Women have been a part of WWE forever. At first you had the likes of Fabulous Moolah wrestling and making an impact in the then WWF, all that however changed when Alundra Blayze defected to WCW. Gone was the amazing wrestling and in its place was women just being sexual objects. It would take a tremendous effort to pull it out of the slump, until it once more slipped back into despair. It took a hash tag, AJ Lee and Paige to get WWE to where it is now. Finally women’s wrestling in WWE means a lot more than it ever has, so here are the trailblazers from Fabulous Moolah going forward:
1) Fabulous Moolah
Trained by Mae Young but appearing in WWF before her, Moolah started by being a woman’s champion for 28 years. Moolah became NWA (National Wrestling Alliance) 3rd Woman’s Champion in 1956 and WWF did not exist until 1963. In the 1970’s, Moolah bought the rights to the championship, defending it until she joined WWF in 1983 and unaffiliated it NWA. Because of this, WWE recognise her as their longest champion, a reign that will never be beaten. Moolah was WWF Champion 4x, had a title run at aged 76 and had some comedic spots with the late Mae Young. Fabulous Moolah had a fantastic career in wrestling within the WWF/E.
2) Wendi Richter
Trained by Fabulous Moolah, she became the woman to dethrone her mentors 28 year reign. Whilst she wasn’t with WWE for a long time due to what is known as the original screwjob, her time there was petty good.
3) Luna Vachon
Starting WWF in 1993, Vachon started her career with a bang at WrestleMania IX by attacking Sensational Sherri (Shawn Michaels former valet) after an Intercontinental Match between Shawn Michaels and Tatanka. The fued between Vachon and Sherri was brutal. Following this feud Vachon began a partnership with Bam Bam Bigelow after he “fell in love with her”, working with Bigelow, she also had Bastion Booger kayfabe fall in love with her. Alundra Blayze then entered WWF and won the womens title, the two then feuded for the belt but Luna Vachon never won the belt. Bam Bam Bigelow and Vachon’s relationship showed cracks and Vachon sold his contract to Ted Dibasse. Luna Vachon then chose Bull Nakano to beat Alundra Blayze which she did.
Vachon then left WWF in 94. Returning to WWF in 97, she became a fantastic valet for Goldust and then entered a vicious feud with Sable that went further than just in ring hatred. Luna Vachon actually got suspended for fighting backstage with Sable, upon her return she once again chased the Woman’s Championship, this time from Ivory.
Still unsuccessful, she had a hardcore rules match against Ivory, an Intercontinental Match against Jeff Jarrett, managed her then husband Gangrel all before being released in early 2000 after another backstage outburst. Whilst with WWF, Luna Vachon was also against the sexualization of women in WWF.
4) Alundra Blayze
Whilst Alundra Blayze’s leaving was controversial, her actual time in WWF was great. Blayze was bought in to revive the WWF’s woman’s division, and she won the Woman’s Championship in December 93 after the championship was defunct since 90. Previously mentioned, she feuded with Luna Vachon and lost the championship to Bull Nakano November of 94. Five months later, Blayze won the championship back from Bull Nakano, after the match she was attacked by Bertha Faye in which Faye broke her nose.
Returning from her nose fixing, Alundra Blayze lost the championship to Bertha Faye but regained it two months later. In December 95, Blayze was released from her contract due to financial issues within the WWF. Alundra Blayze was stripped of the Woman’s Championship after defecting to rival brand WCW, on her debut episode of Monday Nitro, she threw the WWF Woman’s Championship into a trash can. This resulted in her being blacklisted from WWE, however issues between the company and Alundra Blayze were sorted out, and Blayze was inducted into the WWE Half of Fame in 2015.
The 9th Wonder of The World and quite possibly the most dominant woman from the Attitude Era. Whilst she only won the WWF Women’s Championship once, she remains the only women to win the Intercontinental Championship twice and be the first woman to enter the Royal Rumble. Chyna was part of D Generation X where she teamed with Triple H and Shawn Michaels and then Road Dogg, Billy Gunn and X Pac.
After losing the Intercontinental Championship a second time, she became the on screen girlfriend of the late Eddie Guerrero. Their relationship only lasted until November 2000, and afterwards Chyna appeared in a Playboy Shoot, something WWE used for a storyline. Shortly after, Chyna began to feud with Ivory for the WWF Championship.
