Before women's wrestling was getting the limelight that it has been in recent years, Vince McMahon's booking decisions weren't always based on in-ring talent. Many former Divas were crowned as Women's Champion despite their lack of technical and athletic skills, but their popularity among fans was enough to make them face of the division. Not every deserving female Superstar has gone on to reach such heights, as many never got a taste of life as a WWE Champion.
Looking back at the impact they had on the WWE, it's surprising that these performers were never given a chance to shine at the top. They may not have been as talented as today's wrestlers inside the ring, but many of them were constantly among the most popular names on the roster. Here are 10 WWE female Superstars who deserved a title reign:
10 Stacy Keibler
Stacy Keibler was never known for her wrestling ability as her journey began as a Nitro Girl for WCW. Her only accolade for the WWE was being voted the 2004 Babe of the Year, which should tell you everything that you need to know. Say what you want about Keibler as a wrestler, she was arguably the most popular Diva during the early 2000s. She wasn't any worse inside the ring than some peers who were crowned as champion, and could've had an interesting run with the belt. It wasn't so much the WWE's decision though since Keibler rejected the idea of being champion many times.
9 Luna Vachon
The women's division was nothing to write home about during the 90s as WWE put very little effort in pushing its performers. The company was more concerned about promoting Divas such as Sunny, as well as the face of the division in Alundra Blayze. Despite coming close to being crowned champion, Vince McMahon always changed his mind at the last minute. She is arguably one of the most talented acts from the 90s to never hold a championship in WWE. Not only did she manage to stand out during her WWE run, but it is also believed that Lucha Vachon would have succeeded in any era.
8 Terri Runnels
Terri Runnels had a memorable run in the WWE as a wrestler and valet from the mids 90s until 2004. She played a vital role in some big storylines over the years, so it seems strange that she never held the Women's Championship at any point.
But unlike the other names on this list, Runnels did in fact win the Hardcore Championship for a very short run. While she was charismatic, Terri wasn't exactly sharp inside the squared circle. But after eight years of service, and given the lack of competition, it would've been right to have her win it at some point.
It's not too late for Emma to come back to the WWE for some unfinished business. Whether the opportunity presents itself is another discussion as Emma was released from the company in 2017. Following a brief run with Ring of Honor, Emma was forced to step aside due to a health scare and she has been away from the limelight since then. During her time on the WWE roster, Emma never got a fair shake as she could've been a far bigger act. She was one of the few female Superstars from NXT who could go inside the ring while also cutting some solid promos.
6 Dawn Marie
Basing this list on popularity and it's hard to dismiss Dawn Marie's rise on SmackDown. She was never one to steal the show with her matches, but Marie managed to get over like very few did in that same span. She would go on to be involved in a high profile rivalry with Torrie Wilson, although Marie was never in the title picture.
At the time, there was only one belt for the women's division which was on Raw. Given that she was always on SmackDown, Marie was never in line to have a shot despite proving to be worthy.
5 Dana Brooke
Say what you want about Dana Brooke but it's tough to deny her talent. She wasn't a finished product like some of her peers and had to sharpen her skills to get to where she is now. Brooke is one of the hardest working Superstars on the current roster, and has played a significant role in recent years. While she may not pick up many victories, she has put over a number of Superstars on their quest to move up the ladder. Outside of the ring, she has shown to be versatile with the various gimmicks portrayed on WWE television. Given the right scenario, Brooke has ultimately earned a run as the Women's Champion.
4 Ashley Massaro
Ashley Massaro was one of the last true Divas in the WWE. Earning a WWE contract after earning the 2005 Diva Search contest, Massaro became one of the division's most over acts over the next three years. Given that she had no background in wrestling, nor did she receive any proper training, it's no surprise that Massaro wasn't an in-ring technician. But she did put in plenty of work to improve, adding some solid moves along the way. With the lack of names around 2005 to 2008, and considering her popularity, it seems strange that Massaro wasn't picked to hold the Women's Championship.
Maria is another talent who came through the Diva Search in 2004, putting her foot into the door as a backstage announcer. She would play the same role for the next two years before slowly transitioning into a manager, and later on a full-time wrestler. By 2008, Maria was among the most impressive female wrestlers on the roster and appeared to be on her way to the top.
After challenging on several occasions, it seemed like a matter of time before she was made champion. Unfortunately, that never took place and Maria left the WWE in 2010. Since her return to the WWE, she has only been used as manager for husband Mike Bennett.
While Sunny was never known as an active wrestler, she did step inside the squared circle from time to time. With the state of the women's division being at its worst in the mid 90s, it doesn't seem unreasonable to suggest that Sunny should've held the Women's Championship. Not only was she the most over female member of the roster, but Sunny could've brought the title back to relevancy. Perhaps if she had extended her stay beyond 1998 then WWE may have put the title on her during the Attitude Era, as Sunny was the perfect fit for that climate.
1 Torrie Wilson
When Torrie Wilson joined the WWE in 2001, very few imagined that she would be getting inducted in the Hall of Fame in 2019. Never one to be known for her wrestling talent, Wilson still managed to impact the WWE in more ways than one. She was involved in major storylines that generated plenty of reaction from audiences - granted her appearance played its part. While there were rumors that WWE intended to crown her as the first Divas Champion, the belt was introduced around the time Wilson was facing nagging injuries. She ended up calling it a career afterwards, never to be known as the Women's Champion.