Women’s wrestling in the WWE has had its shares of ups and downs over the last 50 years. From the likes of the Fabulous Moolah and Mae Young to more recent WWE Divas like Trish Stratus and Lita, some fans love when the ladies hit the ring, while others use it as a time to hit the concession stands.
When it comes to WrestleMania, the card usually doesn’t give much time to the ladies, and in more recent WrestleManias, they've had a Divas match involving a large number of women just to get as many involved as possible.
Since the first WrestleMania in 1985 at Madison Square Garden, there has only been 19 women’s matches at WrestleMania. There’s only been two Manias that have had more than one women’s match, that being WrestleMania’s 20 and 22.
For our list of the “Top 15 WrestleMania Women’s Matches of All-Time,” we are only going to use true women’s matches, leaving off the list the couple of matches that have involved both men and women, such as the WrestleMania VI mixed tag featuring Randy “Macho Man” Savage and Queen Sherri against Dusty Rhodes and Sapphire.
While there are not many matches to choose from (just 19 as we mentionned earlier), today we take a look at the 15 best WrestleMania matches involving female wrestlers.
This 10-Diva tag team match was the warm-up for the two main event matches with John Cena vs Batista for the WWE Title and the rematch between Undertaker and Shawn Michaels from WrestleMania XXV that was Michaels’ last match with the company. The match wasn’t given much time, just 3:26, and will be remembered for the memorable ending, with Vickie Guerrero paying homage to her late husband Eddie with a splash to get the pin on Kelly Kelly to get her team the win.
This was billed as an interpromotional “Playboy Evening Gown match” as both Wilson and Sable and the company was heavily pushing the Playboy issue featuring the two WWE Divas. Both teams had to wrestle in lingerie, which of course was easy on the eyes for the men, both in the audience at Madison Square Garden and watching on PPV. There was only 2:41 of wrestling and the end came when Wilson pinned Jackie with a rather weak rollup.
This match kicked off the Chicago portion of Mania 2, and was given a whole 1:25 as Moolah won with a splash after McIntyre missed a leap off the second rope. This was one of the shortest matches in WrestleMania history and didn't really give these two women a chance to put a real match together. That being said, it was an interesting curve ball to throw and is one of the more entertaining women's fights in WrestleMania history for that reason.
An interesting side note being that McIntyre’s foot was clearly on the rope during the pin, and the pin should have never counted.
Another odd ladies gimmick match billed as a ‘Playboy BunnyMania Lumberjill Match.’ The tag match between the four ladies got exactly five minutes, and there was more time given to the ring introductions, which included rapper Snoop Dogg, than the in-ring action. There was a number of divas on the outside as ‘lumberjills’ and the match concluded with Phoenix getting the pin. The lights at the Citrus Bowl went out during the match, fittingly based on how this was booked.
At the time of this bout, Sable was more over than a lot of the men on the roster, and it was only right she got a chance to defend her women’s title on the card. She fought Tori, who was playing the ‘stalker’ role of Sable super-fan at first, and then after Sable befriended her, Sable turned on her, setting up the match. There was some decent spots in the 4:51 bout, and somewhat of a surprise end with lady bodybuilder Nicole Bass getting involved on behalf of Sable, slamming Tori to the mat to allow the champion to get the pin.
AJ Lee retained the title in this match, which ended up involving 14 ladies from the company. Just about every diva in the match got a moment of the spotlight, as each one pulled out their finishing move, but again it was rushed with just 6:48 given to the bout. AJ Lee won, hitting Naomi with her ‘Black Widow’ submission move for the win. It marked the first time that the somewhat new ‘Divas’ title was defended at Mania, taking the place of the retired WWE ‘Women’s’ Title.
Hemme was the winner of the WWE ‘Diva Search,’ thus earning a title match as well as a one-year deal with the WWE. She had Lita in her corner for this match at WrestleMania 21, and pulled off a good looking ‘Twist of Fate’, before nearly getting a pin which would have earned her a surprise win. Despite the overall solid effort by Hemme, in the end her efforts were not enough to match Trish Stratus, who won after landing her ‘chick kick’. Again the bout seemed rushed, getting just 4:11 on the nine match card held in Los Angeles.
