The Nitro Girls
|The Nitro Girls|
|Debut||July 14, 1997|
|Disbanded||March 26, 2001|
The Nitro Girls were a dance team in World Championship Wrestling. Similar to the Fly Girls from In Living Color, their initial function was to dance and entertain the live crowds during commercial breaks.
The Nitro Girls were formed in 1997 by Kimberly Page at Eric Bischoff's request and made their debut on July 14 in Orlando, Florida. Their main focus was to entertain the live fans during the commercials of Monday Nitro. They also regularly performed in short segments on the show.
During the Nitro Girls’ opening dance routine on the October 6, 1997 edition of WCW Monday Nitro from the Target Center in Minneapolis, one of Chae’s nipples accidentally popped out of her top. Cameras immediately cut to a shot of the live audience. Predating Janet Jackson's 2004 Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction, this incident was frequently known as the "Nitro Nipple."
In late 1999, the group held a competition to find a new member. In November, Stacy Keibler defeated 300 other girls for a spot on the dance troupe and $10,000. Her winning routine was watched by 4.4 million viewers.
The Nitro Girls also made appearances at WCW promotional events and were featured in the WCW produced film Ready to Rumble. As the group became more and more involved in storylines, it slowly dissolved, but never officially broke up until 2001 when WCW was sold to Vince McMahon's World Wrestling Federation.
Involvement in storylines
When Kimberly Page, the group's founder quit as a result of being stalked by a wrestler, the heel and face Nitro Girls began to feud. Spice feuded with A.C. Jazz over the new leadership position and won. After Jazz left the group, Tygress attempted to gain control.
Several former Nitro Girls formed a pop music group called Diversity 5: Teri Byrne (Fyre), Melissa Bellin (Spice), Sharmell Sullivan (Storm), Chae An (Chae) and Vanessa Sanchez (Tygress). When Sharmell went to the WWF for the first time, Chiquita Anderson (Chiquita) replaced her. The D5 group released one cd single (I Promise/Shake Me Up) in 2001, but by the following year the group bottomed out when they appeared on the Fox reality show "30 seconds to fame" on October 31, 2002 and were promptly voted off.
|Nitro Girl||Given name||Years||Notes|
|AC Jazz||Amy Crawford||1997–1999||Born on April 1, 1971 in Douglasville, Georgia was a graduate of Jacksonville State University and was a cheerleader for the Atlanta Falcons for two years before joining. One of the original members, she initially handled the dance team's choreography and costume design. Crawford left the company due to disagreements with WCW management and her role was eventually taken over by Tygress. She subsequently returned to run a dance company.|
|Baby||Shannon McNeill||2000||Born on September 15, 1976 in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, McNeill graduated from the University of North Carolina with a degree in special education and was a member of the Honeybees before joining the Nitro Girls in 2000. During her time in WCW, she and Chameleon were valets for "Champagne" Chris Kanyon. She eventually left WCW and returned to college before the end of the year.|
|Beef||Rhonda Sing||1999–2000||Sing competed in the women's division in WCW from 1999–2000 and made a couple appearances with the Nitro Girls as Beef for comic relief.|
|Chae||Chae An||1997–2000||Born on March 11, 1973 in Seoul, South Korea graduated from Armstrong State University in Savannah, Georgia with a General Studies degree. She went on to become a cheerleader for the Atlanta Falcons and became an original in 1997. She was a member until 2000. She appeared in a non-nude Nitro Girls pictorial in the September 1998 issue of Penthouse, along with Melissa Bellin, Teri Byrne, and Kimberly Page. She got married on October 27, 2007.|
|Chameleon||Carmel Macklin||1999-2000||Born on March 2, 1976 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Macklin graduated from Temple University with a degree in Psychology. She debuted in 1999. She occasionally accompanied Chris Kanyon (during his "Champagne" Chris Kanyon gimmick) to the ring as his valet with Baby. In 2000, she left the Nitro Girls and became the valet for Ernest Miller as Ms. Jones. She would dance along with Miller in his post match dance routine. She also acted as Miller's assistant when he was WCW Commissioner. She and Miller defeated Major Gunns and Lance Storm in a mixed tag team match in her only wrestling match on the December 18th "Nitro." She was last seen taking a "Buff Blockbuster" from Buff Bagwell. She was cut shortly afterward, when WCW made a decision to release most of the valets. After leaving WCW she became an actress and appeared in her first movie, Love & Orgasms, in 2003.|
|Chiquita||Chiquita Anderson||2000–2001||Born Chiquita Adams on November 22, 1974, Anderson graduated from Philadelphia University of the Arts with an associate's degree in Dance. After the Nitro Girls were disbanded, Anderson then became part of the pop music group Diversity 5 with other former Nitro Girls when Sharmell Sullivan left the group. She was part of the short-lived Xtreme Wrestling Federation's X-Girls in 2001 with Stephanie Bellars and Kristina Laum.|
|Fyre||Teri Byrne||1997–1999||She is working at the University of Phoenix.|
