Women's World Championship (WWE)

From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

Women's World Championship
The current Women's World Championship belt with default side plates (2023–present)
Details
PromotionWWE
BrandRaw
Date establishedAugust 23, 2016
Current champion(s)Liv Morgan
Date wonMay 25, 2024
Other name(s)
  • WWE SmackDown Women's Championship
    (2016–2023)
  • Women's World Championship
    (2023–present)
Statistics
First champion(s)Becky Lynch
Most reignsCharlotte Flair
(7 reigns)
Longest reign380 days[a]:
Shortest reignCharlotte Flair
(4th reign, 4 minutes and 55 seconds)
Oldest championBecky Lynch
(37 years, 83 days)
Youngest championAlexa Bliss
(25 years, 117 days)
Heaviest championRhea Ripley
(170 lb (77 kg))
Lightest championLiv Morgan
(102 lb (46 kg))

The Women's World Championship is a women's professional wrestling world championship created and promoted by the American promotion WWE, defended on the Raw brand division. It is one of two women's world titles for WWE's main roster, along with the WWE Women's Championship on SmackDown. The current champion is Liv Morgan, who is in her second reign.[b] She won the title by defeating Becky Lynch at King and Queen of the Ring on May 25, 2024.

Established as the SmackDown Women's Championship, it was unveiled on the August 23, 2016, episode of SmackDown as the counterpart to the WWE Women's Championship, which became exclusive to Raw as a result of the 2016 WWE Draft and renamed as Raw Women's Championship. The inaugural champion was Becky Lynch. As a result of the 2023 WWE Draft, the Raw and SmackDown women's championships switched brands, with the SmackDown Women's Championship subsequently renamed as the Women's World Championship, while the Raw Women's Championship reverted to its original name of WWE Women's Championship.

The title has been contested in the main event of four WWE pay-per-view and livestreaming events: TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs in 2018 and, along with the Raw Women's Championship at the time, WWE's flagship event WrestleMania in 2019, and by itself on Night 1 of WrestleMania in 2021 and Elimination Chamber in 2024. It was also the first women's professional wrestling championship to be defended in Saudi Arabia, which occurred at Super ShowDown in 2020.

History[edit]

The inaugural and five-time champion Becky Lynch, shown here after winning the title for a third time when it was known as the SmackDown Women's Championship at WrestleMania 35, along with the then-Raw Women's Championship (right).

The Women's World Championship was originally established as the SmackDown Women's Championship on August 23, 2016. Its creation came as a result of the American professional wrestling promotion WWE reintroducing the brand extension, where the company again divided its roster between the Raw and SmackDown brands where wrestlers were exclusively assigned to perform; the first brand split ended in August 2011. During the 2016 draft, reigning WWE Women's Champion Charlotte was drafted to Raw, leaving SmackDown without a women's championship. Immediately following SummerSlam on the August 23, 2016, episode of SmackDown, SmackDown commissioner Shane McMahon and general manager Daniel Bryan unveiled the SmackDown Women's Championship (Raw's title was subsequently renamed as Raw Women's Championship).[1]

A six-pack elimination challenge was then scheduled for Backlash on September 11, 2016, to determine the inaugural champion. The six women who competed at SummerSlam in the six-woman tag team match were chosen for the six-pack challenge: Alexa Bliss, Becky Lynch, Carmella, Naomi, Natalya, and Nikki Bella.[2] Lynch became the inaugural champion when she last eliminated Carmella.[3] The NXT Women's Championship would become WWE's third main women's title when NXT, the promotion's developmental brand, became recognized as WWE's third major brand in September 2019 when it was moved to the USA Network.[4] However, this recognition was reversed when NXT reverted to being WWE's developmental brand in September 2021.[5]

Two-time champion Naomi with her custom glowing SmackDown Women's Championship belt during her second reign.

