|Federation Name||Divas Unleashed|
|Shows||Friday Night Exile|
|Time open||May 2003 to present|
|Based in||Las Vegas, Nevada|
|Federation type||Roleplay Based|
Divas Unleashed (DU) is an all-female wrestling e-federation which launched on May 25, 2003. DU has been running since, with a scandal or two in between, and is still going strong. The company's wrestlers are female only. The aim of company is to combine both scandal and drama with American Joshi style wrestling with an infusion of pop culture.
Every week, DU's flagship show Sunday Night Exile (formerly broadcasted on Friday nights) provides hard-hitting matches combined with often bitchy and comedic backstage antics to get everybody talking. Every month or so there is a pay-per-view, with the most prestigious PPV being "Forsaken Destiny", which celebrates the birth of the company. The company has five major titles and an ever-changing list of mysterious and fun divas.
Divas Unleashed first started out as Divas Unleashed Wrestling, a collective group of wrestlers formerly employed by various promotions who came together to train, talk and fight.
DUW begun to have free monthly events, mainly battle royals, to showcase the wrestling skills of the women involved in the company with the hopes that other companies would pick them up. Notable women of this time included Crystal, Katrina, Krysta Taylor, Mya, Tara Lee, Taylor and Tequila.
Soon enough, the concept and company of DUW was purchased by young businessman Shane Rockford who signed all of the willing employees to a new contract with a re-branded Divas Unleashed.
2003: Establishment & break-out
May 2003 saw the first-ever edition of Exile on the TV network XYZ Sports. The first match of the card was Dominatrix vs. Mya and the first shows revolved around a tournament to crown the first Unleashed Champion at the first pay-per-view Demonology in Phoenix, Arizona. Kaci won the tournament, defeating Mya in the finals.
Kaci held the championship for two weeks due to Kristin Wallace's interference with Kaci as The Bod Squad and Kristin's position of power in the company. On the first edition of Exile, Kristin walked in to find her fiancé Shane Rockford fooling around with Tequila backstage. A subsequent power struggle followed between Shane and Kristin and Kristin's male friend Christian Morales.
Elsewhere, Star defeated Katrina to become the first-ever Stripped Champion at Demology and Mya and Star became locked in a bitter feud and is hailed today as being one of the greatest feuds in DU history. At Femme Fatality, Mya defeated Star for both the Unleashed and Stripped Championships. On the same show, Chimera became the first-ever Rockford State Champion (a belt named after the owner Shane Rockford) and Crystal Deymonaz and her supermodel partner Cleopatra became the first-ever Tag Team Champions.
As the year progressed, Kristin Wallace and Kaci became locked in a feud which initially started over jealousy between the two women after Kaci flaunted her Hollywood sexual escapades and it became apparent that Kaci had slept with someone that Kristin had a crush on. This feud also became one of the greatest in DU history with constant bitching, using men as weapons and at one point, Kaci drove a bus into Kristin's mansion.
2004: Continued growth & success
2005: Expansion onto the world stage
2006: Regeneration & new eras
2007: Contented & centered
2008: Retrenchment & stalled progress
The year of 2008 was somewhat of a stalled 'year from hell' as Divas Unleashed got involved with strained relations with its TV network, Rockstar Entertainments. Shane Rockford claims that Rockstar wanted Exile to move to a Wednesday night at an earlier time and for DU to tone down the nature of its programming. DU refused and both sides entered a deadlock of neogiations, with Rockstar refusing to broadcast Exile for months at time, and when Exile was broadcasted, it was not concurrent with what he had happened in the last broadcast. In late 2008, Divas Unleashed announced it had parted ways with Rockstar and signed to Sahara instead.
The first show on Sahara was the Exile Christmas Special, which was received with high ratings and positive reviews from fans.
2009: Rebirth of an icon
2009 was a year in which Divas Unleashed planned to take the world by storm once again.
2010: Catfights and spotlights
2010 is this year, you know.
Home bases and The Femmys
Divas Unleashed’s headquarters is named The First Lady, located in Las Vegas. The building also doubles as a hotel which allows fans to stay at DU HQ. In 2008, Katia won the opportunity to design a floor of the hotel.
