Women of the WWE: A Look at the Female Members in the WWE Hall of Fame
Despite female wrestlers being part of the world of sports entertainment since the beginning of the 20th century, their representation in professional wrestling has always been minimal.
Nowhere is it more obvious that women are given secondary role in the world of pro wrestling than in the WWE Hall of Fame.
Although there have been a total of 107 inductees to the WWE Hall of Fame, only five (six with the soon-to-happen addition of Trish Stratus) have been women.
In honor of these six women, let's take a look at the celebrated careers of the few women who have been inducted into the WWE's Hall of Fame.
The Fabulous Moolah
Making her pro wrestling debut in 1949, Mary Lillian Ellison, most famously known by her ring name "The Fabulous Moolah," would go on to become one of the most prominent figures in professional wrestling.
The Fabulous Moolah's accolades include the Cauliflower Alley Club's Ladies Wrestling Award (1997), two NWA Women's World Tag Team Championships (with Toni Rose), five NWA World Women's Championships, Pro Wrestling Illustrated's Stanley Weston Award (1991), and four WWF Women's Championships—a title the Fabulous Moolah held for an impressive 27 years, 10 months, 5 days, a total of 10,170 days.
In addition to being added to the WWE Hall of Fame in 1995, the Fabulous Moolah is also part of the NWA Hall of Fame (Class of 2012) and the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum (Class of 2003).
Born Sherri Russell, Sherri Martel (also known as Sensational Sherri) was the second woman to be inducted into the WWE's Hall of Fame.
Martel's career was a successful one, both as a in-ring performer and a manager.
As a manager, Martel managed superstars such as Jake "The Snake" Roberts, "Macho Man" Randy Savage, Ric Flair, Shane Douglas, Shawn Michaels, Marty Jannetty, Terry Funk, The Honky Tonk Man, and Ted DiBiase—who inducted Martel into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006.
During her career, Sensational Sherri held three AWA World Women's Championships, the IWA Women's Championship, and the WWF Women's Championship.
In addition to being a member of the WWE Hall of Fame, Martel is also a member of the WSU Hall of Fame (Class of 2009) and a member of the Cauliflower Alley Club. Additionally, Sherri was awarded the Wrestling Observer Newsletter award for Manager of the Year in 1991.
Making her pro wrestling debut on Aug. 20, 1939, Mae Young is the only pro wrestler who can claim that she has wrestled in nine different decades—Young's last match was in 2010.
Young was a pioneer in the world of women's wrestling helping increase the sport's popularity during World War II.
During her nine decades of wrestling, Mae Young held the NWA Florida Women's Championship, the NWA United States Women's Championship, and the NWA Women's World Tag Team Championship (with Ella Waldek).
In addition to being added to the WWE Hall of Fame in 2008, Young is also part of the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame (Class of 2004).
Young's other awards in the WWE include her title of Miss Royal Rumble in 2000 and a Slammy Award for the Knucklehead Moment of the Year in 2010 after defeating LayCool.
Making her pro-wrestling debut in 1979, Wendi Richter was one of the many trainees of fellow female Hall of Famer, the Fabulous Moolah.
Richter is best known for her storyline with signer Cyndi Lauper—the partnership between both women was known as the "Rock 'n' Wrestling Connection" and would eventually aid the WWE (then WWF) gain mainstream media credit.
Officially retired from pro-wrestling in 2005, Richter garnered multiple awards and titles during her career. Her titles include the AWA Women's Championship, the NWA Women's World Tag Team Championship (with Joyce Grable), the NWF Women's Championship, the WWC Women's Championship, and the WWF Women's Championship.
In addition to being part of the WWE's Hall of Fame, Richter is also part of the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame (Class of 2012).
Known as the "Original Diva," Tammy Lynn Sytch, better known as Sunny, made her pro wrestling debut in 1993 for Jim Cornette's Smoky Mountain Wrestling.
Sytch would eventually make her way to the WWE in 1995 where she would go on to enjoy great success—Sytch's popularity was evident when in 1996 the Diva was AOL's most downloaded woman of the year.
Also in 1996, Sytch won Pro Wrestling Illustrated's award for Manager of the Year, and two Slammy Awards—the Best Buns award and Minds Behind the Mayhem award.
Although Sunny never held the WWE Women's Championship, the "Original Diva" once held the WSU Championship after her WWE departure.
In addition to being part of the WWE Hall of Fame (Class of 2011), Sytch is also a member of the Cauliflower Alley Club.
Despite only working for the WWE from 2000-2006, Stratus held a record seven WWE Women's Championships.
Stratus' impact in the world of pro-wrestling would later be acknowledged both by the WWE and Pro Wrestling Illustrated—earning the Woman of the Decade Award from both sources.
In addition to her Woman of the Decade Awards, Stratus also won awards for Woman/Diva of the Year in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2006.
Stratus will join the WWE's Hall of Fame later this during the week of WrestleMania 29.