Throwback Thursday: Championship Flashback, The WWE Women’s Championship

A look back at the WWE Women’s Championship title belt and the women (and one man) who held it.

Date Established: September 18th, 1956

Date Retired: September 19th, 2010

The WWE Women’s Championship was first held by The Fabulous Moolah. It was originally known as the NWA World Women’s Championship

Moolah defeated Judy Grable on September 18, 1956. Moolah by far had the longest official reign by holding it for 3,651 days, or 10 years and 1 day, and has had more recognized reigns than anyone else, with eight.

In 1990 the Women’s Championship became inactive after Rockin’ Robin vacated the championship, the title was reactivated when Alundra Blayze won a tournament for the title in December 1993. However, the championship was soon inactive again when Blayze signed with WCW in 1995 but the title was reactivated in Septmeber 1998 when Jaqueline defeated Sable for the title.

On January 30, 2000 the only male Women’s Champion was Harvey Wippleman. While disguised as a women and using the name Hervina in a “Lumbergill Snow Bunny” match, Wippleman won the WWF Women’s championship from The Kat.

After the WWF was re-branded as WWE in 2002 the championship was then referred to as the WWE Women’s Championship. The WWE Women’s Championship was one of the few titles allowed to be defended on Raw and Smackdown while most titles were then limited to either Raw or Smackdown by the brand extension rules. Later on, the Women’s Championship became exclusive to the Raw brand.

As a comparison to Moolah’s illustrious reign Mickie James has the shortest reign. While in Paris on April 24, 2007, James defeated then-champion Melina and Victoria in a Triple Threat Match. However, Jonathan Coachman, the Acting General Manager for Raw said that since Mickie pinned Victoria, Melina deserved an immediate rematch which she won by having her feet on the ropes.

On June 24, 2007 Candice Michelle, a former WWE Diva Search contestant, won the championship from Melina at Vengeance. The Women’s Championship remained the sole championship contested by women until July, 4 2008 when the WWE Diva’s Championship was created by the Smackdown brand.

On April 13, 2009 the Women’s Championship became exclusive to Smacdown when Melina, who was the reigning champion, was drafted to Smackdown from Raw. On June 28, 2009 at The Great American Bash pay-per-view Michelle McCool became the first Diva to hold both the WWE Women’s Championship and the WWE Diva’s Championship. After this Mickie James, Melina, Beth Phoenix and Layla held both titles as well. Melina and Michelle McCool were the only Diva’s to have both titles multiple times.

On August 30, 2010 it was announced that the titles would be unified as the Diva’s Championship. At Night of Champions pay-per-view the match was won by Michelle McCool, thus retiring the WWE Women’s Championship.

The title went through many changes over the years and was often vacated by female wrestlers departing the company. Alundra Blaze and Chyna both left the company while sstill chmapions. Trish Stratus won her seventh title reign at the 2006 Unforgiven pay-per-view before she retired later that same night, thus vacating the title. Layla was the last Diva to hold the title on May 11, 2011 before McCool unified the titles.

Overall, there have been a total of 29 recognized champions with 59 official WWE Women’s Championship reigns combined.

Below is a list of the women who have held the title over the years.

  1. The Fabulous Moolah
  2. Bette Boucher (Not recognized, house show win)
  3. Yukiko Tomoe (Not recognized, house show win)
  4. Sue Green (Not recognized, house show win)
  5. Evelyn Stevens (Not recognized, house show win)
  6. Wendi Richter
  7. Leliani Kai
  8. The Spider Lady (Fabulous Moolah)
  9. Velvet McIntyre
  10. Sensational Sherri
  11. Rockin’ Robin
  12. Alundra Blayze
  13. Bull Nakano
  14. Betha Faye
  15. Jaqueline
  16. Sable
  17. Debra
  18. Ivory
  19. Miss Kitty
  20. Hervina (Harvey Wippleman)
  21. Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley
  22. Lita
  23. Chyna
  24. Trish Stratus
  25. Jazz
  26. Molly Holly
  27. Victoria
  28. Gail Kim
  29. Mickie James
  30. Melina
  31. Candice Michelle
  32. Beth Phoenix
  33. Michelle McCool
  34. Layla

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