In 2011, Divas Unleashed announced that it would move away from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, which served as the 'home arena' for DU, and was selected for it's proximity to the First Lady. Instead, DU will move overseas to the O2 Arena in London, England. It's rumoured DU are considering moving to, or opening offices, in London or Paris, and taking the company away from the American market.
The annual awards ceremony of DU is the Feminity Wrestling Awards (FWAs), which are now nicknamed The Femmys. Fans are allowed to vote in some categories although the voting process alters each year, with some awards open to the public, and others judged by a committee. The awards are notable for outrageous antics, Hall of Fame inductions, musical performances from divas, and the red carpet dresses in which Krysta Taylor creates a best and worst dressed list from.
The awards have been hosted in the First Lady’s auditorium every year since 2005, the 2004 awards were held at neighbouring Vegas hotel The Mirage while the First Lady was under construction.
Image and promotion
Divas Unleashed's image is less wrestling-based and less serious compared to its contemporary rivals, focusing more on the glamorous side to sports entertainment to stand out from fellow female promotions. DU has drawn praise it's sense of humour but some wrestling purists have criticised the company for some of its direction.
A series of commercials air, some featuring divas, on the television network Sahara promoting the company as well as being distributed on other networks around the world and virally on YouTube. Currently, a new commercial is produced every month. DU has been notably fronted by the music of Sugababes, Jennifer Lopez, Kylie Minogue, Janet Jackson and more recently, Girls Aloud.
Maya Okosaki is regarded an ambadassor for company, embarking on promotional tours around the globe, having been picked in 2007 due to the "qualities she embodies are those every diva should aspire to hold". It was also rumoured she was selected to make DU more accessible to a wider audience in Asia. In 2010, Maya was joined by Katia.
DU announced plans to venture into Asian territories at the beginning of 2009, and toured Asia through March to May with stops in Nagasaki, Singapore, Hong Kong, a free show in Manila, and a pay-per-view in Tokyo. Plans to visit Osaka were cancelled. The tour was considered a moderate success but failed to establish DU as a strong presence in the Far East.
DU plans to continually promote heavily in Asia and in other territories through the use of music shorts, commercials and ambassadors. In other parts of the world, DU airs commercials and idents which run on the television channels it airs. Due to the nature of ever-changing divas, a select number of women were hired to shoot these commercials, fronted by Maya Okosaki, and were dubbed "The Holy Imans", after the supermodel Iman.
In May 2009, Exile experienced changes when it moved to Sunday Nights as part of a repackaging deal with its network, Sahara. A complete rebranding was given to DU the fall of 2009, including a new Exile stage and a planned revamp for it's website. At the same time of this move, DU announced plans to terminate it's Victoria's Secret sponsorship in favour of a defection to Agent Provocateur, a deal which is now rumoured to be strained and industry insiders are stating that Divas Unleashed plans to seek official sponsorship from fashion designers in 2010.
In October 2009, Tara Lee announced her position as the editor-in-chief of a new DU magazine, called "Divisage", a pormanteau of 'diva' with the French word 'visage', which would be a monthly magazine provided to showcase Divas Unleashed in the same vain as Harper's Bazaar, W and Vogue. The first promo issue featured Totally Radd dressing up and paying tribute to Michael Jackson.
Divas Unleashed is noted for playing upon star power and many celebrities have opened PPVs, with DU abandoning the concept of a PPV theme song in favour of a big opening performance. In 2009, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Kylie Minogue, Sugababes, Girls Aloud and various other stars opened and appeared at DU events. A leaked 'most wanted' performer list revealed that in 2010, DU is seeking even bigger names with Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Janet Jackson and Cheryl Cole all appearing on the list.
Relations with rival promotions
Divas Unleashed adopts a friendly attitude to rival female feds – welcoming their competition and supporting many new female feds which start up. DU has stated that it will only do interpromotional events with fellow female companies, and to date has had only one cross-promotional event with 3WL in the form of the Hong Kong PPV "Collision Course", in aid of charity.
