In a couple weeks time, Charlotte, Sasha Banks, and Becky Lynch, three of the most gifted athletes on the WWE roster (male or female), are set to battle it out for the Divas Championship at WrestleMania 32 in a triple threat match. Seeing as these three helped jump start the Divas Revolution, it's only fitting they will be doing the honors by representing the division at the grandest stage of them all. If you ask me, and a lot of other fans, it's about time that the Divas are being given a real Championship match at the biggest event of the year.
But why are the Divas being given real chances now?
Well we all know about #GiveDivasaChance, a hashtag that trended worldwide early last year. When fans were tired of seeing the talented roster of Divas being featured in one or two minute matches, fans rallied together so that WWE had no other choice but to listen; ever since then, we really have been seeing change. But what if the hashtag trended five years prior? Would things have changed earlier? Would Divas like Melina, Jillian Hall, and Gail Kim been given more of a chance to prove that they can perform just as well as the Divas of today? Seeing as Kim is delivering her best matches currently in TNA, the answer is yes, or at least probably. The Divas of yesteryear may have not been given as many chances as the Divas of today, but when given the opportunity, they delivered. Most of them anyway.
We can't forget what is now referred to by fans as the "Golden Era" of the division, which saw the likes of Trish Stratus, Lita, Jazz, Victoria, Ivory, Jacqueline, and Molly Holly putting on fantastic matches week after week. The Divas of today have them to thank as they helped bring the division to whole new heights. Unfortunately after they left, even though the division never died, it sort of dwindled and fell - until the "Revolution" that is. This is why I'm here to bring you the Top 20 Diva Matches to come before the "Revolution", to remind you that when given the opportunity, these girls had no problem busting their butts for a good match. This list will only include matches that occured before #GiveDivasAChance trended can be on the list.
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20 Eve Torres vs. Kaitlyn - Monday Night Raw, 2013
Marking Kaitlyn's first and only title reign as Divas Champion, and Eve's swan song from wrestling, these girls put on quite a physical match that saw Kaitlyn nail Eve with a vicious spear to get the three count. The crowd was red hot as the match took place in Kaitlyn's hometown of Houston, Texas. Eve was at her finest in this heel role and it's too bad she left the company just as she was making a real name for herself within the WWE.
19 Sable vs. Stephanie McMahon - Vengeance 2003
After her quick feud with Torrie Wilson after returning to the company following a four year absence, Sable paired up with Vince McMahon in the summer of 2003; and Stephanie McMahon wasn't having it. The two ended up having a match at Vengeance in what has to be one of the most impressive cat fights we've seen in the WWE. Stephanie can bring a level of intensity to her matches like no one else, and this is probably the only memorable Sable match to come from her second stint with the company.
18 Divas Tag-Team Table Match - TLC 2010
Lay-Cool has to be remembered for being being the Mean Girls of the Divas Division, and when forced to face Beth Phoenix and Natalya in a Tag Team Table Match at the annual TLC PPV, we wanted nothing more than to see Michelle McCool and Layla crash and burn through a table. And yes, Natalya crashed them through it with a top-rope splash. Add in the first ever double sharpshooter applied to McCool and Layla, and you know why this match is must-see.
17 Lita vs. Ivory vs. Jacqueline vs. Trish Stratus vs. Mighty Molly vs. Jazz - Survivor Series 2001
The vacated Women's Championship was resurrected at the 2001 Survivor Series and the Divas division was given new life. The women chosen to be in this Six-Pack-Challenge match were some of the most respected women in the industry, three of which have already been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. This match would spark a quality of women's wrestling, that fans weren't expecting from such beautiful women, and not only would it mark Jazz's WWE in-ring debut, but it also marks Trish Stratus's first of seven title wins.
16 16. Lita vs. Victoria - Cage Match - Monday Night Raw, 2003
The first and only women's Steel Cage match to happen in the WWE, the Raw Roulette chose their fate as these two Divas made history. Though the match was just over four minutes, Lita and Victoria used the cage to their advantage and put on a physical showing. Ex boyfriend Matt Hardy (only in kayfabe at this point) would cost Lita the match and Victoria would pick up the win. You wonder if the Divas will ever get a legitimate shot at a cage match.
