WWE Diva Search
WWE Diva Search (formerly WWE Raw Diva Search) was a talent competition held by 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, and Eve Torres. 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 2019, Maryse Ouellet and Maria Kanellis are the last remaining female talents to come from the contest, with the two acting largely as valets for their respective husbands. 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.
|WWE Diva Search|
|Also known as||WWE Raw Diva Search|
Raw Divas Search
|Created by||Vince McMahon|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||5|
|No. of episodes||6|
|Camera setup||Multicamera setup|
|Original release||July 1, 2003|
|WWE Diva Search|
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. 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.
|WWE Diva Search|
|Broadcast from||July 15 –|
September 20, 2004
Christy Hemme, the 2004 Diva Search winner
The 2004 WWE Raw $250,000 Diva Search featured four official theme songs.
- "Open Your Eyes" by Alter Bridge
- "Real Good Girl" by Jim Johnston[n 1]
- "Time and Time Again" by Chronic Future
- "Walk Idiot Walk" by The Hives[n 2]
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 the 28 finalists where chosen from each of the locations:
|Christy Hemme||23||Poway, California||Winner|
|Carmella DeCesare||26||Avon Lake, Ohio||Runner-Up|
|Joy Giovanni||26||Boston, Massachusetts||3rd Place|
|Amy Weber||34||Mapleton, Illinois||4th Place|
|Maria Kanellis||22||Ottawa, Illinois||5th Place|
|Tracie Wright||24||Atlanta, Georgia||6th Place|
|Michelle McCool||24||Palatka, Florida||7th Place|
|Chandra Costello||28||Liberty, Kentucky||8th Place|
|Camille Anderson||26||Dallas, Texas||9th Place|
|Julia Costello||28||Liberty, Kentucky||10th Place|
- Ages were at time of filming.
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. Over 7,000 females applied to be a part of the contest. 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.
They began airing the weekly Raw Diva Search segments on July 19. 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, 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.
Finalists (winner Hemme, runner-up Carmella DeCesare, Amy Weber, and Joy Giovanni) took part in a segment titled "Diss the Diva" on August 30, 2004, 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. Also, during an earlier segment in the competition, Maria Kanellis gave DeCesare the middle finger.
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, Candice Michelle, Maria Kanellis, and Joy Giovanni all received contracts after losing the contest. Several of the girls were sent to Ohio Valley Wrestling to train.
|WWE Diva Search|
|Broadcast from||June 27 –|
August 15, 2005
Ashley Massaro, the 2005 Raw Diva Search winner
The 2005 WWE Raw Diva Search featured one official theme song.
- "Be Yourself" was also used as the official entrance theme for Ashley Massaro after winning the competition.
|Ashley Massaro†||26||Babylon, New York||Winner|
|Leyla Milani||23||Toronto, Ontario||Runner-Up|
|Elisabeth Rouffaer||22||Santa Cruz, California||3rd Place|
|Kristal Marshall||21||Los Angeles, California||4th Place|
|Summer DeLin||24||Shreveport, Louisiana||5th Place|
|Cameron Haven||24||Lake Worth, Florida||6th Place|
|Simona Fusco||25||Milan, Italy||7th Place|
|Alexis Ondrade||23||Costa Mesa, California||8th Place|
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. 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.
Ashley Massaro was declared the winner on August 15 and received $250,000. As in 2004, other contestants were hired by WWE, including Kristal Marshall, Trenesha Biggers (eliminated in the Top 25) and Elisabeth Rouffaer.
Massaro passed away on May 16, 2019 at the age of 39.
|WWE Diva Search|
|Broadcast from||July 10 –|
August 16, 2006
The 2006 WWE Raw Diva Search featured three official theme songs.
- "Face Down" by The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
- "Move Along" by The All-American Rejects[n 1]
- "Out Here All Night" by Damone
- "Move Along" was briefly used as the official entrance theme for Layla El after winning the competition.
|Layla El||29||London, England||Winner|
|Jennifer England||27||Lansing, Michigan||Runner-Up|
|J.T. Tinney||25||Phoenix, Arizona||3rd Place|
|Milena Roucka||26||Vancouver, British Columbia||4th Place|
|Erica Chevillar||23||Boca Raton, Florida||5th Place|
|Rebecca DiPietro||26||Rehoboth, Massachusetts||6th Place|
|Maryse Ouellet||23||Montreal, Quebec||7th Place|
|Amy Zidian||23||Orlando, Florida||8th Place|
The eight finalists made their first appearance on WWE programming on Raw on July 10. 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. When introducing the contestants, Mizanin mispronounced names and looked uncomfortable in his new role as Diva Search emcee. Each week, the contestants appeared on both Raw and SmackDown!. 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 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.
|WWE Diva Search|
|Broadcast from||September 10 –|
October 29, 2007
Official theme songEdit
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
|Eve Torres||22||Denver, Colorado||Winner|
|Brooke Gilbertsen||22||Chicago, Illinois||Runner-Up|
|Lena Yada||27||Los Angeles, California||3rd Place|
|Taryn Terrell||21||New Orleans, Louisiana||4th Place|
|Jessica Hatch||26||Montreal, Quebec||5th Place|
|J. Kim||24||Catawba, North Carolina||6th Place|
|Lyndy Frieson||22||Vancouver, British Columbia||7th Place|
|Naomi Kirk||24||West Yorkshire, England||8th Place|
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.
2013 and HiatusEdit
The Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported in February 2013 that WWE held an un-aired diva search in the Los Angeles area. 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.
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. 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.
WWE originally announced on January 25, 2019 that the competition would return as a reality show re-entitled, WWE Superstar Search in association with Bunim-Murray Productions including casting. But on September 29 that year, Squared Circle Sirens reporter Casey Michael confirmed it was cancelled once again.
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