As a result of the 2023 WWE Draft, the Raw and SmackDown women's championships switched brands and there were no title changes for either championship before draft results went into effect on May 8. The issue of the SmackDown Women's Championship being on Raw was then resolved on the June 12, 2023, episode of Raw. That night, WWE official Adam Pearce unveiled a new championship belt to reigning champion Rhea Ripley, with the title subsequently renamed as the Women's World Championship. This came shortly after the Raw Women's Championship reverted to its original name of WWE Women's Championship on June 9.[6]

The title headlined a WWE pay-per-view and livestreaming event for the first time at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs in December 2018, where Becky Lynch defended it in a triple threat Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match against Charlotte Flair and Asuka, which Asuka won; this was also the first women's TLC triple threat match.[7] The title was then on the line in a winner takes all triple threat match in the main event of WrestleMania 35 in April 2019, where Flair defended the title against Raw Women's Champion Ronda Rousey and Lynch, who won the match. This was the first women's match to main event a WrestleMania – WWE's flagship event.[8][9] At Super ShowDown in February 2020, the title became the first women's championship to be defended in Saudi Arabia, where Bayley retained the title over Naomi; this was only the second women's match contested in the country.[10] The title would again be on the line in the main event of a WrestleMania, this time Night 1 of WrestleMania 37 in April 2021 where Bianca Belair defeated Sasha Banks to win the title;[11] this was also the first time that two African-Americans headlined a WrestleMania and only the second women's match to main event the annual show.[12] The title was defended for a second time in Saudi Arabia at Crown Jewel in 2021, where Becky Lynch retained against Bianca Belair and Sasha Banks in a triple threat match.[13]

Inaugural championship match[edit]

Eliminated Wrestler Eliminated by Method of elimination Times[3]
1 Alexa Bliss Naomi Pinfall 9:38
2 Naomi Natalya Submission 10:52
3 Natalya Nikki Bella Pinfall 12:50
4 Nikki Bella Carmella 12:58
5 Carmella Becky Lynch Submission 14:40
Winner Becky Lynch

Brand designation history[edit]

The championship was established to be exclusive to its namesake brand, SmackDown. An incident occurred in the 2021 WWE Draft where both the Raw and SmackDown women's champions were drafted to the opposite brands. To keep the titles on their respective brands, the champions swapped titles.[14] However, this same incident occurred in the 2023 draft, but the champions instead kept their titles, thus the titles changed brands despite their namesakes. This issue would be resolved as the titles were subsequently renamed to remove the brands.[6]

Date of transition Brand Notes
August 23, 2016 SmackDown The championship was established for SmackDown after WWE Women's Champion Charlotte was drafted to Raw in the 2016 WWE Draft, with Charlotte's title renamed to Raw Women's Championship. Becky Lynch subsequently became the inaugural SmackDown Women's Champion at Backlash on September 11.
May 8, 2023 Raw SmackDown Women's Champion Rhea Ripley was drafted to Raw in the 2023 WWE Draft.
The title was renamed as the Women's World Championship on June 12, 2023.[6]

Championship belt designs[edit]

The original design of the championship when it was known as the WWE SmackDown Women's Championship (2016–2023).

As the SmackDown Women's Championship, the title was represented by a belt using the same "Network Logo" design as the WWE Women's Championship, with the only difference being that the background of the center plate and the default side plates' globes were blue (as opposed to red) to symbolize its exclusivity to SmackDown. In what has become a prominent feature on all of WWE's championship belts, the side plates could be customized with the reigning champion's logo. During Naomi's second reign with the SmackDown Women's Championship belt, strips of multi interchanging colored LED lights were placed around the outline of the WWE logo and the outline of the belt to go with her "glow" gimmick.[15]

When the title became the Women's World Championship in June 2023, it adopted a near-identical design to the men's World Heavyweight Championship that had been introduced in April, albeit smaller, on a white strap, and with a small banner above the "World" banner that says "Women's". It also retains the customizable side plates.[6]

Reigns[edit]

Two-time and current champion Liv Morgan

As of June 15, 2024, there have been 28 reigns between 13 champions and 2 vacancies. Becky Lynch was the inaugural champion. Charlotte Flair has the most reigns at seven. Bayley's second reign and Rhea Ripley's sole reign are tied for the longest singular reign at 380 days (379 days for both as recognized by WWE), while Flair's fourth reign is the shortest at 4 minutes and 55 seconds. Bayley holds the record for the longest combined reign at 520 days. Becky Lynch is the oldest champion, having won the title at 37 years, 83 days old, while Alexa Bliss is the youngest when she won it at 25. Only two women have held the title for a continuous reign of one year (365 days) or more: Bayley and Rhea Ripley.