15 Kelly Kelly vs. Beth Phoenix vs. Gail Kim vs. Alicia Fox - Monday Night Raw, 2009
Although it appeared the division during this era of wrestling was reserved for bathroom breaks, there were some glimmers of hope. If you caught this Number One Contenders Fatal-Four Way match on a summer edition of Monday Night Raw in 2009, you would have been pleasantly surprised at what these girls could do in less than five minutes; and yes, even Kelly Kelly impressed. It was a fast paced well thought out match with each of the four Divas landing some amazing spots.
14 Trish Stratus vs. Stephanie McMahon - No Way Out 2001
A match that nobody thought would actually be good, Trish Stratus and Stephanie McMahon (in her first high-profile PPV match) tore it up on the Road to WrestleMania X-Seven. The two battled to see who could call themselves the most dominant female in the WWE.
Seeing as how these two were so inexperienced in the ring, everybody expected a typical cat fight, but the two delivered an impressive match that even Trish still ranks as being one of her favorite matches to this day. You could also say it was this match that made fans realize there could be more to Trish than just her looks. They were right.
13 Michelle McCool vs. Mickie James - TLC 2009
The infamous "Piggie James" storyline, where Lay-Cool bullied Mickie James by calling her fat (even though she isn't) was not without its merits. The angle provided us with some memorable matches between Mickie and Lay-Cool, especially this match at TLC that saw Michelle McCool retain the Women's Championship. Michelle McCool has to be one of the most gifted female athletes the Divas had ever seen, and her heel work against fan favorite Mickie James allowed for a very good back and forth match.
12 Melina vs. Mickie James - Falls Count Anywhere Match - Monday Night Raw, 2007
In the first ever Falls Count Anywhere Match involving the Divas, Melina defended her Women's Championship on Monday Night Raw against Mickie James. Melina picked up the win after James failed to land a hurricanrana off the top rope, landing awkwardly on her neck. Lucky for James, she didn't injure her neck like we may have thought, and the fall from the top rope was only one of many memorable moments in the match. As a side note this angle had other great moments like at one point, the two ladies barged into the Divas locker room and hilarity ensued.
11 Michelle McCool vs. Beth Phoenix - Extreme Makeover Match - Extreme Rules 2010
The Divas were given an extreme match stipulation at the 2010 edition of Extreme Rules, something that wasn't common five years ago (and still isn't). It was pretty much a Hardcore Match, but it was instead labeled as an Extreme Makeover Match. Such examples of weapons the Divas could use was an ironing board, makeup, and a broom... because you know, this is stuff women normally use, right?
Despite its sexist undertones, the two of them treated it as physical as the rest of the men that night, delivering a solid hard-hitting match that saw Beth Phoenix become the new Champion.
10 AJ Lee vs. Kaitlyn - Payback 2013
It's a shame these two aren't around anymore, as they could have easily been the next Trish and Lita of the division if handled correctly. They both started their careers at the same time in NXT Season 3, starting off as besties before becoming bitter enemies. What resulted was an amazing match, if not the best match Kaitlyn had during her run with the company. This night would also mark the begining of AJ Lee's 295 day reign as champion. We all know what happened with AJ, but not quite sure why WWE dropped the ball on Kaitlyn.
9 Stephanie McMahon vs. Brie Bella - SummerSlam 2014
Almost a year before the "revolution" would be in full force, Stephanie and Brie had fans on the edge of their seats with their feud. Brie may have Daniel Bryan to thank, because "yes, yes yes!" we all wanted to see Brie get her revenge on Stephanie for everything she did to her and her husband, Daniel.
Unfortunately for Brie, her own sister Nikki Bella would turn on her at the end of the match, triggering what could have been an awesome feud for the twins... but as we all know, Brie for some reason forgave Nikki. But alas, Stephanie and Brie's match at SummerSlam proved that if you give the Divas a great story, they'll deliver in the ring. But then again, Stephanie always delivers.
