WWE Diva Search

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WWE Diva Search
Eva Marie April 2014.jpg
A picture of the 2013 diva search winner Eva Marie.
Also known asWWE Raw Diva Search
Diva Search
Raw Divas Search
Created byVince McMahon
Opening theme
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons6
No. of episodes7
Production
Camera setupMulticamera setup
Release
Original network
Picture formatNTSC
Original releaseJuly 1, 2003 (2003-07-01)
Chronology
Related

WWE Diva Search (formerly WWE Raw Diva Search) is an American talent competition that was produced and held by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). The first winner was Jaime Koeppe, but she did not receive a contract like subsequent winners of the contest. Other winners included Christy Hemme, Ashley Massaro, Layla El, Eve Torres and Eva Marie. In addition to the winners of the yearly contest, WWE has hired several contestants as Divas, the name that WWE gave at the time to the female performers. As of 2021, Maryse Ouellet is the sole remaining female talents signed with WWE to come from the contest. There were many failed attempts at bringing back the competition over the years following the cancellation of the 2008 season, and was at one point going to return in 2019 under the new name Superstar Search. But those plans were scrapped.[1][2][3][4]

2003[edit]

WWE Diva Search
WinnerJaime Koeppe
Runner-upTerri Mitchell

The first WWE Diva Search took place in between July 1 and August 24, 2003. However, unlike the later Diva Searches, the first Diva Search winner did not receive a contract. She received a photoshoot for an issue of WWE Magazine. Jaime Koeppe was named the first WWE Diva Search winner largely due to the Yahoo! Groups fan network her promoter, Amelia Wysocki (Then named, DJ Wysocki) managed on her behalf. The four that competed that year in the 1st WWE Diva search were Jamie Koeppe, Terri Mitchell, Paige and Marsha. Fans voted online and WWE made the final decision. The competition was held the night before SummerSlam at Jillian's in Phoenix, Arizona.

2004[edit]

WWE Diva Search
Christy Hemme, the 2004 Diva Search winner
Christy Hemme, the 2004 Diva Search winner
WinnerChristy Hemme
Runner-upCarmella DeCesare
Release
Original networkSpike TV
Original releaseJuly 15 (2004-07-15) –
September 20, 2004 (2004-09-20)

Official themes[edit]

The 2004 WWE Raw $250,000 Diva Search featured four official theme songs.

  1. ^ "Real Good Girl" by Jim Johnston was written exclusively for the 2004 WWE Raw $250,000 Diva Search competition. The song was later featured in WWE ThemeAddict: The Music, Vol. 6.
  2. ^ "Walk Idiot Walk" was also used as the official entrance theme for Christy Hemme after winning the competition.

Top 28[edit]

Open casting calls were held in Los Angeles, NYC, and Chicago in June and July to narrow the field down from thousands to 28 women. The following 28 finalists were chosen from each of the locations:

Finalists[edit]

Name Age[a] Hometown Eliminated
Christy Hemme 23 United States Poway, California Winner[5][6][7][8]
Carmella DeCesare 22 United States Avon Lake, Ohio Runner-Up[7][9]
Joy Giovanni 26 United States Boston, Massachusetts 3rd Place[9]
Amy Weber 34 United States Mapleton, Illinois 4th Place[9]
Maria Kanellis 22 United States Ottawa, Illinois 5th Place[10]
Tracie Wright 24 United States Atlanta, Georgia 6th Place
Michelle McCool 24 United States Palatka, Florida 7th Place[10]
Chandra Costello 28 United States Liberty, Kentucky 8th Place
Camille Anderson 26 United States Dallas, Texas 9th Place
Julia Costello 28 United States Liberty, Kentucky 10th Place
  1. ^ Ages were at time of filming.

