Ranking the 7 Best Divas/Women's Matches in History
The Divas in action (photo from wwe.com)
How do we decide on—and rank—the best seven Divas/women’s matches in WWE history?
Well, the first thing to consider is technical competence. How good was the bout? And did it garner heat and a respectable reaction from the fans in attendance?
Then we have to factor in long-term impact. How did the match affect the careers of its participants? Is the bout still remembered fondly?
With this in mind, here are the best seven Divas/women’s bouts in company history.
(And sorry, all you Rosa Mendes fans out there. The beautiful but botch-prone valet definitely did not make this list.)
Honorable Mention: Eve Torres vs. Kaitlyn for the Divas Championship
Held on the Jan. 14 Raw earlier this year, this exciting Divas Championship bout marked Eve Torres’ swan song from WWE—and Kaitlyn’s best wrestling match to date.
Of course, despite its thrilling, hard-hitting action—Kaitlyn hits one heck of a spear, doesn’t she?—it’s difficult to argue it had any real long-term impact. Especially when we consider how much Kaitlyn has floundered as Divas champion since then.
That's why it doesn’t quite make the list.
Still, both girls deserve credit for a great effort.
7. Stephanie McMahon vs. Trish Stratus
Heading into 2001’s No Way Out, no one could have been expecting much from the heavily hyped Trish Stratus vs. Stephanie McMahon bout.
At that point, both women had been used mainly as managers. Neither woman was considered a competent worker—Trish wouldn’t improve drastically as a wrestler until 2002. At best, it was expected to be a short catfight with a handful of basic wrestling moves and more than a few botched or mistimed spots.
But something else happened instead. Both Stratus and McMahon worked hard to churn out a fun, shockingly well put-together bout that is still remembered fondly today.
Of course, it wasn’t the most technically competent match. Nor did the odd heel vs. heel dynamic make much sense at all—the fans in attendance seemed a little perplexed by it all. These are two marks against it, which explains why it’s not higher on this list.
6. Beth Phoenix vs. Natalya on the Sept. 28 SmackDown
Last year, WWE decided to take a break from putting long-suffering Divas Natalya and Beth Phoenix in terrible storylines and gave them a chance to, you know, wrestle for once.
Amazing, isn't it?
The result was a technically solid SHIMMER-style matchup that showed off both women's talents. The match was the highlight of an otherwise mundane SmackDown. Even the crowd, which is usually apathetic to women's bouts, seemed to get into it toward the end.
The underrated match is also a painful reminder that WWE could have a great women's division if it let some of these girls go out there and do what they're best at.
5. Mickie James vs. Michelle McCool at TLC 2009
So the “Piggie James” storyline that accompanied this Women’s Championship bout was dreadful. But credit goes to Michelle McCool and Mickie James for managing to rise above the risible, insulting material and churn out an enjoyable match at WWE’s TLC pay-per-view. Indeed, the bout served as one of the highlights of an otherwise so-so PPV.
McCool, in particular, has arguably never been better as a performer than she was on this night. Her in-ring work and heel mannerisms were tremendous. No wonder the division is missing her so much now.
It's just too bad the fans in attendance weren't particularly appreciative.
4. Mickie James vs. Trish Stratus at WrestleMania 22
Trish Stratus defended her Women’s Championship against friend-turned-foe Mickie James at WrestleMania 22 in a match that was the culmination of the long-running “Mickie is a stalker” angle.
This is easily the best women’s WrestleMania bout in history—granted, there’s not a lot of competition. Mickie James and Trish Stratus worked to produce an enjoyable, highly emotional match that many fans still talk about today.
Mickie was at her absolute peak as a performer here. And while she went on to have a decent career in WWE and later TNA, she never reached the same heights again. When fans are asked to name the highlight of her career, they'll probably recall this match.
The crowd in attendance loved this scrap too, even if they did end up cheering Mickie, the heel, vociferously.
The bout was a little sloppy in places (the ending, in particular, was badly botched), which is why it isn't higher on this list.
3. Divas Table Match at TLC 2010
At WWE's TLC 2010 pay-per-view, Beth Phoenix and Natalya took on LayCool (Michelle McCool and Layla El) in a Tables bout.
Thanks to the quality of talent involved (all four Divas are great wrestlers) and the fact that they were given a decent amount of time, this turned out to be a thrilling, well-executed bout that remains one of the best women's matches in recent years.
Clearly, the match was a highlight of all four women's careers, too.
2. Victoria vs. Trish Stratus Hardcore Match at Survivor Series 2002
This fantastic hardcore match may have been the moment when people realized Trish Stratus' potential as an in-ring performer. Stratus wasn't just a good women's wrestler; she was a great one.
Credit goes to Victoria, too, who also proved that she was one of the very best female performers in the industry.
A brutal, blood-filled bout, this hardcore match also established WWE's women's division as a viable midcard act that could entertain fans and critics as much as men's wrestling. (It's a shame it didn't last.) For kicking off the golden era of female wrestling in the company, this bout deserves such a high placing.
1. Trish Stratus vs. Lita at Unforgiven 2006
At Unforgiven 2006, in front of her roaring hometown crowd in Toronto, Trish Stratus was the recipient of one of the best and most touching farewells in WWE history.
Both working to the very best of their ability, Stratus and Lita put on a classic WWE women's match. Stratus won the match and the Women's Championship, by applying fellow Canadian Bret Hart's Sharpshooter to her frequent foe and making her submit.
This match won over the crowd and was technically sound and one of the most memorable matches ever. That's why it's No.1 on this list.