Like Dwayne Johnson, Two Women With Bodybuilding Background Also Got Signed by WWE in 2013

Published 12/10/2022, 4:00 PM EST

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WWE has had a long and storied connection with the sport of bodybuilding. Many athletes from bodybuilding have tried their luck in the squared circle with varying degrees of success. In fact, two of WWE’s biggest stars Dwayne Johnson and John Cena had a bodybuilding past.

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Of all the athletes across various sports that want to give wrestling a shot, bodybuilders may be the most natural fit. It was with this idea that WWE signed a couple of female divas from the world of bodybuilding and fitness almost a decade ago and one of whom is now a top name with the company.

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In 2013, WWE signed bodybuilding divas Christina Vargas, who was a junior national champion in fitness and figures, and Alexis Kaufman, who had participated in the Arnold Classic. Pro wrestling fans may be familiar with Alexis Kaufman, who goes by the name Alexa Bliss.

Alexa Bliss followed in the footsteps of Dwayne Johnson

WWE has seen the likes of former bodybuilders like Dwayne Johnson and John Cena make an indelible mark in wrestling. Both these iconic stars started off as bodybuilders before making the switch to pro wrestling and becoming huge stars.

Today, the WWE women’s division is stacked with some of the most athletic and physically impressive wrestlers. However, this wasn’t the case almost over a decade ago.

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The female wrestlers on the roster were treated as afterthoughts and being good-looking took preference over in-ring talent. This led to an immense fan backlash and WWE was forced to change its ways.

A big reason for the Divas-era was the WWE’s own talent hunt show at the Diva Search contest. This venture failed to produce what can be considered good wrestlers, as the women in these contests were rarely of athletic background.

This made WWE rethink its planning and look elsewhere for recruitment of top-tier female talent.

WWE’s connection with bodybuilding made it natural that this was one of the first places the company looked at reviving its women’s division. In 2013, they signed bodybuilding female stars Christina Vargas and Alexa Bliss.

Vargas had been a junior national champion in 2009 in fitness and figures. She had competed on the pro circuit and participated in the Olympia bikini contest for two years. After she signed with WWE in 2013, her career in pro wrestling failed to take off. WWE released her in the same year.

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But Alexa Bliss, as wrestling fans know, proved to be a real success. Despite her small frame, Bliss became an accomplished professional bodybuilder.

She participated in the Arnold Classic finishing 14th. Moreover, the future RAW Women’s Champion also competed in the IFBB and finished sixth in the Pittsburgh Pro competition. WWE signed Bliss in 2013 when she was 21 years old.

Despite having no prior wrestling experience, Bliss excelled in her new career. Bliss remained a part of WWE’s developmental brand NXT till 2016. A move to SmackDown followed, and Bliss began a path to stardom.

She won the SmackDown Women’s title against Becky Lynch in a tables match at TLC 2016. She would win the title one more time before moving to RAW.

‘The Goddess’ established herself on the red brand immediately. She won the RAW Women’s championship at the Payback event in 2017 from Bayley.

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This made her the first woman to win the RAW and SmackDown championships. Since then she has won the RAW Women’s title two more times. She is also former Money in the Bank winner and won the WWE Women’s Tag Team titles twice.

Moreover, Alexa Bliss has been a prominent feature of storylines involving Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton.

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Clearly, WWE’s decision of signing an athlete with a bodybuilding background in Alexa Bliss paid off big time. Bliss fits seamlessly into the world of pro wrestling and shows why it can be a top preference for bodybuilders when it comes to taking their career to the next level.

Watch This Story:  5 WWE stars who have a bodybuilding past

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Written by:

Sherjeel Malik

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Sherjeel Malik is a WWE writer at Essentially Sports. He has been a passionate Wrestling fan since childhood and his all-time favorites include 'The Hardy Boyz' and Randy Orton. Sherjeel also follows soccer religiously and is a Liverpool fan.
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Edited by:

Debmallya Chakraborty

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