The rise of women’s wrestling may be the biggest story of the decade. WWE finally allowed their female performers to showcase their skills in the ring during the 2010s as the women’s evolution became a massive part of the show. Even outside promotions like Impact Wrestling, Ring of Honor and now All Elite Wrestling have tried to put together strong women’s divisions with all promotions fighting to sign the biggest names.
We will look at the best women’s wrestlers from the past ten years when looking at their accomplishments, great matches and general importance to the rise of women’s wrestling. These performers range from ladies that help set the stage for the change, women that kicked the door down and those that showcased they were as talented if not better than most men in the industry. Find out which ladies dominated the decade as these are the top ten women’s wrestlers of the 2010s.
The rise of Bayley helped showcase the importance of NXT. Triple H gave the talent more creative freedom to come up with character ideas after taking classes at the Performance Center. Bayley played an exaggerated version of herself showing how much she loves the wrestling world.
The in-ring success of Bayley made her one of the most important wrestlers in NXT history with classic matches against Sasha Banks and Asuka. Bayley has found success on the main roster as well as the first women to win the Raw Women’s Championship, Smackdown Women’s Championship and Women’s Tag Team Championship.
9 Tessa Blanchard
Tessa Blanchard is included on the list for the importance of showing female performers can thrive outside of WWE. The incredible skills of Blanchard make her arguably the top overall star in Impact Wrestling along with runs in AAA and a few independent promotions.
Impact signed Tessa with the hope of making her a fixture in the women’s division. Blanchard instantly accomplished that before moving into another world. Impact realized Tessa was good enough to contend for the male titles and she’s been in the main event picture. Don’t be surprised if she finds her way higher on the 2020s list in a decade since she’s only 24 years old.
The early retirement of Paige makes it easy to forget just how important she was to women’s wrestling in the 2010s. Paige signed with WWE at the age of 18 due to her upside and experience after starting wrestling as a teenager in the United Kingdom with her family.
The success in NXT helped the women’s division break out with Paige as the first NXT Women’s Champion. Classic matches with Emma helped the early stages of the women’s evolution. Paige succeeded on the main roster as well until injuries ended her career way earlier than expected.
WWE started expanding their search internationally to sign the best talent in the world under Triple H’s vision. Asuka joined the company as part of the NXT brand after a long run with the reputation of being the best female wrestler in Japan for years.
NXT was no different as Asuka dominated there with an undefeated streak lasting throughout her entire run. Asuka joined the main roster with her undefeated streak and won the first-ever women’s Royal Rumble. WWE eventually slowed down her push, but she accomplished enough to make the list.
6 Gail Kim
The latter chapter of Gail Kim’s career saw her spend almost the entire decade as part of the knockouts division in Impact Wrestling. WWE never used Kim in a credible manner during their weaker years of the women’s division which led to her going back to TNA.
Kim had classic matches against Taryn Terrell, Brooke Adams and Mia Yim to help the women’s division in TNA thrive as a consistent source of entertainment on the show. The end of her career came with a great match against Tessa Blanchard in 2019 that further cemented her greatness.
5 Sasha Banks
Sasha Banks might have been the most important woman in the Four Horsewomen during the NXT days. The NXT Women’s Championship of Banks saw her career ascent with an incredible heel character. Sasha’s classic match with Bayley at TakeOver: Brooklyn proved the women could no longer be denied.
The main roster run of Banks featured many ups and downs. Despite not reaching the level as some of her peers, Sasha continued to entertain the audience and made history along the way. The decade is ending with Banks playing her heel character again to great success as things are trending up for the boss.
4 Alexa Bliss
The success of Alexa Bliss on the main roster is not what many fans expected following her NXT tenure. Bliss never had a TakeOver match and was rarely viewed as a threat in the NXT women’s division. The fit on the main roster was clearly better as her character work shined right away.
Bliss was selected to end Becky Lynch’s reign shortly to become the second Smackdown Women’s Champion. WWE has used Alexa in a major way since then for about three years. Bliss is always involved in at least one title picture and is ending the decade as Women’s Tag Team Champions with Nikki Cross.
3 AJ Lee
The rise of AJ Lee in the 2010s helped play a massive role in the WWE women’s division changing for the better. Lee delivered some impressive matches and promos during a feud against her close friend Kaitlyn to help showcase the talent of the ladies when WWE limited that.
AJ became the first woman in many years to receive her own merchandise. The star power of Lee allowed her to dominate the women’s division as Divas Champion. AJ eventually left the company and has become a successful author, but WWE fans still want her back.
2 Charlotte Flair
The expectations for Charlotte Flair would have led to many other wrestlers crumbling when given the same opportunity as her. Flair however lived up to all the hype and became one of the most important female wrestlers in WWE history.
A tremendous run as NXT Women’s Champion helped usher the call-up to the main roster. Flair dominated the title picture right away and continued improving. The nine Women’s Championship reigns of Charlotte came in under five years. Women’s wrestling would not have been the same without Flair having such an important role in the movement.
1 Becky Lynch
The rise of Becky Lynch has made her the most important woman of the decade for professional wrestling. Lynch did well in NXT and in the early years of the main roster run thanks to her superb in-ring skills, but WWE always limited her ceiling.
That changed when Becky turned on her best friend Charlotte Flair and adopted an edgier character. Fans fell in love with “The Man” as Lynch became the hottest act in wrestling. WWE could not deny the momentum and Becky won the first-ever women’s WrestleMania main event and is ending the decade as arguably the top face of the company.