The Florida native may be best known for her work as a model, comedian and television personality, but she’s dipped her toe into the world of professional wrestling as well. In 2019, Sterger briefly joined All Elite Wrestling as a backstage interviewer. Seven years earlier, though, she set out on a quest to become an in-ring competitor in the WWE.
In a recent appearance on Insight with Christ Van Vliet, Sterger detailed her experience at the company’s last Divas Search competition — which sought out their next crop of female superstars. “I got the opportunity to audition for the Divas in the last Divas Search that they did, where they were still taking girls that weren’t necessarily athletes or wrestlers. But they were like, ‘Are you a model? Are you moderately athletic? We’ll take you.'”
Sterger then officially began her Divas Search journey at the end of 2012, heading into early 2013. This iteration of Total Divas would remain untelevised but featured the likes of many future WWE Superstars. Notably, former RAW Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss, Total Divas personalities Eva Marie and JoJo, and Lana (CJ Perry) all competed, with Eva Marie emerging as the winner.
For Jenn Sterger, she entered the competition with a prior injury. She “had just recovered from breaking my neck the previous year, I somehow passed their physical they do,” she said. “I was just like, ‘oh my God, I am held together by Graham Crackers’. I was like, ‘I have no idea how I’m getting through this,’ and it just didn’t work out. Ended up breaking my neck again in that training. They were just like, ‘we’re just gonna table that for now.'”
Due to reaggravating her neck injury, WWE later had Sterger attempt some announcing work. “They tried to bring me in to do like, announcing type stuff, but I don’t think I understood as much as I thought…I don’t think I understood the world back then as much as I thought I did.”
While she eventually boarded on with AEW for a similar role, Sterger revealed she still struggled with getting “the gist of it” when auditioning. “I still was trying to be Jen the comedian, and Jen the host, when it was much more about being a good storyteller,” she explained. “Even when they were like ‘Jen, we want you to be a heel announcer,’ I didn’t know what that meant. So, I just came in with this roast heat and they were like ‘that’s not it.'”
Sterger’s broken neck also wouldn’t be the only injury she’d sustain from professional wrestling. As a three-year-old, the eager youngster tried to replicate a signature move of “Macho Man” Randy Savage. “I legit thought I was going to be a Diva, while Divas were still a thing. That’s what my dream was as a little girl. I grew up watching wrestling. Saturday mornings, religiously, right after cartoons came wrestling, to the point where I love wrestling so much. I actually went to the hospital as like a three-year-old child because I tried to do a flying elbow drop off the back of a couch, and took out the coffee table. The coffee table won,” she recalled.
Growing up, Jenn Sterger idolized edgy WWE Hall of Famer Lita. “We all got sent home from school for wearing our underwear above our pants,” she said. “I couldn’t find padded bras big enough to be Trish Stratus. I wanted to be that, but not just because they were sexy and gorgeous, but because they were just these badass women that despite everything the late ’90s put them through, because let’s face it, totally different era of women’s wrestling. They owned it, they owned who they were.”
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