It was the first time since WrestleMania 2 that the women’s title had been defended at the event, and the honor of getting to defend it went to Blayze, who was over with the fans at the time. She took on Leilani Kai, who oddly enough was the women’s title holder in the very first WrestleMania, also held at Madison Square Garden like Mania X was. Blayze and Kai got 3:20 to strut their stuff, and the champion was able to get the pin with her signature German suplex.
This ‘Lumberjill’ match was again a warmup for the main event, which featured John Cena defending the WWE Title against Shawn Michaels. There ware a number of wrestling divas around the ring playing the role of ‘Lumberjills’ and they made sure each lady was thrown back in the ring if they made their way to the outside. Getting just 3:40, Melina won the bout with a bridge pin to retain the title. Following the bout, the ladies who were 'Lumberjills' brawled in the ring for a few minutes to the delight of the fans.
When it came to women’s wrestling, the WWE seemed to drop the ball with Chyna, who could have easily become one of the most dominant women’s wrestlers of all-time if given the chance. At WrestleMania X-Seven in Houston, it took her just 2:39 to take out current champion Ivory to win the belt with a press slam. The storyline going in was much more interesting than the match, as Chyna was overcoming a ‘serious’ neck injury suffered during a match that year at Royal Rumble. This was her revenge, as Ivory and her ‘Right to Censor’ mates spent the two months leading up to this match mocking the woman known as the ‘Ninth Wonder of the World.’
The WWE actually gave the ladies over seven minutes of ring time for this triple-threat, and it was one of the better matches in ladies WrestleMania history. Stratus playing the face had to overcome the two heels in Jazz and Victoria, who teamed up against her a few times in the match. She was able to get rid of Jazz at one point, focusing on Victoria, who had Steven Richards with her. Richards knocked himself out with a chair and Stratus was able to nail Victoria with a 'chick kick' to get the pin and keep the championship.
For the 20th WrestleMania, Victoria was the fan favorite, and she was in a solid feud with Molly Holly, who put up her hair in the match should she lose. The five minute affair ended with Holly getting pinned after a solid match between the pair. Victoria got the honor of shaving the hair of Holly after strapping her into a barber’s chair. This was one of the better Mania women’s matches, one that will always be remembered for a bald Molly Holly and her having to wear a wig for the next several months on WWE television.
While Stratus and Lita will go down as two of the greatest women’s wrestlers of all-time, Jazz came into the match with the Women’s title and retained it after a 6:16 affair. The match saw the three women give it their all for the time they were given. Stratus looked to get the win with her ‘Stratusfaction’ move on Lita, but it was blocked by Jazz who then pitched out Stratus and climbed the top turnbuckle to hit Lita with a fisherman’s superplex for the win. It would have been nice to see these three ladies get another 10 minutes.
Women’s wrestling in 1985 was highlighted by a young woman from Texas named Wendi Richter, who not only was very good in the ring, but also had music superstar Cyndi Lauper as her manager. She lost the women’s title to Leilani Kai in February, and exercised her rematch clause for the first Mania. The bout was placed as a main event match, being placed right before the tag team main event with Hulk Hogan and Mr.T vs Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff, something that for a women’s bout hasn’t happened since the first wrestling super card. The 6:12 match ended with Kai going for a cross body block that was reversed for Richter, who scored the pin. The post-match celebration of Richter holding the belt with Lauper is still a highlight that is shown in WrestleMania packages today.
The best WrestleMania women’s match took place in the middle of WrestleMania 22, with a super-hot crowd in Rosemont, IL. Leading up to the encounter, Mickie James played the role of stalker to her hero Trish Stratus, and eventually the ladies champion told James she wanted to have ‘time apart.’ That didn’t appeal to James, who during a tag match attacked Stratus, setting up the Mania battle. The two were given nearly nine minutes, the longest ladies match at a WrestleMania and the pair stepped up. The crowd loved the antics of James, who played the role of being in love with Stratus and using a number of sexual tactics during the bout. Fans ate the match up, and in the end the title changed hands when James hit her ‘Mick Kick’ for the win, much to the delight of the crowd. Of all the Mania ladies bouts, this one delivered more than any other.