The WWE Women’s Division has been one of the most changing and evolving divisions in the history of the company over the past few decades.
Many women have walked through the doors of WWE with one mission: to make a difference. Many of these women have stood out. Women like Trish Stratus who is still a record setting seven-time Women’s Champion more than a decade after her retirement. Women like Lita who set the Women’s Division on fire during her feud with Trish in the early 2000s.
Not all women were as lucky as Trish and Lita. Following their retirements in 2006, there has been a lot of women walking through WWE’s curtains but many of them failed to leave a lasting impact.
Not all women can become multi-time record setting Champions, but many of them have still managed to leave their mark on the company in different ways. The Women’s Division is currently in the best place it has ever been and with the likes of Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, Charlotte, and Bayley currently coming through the division, the future looks incredibly bright.
But seeing how far the Women’s Division has come over the past few decades obviously brings up the fact that many women were born to be wrestlers and many women were definitely there for other reasons.
The following article will look at the top 10 best female wrestlers in WWE as well as the top 10 worst, while we discuss the reasons these women have been put in to these groups.
20. Best: Molly Holly
Molly Holly was a stand out competitor in her time and was considered to be one of the best technical female wrestlers of her day, but sadly never looked the way a WWE Diva should have looked at that time. Molly was part of WWE for five years and was famously involved in a Hair vs. Hair match where she agreed to have her entire head shaved following her loss. This was a sign of the passion she had for the business that she became an integral part of.
Molly won the Women’s Championship twice during her career as well as being given the opportunity to hold the Hardcore Championship back when the title was still being contested under the 24 hour rule. Sadly it was a short reign since she was pinned by Christian just an hour after her victory. Molly has returned to the company a considerable amount of times since her retirement, but still awaits her Hall of Fame induction.
19. Worst: Jillian Hall
It could be argued that Jillian Hall was never given the opportunities that many other women were handed during her time with WWE and that’s one of the reasons she finds herself on this list. WWE gave Jillian one of the worst gimmicks of all time when they decided she would portray a terrible singer and even allowed her to ‘sing’ her own theme song.
Jillian was on SmackDown as JBL’s assistant at the beginning of her career, but when she was finally pushed forward, the only woman she could wrestle on the brand was Kristal and neither star was experienced enough to control any of the match ups. This was more a reflection on the brand at the time than the women. Jillian was relegated to always being the jobber in order to get talent over and was never pushed towards the title in her time with the company.
18. Best: Sasha Banks
The Boss has only been on WWE’s main roster for a year, yet she is already considered to be one of the biggest stars of the next generation. She is a former NXT Women’s Champion and is credited, along with the rest of The Four Horsewomen, as being an influence on the Divas Revolution.
Although Sasha Banks hasn’t fully been given the chance to prove what she can do on the main roster, the WWE Universe was given a cameo at WrestleMania earlier this year when Sasha, Becky Lynch, and Charlotte collided in a Triple Threat match for the newly unveiled Women’s Championship. This was considered to have been one of the greatest women’s matches of all time and a sign of the potential between the three stars. Sasha is sure to be the Women’s Champion one day and one of the women looking to lead the locker room.
17. Worst: The Bella Twins
The addition of the longest reigning Divas’s Champion in WWE history to the worst wrestlers part of this list will no doubt be a controversial one, but compared to all the talent that has walked through WWE’s doors over the past three decades, this seems to be the rightful place.
Nikki Bella and her sister Brie will never be considered the best wrestlers, but they were such stand out characters that the company had them lead Total Divas, as well as giving them their own new show that will air in the fall entitled Total Bellas. The company even even allowed them to control the Women’s Division for almost a year, until NXT’s stars took over. When the likes of Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, and Charlotte made their way to the main roster, they showed The Bella Twins up. While Nikki has improved, too much of their time on the main roster has been lackluster, landing them here.
16. Best: Victoria
The original Black Widow, Victoria was the stand out member of Vince’s Devils because she was the only one who was truly a threat in the ring. Being partnered with the likes of Torrie Wilson and Candice Michelle didn’t do much for her appearance but it did prove that she was much more ring aware than the two Playboy cover girls. Victoria was the real force in the group and, when they did go their separate ways, was given the push she deserved.
Victoria’s Widow’s Peak is thought to be one of the most unique wrestling finishers for a female to use and the strength alone that is needed to execute the move is outstanding. As a former body builder, she was gifted with immense physical strength that led her to the Women’s Championship twice in her lengthy career before she moved to TNA and became a five time Knockout’s Champion.
15. Worst: Sunny
Honestly, was Sunny ever actually considered to be a wrestler? Sunny was brought to WWE at a time when the women of the company were eye candy. She didn’t have to know how to wrestle, she just had to look good and say all the right things.