At Royal Rumble, during a match against Ivory, Chyna appeared to reinjure her neck and took time out to recuperate. Chyna returned and finally defeated Ivory for the Woman’s Championship at WrestleMania X-Seven. Chyna’s last match was against Lita in 01 where even though she won, she left the company after not being used for months.
There is several reports as to why she left, including her in real life boyfriend (Triple H) beginning a relationship with Stephanie McMahon. Whilst its not fully clear why she departed, Chyna became looked down upon by WWE for going into pornography. Before WWE and Chyna could sort out their differences, she passed away in April 16.
The girl all the bad guys want. Lita was a major trailblazer in her short time in WWE. Lita never did the sexy Diva thing, yes she was gorgeous but her role wasn’t to be a sexual object. Joining WWF in 2000 with Luchador Essa Rios, they worked together for a while until Rios turned on her and she then teamed with Matt and Jeff Hardy forming Team Xtreme. It was with Team Xtreme that Lita became the first woman ever involved in a Tables Ladders and Chairs Match.
Then Team Xtreme feuded with Test and Albert and their manager Trish Stratus in what became one of the most dynamic on and off again feuds. Lita’s first title win came from defeating Stephanie McMahon. The Hardy Boyz feuded with Edge and Christian, who helped Ivory win the championship off of Lita. Lita fought against Dean Melinko and had an on and off screen relationship with Matt Hardy. Lita also teamed with Trish Stratus for many years against Stacy Kiebler and Torrie Wilson, members of The Alliance: ECW and WCW.
Lita won the Woman’s Championship three more times, and even went on to manage Edge where after he won the WWE Championship in 08, they had a simulated live sex show. Lita retired at Survivor Series in a match with Mickie James, in which James won the Woman’s Championship.
6) Trish Stratus
Trish Stratus started out in WWF as manager for Test and Albert and then valet for Val Venis. After many unsuccessful attempts at capturing the Women’s Championship, she entered into an angle with Vince McMahon in which Vince’s actual wife was “institutionalized” so the two could have a romance.
In viewing that was often demeaning, Stratus was made to bark like a dog in her underwear after McMahon decided he was done with her. At WrestleMania X-Seven, Stratus slapped Vince McMahon in the face thus ending their little relationship. Free from the shackles of Vince McMahon, Trish Stratus was able to shine and shine she did.
A Woman’s Championship winner 7x, she was even a Hardcore Champion after pinning Crash Holly. Trish Stratus retired in 06 after defeating Lita to win the Woman’s Championship in the main event of RAW, this was the first time women main evented RAW.
7) Mickie James
Mickie James debuted on RAW in 05 as a Trish Stratus mega fan. James and Stratus tagged together which involved James getting more and more obsessed with her. Whislt it was an unusual gimmick, its certainly helped Mickie James gain more popularity for her. The angle between two took a slightly more romantic turn when James kissed Stratus under mistletoe. This isn’t what Trish wanted, and she told James they needed time apart.
Then in early 06, Mickie James attacked Ashley Massaro serveral times after Massaro called her crazy. The two had a match at Royal Rumble with Trish Stratus as referee, afterwards Mickie James declared her love for Stratus. However, after the duo defeated Candice Michelle and Victoria at Saturday Night Main Event, Stratus pushed James away after the latter tried to kiss her. Mickie James declared she’d get revenge on her.
Mickie James won her first Championship from Trish Stratus at WrestleMania XXII, the first of seven. Mickie left WWE in 2010 after stating WWE were going in a different direction. Mickie James returned to WWE in 16 where she appeared on an episode of NXT to challenge the then champion Asuka. After she failed to get the championship, James was drafted to SmackDown to help Alexa Bliss. She debuted as masked wrestler La Luchadora and attacked Becky Lynch.
It was revealed that it was Mickie James, where she had matches against Becky Lynch, Naomi and Nikki Bella. Mickie James appeared in a six-pack challenge at WrestleMania XXXIII for the SmackDown Woman’s Championship, however she was unsuccessful. Transferring to RAW after WrestleMania, James has kept herself busy including two recent bouts with Alexa Bliss for the RAW Women’s Championship.
