WWE Best of Best, Part 4 of 8: The 10 Greatest Women Wrestlers
After lists featuring the greatest brawlers, top monsters and best powerhouses in WWE history*, it's now time for the ladies of the ring.
This is not a list about the hottest Divas. It's a list with the best female wrestlers, plain and simple.
Those women are the greatest in-ring workers in WWE history. They could fight like any male wrestler, for more than three-minute matches.
They were actual wrestlers who entertained the crowds without the need to simply be eye candy.
Most of them were warriors in a time that now seems centuries ago; and they were not "Divas." Hopefully, the savior of today's women division (currently ranked No. 10 on the list for now) will be back soon.
The major points I considered were impact on the WWE, the in-ring talent, the charisma and the success as prime criteria.
The comment section is wide open to share your opinion. I invite you to talk about the order of the list and about who I missed. No matter if you agree or not, your comments are more than welcome.
*You can read parts 1, 2 and 3 of the current series here:
10. Beth Phoenix
She is the only active WWE Diva on the list and she will certainly move up in few years.
Beth Phoenix is the total package with her talent and charisma. She can be the top face in the women's division, but she is greater in her heel Glamazon character.
She is the most dominant Diva of the last five years. She is already seventh on the most days as reigning Champion, with 367, and she held the gold on three occasions.
If she comes back completely healed from her injury and remains healthy, she might establish the new standards for the future generations in female wrestling.
She is currently the most complete wrestler in the WWE women's division, and maybe in pro wrestling. She possesses unmatched in-ring skills, and is the perfect combination of various wrestling styles. She is a technical powerhouse who can perform high-flying maneuvers and can cut decent promos.
9. Bull Nakano
She was already a legendary wrestler in Japan when she joined the WWF in January 1994. She was the one designated to be the top heel in the women's division and become Alundra Blayze's biggest rival.
As her name suggested, she was a real bully. At a size bigger than the average female wrestler, she could perform amazing high-flying moves. With her 200 pounds, she weighted about 50 pounds more than most of her opponents, but she was agile like a cat.
She won the Women's Championship once in her short run and she had the potential to win many more.
She was destined for big success until she was fired in April 1995 after she was found with cocaine in her possession.
8. Rockin' Robin
When Wendi Richter left the WWF in 1985, the WWF had to replace its top face in the women's division. The WWE turned The Fabulous Moolah face while they waited for Richter's replacement, who debuted at the 1987 Survivor Series.
Rockin' Robin instantly became a superstar. She feuded over the Women's Championship with Sensational Sherri for several months. She finally captured the gold in October 1988 to become the last woman to hold the title before the 1990 deactivation.
She ended her career without losing the Championship after her single reign of 451 days. Unfortunately for her and the fans, the WWE women's roster was almost empty and Robin only had Sensational Sherri and Judi Martin as serious opponents.
She was indeed Richter's successor, but the women division's fate was already sealed and she couldn't save it just by herself and few others. She will be remembered as the last classic wrestling lady in WWF. She was a complete wrestler with huge potential, but she just wasn't there at the right moment.
7. Trish Stratus
She was the ultimate prototype of the modern-day Divas.
She is seen as overrated by many, but she had an undeniable wrestling talent.
She was very popular and is considered the best Diva ever by a bunch.
She has the numbers on her side. She holds the record of the Diva with the most reigns as Women's Champion, with seven. She is also ranked second for the most total days as the reigning Champion, with 828.
The future Hall-of-Famer was decent in non-wrestling segments as valet and was great in the ring. She only misses some of that "IT" factor to be higher on the list.
6. Sensational Sherri
Many will remember her as Randy Savage, Ted DiBiase or Shawn Michaels' manager, but she had a brilliant in-ring career with the WWF in the '80s.
During her wrestling years, she was the top heel in the women's division and in the WWE all around.
She had charisma, in-ring talent and the "IT" factor to generate uncommon heat. In her short run as wrestler, she defeated none other than The Fabulous Moolah in 1987 for the Women's title.
Her only reign as champion lasted an impressive total of 448 days.
Her role changed in 1990 when the WWF pulled the plug on the women's division. She was one of the rare ladies to remain under contract with the company for on-screen appearances.
In 2006, she was inducted to the WWE Hall of Fame as a reward for her important contribution as manager and wrestler. She died one year later, at the age of 49.
She spent a few months in ECW before becoming one of the most extreme ladies to have stepped in a WWE ring. She was a very acrobatic and athletic wrestler.
Lita held the Women's Championship on four occasions, for a total of 160 days. She was also the only woman to win the title twice on a Raw main event, which shows her huge popularity, at a time when women's wrestling was actual wrestling.
During her time with the Hardy Boyz, they formed a team called Team Xtreme and she became the only woman to participate in a TLC match.
In addition to her great in-ring presence and abilities, she also had the word "controversy" associated to her name.
She once had a storyline involving Matt Hardy and Kane, in which she became pregnant then miscarried under weird circumstances.