Notes[edit]

Former Diva Search contestant Candice Michelle as the Women's Champion
Michelle McCool was the first Diva Search contestant to become the inaugural Divas Champion

In 2004, WWE decided to make an extension of the Diva Search, which included a one-year contract worth $250,000 and was held on Raw.[8][11] Over 7,000 females applied to be a part of the contest.[5] The final ten contestants were chosen on a casting special aired on Spike TV on July 15, with guest judges Triple H, Randy Orton, Chris Jericho and Edge.[11]

They began airing the weekly Raw Diva Search segments on July 19.[8][11] Despite reported claims by the company that the contest would be handled in a classy manner, the contest involved prospective divas performing suggestive acts on live television, such as "seducing" a male wrestler. Fans were allowed to vote for the winners,[8] but the outcome of the voting process was questioned by media outlets. The eventual winner of the competition was Christy Hemme, who went on to pose in Playboy and competed at WrestleMania 21 for the WWE Women's Championship where she was accompanied to the ring by Lita, but ended up with Trish Stratus retaining the title.[6]

Finalists (winner Hemme, runner-up Carmella DeCesare, Amy Weber, and Joy Giovanni)[9] took part in a segment titled "Diss the Diva" on August 30, 2004,[12] which was censored at several points due to foul language and obscenities from the contestants when they were asked to taunt one another verbally. Backstage, the four contestants bickered with and disliked each other, as well.[9] Also, during an earlier segment in the competition, Maria Kanellis gave DeCesare the middle finger.[10]

Despite only one winner being crowned in the competition each year, WWE hired a large number of the contestants from past contests and immediately placed them in on-camera in non-wrestling roles. From the 2004 Diva Search, Michelle McCool, Amy Weber,[9] Candice Michelle,[11] Maria Kanellis,[10] and Joy Giovanni all received contracts after losing the contest. Several of the girls were sent to Ohio Valley Wrestling to train.

Candice Michelle would become the first Diva Search contestant to win a championship on the main roster, defeating Melina for the WWE Women's Championship at Vengeance: Night of Champions.

Gia Allemand was a contestant for the Diva Search.[13] It is unknown what season she was in. Allemand died on August 14, 2013 at 29.

2005[edit]

WWE Diva Search
Ashley Massaro, the 2005 Diva Search winner
Ashley Massaro, the 2005 Raw Diva Search winner
WinnerAshley Massaro
Runner-upLeyla Milani
Release
Original networkSpike TV
Original releaseJune 27 (2005-06-27) –
August 15, 2005 (2005-08-15)

Official theme[edit]

The 2005 WWE Raw Diva Search featured one official theme song.

  1. ^ "Be Yourself" was also used as the official entrance theme for Ashley Massaro after winning the competition.

Contestants[edit]

Name Age[a] Hometown Eliminated
Ashley Massaro 26 United States Babylon, New York Winner[9][14]
Leyla Milani 23 Iran Canada Toronto, Ontario Runner-Up
Elisabeth Rouffaer 22 United States Santa Cruz, California 3rd Place
Kristal Marshall 21 United States Los Angeles, California 4th Place
Summer DeLin 24 United States Shreveport, Louisiana 5th Place
Cameron Haven 24 United States Lake Worth, Florida 6th Place
Simona Fusco 25 Italy Milan, Italy 7th Place
Alexis Ondrade 23 United States Costa Mesa, California 8th Place
  1. ^ Ages were at time of filming.
Rob Schneider and Diva search contestants August 1, 2005

Notes[edit]

For the 2005 WWE Raw Diva Search, the eight finalists began appearing on Raw on June 27. One contestant was eliminated each week until there were a final three.[14] Contestant Leyla Milani accidentally exposed herself by falling out of her top while attempting to navigate an obstacle course on the July 4 edition of Raw, leading to a "disqualification" in the contest.[15]

Ashley Massaro was declared the winner on August 15 and received $250,000.[14] As in 2004, other contestants were hired by WWE, including Kristal Marshall, Trenesha Biggers (eliminated in the Top 25) and Elisabeth Rouffaer.

Leyla Milani would later appear on Deal or No Deal as a briefcase model. Alexis Ondrade would later appear on Flavor of Love (season 1) under the nickname "Smiley". She would later appear in other "Of Love" spinoff shows under the same nickname or her real name "Leilene Ondrade".

Massaro died on May 16, 2019 at the age of 39.

2006[edit]

WWE Diva Search
A dark-haired, tanned Caucasian female straddles the top rope of a wrestling ring with blue ropes. She is wearing a red patterned crop top, and matching shorts and kneepads. She is holding a wrestling championship above her head with both hands.
Layla El, the 2006 WWE Diva Search winner and only winner to become WWE Women's Champion and WWE Divas Champion
WinnerLayla El
Runner-upJen England
Release
Original networkUSA Network
Original releaseJuly 10 (2006-07-10) –
August 16, 2006 (2006-08-16)

Official themes[edit]

The 2006 WWE Raw Diva Search featured three official theme songs.

