In 1997, WCW President Eric Bischoff came up with an idea to have an all female dance troupe entertain and keep Nitro’s live audience involved during commercial breaks. He hired former valet and “Diamond” Dallas Page’s real life wife…Kimberly Page to lead the group. They were known as the Nitro Girls. While the original intent was for these women to just dance…this was pro wrestling….things are always “subject to change…”
Many fans loved them, some fans hated them and some were simply indifferent to them….The same could be said about how the WCW wrestlers felt as well. Overall, however….they were successful. So much so, in 1999, they had their very own pay per view entitled…THE NITRO GIRLS SWIMSUIT CALENDAR SPECIAL!
Things on the surface looked great….they had increasing TV time…a pay per view….a swimsuit calendar….magazine covers etc. Others were not as fond of their popularity. Case in point, “Big Poppa Pump” Scott Steiner…who was never shy to speak his mind on any issues. He said of the Nitro Girls, “They are just a bunch of coke whore strippers from Atlanta.” Fellow WCW wrestler Bryan Clark ( Wrath ) agreed but added….’Kimberly Page and Rebecca Curci ( Whisper ) had reputations of making the rounds in the WCW locker room.’ ie sleeping with several of the boys.
While it was no big secret that a few of the Nitro Girls hooked up with WCW talent in the day….there were also rumors that circulated that some of these “hook ups” were of the adulterous kind. For example, it was rumored that a married Rey Mysterio had a torrid affair with Nitro Girl “Spice” AKA Melissa Bellin while on the road. The talk became so strong, WCW booked it as an angle using Tygress (Vanessa Sanchez) in place of Spice.
Kevin Nash who was “happily married” at the time….cut a promo on Nitro and before he wrapped up the segment..he said, “I’m going out to eat a little Korean.” An inside joke to the fact he was sleeping with Asian Nitro Girl Chae An. Chae An also admitted during interviews that two had been dating for some time.
Chae was also infamous for her accidental “nip slip” during a dance routine on a Nitro in 1997 from Minneapolis. As she was dancing her breast popped out of her top just enough where you could see her nipple. Cameras immediately moved away from her and did a pan over the live crowd.
Booker T. Huffman and Sharmell Sullivan ( Storm ) met during their WCW days. They fell in love while filming the movie “Ready to Rumble” in 1999/2000 and married in 2005. During an interview with Essence magazine, Sharmell and Booker admitted being attracted to each other long before that filming. Booker T. divorced his first wife in 2001.
When Shawn Michaels first noticed Rebecca Curci ( Whisper )…it was on an episode of Nitro and Whisper had a solo routine with a chair. They finally met through a mutual friend (Not Kevin Nash ) named Rich Minzer. They had an instant connection and after a whirlwind romance…Rebecca decided to quit the group and move in with Shawn. They quickly married and had two children.
Perhaps the most successful of the Nitro Girls was the girl who had to win a talent contest to become one in 1999…Stacy Keibler (Skye ) She herself, was no stranger to inter office romances as she went on to date WOOOOOO the son of the Nature Boy…David Flair.
The beginning of the end of the Nitro Girls came when WCW’s front office wanted to incorporate the ladies into actual storylines. Amy Crawford ( AC Jazz ) legitimately quit the troupe not wanting to be a part of the scripted action. A close to 300 pound female wrestler named Rhonda Sing ( Beef ) was added briefly for comedic relief. The final nail to their coffin was when Vince McMahon and the WWE bought WCW and decided to scrap the Nitro Girls concept altogether.
A few of the former Nitro Girls…Teri Byrne (Fyre), Melissa Bellin (Spice), Chiquita Anderson (Chiquita), Chae An (Chae) and Vanessa Sanchez (Tygress)….briefly reunited to form an all girl Pop music group called Diversity 5 (D5 for short ) They competed on a reality show competition and were subsequently voted off. Thus ending the final remnants of a once popular non wrestling group on a wrestling show…
Before I go, I leave you with the dance routine that made the Heart Break Kid’s heart skip a beat…