to change the landscape of the women’s division. That all happened with WWE fully backing her at all times.
8 Grateful - Carmella
Carmella actually applied to be on Tough Enough back in 2010, though she would opt for a gig as a Laker girl instead, getting a deal done with the Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA.
She would revisit the WWE in 2013, and surprisingly, she was also offered a deal. We say surprisingly because Carmella had no prior experience in the business, and nowadays it is tough to earn a deal with no experience. Things didn’t start off easy for Carmella as the trainers deemed she wasn’t showing enough personality. She could have easily been shown the door right after, but the company opted to keep her. Without a doubt, Carmella is thankful for the constant faith displayed by the company.
7 Grateful - Nia Jax
Nia signed a deal with the WWE in 2014. At that point, she had no background in the business. The only thing she had was an extensive family bloodline of wrestlers that were in the industry. Nia has a background in basketball at the college level, though, along with brief modeling experience.
WWE took a chance on Jax and it was the right decision despite her limited experience. The company saw money in Jax earlier on, booking her as an unstoppable force. The same holds true today as Nia is one of the most villainous heels on the entire WWE roster.
6 Regretted – Asuka (According To Comments)
When Asuka’s WWE time comes to an end, she might regret ever having joined the company. When she signed, Asuka was one of the biggest wrestlers out there. The same held true till she joined the main roster, but at that point, it all went downhill. Jim Ross recently commented on the matter via Wrestling Inc;
“The ball was dropped last year at WrestleMania after she lost her undefeated streak to Charlotte. They had a great match. Anybody that watches that match and tells me it wasn’t any good doesn’t know anything about wrestling.” Let’s hope WWE can salvage Asuka before it’s too late.
5 Grateful - Lacey Evans
What a story it has been for Lacey Evans. She grew up in a troubled home only to make it as a US Marine. No one could have predicted that Evans would later transition into a WWE star. She was given a developmental deal and she’s now on the main roster.
As if that isn’t great enough, Evans also gets to travel with her family while on the road with the company. She spoke about this even further with Wrestling Inc; "She [her daughter] travels to almost every show with me and my husband," Evans said. "She tells everyone who will listen that her mother is in the WWE. They are my biggest supporters."
4 Grateful - Beth Phoenix
Beth Phoenix had the perfect resume. She seriously did everything the right way, earning her stripes on the independent scene for a couple of years and then making the move to WWE. She became the youngest Hall of Famer and without a doubt, she deserves this accolade.
Beth must be grateful for her post-in-ring run with the WWE, however. The company continues to offer Beth constant opportunities, whether it be working as a panelist or on commentary during RAW or PPVs. She also recently returned to the ring alongside Natalya. WWE has kept Beth really busy despite her in-ring retirement.
3 Grateful - Paige
WWE took a big chance on Paige back in April of 2014. During her RAW debut, Paige captured the Divas Champion. She became the youngest champion in the title’s history at the tender age of 21.
Paige has endured lots of ups and downs with the company. Her relationship with Alberto Del Rio and lengthy hiatus from the company was one of the downs. Despite all of this, WWE continued to have faith in Paige, although many Divas aren’t given this type of treatment. While Paige is done in the ring, she continues to thrive with the recent release of her film Fighting With My Family.
2 Regretted – Maria Kanellis (According To Comments)
Maria finally returned to WWE in 2017. She was supposed to return in 2013 but that never took place. Despite her return, lots of fans tend to forget that Maria is even with the company today given her limited television time on the main shows. Some also speculate that both Maria and husband Mike aren’t too pleased with their current standing and want out of the company.
If that’s really how they feel, no doubt they might regret signing with the WWE in the first place as they had great momentum outside of the company prior to inking a deal.
1 Grateful – Ronda Rousey
Already a year has passed since Ronda Rousey made her WWE debut at the Royal Rumble. Following the event, she was smiling from ear to ear, constantly saying how grateful she was to be able to live out her dream.
WWE helped to brighten Ronda Rousey’s image. Following her UFC defeats, she turned into a bit of an afterthought. WWE booked her with the utmost importance, though, and Rousey never lost a singles match and she won the Women’s Title fairly quickly. Ronda is also given lots of creative freedom, though some might not agree with that. Nonetheless, Rousey has a lot to be grateful for, that’s for sure.
Sources: Fight Network, WWE, Wrestling Inc