WWE Women's Championship (1956–2010)

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WWE Women's Championship
Trish Stratus.jpg
The final belt design of the original WWE Women's Championship.
(2002–2010) Trish Stratus with the title.
PromotionNWA (1956–1984)
WWF/E (1984–2010)
Date establishedSeptember 18, 1956
Date retiredSeptember 19, 2010 (unified with the WWE Divas Championship)
Other name(s)
  • NWA World Women's Championship
  • WWF Women's Championship
  • WWE Women's Championship
  • Unified WWE Divas’ Championship
First champion(s)The Fabulous Moolah[a]
Final champion(s)Layla
Most reignsTrish Stratus (7 reigns)[b]
Longest reignThe Fabulous Moolah (3,651 days [c])
Shortest reignMickie James[1]
(<1 hour)
Oldest championThe Fabulous Moolah (76 years, 7 days)
Youngest championWendi Richter (22 years, 10 months)

The WWE Women's Championship was a women's professional wrestling world championship in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE). The lineage of the Women's Championship dates back to September 18, 1956, when The Fabulous Moolah became the NWA World Women's Champion. WWE did not exist at that time, and although they did not create their own women's championship until 1984 with The Fabulous Moolah as the first WWF Women's Champion, they claim 1956 for the championship's establishment and do not recognize any title changes from when Moolah became champion in 1956 until she lost it in 1984. This made the Women's Championship the oldest active professional wrestling championship in WWE history until its retirement in 2010 after unification with the WWE Divas Championship.[2] The final champion was Layla.

A new WWE Women's Championship (now Raw Women's Championship) was created in 2016, and although both championships had shared the name and the original is considered to be the predecessor, the new championship does not carry the lineage of the original.


The Fabulous Moolah, the inaugural and longest reigning Women's Champion, recognized by WWE as holding the title for 28 years (1956–1984); she is shown here with the original championship belt

On September 18, 1956, The Fabulous Moolah became the third NWA World Women's Champion.[3] At that time, the WWE did not exist and did not become a company until 1963, when it was established as the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF). Moolah, who bought the rights to the championship in the 1970s, defended the championship as the NWA World Women's Champion up until May 19, 1984; by this time, the WWWF had been renamed to World Wrestling Federation (WWF). In 1983, the WWF disaffiliated with the NWA and Moolah sold the championship's rights to the WWF in 1984, and she was recognized as the WWF Women's Champion.[4] Instead of beginning her reign in 1984, the WWF claimed the lineage of her reign from when she first became champion in 1956. The preceding champions and the title changes between 1956 and when Moolah lost it in 1984 are not recognized by WWE (although they are recognized by the NWA[5]). As a result, The Fabulous Moolah's first reign is considered to have lasted 28 years by the promotion.[6]

In 1990, the Women's Championship became inactive after Rockin' Robin vacated the championship following her departure from the WWF.[7][8] Then in December 1993, the title was reactivated with Alundra Blayze winning a tournament for the vacant Women's Championship.[9] However, the Women's Championship became inactive again when Blayze was released from the WWF. Blayze, as Madusa, unexpectedly signed with World Championship Wrestling in 1995 and threw the championship belt, which was still in her possession, in a trash can on an episode of WCW Monday Nitro (in Blayze's 2015 WWE Hall of Fame speech, she "returned" the title).[10] The Women's Championship was reactivated again in September 1998 during the Attitude Era when Jacqueline Moore defeated Sable to win the title.[10]

Melina in her third reign as Women's Champion after defeating Beth Phoenix for the title at the 2009 Royal Rumble

After the WWF/WWE name change in 2002, the championship was subsequently referred to as the WWE Women's Championship. With the WWE Brand Extension in March 2002, the Women's Championship at first was still defended on both the Raw and SmackDown brands, while most titles were exclusive to one brand. In September, the Women's Championship became exclusive to only the Raw brand. The Women's Championship remained the sole championship contested by women, until July 4, 2008, when a counterpart to the championship, called the WWE Divas Championship, was created for the SmackDown brand. On April 13, 2009, the Women's Championship became exclusive to the SmackDown brand when reigning champion Melina was drafted from Raw to SmackDown during the 2009 WWE Draft to replace the current WWE Divas Champion Maryse, who had been drafted to Raw.