|The Klimaszewski Twins||2000||The sisters were cast as the Coors Light Twins in 2002. The sisters have appeared as regular cast members on Steve Harvey's Big Time Challenge, as the Big Time Twins. They appeared in full makeup, and with CGI animated tongues, as alien strippers in the series premiere of Star Trek: Enterprise.|
|Kimberly||Kimberly Page||1997–1999||Founder. Married to DDP. Nude in Playboy 1997|
|Naughty-A||Jamie Cragwall||2000–2001||Born in Nashville, Tennessee on June 1, 1978, she joined WCW in October 2000, and was one of the last members of the Nitro Girls before the promotion's close.|
|Skye||Stacy Keibler||1999||The winner of the 1999 Nitro Girl Search, Keibler later joined WWE as a diva. She left the company in 2006 after appearing on Dancing with the Stars placing third for the season. She was also the girlfriend of George Clooney from 2011 to 2013.|
|Spice||Melissa Bellin||1997–2000||Born Melissa Grill on May 29, 1973, she was one of the original Nitro Girls. She is married and has a son.|
|Starr||Jennifer Bancale||2000–2001||Born on April 28, 1970, joined the group in May 2000 under the name "Sapphire", before her name was changed to "Starr".|
|Storm||Sharmell Sullivan||1998–1999||After leaving the Nitro Girls, Sullivan managed The Artist under the name Paisley. Sullivan is married to Booker T who now works with WWE. She was regularly featured on WWE television in 2003 as a backstage interviewer and from 2005 to 2007 as the valet of Booker T.|
|Syren||Allison Pfau||2000–2001||Born May 4, 1976, she was involved in a storyline romance with Billy Kidman and Reno, her "boyfriend" after he broke up with Torrie Wilson and she sided with Shane Douglas.|
|Tayo||Tayo Reed||1997–1998||Born on February 28, 1971, after leaving the group, she began a career as a country singer. Tayo Reed started entertaining as a singer at Six Flags Over Georgia, performing in the Shake, Rattle, & Soul Show. She was then chosen to be a cheerleader for the Atlanta Falcons and a dancer for the Atlanta Hawks. Tayo also opened Tayo Reed's International Academy of Dance in Riverdale, Georgia.|
|Tygress||Vanessa Sanchez||1998–2000||Born Vanessa Bozman on January 21, 1971 in Syosset, New York, she graduated from Oglethorpe University with a degree in accounting. She later became a certified public accountant. She joined the Nitro Girls in 1997, but left them in 2000 to become a wrestler and valet for The Filthy Animals stable. She feuded with Misfits in Action's valet Major Gunns and Torrie Wilson. At Halloween Havoc, she and Konnan defeated Wilson and Shane Douglas.|
|Whisper||Rebecca Curci||1997–1999||Born on June 16, 1976, Rebecca joined WCW's Nitro Girls as Whisper in October 1997. Her signature move was to put a finger to her lips at the end of each routine, in keeping with the name "Whisper". She left WCW in 1999 to marry legendary World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment (WWF/E) wrestler Shawn Michaels and did not return. She and Michaels have two children, one son, Cameron Kade, born January 5, 2000 and a daughter, Cheyenne Michelle, born on August 19, 2004. Rebecca has appeared various times on WWE programming from WrestleMania 22 to most recently at the 2011 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.|
- "Revealing Stacy Keibler Interview". July 26, 2005. Retrieved 2008-03-14.
- "WCW Monday Nitro". WCW Monday Nitro. 1999-07-26. TNT (TV channel).
- Maria Blackburn (January 7, 2000). "'Skye' is no limit for new WCW Nitro Girl". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2008-03-03.
- "Nitro Girls Spotlight: Baby", WCW Magazine, World Championship Wrestling, Inc., no. 66, p. 66, October 2000, ISSN 1057-1396
- Wade (December 13, 1999). "WCW Monday Nitro - December 13, 1999". ddtdigest.com. Retrieved 2008-08-18.
- Big Mike (July 10, 2000). "WCW Monday Nitro - 07/10/2000". ddtdigest.com. Retrieved 2008-08-18.
- "Nitro Girls Spotlight: Chae", WCW Magazine, World Championship Wrestling, Inc., no. 71, p. 66, March 2001, ISSN 1057-1396
- "Q&A with Queen Sharmell". OWOW.com. 2007-08-27. Retrieved 2010-07-28.
- "WCW Nitro Girl Spice Interview ONLINE!". WRESTLINGEPICENTER.com. 2010-08-05. Retrieved 2010-08-05.
- "Nitro Girls Spotlight: Chiquita", WCW Magazine, World Championship Wrestling, Inc., no. 68, p. 70, December 2000, ISSN 1057-1396
- Teri, who was Fire, is working at the University of Phoenix – she’s doing great
- "Nitro Girls Spotlight: Naughty-A", WCW Magazine, World Championship Wrestling, Inc., no. 70, p. 64, February 2001, ISSN 1057-1396
- "Jennifer Bancale - IMDb". IMDb. Retrieved 2012-08-19.
- "Nitro Girls Spotlight: Starr", WCW Magazine, World Championship Wrestling, Inc., no. 67, p. 68, November 2000, ISSN 1057-1396
- Bell, Amy (May 2000), "Shake Down 2000", WCW Magazine, World Championship Wrestling, Inc., no. 61, p. 65, ISSN 1057-1396
- "Nitro Girls Spotlight: Syren", WCW Magazine, World Championship Wrestling, Inc., no. 69, p. 66, January 2001, ISSN 1057-1396
- Hayes, Jean (2009-07-05). "At HEART Literacy, Justa Bozman helps improve lives". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 2012-10-25.
- World Championship Wrestling Magazine, April Edition, (1998), Bill Apter, Pennsylvania, p.23
- Michaels, Shawn. 2005, Heartbreak & Triumph: The Shawn Michaels Story, Pocket Books, New York. (p296)
- Maria Blackburn (January 7, 2000). "'Skye' is no limit for new WCW Nitro Girl". The Baltimore Sun.
- Nitro Girls. Richards & Southern, 1999.