One of her most memorable segments was on Raw in 2006. She had that famous "live sex celebration" with Edge, and her breast was uncovered live on TV.
Despite her huge popularity and the "IT" factor she had, she ended her career with WWE in disgrace, due in big part to her twisted relationship with Matt Hardy.
4. Alundra Blayze
Back in 1993, there was no women's division in the WWE. The Women's Championship was deactivated in 1990 and the only ladies on-screen were valets.
It wasn't until Alundra Blayze was hired that the division was revived. She was trained by the legendary Eddie Sharkey and an established wrestler who could do anything in a ring.
She became the most popular female wrestler in the mid-1990s. She was such a big star in WWE that they could not find her any serious competition, except once, under the name of Bull Nakano.
However, the women's division could not rely on only two wrestlers, and she decided to jump ship to WCW in December 1995. She was then in the middle of her third reign as Women's Champion and she brought the belt to throw it in a trash can on a televised show, as part of a scenario imagined by Eric Bischoff.
The shock of her departure from WWE caused another deactivation of the Women's Championship, as well as the whole division, until 1998.
3. Wendi Richter
She was almost as popular as Hulk Hogan when she battled at the first WrestleMania and she was a leader in the Rock 'n' Wrestling Connection Era. She was certainly the biggest name on the women's pro-wrestling scene in the '80s.
She is a two-time Women's Champion and she held the gold for a total of 449 days. She became a top face in WWF when she ended The Fabulous Moolah's 28-year title reign in an historic match presented on MTV, in June 1984.
In February 1985, she lost the Championship against Leilani Kai, The Fabulous Moolah's protégé, to regain at WrestleMania. In November 1985, Richter's ascension abruptly ended because of a contractual disagreement with Vince McMahon.
She left WWE with a bitter taste in her mouth after she was victim of the Original Screwjob. She was then the reigning Champion and she faced a mysterious masked woman named The Spider Lady, who broke from the match scenario. The Spider Lady suddenly went for a pinfall, and the referee ignored Richter's escape at the count of one and went for a quick three-count.
After the match, an enraged Richter unmasked The Spider Lady and the upset audience discovered it was The Fabulous Moolah. That work made as much waves as the Montreal Screwjob in 1997.
Wendi Richter, who was ironically trained by Moolah, had unlimited potential and she was becoming her trainer's successor. She had outstanding charisma and amazing in-ring abilities. She learned from the best and the fans were crazy for her.
In 2009, after nearly 24 years without talking to Vince McMahon, she finally accepted induction to the WWE Hall of Fame.
She was more than just Triple H's valet and a member of DX. She was an icon of the Attitude Era and a true beast in the ring.
The Ninth Wonder of the World held the Intercontinental Title on three occasions, for a total of 109 days in 1999 and 2000. She was the first and only woman to hold that championship.
In 1999, she was also the first woman to enter the Royal Rumble match. In addition, she was the first and only lady to qualify for the King of the Ring Tournament, as well as the No. 1 contender for the WWF Title.
If that was not enough, she was ranked No. 106 on the top 500 singles wrestlers (usually featuring men only) by Pro Wrestling Illustrated in 2000.
After her run as Triple H's bodyguard and DX's enforcer, she became Eddie Guerrero's valet for few months to then covet the Women's Championship.
She won her only Women's Title on the Grandest Stage of Them All, at WrestleMania 17. She held the gold for 214 days until she left WWE in November 2001.
Chyna was a complete wrestler who could perform various power moves, and she was the only woman in WWE to physically hold her own against male wrestlers.
1. The Fabulous Moolah
The word "Fabulous" in her ring name is there for a reason. She was a pioneer in women wrestling and held so many records that it would take hundreds of pages to address a list of her accomplishments.
Officially, according the WWE, she held the Women's Championship for 28 years without interruption, from 1956 to 1984. Unofficially, she lost the title on four occasions and she only spent 70 days without the gold.
According to WWE numbers, she reigned as champion for a total of 10,778 days, and it would be 10,708 days if we remove the 70 days from 1956 to 1984. But no matter the little difference between those numbers, she was the longest reigning champion in pro wrestling history.
To get a real idea of the epic proportion, of those 10,000+ days as Women's Champion, the runner-up held the title for a total of 828 days. On the men's side, if it can be compared, the record for the most total days as the reigning World Champion is held by Bruno Sammartino, with 4,040.
In 1995, The Fabulous Moolah was the first woman to be inducted to the WWE Hall of Fame. Four years later, she became, at the age of 76, the oldest champion in pro wrestling history. She made her last appearance in WWE at the 2007 Summerslam, a few months before dying at the age of 84.
Beyond the numbers, she was a legend and a one of a kind icon. No other woman or man will ever come close to what she accomplished in pro wrestling.
P.S.: If not done yet, don't forget to read parts 1, 2 and 3 of the current top-10 series here: