Many years ago, before NXT became established as WWE’s developmental brand/territory, the company tried different concepts and methods of creating new stars.
One concept that isn’t remembered too fondly was the Diva Search, which saw the company look outside of pro-wrestling to find new female talent to build into stars.
Although each year featured a clear winner (except for the 2003 edition), there were times when someone that was eliminated was still given a WWE contract. That was the case for Joy Giovanni, who came in 3rd place in the 2004 Diva Search yet she still got signed by WWE.
However, Giovanni doesn’t remember her time in WWE too fondly
Giovanni was ready to commit to WWE fully when they released her
Joy Giovanni had a short stint on SmackDown from November 2004 to April 2005. She was mostly relegated to backstage segments, interviews, and more drama-oriented situations as she wasn’t a trained professional wrestler.
But despite her limitations, Giovanni was the first and only winner of the SmackDown Rookie Diva of the Year Contest.
Giovanni’s most prominent storyline saw her feud with fellow 2004 Diva Search runner-up Amy Weber, who had a brief stint as a member of JBL’s Cabinet stable.
Giovanni also had some sort of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ story going with the Big Show at the time, which led to her playing damsel in distress as the Cabinet tried to find any weakness in the Big Show ahead of his title match with JBL at No Way Out 2005.
But instead of going further with WWE, Joy Giovanni was released a few months later. Speaking on the A2theK Wrestling Show, Giovanni explained how “betrayed” she felt when she learned of her contract termination.
“I was pretty devastated when I found out I was released. From what I understand, I was kind of the last of that bunch of 50 of us that were all released.
I think I might’ve been the very last phone call. In fact, my bags were packed by my door to go to the airport in the morning. I was supposed to go out for TV the next day.
“The thing that most people don’t know is that I had just agreed to fully commit to them and go on the road full-time, which was not part of my initial deal.”
After her initial release, Joy Giovanni made one more appearance for WWE at WrestleMania 25 in the Divas Battle Royal. Since then, she has continued her career as a massage therapist.
h/t EWrestlingNews for the transcription