The blonde-brunette debate is about as old as time, but somewhere in the middle, probably slicing that hyphen down the middle, is another follicle shade. They are explosive, they are fiery, they just as much fun. They are the redheads! And the world of professional wrestling has seen their fair share of them over the years. So much so that I figured that it would be a good idea to do the very first edition of the Tuesday Top 10 entirely on them. Now, before I dive right into the list, I must point out that a performer doesn’t have to be a natural redhead to make it onto this list; as long it’s been a notable part of their persona at any point during their career, I decided to let them contend. Also, no company restrictions either; ladies from WWE, TNA, and the Independents are all here. So, without further ado, let’s get started with the very first Tuesday Top 10: FearlessRiOT’s Top 10 Favorite Female Redheads in Pro Wrestling.
#10. Kay Lee Ray
Coming out of Glasgow, Scotland is one of the top on-the-rise talents on the women’s Independent scene. Standing at 5’8” and having the distinction of being the first ever Insane Championship Wrestling: Fierce Females Champion, Kay Lee Ray is not just any run-of-the-mill pro wrestler. The 22-year old can wrestle multiple styles and can really amaze when going aerial. So far, one of her biggest claims to wrestling fame is being one of the women (along with “Best in the Galaxy” Nikki Storm) selected to take part in British Boot Camp 2. She didn’t win, but she came pretty darn close and she was so impressive that TNA gave her a spot on their UK Tour in 2014. It would’ve been nice to see her signed too; not only is she a fantastic talent who seemingly has no fear, but TNA’s Knockout Division could use a bit of redhead flavor in its ranks. With the exception of Madison Rayne during her second run in the company, TNA has only ever had two redheads on the official Knockouts roster (both of whom are coming up later in the list), so Kay Lee Ray would instantly stand out among the other ladies.
#9. Becky Lynch
The wrestler formerly known as Rebecca Knox debuted on WWE’s NXT roster in 2013 and kind of struggled a bit to find an identity that connected with the folks at Full Sail. She started with a gimmick where she wore a vibrant green attire and was constantly performing an Irish jig. Needless to say that did not last long. After a couple of matches, she was retooled and became a rocker chick. However, with the commentary team calling her out on the authenticity of her rocker credibility, that probably wasn’t gonna go anywhere. Recently, though, she stole the show on NXT’s live Unstoppable special, and it wasn’t only because of her wrestling ability (of course, her suplex-and-submission based offense definitely contributed to her and Sasha Banks’ contest being the match of the night). When she came through the curtain, her hair was so orange, I was convinced the stylist she went to said “Say no more!” after she requested the “Misty from Pokémon”. But you know what? It totally works for her, as her new steampunk persona seems to be the identity she’s been looking for this whole time. Combine that with her impressive arsenal of submissions and suplexes and this talent from what is being dubbed NXT’s “Four Horsewomen” could be one of the brightest women’s stars in WWE going forward.
#8. Sassy Stephie
In 2012, a stable formed in the Women’s Superstars Uncensored that totally turned the promotion on its ear. It was known as the Midwest Militia and it consisted of Jessicka Havok, Allysin Kay, and the #8 entry on this list. During their run, Havok nabbed the WSU World and Spirit Titles while Stephie & Kay would reigns as the promotions Tag Team Champions for quite some time. The group has since disbanded, but all the members are doing well for themselves (Havok’s recent Twitter drama notwithstanding). Stephie, an avid Twitter and Instagram user and probably the owner of the single most entertaining “SHUT UP!” command in all of wrestling, still participates in WSU, taking a role in management and beginning a program with LuFisto. She has also regularly competed on SHIMMER, SHINE, and Queens of Combat shows. Aside from her flaming red hair, Stephie also stands out with help from her numerous different wrestling attires, as well as her association with French-Canadian manager Mademoiselle Rachelle and even a tag team with Nevaeh.