She was the woman that every young boy wanted to date in the 1990s and it seemed WWE decided it was never worth teaching her to wrestle. Sunny’s greatest accomplishment is considered to be her Hall of Fame induction in 2011. Despite the fact that she didn’t win any titles with the company, she is still widely regarded as the first ever Diva and she did help pave the way for the women of today. She did manage to get some ring time in WCW, but she was horrific in the ring.
14. Best: Natalya
The daughter of Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart and perhaps one of the greatest technical female wrestlers of all time, Natalya has been underused and underappreciated by WWE despite being with the company for nearly ten years. A Divas Championship reign is all Natlaya has to show for her time with the company and is now considered one of their female veterans.
Nattie has been an integral part of the new generation of female wrestling talent after heading back down to the performance centre and helping to train the new recruits. Natalya has a lot more to offer WWE than this and hopefully the future will hold much bigger things for the Total Divas star. A recent explosive heel turn could be the best sign of what looks set to be Natalya’s first ever singles heel run and it could well bring with it her first ever Women’s Championship reign.
13. Worst: Torrie Wilson
Torrie Wilson is perhaps one of the most attractive WWE Divas of all time. The former Playboy cover girl who competed in a singles match at WrestleMania 22 was one of the most likeable Divas of her time, but she lacked in-ring skill. Despite the fact that she was used correctly, she was never given much of a chance against the more technically gifted women, as it still felt like Torrie was in the wrong kind of business.
Torrie was never pushed towards a Championship and was never used effectively, from a wrestling stand point. It might have more to do with the way she was booked than her actual wrestling skills (cause we don’t really know if she had any), but Torrie hasn’t left much of a legacy behind in the ring and doesn’t look likely to be placed in the Hall of Fame.
12. Best: Mickie James
Mickie James became known to the WWE Universe in 2005. Fresh off a fantastic run on the Independent Circuit, she was ready for something new with WWE and was taken under Trish Stratus’ wing in a feud that engulfed the Women’s Division for almost a year before a fantastic match at WrestleMania 22.
Mickie went on to become the face of the division and one of the biggest role models for the younger female generation at that time. Before she left WWE, she became one of only a handful of women to hold both the Women’s and Divas Championships. Something that is even more historic now since the Divas title has been retired. Following her departure from WWE, Mickie had a successful run in TNA and even added the Knockouts title to her list of accolades. She is currently the only woman to have held the Women’s, Divas, and Knockouts Championships.
11. Worst: Ashley Massaro
The 2005 Raw Diva Search winner, she was handed a lot by WWE following her shocking win but many fans are still curious as to why. She was put into the biggest storylines and even had a singles match at WrestleMania 23, but she was still one of the most sloppy in-ring performers of her time.
Ashley’s botches are some of the most watched videos on YouTube. Her Playboy cover kept her relevant in WWE in 2007, but when she asked for her release a few months later there were not many fans who could honestly say that they missed her. She didn’t make an impact and she didn’t leave a lasting impression. Not many Diva Search contestants were given the chance to make a difference in WWE but Ashley was easily handed much more than many others following her but always failed to capitalize.
10. Best: Bayley
Even though technically Bayley is still yet to make her main roster debut, she should still be considered one of the best female WWE wrestlers of all time. Bayley has held the NXT Women’s Division together since Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, and Charlotte left back in 2015 and her match with Sasha Banks at last year’s NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn is still considered one of the best matches in history.
The two women then made history at the following NXT event that was entitled NXT TakeOver: Respect when they competed in the first ever IronWoman match, a match that Bayley managed to win to retain the Women’s Championship. It has been Bayley’s dream to become a wrestler her whole life and time and time again she has shown why she has fought for it as she is finally living her dream. Her passion for the business is undeniable and will definitely be hard to match.
9. Worst: Kristal
What can be said about Kristal Marshall? She debuted on SmackDown as part of a rivalry with Jillian Hall and from there her career never fully moved forward. It was hard for many women to make an impact on SmackDown when there was no title to fight for and even less women to feud with. The company didn’t have an actual Divas division until year’s later when Kristal had already left the company. When she aligned herself with Teddy Long it seemed that she was holding herself back and the storyline between the two was quite tedious.
Teddy had a heart attack during their wedding ceremony and it seemed that was it for the couple. Kristal went on to date former WWE Champion Bobby Lashley and the two worked together for a while in TNA whilst raising their son, but it seems Kristal’s career is still waiting to actually take off.
8. Best: Melina
Melina would be considered a controversial addition to this list given the way she departed from the company, but her accomplishments speak for themselves and the former Women’s and Divas Champion deserves a place on the list. Melina and Mickie James had one of the best female rivalries in WWE history back in 2008-2009, a rivalry that is only second to Trish Stratus and Lita. The torch was somewhat passed to Mickie James when she defeated Lita in her final match and it seemed these two women were the future of the company at that time.
Melina is also mostly remembered for her unique entrance and ring style given that she was one of the most flexible women to ever wrestle for WWE. From managing MNM back in 2005 to wrestling in a singles match at WrestleMania 23, Melina managed it all in her short time with WWE and is still currently wrestling on the Independent Circuit.