Liv Morgan is the current champion in her second reign. She defeated Becky Lynch at King and Queen of the Ring on May 25, 2024, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Both of their respective reigns are recognized as lasting 379 days by WWE.
  2. ^ Her first reign was when the title was still known as the SmackDown Women's Championship.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Martin, Adam (August 23, 2016). "Daniel Bryan to reveal two new championships exclusive to Smackdown Live tonight from Connecticut". WrestleView. Archived from the original on August 25, 2016. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
  2. ^ Parks, Greg (August 23, 2016). "8/23 WWE Smackdown LIVE – Parks's Complete, Real-Time Report". Pro Wrestling Torch. Archived from the original on September 15, 2020. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
  3. ^ a b Caldwell, James (September 11, 2016). "9/11 WWE Backlash Results – Caldwell's Complete PPV Report". Pro Wrestling Torch. Archived from the original on August 18, 2020. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
  4. ^ Csonka, Larry (May 10, 2016). "Triple H Discusses NXT as a Third Brand, Putting Talent in a Position to Succeed, More". 411Mania. Archived from the original on April 4, 2023. Retrieved May 9, 2023.
  5. ^ Currier, Joseph (December 3, 2021). "Preview and Predictions for 'NXT WarGames'". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on December 11, 2021. Retrieved December 11, 2021.
  6. ^ a b c d Defelice, Robert (June 12, 2023). "Rhea Ripley Crowned Women's World Champion, Given New Title Belt On 6/12 WWE Raw". Fightful. Archived from the original on June 13, 2023. Retrieved June 12, 2023.
  7. ^ Powell, Jason (December 16, 2018). "Powell's WWE TLC live review: Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair vs Asuka in a TLC match for the Smackdown Women's Championship, Daniel Bryan vs. AJ Styles for the WWE Championship, Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose for the IC Title". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Archived from the original on March 22, 2019. Retrieved December 16, 2018.
  8. ^ WWE.com Staff (March 25, 2019). "WrestleMania to feature first-ever women's main event". WWE. Archived from the original on April 1, 2019. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
  9. ^ Keller, Wade (April 7, 2019). "WrestleMania 35 event results 4/7: Keller's match report and analysis including Lesnar vs. Rollins, Rousey vs. Charlotte vs. Lynch, Bryan vs. Kofi, Batista vs. Triple H". Pro Wrestling Torch. Archived from the original on September 21, 2020. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  10. ^ Powell, Jason (February 27, 2020). "WWE Super ShowDown results: Powell's live review of "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt vs. Goldberg for the WWE Universal Championship, Brock Lesnar vs. Ricochet for the WWE Championship, Big E and Kofi Kingston vs. The Miz and John Morrison for the Smackdown Tag Titles". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Archived from the original on February 29, 2020. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
  11. ^ Powell, Jason (April 10, 2021). "WrestleMania 37 results: Powell's live review of night one featuring Sasha Banks vs. Bianca Belair for the Smackdown Women's Championship, Bobby Lashley vs. Drew McIntyre for the WWE Championship, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods vs. AJ Styles and Omos for the Raw Tag Titles, Bad Bunny and Damian Priest vs The Miz and John Morrison". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Archived from the original on April 11, 2021. Retrieved April 10, 2021.
  12. ^ Hale, Andreas (April 11, 2021). "WrestleMania 37 match grades: Bianca Belair, Sasha Banks make history in instant classic on Night 1". Sporting News. Archived from the original on April 12, 2021. Retrieved April 12, 2021. A historic main event, two African-American[s] headlining WrestleMania for the first time...
  13. ^ Keller, Wade (October 21, 2021). "10/21 WWE Crown Jewel Results: Keller's report on Reigns vs. Lesnar, Big E vs. McIntyre, Seth vs. Edge in HIAC, Lynch vs. Banks vs. Belair, King and Queen tournament finals". Pro Wrestling Torch. Archived from the original on October 22, 2021. Retrieved October 21, 2021.
  14. ^ Keller, Wade (October 22, 2021). "10/22 WWE SmackDown Results: Keller's report and analysis of Crown Jewel fallout and first look at the new post-draft roster". Pro Wrestling Torch. Archived from the original on October 24, 2021. Retrieved October 22, 2021.
  15. ^ Young, Renee; Bryan, Daniel; Naomi (July 4, 2017). "How Naomi made the SmackDown Women's Title glow: WWE Talking Smack, July 4, 2017 (WWE Network)". WWE (YouTube). Archived from the original on July 6, 2017. Retrieved January 13, 2018.

External links[edit]