  1. ^ "Move Along" was briefly used as the official entrance theme for Layla El after winning the competition.

Contestants[edit]

Name Age[a] Hometown Eliminated
Layla El 29 England London, Greater London Winner[16]
Jennifer England 27 United States Lansing, Michigan Runner-Up[16]
J.T. Tinney 25 United States Phoenix, Arizona 3rd Place[16]
Milena Roucka 26 Canada Vancouver, British Columbia 4th Place[16]
Erica Chevillar 23 United States Boca Raton, Florida 5th Place[16]
Rebecca DiPietro 26 United States Rehoboth, Massachusetts 6th Place[16]
Maryse Ouellet 23 Canada Montreal, Quebec 7th Place[16]
Amy Zidian 23 United States Orlando, Florida 8th Place[16]
  1. ^ Ages were at time of filming.

Notes[edit]

The eight finalists made their first appearance on WWE programming on Raw on July 10.[17] The Diva Search had an awkward beginning on July 10 with an introductory segment on Raw featuring new host Mike Mizanin. During the segment, Mizanin appeared to have forgotten his lines and stammered on for several minutes when trying to explain the voting procedures for the contest.[18] When introducing the contestants, Mizanin mispronounced names and looked uncomfortable in his new role as Diva Search emcee.[18] Each week, the contestants appeared on both Raw and SmackDown!.[17] The final three appeared on a special that aired on August 16, 2006 on the USA Network, where the winner was announced.

Layla El won the 3rd annual Raw Diva Search[16] and was placed on SmackDown! in late 2006. WWE also hired several of the eliminated Diva contestants including Maryse Ouellet, The Bella Twins, Rebecca DiPietro, Brooke Adams, Amy Zidian, and Milena Roucka. The Bella Twins would become the first Diva Search contestants to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2020

2007[edit]

WWE Diva Search
Eve Torres, the 2007 Diva Search winner
Eve Torres, the 2007 Diva Search winner and a record three time WWE Divas Champion
WinnerEve Torres
Runner-upBrooke Gilbertsen
Release
Original networkWWE.com
Original releaseSeptember 10 (2007-09-10) –
October 29, 2007 (2007-10-29)

Official theme song[edit]

The official theme song for the 2007 WWE Diva Search was "Let it Roll" by Velvet Revolver from the band's second studio album, Libertad, which was released on July 3, 2007. At the time of release, Velvet Revolver was an American hard rock supergroup that featured vocalist Scott Weiland, guitarists Slash and Dave Kushner, bassist Duff McKagan and drummer Matt Sorum. "Let it Roll" was only used as the official theme song for the competition and was not used as the official entrance theme song for the winner of the competition. Special thanks to Velvet Revolver

Contestants[edit]

Name Age[a] Hometown Eliminated
Eve Torres 22 United States Denver, Colorado Winner[19]
Brooke Gilbertsen 22 United States Chicago, Illinois Runner-Up
Lena Yada 27 United States Los Angeles, California 3rd Place
Taryn Terrell 21 United States New Orleans, Louisiana 4th Place[20]
Jessica Hatch 26 Canada Montreal, Quebec 5th Place[21]
J. Kim 24 United States Catawba, North Carolina 6th Place[22]
Lyndy Frieson 22 Canada Vancouver, British Columbia 7th Place[23]
Naomi Kirk 24 England West Yorkshire, England 8th Place[24]
  1. ^ Ages were at time of filming.

Notes[edit]

The first competition was on WWE.com on September 10, which was also when the voting started. The winner was announced on the October 29 edition of Raw. Unlike past Diva Searches, this Search was the first to take place exclusively on WWE.com with most of the pre-taped segments TV. Taryn Terrell, Angela Fong and Lena Yada were called up to the roster despite being eliminated.

Taryn Terrell and Angela Fong would find more success in other promotions. Taryn Terrell competed for Total Nonstop Action, where she held the TNA Knockouts Championship for a record-setting 279 days, which would be later broken by Taya Valkyrie. Terrell currently wrestles and does commentary for National Wrestling Alliance. Angela Fong wrestled for Lucha Underground under the ring name "Black Lotus". She had a singles match against El Dragon Azteca Jr. at Ultima Lucha Dos.

2013[edit]

WWE Diva Search
Eva Marie WrestleMania 32 Axxess.jpg
Eva Marie, the 2013 WWE Diva Search winner and Total Divas reality star.
WinnerEva Marie
Runner-upJoJo Offerman
Release
Original networkWWE.com / E! (TV Show Total Divas) (2013)
Original releaseJuly 28 (2013-07-28) –
December 15, 2013 (2013-12-15)

Official theme song[edit]

The 2013 WWE Diva Search featured one official theme song.

  1. ^ The song was also used for WWE's reality TV Show by the name of Total Divas.

Contestants[edit]

The Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported in February 2013 that WWE held an un-aired diva search in the Los Angeles area.[25] Among the prospects that participated were future WWE performers Eva Marie, Alexa Bliss, Lana, JoJo, Devin Taylor, and Veronica Lane, with the former winning the contest. Other participants were Maysa Quy, Olivia Karpinski and Sarah Backman who were all models.[26][27]

Notes[edit]

Former contestant Lana competed against Naomi for the WWE SmackDown Women's Championship at WWE Money in the Bank of 2017 but was not successful.[28]

Also another former contestant by the name of Alexa Bliss became a very successful female wrestling star in the WWE after working for and wrestling in WWE's NXT and attempting to go for the WWE NXT Women's Championship by entering the NXT Women's Championship tournament where Paige was successful at winning the Inaugural version of the NXT Women's title tournament but later on was forced to vacate the NXT Women's title due to being on the main roster and also due to having the WWE Divas Championship after that Alexa entered the second NXT Women's title tournament but afterwards lost to Charlotte after being successful at beating Alicia Fox in the tournament.

Afterwards Alexa went on to face Sasha Banks and Bayley in NXT for the NXT Women's Championship individually in separate matches and on separate occasions but was not successful.[29][30] Later on in Alexa Bliss career Alexa was called up to the main roster and became a multi-time WWE Women's Champion winning all the WWE SmackDown Women's Championships, WWE Raw Women's Championships, and WWE Women's Tag Team Championships multiple times.[31][32][33]

A picture of former contestant Lana beside her husband Rusev.
A picture of another former contestant Alexa Bliss at a NXT house show.
Another picture of former contestant Alexa Bliss with the WWE SmackDown Women's Championship.
And another picture of former contestant Alexa Bliss with the WWE Raw Women's Championship.

Future[edit]

During WrestleMania 31, WWE announced that new shows will air on the WWE Network, including a returning WWE Diva Search, which was expected to premiere in the fall of 2015.[34] There was no additional information given until July 2016, when WWE surveyed fans about potential new WWE Network shows, including a new season of Diva Search under a new name (WWE Superstar Search) due to the fact that the term "Diva" was ultimately phased out that year. In addition, the show would've been hosted by Lita and Trish Stratus.[35]

WWE originally announced on January 25, 2019 that the competition would return as a competition show, similar to NXT Seasons 1-5 re-entitled, WWE Stars in association with Bunim-Murray Productions including casting.[2][3] But on September 29 that year, Squared Circle Sirens reporter Casey Michael confirmed it was cancelled.[4] At that time, the focus of the WWE Women's Division has shifted from sex appeal to true athleticism not to mention the fact that indie wrestlers, mixed martial artists and other athletes have pretty much replaced the models when it came to hiring women.

Winners[edit]

Year Won Winners
2003 Jaime Koeppe
2004 Christy Hemme
2005 Ashley Massaro
2006 Layla El
2007 Eve Torres
2013 Eva Marie