The Women's Championship was unified with the Divas Championship at Night of Champions in September 2010, creating the Unified WWE Divas Championship and making the Women's Championship defunct as the unified title followed the lineage of the Divas Championship; the title eventually dropped the "Unified" moniker.[2][11]

On April 3, 2016, at WrestleMania 32, a new WWE Women's Championship (now called the Raw Women's Championship) was introduced to succeed the Divas Championship. This new title does not carry the lineage of either the Divas Championship or the original Women's Championship, but is acknowledged by WWE as the successor of both.


WWF Women's Championship Tournament (1993)[edit]

The WWF Women's Championship Tournament was a tournament to decide the new WWF Women's Champion after the title was reinstated after three years of inactivity.[12][13][14]

Alundra BlayzePin
Allison Royal
Alundra BlayzePin
Heidi Lee MorganPin
Heidi Lee Morgan
Black Venus
2Heidi Lee MorganPin
Rusty Thomas
Rusty ThomasPin
Angie Marino

WWE Women's Championship Tournament (2006)[edit]

The WWE Women's Championship Tournament was a tournament to crown a new WWE Women's Champion after champion Trish Stratus retired from her wrestling career.[13][15] The first round started on September 25, 2006, and ended at Cyber Sunday when Lita, who Stratus defeated in her retirement match, defeated Mickie James.

September 25
October 2, 9 and 15
October 23 and 30
Cyber Sunday
Lita Pin
Candice 0:28
Lita Pin
Maria 2:19
Maria Strip
Torrie Wilson
Lita Pin
Mickie James 8:09
Mickie James Pin
Victoria 2:51
Mickie James Pin
Melina 4:00
Melina Pin
Torrie Wilson 2:43

Brand designation history[edit]

Following the WWE brand extension on March 25, all titles in WWE became exclusive to either the Raw brand or SmackDown brand. The following is a list of dates indicating the transitions of the Women's Championship between the Raw and SmackDown brands.

Date of transition Brand Notes
September 23, 2002 Raw The WWE Women's Championship became exclusive to Raw.
In 2008, the WWE Divas Championship was established for SmackDown as the counterpart to the Women's Championship.
April 13, 2009 SmackDown Women's Champion Melina was drafted to SmackDown during the 2009 WWE Draft.
September 19, 2010 N/A At Night of Champions, Michelle McCool unified the Divas Championship with the Women's Championship. The Women's Championship was retired and the Divas Championship became briefly known as the Unified WWE Divas Championship and defended on both Raw and SmackDown.


Layla, who held the championship when it was deactivated in 2010

As per WWE's official title history, the inaugural champion was The Fabulous Moolah, who defeated Judy Grable on September 18, 1956[16] Moolah had the longest reign by holding it for 10 years, although the WWE considers it to be longer at 28 years, as title changes between 1956 and 1984 are not recognized by the promotion. The Fabulous Moolah is technically tied with Trish Stratus for the most reigns with 7, but because the WWE does not recognize the title changes between 1956 and 1984, Moolah only has 4 and Trish has the most reigns with 7. Mickie James has the shortest reign with 1 hour. While in Paris on April 24, 2007, James defeated then-champion Melina and Victoria in a Triple Threat Match. However, Jonathan Coachman, the Acting General Manager for Raw, said that since Mickie pinned Victoria, Melina deserved an immediate rematch, which she won.[17]

