In 1996 the WWF snapped up former Playboy Playmate Ashley Allen and the company had big plans for her. In the end, they amounted to very little. Today, we take a look at the WWF run of the disappearing diva.
When you think about all the beautiful women the WWF had during the mid-1990’s, you think of names like Sunny, Sable, The Funkettes of Tracy and Nadine and, of course, Marlena. These were the women who were featured on WWF programming at the time. They were not gifted as in-ring performers, but more as “eye candy” to all the males in attendance and watching at home. There was another woman who was brought in during this time frame. She just might have been the biggest of them all. Her name was Ashley Allen.
The year was 1996 and the then WWF was seeing the beginnings of a war between themselves and World Championship Wrestling. WCW had already launched Monday Nitro in September of 1995 and was taking aim at the WWF’s flagship show Monday Night Raw. While WCW was slowly building up and getting stronger, the WWF was pretty much staying the course. That is until the ratings and buy rates started to shift.
What was one of Vince McMahon’s answers to the threat that was WCW? Utilize the bevy of beautiful women he already had on his roster and add some more. One of them happened to be the aforementioned Ashley Allen. If the name doesn’t sound familiar to you, do not fret, you are not alone. She wasn’t given another name, a gimmick or involved in any significant storylines.
She was employed by the WWF during this time and wasn’t used much at all. That, however, wasn’t the initial plan for her. Ashley Allen was model/actress who hailed from San Antonio, Texas. She was most famous for being a former Playboy Playmate in August of 1992. When Ashley came aboard the WWF, she perhaps thought of the opportunity as a way to get more exposure, so to speak.
Ashley made her WWF debut on the January 1st, 1996 edition of Monday Night Raw. That was the episode that was entirely “football” themed called ‘The Raw Bowl.’ It was most famous for Eric Bischoff going on WCW’s Monday Nitro live and revealing the outcome of the Raw Bowl matches that were pre-taped. Getting back to the Raw Bowl itself, Ashley debuted that night as Miss Raw Bowl ’96.
She didn’t do a whole heck of a lot on the show other than walk down the ramp in a sash and wave to the fans in attendance. She did sit at the announcers’ table and have Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler fawn all over her. Certainly a sign of things to come for Lawler down the road during the Attitude Era. That was just a taste of what was to come for Ashley in her WWF career, or at least they thought.
The biggest plan that they had for the Playboy Playmate was to align her with a returning ‘Brother Love’ and have her play his wife. She was to be called ‘Sister Love’ and basically do the same shtick that Bruce Prichard did with his character. A rumored plan was to have Sister Love eventually be involved in some sort of a scandal. Not too much different from all the scandals involving televangelists like Jerry Falwell and Jim Bakker.
Perhaps it would somehow tie into her Playboy connections or that she was having an affair with another WWF superstar. We would never find out because the idea for Sister Love was scrapped entirely. Maybe Vince McMahon felt that the gimmick and storyline were too risque for that era or maybe he had bigger plans for Ashley Allen?
She would sit in limbo for the next few months. It was then reported by Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer that Ashley had filmed some vignettes along with Hunter Hearst Helmsley. Becoming the valet of Hunter would certainly be an upgrade from doing Sister Love right? To my knowledge, those vignettes never aired but she did appear alongside Triple H in a yellow bikini at Summerslam ’96.
Ultimately, that idea was also scrapped as Hunter would eventually go on to have Chyna as his valet/bodyguard. Ashley Allen was once again left without anything to do. Allen would wind up leaving the WWF to pursue other opportunities. She did a few low budget movies and television pilots before fading away. Allen was once pegged to do big things for the company as Sister Love or the heel valet of Triple H became nothing more than an afterthought.
We are left wondering what could have been for the Playboy model. Was she a little too early in the WWF’s evolution from cartoon to attitude eras? Could she have been as popular as Sunny or Sable were during their runs? We never did find out.