In late 2009, an interpromotional encounter with 3WL was realised when Felicity crashed 3WL's Clash broadcast to challenge Sky High Champion Serena Royale to an interpromotional match at 3WL's 7th Anniversary Show in Los Angeles. Tara Lee then attacked Royale with a chair, marking the first Divas Unleashed appearance and 'invasion' of 3WL since 2004. A series of events followed, including Serena Royale crashing Exile in Houston and Dallas, first confronting Felicity in the ring, and later hijacking Blonde Ambition's tank and spraying various Divas Unleashed employees with sewage. The 3WL vs. Divas Unleashed war climaxed at 3WL's 7th Anniversary Show, where Serena Royale retained her Sky High Championship against Felicity.
Throughout both companies tenture in the spotlight, 3WL and DU's figureheads, Tequila and Tory Blaze, have insisted that there is no bad blood between the two companies and Tequila invited numerous 3WL stars such as Angela Pontes, Serena Royale, Strawberry, Nicky Silver and Tory herself to her private party at Forsaken Destiny V.
Divas Unleashed was said to be in talks to stage a cross-promotional event with Ring of Beauty in 2009. These talks were rumoured to be strained after a series of comments by Tequila and disagreements between the two companies, including a spat over DU's new slogan "Ring of Beauty just an women's fed, Divas Unleashed is a lifestyle" and incidents involving shared talent. In 2010, it was revealed that in a leaked private conversation a high-ranking member in RoB dubbed DU "chart 40 pop and nothing else" causing Divas Unleashed to fire back by calling their rivals "DU-lite without the jazz". Relations between the two companies soured, although DU expressed sadness at Ring of Beauty's closure in late 2010.
Divas Unleashed has drew both praise and criticism for branching outside of the 'norms' of wrestling and expanding into areas of entertainment – with things such as DU's Next Top Model, Divas Unleashed Divo Search, MeloDU (a spoof of American Idol) amongst others. In 2010, Project Diva was announced and for the first time ever that DU would hold a diva search looking for a member of the public to join the roster. Project Diva is hosted by Mystika, who will serve as a mentor to the candidates, with Gay Bandit and Krysta Taylor serving as the competition's judges.
Many of the divas have attempted to forge music careers. Barracuda Jones, Crystal Deymonaz, Katia, Katrina, KibbyD and Tequila have all released music albums, ranging in genres and varying in success. Blonde Ambition are also scheduled to release a covers album in the near future. KibbyD is currently the most musically successful diva, with several #1 Billboard hits and four studio albums released.
In mid 2010, drastic changes were made to the merchandise department of DU, as fans complained about the lack of merchandise available. It was announced that DU had signed a deal with Mattel to produce a line of dolls, and a showcase of a limited edition collection was hosted by Tara Lee in Las Vegas. Divas Unleashed was also rumoured to be in talks to be developing a collection of fragrances, a comic book, and a new jewellery and clothing line from Katia, alongside a new set of DVDs and autobiographies.
In 2010, changes were made to the 'Divas In Training' training facilities in New York. It was announced that Tiger Lily was to take over as head trainer from Oceania, who was to be released from her contract. Lily was to be joined as a trainer by Luna and Didgitz as well as more funding being diverted to help improve the success of the training program.
Championships & active roster
- Askai Championship (newcomers championship - must have joined the company within the past 12 months)
- Rockford State Championship
- Tag Team Championships
- Stripped Championship (required to be defended on a stipulation)
- Unleashed Championship
- Angel Kash
- Angelle Laree
- Barracuda Jones
- Christine McQuisten
- Courtney Monroe
- Crystal Deymonaz (Crystal)
- Crystal Hilton
- Darla Daniels
- Icenique Perez
- Katie Kooper
- Kitty Cummings
- Laura Seton
- Madison Seton
- Mercedes Vargas
- Roxie Rebel
- Shane Rockford
- Tara Lee
- Tiger Lily
- Totally Radd
- Veronica Valiant (Samantha Valiant)
Mercedes Vargas & Veronica Valiant (informally referred to as VVMV)