#7. Saraya Knight
Most of you probably still refer to this woman as “Paige’s mum”. And yes, that is accurate, she did give birth to the 2x former WWE Divas Champion and we should all send her and husband Rowdy” Ricky Knight infinite “Thank You” cards for that. But before the former Britani Knight was tearing stars out from the sky for fans the world over, her mum was kicking ass and taking names in and around their native England. And she still does today. The matriarch of the Knight Dynasty, Saraya’s wrestling persona is one of the most intimidating you’ll come across. She is known for frightening audience members with a menacing gaze and no-holds-barred trash talk. Her character’s aggression is as vicious as her hair is crimson, and that shows in the matches she’s had against various opponents over the years, including battles against the likes of Cheerleader Melissa (with whom she had a lengthy, personal feud with), Jazz, Christina Von Eerie, and even her own daughter. This is one mum you don’t wanna cross.
#6. Christy Hemme
The first ever WWE Diva Search winner, she’d probably be higher on this list had her in-ring career not been prematurely ended due to an injury. Luckily, she’s managed to keep herself in the wrestling world by being one of the finest ring announcers in recent memory. She’s probably the closest TNA will ever get to their own Lilian Garcia, that’s for sure. This list is all about the redheads, and ever since she stepped on the scene, the fiery hair has been Christy’s identifying physical feature. “Fiery”, by the way, can probably also be an accurate way to describe her personality, as she’s been known to be a spunky, energetic firecracker when on-screen, especially during her WWE run. Maybe if she was still physically able to compete in the ring, she’d have at least one Knockouts Title reign by now. But no matter what she’s doing, Christy will always be welcomed in the pro wrestling world.
#5. Taeler Hendrix
I was first introduced to Taeler Hendrix the same way most of the world was: through TNA Wrestling’s flop of an experiment known as Gut Check. To be clear, the reason the experiment failed is because of the absolutely terrible handling of it by the powers-that-be. If they had cared a little more, they’d have gotten more breakout stars on the roster and Taeler Hendrix would probably be a former Knockouts Champion by now, or at least a viable contender for it. Funny thing about that is that her career post-TNA has actually been pretty good, including a recent UCW Women’s Title win. One of Taeler’s signature attributes is without a doubt that fiery red head of hair; it helped her stand out among the other Knockouts at the time and made her one of the most recognizable women in pro wrestling. She recently likened herself to the comic book character Poison Ivy, and after seeing pics from her recent visit to custom combat website Sleeperkid’s World and her attires from the Queens of Combat DVD series, I definitely see it. Not only is the 3-time OVW Women’s Champion a breathtaking redhead, but she’s also naturally funny in promos and matches as well, making her even more of a joy to watch.
#4. Alicia Fox
So the year is 2010 and R&B/pop singer Rihanna had entered her LOUD Era, where she started creating her happiest and most upbeat songs in a while after the rough, quasi-emo-ness of her Rated R record. Part of this transition was keeping up her reputation as a style icon by switching to red hair. She had red hair on the album cover, in videos, and during all her public appearances at the time. It immediately became my favorite Rihanna hairstyle since the “Good Girl Gone Bad” bob. I bring this up because from the second WWE Diva Alicia Fox debuted her own red hair transition shortly thereafter, the Rihanna comparisons came rolling in and would not die down or a while. And it’s understandable why: both are beautiful, tall, black women with long legs and sassy personalities. It was like they were twins, and the comparisons seemed to be the thing that kept Alicia Fox in every WWE fans’ memory at the time. Not necessarily a bad thing because after her reign as first African-American Divas Champion where she showed the potential to be a great top-level heel ended, she kind of descended into Jobberville and she wouldn’t get a huge spotlight placed on her again until she was finally given the spotlight again to show how entertaining she truly can be years later in 2014. Today, she’s one of the better Divas on the roster, usually seen facing Paige in one of WWE’s few constant rematches that’s actually always entertaining.
