Wednesday, June 6, 2012

WCW Nitro Girls

 
The WCW dance group that dazzled WCW television and live audiences from 1997 to 2001. Formed by Kimberly Page in 1997, the Nitro Girls quickly became one of Monday Nitro’s most popular elements. Though originally intended to entertain live audiences during commercial breaks, the dance troupe’s popularity rose exponentially within a year.

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 occasionally 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." The Nitro Girls filmed their own pay-per-view that aired in 1999.

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.

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.


 
Stacy Keibler (Skye) The winner of the 1999 Nitro Girl Search, Keibler later joined WWE as a diva.

Sharmell Sullivan-Huffman (Storm) 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 from 2005 to 2007.

Rebecca M. Hickenbottom (Whisper) Born 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 World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment (WWF/E) superstar 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.

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