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cabledude (January 26, 2011). "WWE News: Items from WWE corporate presentation Wed. - new standard PPV schedule, return of Diva Search, Summerslam's annual location, more". PWTorch. Retrieved 2011-01-26.
  2. ^ a b "WWE is looking for the next female Superstar". WWE. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Search for the Next Female Superstar". Bunim/Murray Productions. Retrieved November 10, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Casey Michael (September 29, 2019). "WWE canceled the superstar search. SIGH". Twitter.
  5. ^ a b "Christy Hemme". PurrfectAngelz.com. Archived from the original on 2007-08-09. Retrieved 2007-08-06.
  6. ^ a b Baines, Tim (March 9, 2005). "Christy Hemme: A naked conversation". The Ottawa Sun. Retrieved 2007-08-06.
  7. ^ a b "Christy Hemme". Bullz-eye.com. Retrieved 2007-08-06.
  8. ^ a b c d "Hemme Wins $250,000 One-Year Contract with WWE". Business Wire. September 21, 2004. Retrieved 2007-08-07.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g Constable, Al. "Squared Circle: WWE Diva Search: Do We Really Need Another One?". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  10. ^ a b c d Eric Gargiulo (March 17, 2008). "WWE Diva & Playboy cover girl, Maria speaks to phillyBurbs.com". PhillyBurbs.com. Archived from the original on January 28, 2010. Retrieved 2008-06-14.
  11. ^ a b c d "The Next WWE Diva Ultimately to be Chosen by the Millions of WWE fans Worldwide On September 13". WWE Corporate. 2004-07-12. Archived from the original on 2007-06-08. Retrieved 2007-07-01.
  12. ^ "RAW Results: August 16, 2004". Online World of Wrestling. August 16, 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-07.
  13. ^ "Former WWE Diva Search Contestant Gia Allemand Dead At Age 29 From Suicide". PWMania. August 15, 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-15.
  14. ^ a b c "Ashley Massaro of New York Wins WWE RAW Diva Search, Secures $250,000 One-Year Contract with WWE". WWE. August 15, 2005. Archived from the original on August 13, 2007. Retrieved August 6, 2007.
  15. ^ "RAW Results: July 4, 2005". Online World of Wrestling. July 4, 2005. Retrieved 2007-08-07.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i "2006 Diva Search Interviews". FHM Online. Archived from the original on 2007-08-18. Retrieved 2007-08-15.
  17. ^ a b "WWE Diva Search Finalists Debut Tonight On Monday Night RAW". WWE Corporate. July 10, 2006. Archived from the original on August 31, 2007. Retrieved August 7, 2007.
  18. ^ a b "RAW Results: July 10, 2006". Online World of Wrestling. July 10, 2006. Retrieved 2007-08-07.
  19. ^ EveTorres.com (2007-10-29). "The 2007 Diva Search Winner is Eve Torres". EveTorres.com. Archived from the original on 2008-01-21. Retrieved 2007-10-29.
  20. ^ Rote, Andrew (October 16, 2007). "Farewell Taryn". WWE. Retrieved 2007-10-20.
  21. ^ Rote, Andrew (October 9, 2007). "Farewell Jessica". WWE. Retrieved 2007-10-09.
  22. ^ Rote, Andrew (October 2, 2007). "Farewell J. Kim". WWE. Retrieved 2007-10-03.
  23. ^ Kara A. Medalis (September 25, 2007). "Weekly roundup: Obstacle Course". WWE. Retrieved 2007-09-25.
  24. ^ Kara A. Medalis (September 18, 2007). "Weekly roundup: Limbo". WWE. Retrieved 2007-09-25.
  25. ^ "Report: New WWE Diva Search Happening in Los Angeles". DivaDirt.com. Archived from the original on 24 February 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
  26. ^ "10 WWE Diva Prospects "Training" at NXT". Diva Dirt. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
  27. ^ Nolasco, Stephanie (July 14, 2015). "'Total Divas' Star Eva Marie Dishes on Season 4". Fox News Magazine. Archived from the original on 18 December 2016. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
  28. ^ Ryan, Dilbert. "WWE Money in the Bank 2017 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights". Syndication.bleacherreport.com. Retrieved June 18, 2017.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  29. ^ "Sasha Banks vs. Alexa Bliss – NXT Women's Championship Match: WWE NXT, March 25, 2015". WWE / YouTube.com. Retrieved March 25, 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  30. ^ "Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss – NXT Women's Championship Match: WWE NXT, Nov. 18, 2015". WWE / YouTube.com. Retrieved November 18, 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  31. ^ "WWE TLC". WWE.com.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  32. ^ "WWE PAYBACK". WWE.com.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  33. ^ Powell, Jason (August 5, 2019). "8/5 WWE Raw Results: Powell's review of Brock Lesnar and Seth Rollins heading into SummerSlam, Trish Stratus and Natalya vs. Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair, Rey Mysterio vs. Andrade, Miz TV featuring Shawn Michaels and a contract signing". Prowrestling.net. Retrieved August 5, 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  34. ^ "Possible Changes For WWE Tag Team, Big Guest For Steve Austin On WWE Network?, Diva Search News". Wrestling Inc. 2 September 2015. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  35. ^ "WWE Seeking Fan Feedback For New WWE Network Shows: Return Of Legends House?, More". Wrestlezone. 8 July 2016. Retrieved 10 January 2020.