#3. Maria Kanellis
I’ll admit, I’ve always kind of had a crush on Maria Kanellis. How could I not? She’s always been insanely cute, and at the time she was in WWE, she had one of the most endearing personalities. Her early persona was that of an adorable, ditzy, bubbly blonde; I as a youngster found her highly entertaining in that role. Eventually, that gimmick started to fade; whether or not it was because she stopped being blonde after dying her hair red, I have no idea. But even after the dye-job, she was still one of WWE’s most fun to watch and insanely over-with-the-crowd Divas on the roster. Fans online often claim that she was never a great in-ring competitor, but in this writer’s humble opinion, she certainly improved and busted into the realm of being pretty darn good down the road. The outspoken star has even been able to show her versatility and totally prove her ability to play an arrogant heel on the Independent scene, including during her Ring of Honor run with husband Mike Bennett. Whether you wanna admit it or not, Maria is an impressive, multi-talented woman in the world of pro wrestling.
#2. Veda Scott
There are a number of places you might recognize Providence, RI native Veda Scott from; managing the dominant Moose’s now-ended “New Streak” in Ring of Honor, competing on TNA’s second Knockouts Knockdown pay-per-view, battling former client Gregory Iron in a vicious blood feud, or maybe even being one of the most consistently entertaining wrestlers on Twitter and Instagram. But no matter where you recognize her from, you’re probably not gonna forget about her any time soon. She’s a multi-threat in the wrestling word, having taken the role of a manager, commentator, and wrestler. She also happens to be one of the best promo-women in the game; YouTube her promos if you think I’m lying. Physically, she definitely has a very unique presence in the ring: small, wearing glasses, and rocking some long, fiery red hair as well. Despite that, you should not take the woman lightly; she didn’t win the 2012 PWI Rookie of the Year, the FWE Women’s Title, and the AIW Tag Team Title by just letting people slash away at her nine lives. The sky is the limit for Veda and it’s always exciting to see what she’ll be up to next.
Honestly, was the any doubt? She is so popular among wrestling fans, that I’m pretty positive that not putting her at #1 would categorize this list as an absolute flop in the eyes of the numerous fans reading. However, that’s not why Lita makes it to #1 on this list. When I started watching wrestling in 2002, Lita was one of the WWE Divas that I was always excited to see on screen. The other Divas were definitely doing their thing; it’s not called the “Golden Era” of Divas for nothing. However, I was always looking forward to seeing Lita compete when it was announced that she was on the show. I enjoyed watching her not only because she was breathtakingly beautiful, but also because I liked the wild child vibe she gave off. And while it was the rocker personality that bought me in, it was the high-flying skillset that kept me watching. No other Diva at the time was pulling out Hurricanranas and moonsaults are consistently as Lita was; in fact, they became such a huge factor in Lita’s appeal that the moves were referred to as Litacanranas and Litasaults whenever she performed them. She rode that wave of popularity to four Womens Championship reigns. And despite a bit of a spike in her popularity and period of scorn in the final couple years of her career due to that whole thing between Edge and Matt Hardy, she remained a marquee name in the Divas Division and fans now look back at her as one of the greats. She was definitely a one-of-a-kind, a certified Anti-Diva who paved the way for future standout talents such as Paige and AJ Lee. One of the greatest Divas to ever grace a WWE ring, a deserving Hall of Famer, and perhaps the most iconic and well-known flame-haired competitor the wrestling world has ever seen.
+ LuFisto: LuFisto is one of the best performers in women’s wrestling, mainstream or not. She probably would’ve made the list if it wasn’t for the fact that she changes her hair color regularly.
+ Eva Marie: Her beauty alone was not gonna get her on this list; I seriously hope she can impress in the ring (and on the mic) down the road and shut her doubters up once and for all.
+ April Hunter: April Hunter isn’t as active in competition as she used to be, but she has credibility as a manager (with the Valkyrie), as well as a model and a business woman.
+ Hellena Heavenly: Similarly to April Hunter, Hellena Heavenly is an active businesswoman, heading her own website in RingGoddess.com and also occasionally wrestling on the Indys.
What do you think of this edition of Tuesday Top 10? Leave a comment or tweet me up @FearlessRiOT with your opinion or even to suggest a topic for the next edition.