8 Beth Phoenix vs. Natalya - SmackDown, 2012
It is no shock that Beth Phoenix and Natalya could have an incredible match together if given the opportunity. What is shocking, is that it took Beth Phoenix to retire before WWE would give these women the chance to actually show people what they can do together. In what was pretty much a forgettable episode of Smackdown, these two ended up stealing the show. The only downfall of this match is what could've been if WWE actually had these two wrestle together more.
7 Trish Stratus vs. Victoria - Hardcore Match - Survivor Series 2002
At Survivor Series in 2002, Victoria won her first Women's Championship by defeating Trish Stratus in a Hardcore Match that is still fondly remembered to this day.When Victoria cracked a steel chair over Trish's beautiful blonde head on Monday Night Raw, it sparked a new respect for women's wrestling. Trish and Victoria proved that gone were the days of slapping and hair pulling; these two were fighters, and the fans were excited to see Divas showcased in a new light.
6 AJ Lee vs. Natalya - Main Event, 2014
What happens when you put two of the most gifted women on the roster in a championship match and let them do their thing for 15 minutes? You get quality wrestling, and the only downfall of this match is that was that it was featured on Main Event, a program that not many people watch compared to the flagship program Raw. The match also made history in 2013, being the longest Championship match in WWE between two women at the time.
5 Victoria (c) vs. Trish Stratus vs. Jazz - Triple Threat Match - WrestleMania XIX
Only one of two WrestleMania matches to make this list, this Triple Threat Match saw Trish Stratus as the underdog going into battle with the likes of the crazy Victoria and the uber tough Jazz. This also has to be one of the best moments in Trish Stratus's career, as she got to be the one to hold the title high above her head at the grandest stage of them all -- it is truly what WrestleMania moments are made of.
4 Trish Stratus vs. Lita - Unforgiven 2006
In Trish's swan song to the WWE before she would retire from professional wrestling, she would win the Women's Championship one final time by locking in the sharpshooter in her hometown of Toronto, Canada. Can you name another wrestler with as amazing of a storybook ending as Trish's? Probably not. Lita acted as the perfect final opponent, as it was only fitting she wrestle Trish in her last match; these two were pretty much the Stone Cold and The Rock of the Divas division at the time. This match would be the end of an era for women's wrestling, a division that wouldn't pick up steam until recently.
3 Michelle McCool vs. Melina - Night of Champions 2009
Before the opening bell toll where Michelle McCool struck Melina to the mat with a baseball slide during Melina's signature split-entrance, there was a level of intensity from the fans as they were treated to one of the best Women's Championship matches in history. During a time when the Division wasn't nearly as popular as it could have been, due to poor storytelling and lack of ring time, Michelle McCool and Melina busted their butts, so much so that they apparently received a stern talking to after their match for being "too good... for girls." Chris Jericho would defend the girls, stating that "if the guys can't follow what the girls are doing, then the guys need to step it up!" Well said, Jericho. Well said indeed.
2 Mickie James vs. Trish Stratus (c) - WrestleMania 22
In what has been the best women's match to happen at WrestleMania (so far?), never had a Mania crowd been so hot for a Divas match than at WrestleMania 22. Trish Stratus put her title on the line against challenger Mickie James, the culmination to their amazing six-month long feud, that saw the Chicago crowd turn on Stratus, hungry for a new champion and they got it.
It was unfortunate to see the girls "botch" at the end of the bout, but the match was so good that it didn't tarnish the match quality one bit. And who could forget when Mickie infamously and inappropriately grabbed Trish's crotch. Mickie was quite the feisty girl, wasn't she?
1 Trish Status (c) vs. Lita - Monday Night Raw, December 2004
If WWE were going to select two women to do the honors of main eventing Monday Night Raw, there would be no better selection than Lita and Trish Stratus. Their second encounter for the Women's Championship to make the list, this historic match was phenomenal from start to finish.
From the suicide dive (literally, Lita almost committed suicide the poor girl) to each and every false finish, Lita finally gained her revenge by defeating Stratus in this show-stopping match to win her second Women's Championship.
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