WWE: 6 of the Greatest Women in WWE History
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Women have long been part of the WWE, as managers, valets or wrestlers. But there are six women who transformed how they are portrayed in the sport.
Far too many of the women who have appeared in WWE are nothing more than eye candy. Today's WWE Divas tend to be nothing more than cookie-cutter images of each other, barely able to work the mic or wrestle for more than two minutes.
But every once in a while, someone comes along who changes the way women are viewed and portrayed in the WWE. They are women who fought against the norm, who changed what was expected and acceptable in the WWE.
Whether it was by winning championships, breaking down figurative walls or leading the sport in a new direction, each of these women began their careers on one side of the fence and ended up making history.
Joanie 'Chyna' Laurer
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Joanie Laurer, better known as Chyna in the WWE, was not only physically impressive and intimidating, but she could back it up in the ring as well.
Chyna broke down many walls. She easily overpowered the other women, so the WWE took the bold step and had her interact physically with the men, even fighting them in the ring on occasion.
It was a great move.
She was the first female to ever wrestle in the Royal Rumble, twice. Because of her, Beth Phoenix and Kharma were able to do the same thing over a decade later.
Chyna was also the first woman to win one of the WWE's major singles championships when she pinned Jeff Jarrett to win the Intercontinental Championship at No Mercy in October of 1999.
Outside the ring, her first Playboy cover became one of the top-five bestselling issues of all time.
Her life outside of the WWE has been somewhat hectic and sad, but what she did in the ring is still being felt today.
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Amy Dumas, known as Lita in the WWE, redefined what a woman wrestler could do by learning to do something shocking: She learned to actually wrestle.
Lita was trained in the lucha libre style. After seeing Rey Mysterio on TV, she travelled to Mexico in 1998 and was trained by legendary wrestlers Miguel Perez and Ricky Santana.
She made a huge splash by appearing with The Hardy Boyz, Matt and Jeff, as she was able to match them, move for move.
She easily ran circles around the other women in the WWE, winning four WWE Women’s Championships, and she opened the door for other talented, pure wrestlers, like Natalya and Sara Del Rey.
Near the end of her run in the WWE, her personal love triangle with Matt Hardy and Edge took center stage, perhaps tarnishing her reputation a bit.
Regardless of what happened outside the ring, inside the ring, she stood out from the other wrestlers and WWE Divas, setting a standard for skills that has yet to be matched.
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Everyone remembers the First Lady of Wrestling.
Elizabeth never got in the ring and wrestled. She never won any type of gold. She never cut any scathing promos. When she did speak, which was rare, she was soft spoken and demure.
Yet she created the mold for the female manager.
She showed how to speak volumes without saying a word. The WWE fans were always held captive by her whenever she was at ringside. The simple act of ripping off the lower portion of her dress, a relatively tame act by today's standards, caused the entire crowd to surge to their feet.
Elizabeth was both the damsel in distress and the smart adviser, as she successfully managed the Mega Powers, the super-team of Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage.
Elizabeth was a class all to herself, and she transcended the world of professional wrestling. She is as well known outside the WWE as Hulk Hogan and The Rock.
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If Miss Elizabeth created the mold for the female manager, Sherri Martel blew that mold apart. Martel was the complete opposite of Miss Elizabeth, and the fans ate it up.
Where Elizabeth was mostly relegated to standing around and looking pretty during live events, Sherri went beyond that. She showed that women could be just as vicious and strong as the men in the WWE.
She managed several of the WWE’s most famous superstars, including Randy Savage, Ted DiBiase and Shawn Michaels.
Martel was also a women’s champion, defeating the legendary Fabulous Moolah and then holding the belt for 15 months.
Martel opened the door for women, wrestlers or not, to be more than just eye candy.
The Fabulous Moolah
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The Fabulous Moolah is one of the greatest in-ring performers of all time, and she is easily the greatest female wrestler ever.
She won the NWA World Women’s Championship, which became the WWE Women’s Championship, in 1956 and held it for the majority of the next 30 years. She held the title four more times after first losing it in 1984, the last time coming in 1999 at the age of 76.
Today she is the yardstick for WWE Divas champions to stack up to. Nobody comes close to her. You don't stay on top for that long without being one of the best.
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Who would have ever thought that a woman could eventually run the WWE?
Never mind the fact that Stephanie is Vince's daughter. She has done it all: She has been a helpless character being forced to marry The Undertaker; she has been the Billion Dollar Princess; she has been the women's champion; she has been SmackDown’s GM.
And now she has turned her attention to the behind-the-scenes part of the business.
As executive vice president of creative, she oversees everything that appears on television and pay-per-view, as well as branding and talent management. She is in the running to head the WWE when Vince retires.
Who else has accomplished so much inside and outside the squared circle?