7. Worst: Candice Michelle
Candice Michelle was one of the biggest let downs of the previous generation. As a female wrestler who came into WWE through the Diva Search, not a lot was actually expected of her, but then WWE gave her a push and she became the first Diva Search contestant to win a Championship. Candice went from being a Playboy cover girl who was only involved in Bra and Panties matches and Pillow Fights to a legitimate championship contender overnight and it just felt like it was much too hard a pill to swallow.
She defeated Beth Phoenix to win the title, a woman who was considered to be one of the best technical wrestlers at that time. Candice never actually showed signs of improvement. She made numerous botches in the ring and the kick that won her the title was actually botched, which says all it needs to say about her reign as champion.
6. Best: Lita
Whenever long time WWE fans are asked to name the greatest women’s wrestlers of all time, there is no doubting that Lita’s name will be on that list. Lita was a daredevil. She was a wrestler who didn’t live by limits and one that became a star because she was different. Not only that, she was proud of her differences and was happy to allow them to take her to the top.
She was tattooed, wore combat trousers and didn’t fit into the prefect box that WWE had put all their other Divas in. Lita was different and she was happy to be different. She was happy to wrestle men and be involved in some of the biggest WWE storylines at that time. Lita was rightfully added to the WWE Hall of Fame in 2014, which is exactly what she deserved after such a great and memorable WWE career.
5. Worst: Kelly Kelly
Kelly Kelly was introduced to the WWE Universe as a stripper on ECW and as part of Kelly’s Extreme Expose. She was then joined by Brooke and Layla who were former Diva Search contestants and they became known as Extreme Expose while performing raunchy and risky dances for the crowd at every event taping. Kelly scarcely wrestled on the show as well but her botches were the lasting impressions of her time on the brand.
When ECW was eventually cancelled WWE decided to bring Kelly Kelly over to the main roster and expected the WWE Universe to be able to take her seriously as a wrestling competitor after all they had already seen of her. Kelly was off to a tough start, but she did hold the Divas Championship at one point during her career and did actually show some signs of ring improvement before her timely WWE departure, but not enough to avoid this list.
4. Best: Trish Stratus
Bret Hart is referred to as ‘the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be.’ Well Trish is the female version of that. She is the record setting seven-time Women’s Champion, the only ever Diva of the Decade and a Hall of Famer. She retired in her hometown of Toronto, Canada at Unforgiven 2006 almost a decade ago but is still the proud holder of these records.
Trish began as a model who was signed to WWE because of the way she looked and for her gymnastic background. Little did WWE know that they had just signed one of the greatest female wrestlers of all time. Trish and Lita are the two female wrestlers that many fans like to compare the newer generation to, but in all honestly it might be impossible for any new star to ever measure up to those two women.
3. Worst: Cameron
The former Funkadactyl was signed to WWE as a dancer and was thrown straight into the deep end after only minimal amounts of training. She was drafted to the main roster to join Naomi as a Funkadactyl and missed out on the training that many Superstars go through for years. Naomi was already a fully trained wrestler and Cameron was often relegated to being her cheerleader, but when she did finally step into the ring, it was made apparent as to why WWE had kept her on the sidelines for so long.
When The Funkadactyls finally split up, it was obvious who the more experienced competitor was and Naomi often showed Cameron up for it in the ring. Cameron decided to head back down to NXT and finally go through the training she skipped years before, but at this point it was considered too late and WWE had done all they could with her, so she was released from her contract.
2. Best: AJ Lee
The former longest reigning Divas Champion and the wife of former WWE Superstar CM Punk, AJ Lee was always considered to be one of the most outspoken characters of the current generation and even managed to spring her retirement on the company just days after WrestleMania, despite the fact that she seemed happy in the company and had just won her match at The Showcase of the Immortals.
From her incredible pipe-bomb when talking to the cast of Total Divas to her back and forth rivalry with Paige following her debut, AJ Lee was one of the most popular Divas in WWE during their PG Era. She could talk, she could wrestle, and WWE thought she was the total package. She is a three-time Divas Champion and even though WWE saw Nikki Bella end her longest reign record, the title belt has been retired with her record total intact.
1. Worst: Eva Marie
Maybe I’m guilty of pre-judging Eva Marie much like the rest of the WWE Universe, but I can’t see her ever managing to hit the same level as the likes of Asuka and Alexa Bliss down in NXT. Eva was given preferential treatment and headed straight for the main roster when Total Divas debuted back in 2013, without taking the time to train first.
She has now been forced to head back to NXT and train from the beginning with all eyes on her waiting for her to fail and, with that much pressure on her, there is no surprise that she has failed so far. Eva makes some stupid and simple mistakes in the ring and despite being trained by some of the best Performance Center trainers over the past few years, Eva has still not reached a point where she is at the same level as many of the other women in NXT. She’s currently being repackaged again and we’ll assume it’ll go as well as every other time.
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