The only male Women's Champion was Harvey Wippleman. On January 31, 2000, Wippleman won the WWF Women's Championship from The Kat while he was in a disguise and used the name "Hervina" in a "Lumberjill Snow bunny" match; the match took place in a snow filled pool surrounded by female wrestlers whose purpose was to keep the competitors from leaving the pool.[18]

The women's division was deemed inactive in 1990 during Rockin’ Robin's reign.[19] Alundra Blayze won the Women's Championship after it was reactivated in 1993.[20] Chyna departed from the company during her reign. Trish Stratus won her seventh title reign in her final match at Unforgiven in 2006 against Lita before retiring the same night, thus vacating the championship the next day.[21] Michelle McCool unified the Women's and Divas Championships in Layla's place, thus leaving Layla the final and undefeated champion.[22][23]


  1. ^ The Fabulous Moolah technically became the inaugural WWF Women's Champion in 1984, but as per WWE's official title history, she became the inaugural champion in 1956 when she won the NWA World Women's Championship.
  2. ^ The Fabulous Moolah technically is tied with Trish Stratus for the most reigns at seven, but the WWE does not recognize title changes from 1956 until 1984. As officially recognized by WWE, Moolah only has four reigns and Trish has the most reigns at seven.
  3. ^ As per WWE's official title history. The Fabulous Moolah's real consecutive number of days as champion for her first reign is 3,651 days. Moolah first lost the championship in 1966, but WWE does not recognize title changes from 1956 until 1984. Her third reign of 3,841 days, which WWE includes as part of the continuous 10,170 day first reign, is still the longest reign.
  1. ^ "Mickie's third Reign". WWE.com. Archived from the original on 2007-10-30. Retrieved 2007-10-23.
  2. ^ a b Raymond-Santo, Katie A. (2010-09-24). "Flawless mark on history". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2010-09-26.
  3. ^ Chris Schramm (October 5, 1998). "Moolah: Twenty-eight years was the reign". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-10-26.
  4. ^ Steve Slagle. "The Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame: Fabulous Moolah". The Ring Chronicle. Archived from the original on 2011-05-26. Retrieved 2007-10-26.
  5. ^ "NWA World Women's Championship". Extreme Canadian Championship Wrestling. Archived from the original on January 18, 2010. Retrieved 2009-03-26.
  6. ^ "WWE: Inside WWE > Title History > Women's > 19560918 – Fabulous Moolah". WWE.com. Retrieved 2007-10-06.
  7. ^ "Women's Championship reign". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2007-11-24.
  8. ^ Ellison, Lillian (2003). The Fabulous Moolah: First Goddess of the Squared Circle. ReaganBooks. p. 197. ISBN 978-0-06-001258-8.
  9. ^ "Alundra Blayze's first reign". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2009-03-22.
  10. ^ a b Scott Fishman (October 20, 2007). "Rena enjoys home life". Miami Herald.
  11. ^ "History of the Unified Divas Championship". World Wrestling Entertainment. 2010-09-21. Retrieved 2010-09-21.
  12. ^ "19931213 – Alundra Blayze". WWE.com. Retrieved 2015-12-18.
  13. ^ a b "WWE Title Tournaments". Prowrestlinghistory.com. Retrieved 2015-12-18.
  14. ^ "WWF 1993". The History of WWE.[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ "20061105 – Lita". WWE.com. Retrieved 2015-12-18.
  16. ^ "The Fabulous Moolah's first reign". WWE. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  17. ^ "Melina's second reign". WWE. Archived from the original on August 18, 2011. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  18. ^ "Hervina's first reign". WWE. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  19. ^ "Rockin' Robin's first reign". WWE. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  20. ^ "Alundra Blayze's first reign". WWE. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  21. ^ "Trish Stratus' seventh reign". WWE. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  22. ^ Raymond-Santo, Katie A. (September 24, 2010). "Flawless mark on history". WWE. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  23. ^ "Hall of Women's Champions". WWE. Retrieved April 4, 2016.

External links[edit]