Divas Playboy

WWE logo

“It was very PG when I first started,” WWE Hall of Famer Sunny recalled in an interview published in the WWE 50 book. “Under my little Bodydonna skirts, I had full-black bloomers, just like a cheerleading skirt. And then we started switching. I was actually the first person to wear a thong on TV. They didn’t even know I was going to wear a thong. It was like a one-piece bathing suit, but it was a thong back. I went out there in my robe, and I just took it off, and everybody was like ‘gasp!’ After that, everyone started loosening up a little more. And you saw more thongs, and a little more butt cheek.”

A lot more butt cheek, actually.

As the “Attitude Era” progressed, the Divas began to show more skin, particularly Miss Kitty, who celebrating winning the Women’s Championship by flashing her bare breasts. The move even shocked officials backstage, who did not know she was going to do this.

“I paused and slowly frame advanced that footage of Miss Kitty revealing herself over and over again,” admits former WWE announcer Matt Striker.

Other Divas, such as Jacqueline, fell victim to repeated wardrobe malfunctions. Eventually, the Diva movement of the late-’90s and 2000s led Sable, Chyna, Torrie Wilson, Christy Hemme, Candice Michelle, Ashley Massaro and Maria Kanellis to willingly pose nude for the pages of Playboy.

“Anytime we can expand our reach outside of our audience in a place our audience is not normally found is a good thing for the WWE brand,” says Stephanie McMahon. “It brings new eyeballs onto our programming; it gets people interested, Sable and Chyna doing Playboy was one of those times because suddenly we were mainstream. We were competing in a space that we had never been in before.”