8) AJ Lee
With WWE back in the slump of treating women like trash, it was down to one pint sized New Jerseyan to begin to make a difference – AJ Lee. In WWE, women were back to not being proper wrestlers, with WWE now in its PG Era, it wasn’t like the bra and panties matches but it was bad enough. AJ Lee started out on an all female season of NXT back when it was a reality TV show. Lee had wrestler Primo as her mentor, they teased the two having a relationship and the two kissed on the season finale.
Whilst she didn’t win, she still made an impact. Debuting on SmackDown in 2011, she teamed with Kaitlyn for a while going against the likes of Alicia Fox, Tamina Snuka and Rosa Mendes. Lee and Kaitlyn, even went against Natalya and Beth Phoenix after Natalya turned on the pair after being their mentor. Switching to RAW, AJ Lee had a string of on screen relationships, and then entered a feud with Kaitlyn for the Divas Championship. Lee won it at Payback 13, it would be the first of her three reigns.
From 2013, the title was going nowhere as she successfully defended it from everyone, hiring Tamina Snuka to be her bodyguard. In January 2014, AJ Lee became the longest reigning Divas Champion, and she had a successful defense WrestleMania XXX against 14 Divas.
The night after however, AJ Lee lost it to debuting Diva Paige. The two would feud for it over a few months in 2014 until she lost her third and final reign to Nikki Bella. AJ Lee retired in 2015 at WrestleMania XXXI in a tag match with Paige where they defeated The Bella Twins.
WWE’s resident goth. Paige burst onto our screens as the anti Diva of WWE. She didn’t need fake tan, and glamour to be a good wrestler. Paige was the pale Princess who became the inaugural NXT Woman’s Champion defeating Emma for it. Holding the Championship for 274 days, she was forced to vacate it after debuting the night after WrestleMania XXX and defeating AJ Lee for the Divas Championship.
Paige lost a fair few of her first debuting matches, including the Divas Championship to a returning AJ Lee. Paige won back and then lost the title one final time to AJ Lee. Paige often attacked AJ Lee but made it seem like she did it because she loved her and they were such good friends. Paige teamed with AJ Lee one final time at WrestleMania XXXI in Paige’s first ever WrestleMania.
Paige teamed with Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch in the televised Divas Revolution, she then turned on Charlotte and Becky when Charlotte beat Nikki Bella for the Divas Championship. After the Brand Split of 16, Paige was drafted to RAW, a month later she announced she was on hiatus for a neck injury. During that time she was suspended twice for for violating the wellness policy. Paige continued to recuperate her neck and has now been cleared to come back. Hopefully, Paige will be back on our screens soon.
10) The Four Horsewomen
They are Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks Becky Lynch and Bayley. Whilst they aren’t an actual stable, they put up The Four Horsemen hand gesture after Bayley finally won the NXT Woman’s Championship in a match winning main event in 2015 and it stuck.
Charlotte, Sasha and Bayley are all NXT Women’s Championship winners and all four women are main roster winners. You cannot think of one women without thinking of the other three. From Sasha and Charlotte’s five month long feud to Becky Lynch being the inaugural SmackDown Woman’s Championship they have done it all.
Collectively they have main evented a PPV, had the first woman’s Hell In A Cell Match, had the first woman’s Tables match at TLC, main evented RAW for the first time since Trish and Lita, had two glorious Iron Man matches and that’s just a small section of what they’ve achieved. Between them, they have held 15 Championship and when Charlotte wins the SmackDown Women’s Championship, she will be the only woman to have held every championship available for a woman.
Hopefully one day, WWE will put them together as an unstoppable stable.
The Empress of Tomorrow and the unstoppable force of WWE. Asuka held the NXT Woman’s Championship for 510 days defeating the likes of Ember Moon, Nikki Cross to name a few of the many women. Asuka broke records with her championship reign, beating Goldberg’s undefeated streaks, beating Rockin’ Robin’s 502 day reign and CM Punk’s 434 day reign. Asuka was unstoppable as NXT Woman’s Championship and relinquished it due to injury. Asuka debuted on RAW on the TLC PPV and beat Emma. Asuka has now just been destroying local wrestlers on RAW and still remains undefeatable. It will be exciting to see the direction WWE takes with Asuka.
Obviously, I can’t mention every woman who has paved the way, as there are so many more. So here’s a thanks to other great ones that I didn’t mention:
Victoria, Ivory, Jaqueline, Beth Phoenix, Natalya, Stephanie McMahon, Bull Nakano and Molly Holly – thank you.