WWE’s current Women’s Division is the best it has ever been. It has reached a point now where the females are finally being given the spotlight and the opportunities that they deserve.
There have been a good few years over the past decade where female wrestling became a joke and known as the “break” in many shows because fans just found it pointless watching something that wasn’t going to lead anywhere.
The Four Horsewomen have changed many fans’ opinions of female wrestling and after the first ever female Ironman Match and the first ever female Hell in a Cell, it seems that Sasha Banks and Charlotte Flair had proved a lot of their doubters wrong. The problem is, that there was a number of women before the roster right now that were never given the same kind of chances, the ones that were ahead of their time and never able to compete on a level that WWE was ready to give to them.
These women are now remembered as the ones who tried to change the face of WWE before it was ready to change. In a world of Diva Searches and Bra and Panties matches, these women stood out.
While there are some remembered for their wrestling skills, there are still some remembered for all the wrong reasons, so here are some examples.
15. Remembered: Molly Holly
Molly Holly was always considered to have been ahead of her game when she was in WWE, she was a woman that didn’t want to dress the way all the other women dressed and she didn’t want to be a sex symbol.
Molly was a wrestler, she cared about her craft, and she became the first woman ever to put her hair on the line in a match and have to have it shaved off. This would be the worst nightmare of many women, but Molly did it, she did it because she cared about the feud, and she cared about wrestling more than she cared about what she looked like. She was part of WWE in an era that wasn’t ready for her and lucky for her, many of the WWE Universe knew this and that she tried her best to make a change.
14. Remembered: Beth Phoenix
Beth Phoenix was one of the most dominant women in the history of WWE. She was only the second woman to be part of a Royal Rumble match, and she completely dominated the Women’s Division despite the fact that she was a huge part of the era of The Diva Search.
Beth was put into many matches with females who hadn’t trained for as long or anywhere near as hard as she had to be there, but she still made them look good. Beth is a former Women’s and Divas Champion and she made so much of an impact during her short stint in WWE that she was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame this year. Along with her husband and former WWE World Champion Edge, she is now half of the first ever Hall of Fame couple.
13. Forgettable: Kelly Kelly
Kelly Kelly arrived in WWE seemingly out of nowhere. She came into the newly debuted ECW as a dancer (or more of a stripper) who would often be stopped by someone before she went too far. Kelly was then joined by Layla and Brooke Adams, and they became Extreme Expose.
Kelly later left ECW before it folded and was expected to be taken seriously on WWE’s main roster as a female wrestler, after how she had spent her time the year before. Kelly also had the added problem of the fact that she was pretty much passed around from wrestler to wrestler in the WWE locker room, which gave her something of a reputation. Either way, Kelly Kelly is definitely not remembered for her fairly brief reign as Divas Champion.
12. Remembered: Melina
Melina came from humble beginnings when it comes to her time with MNM, she was then brought into the Women’s Division and allowed to show her unique flexibility and athletic ability and took over the Division after Trish and Lita retired.
Melina was put into a division that was full of talent up until 2006 when she, along with Mickie James, was forced to carry the division for a long time. Beth Phoenix came in and out of their feud but it was mostly left down to the two women to fight over the Women’s Championship and put on some memorable matches. It’s sad that WWE allowed her to slowly become irrelevant and leave; she was a very talented wrestler and there is still hope that she will make her return in the future.
11. Remembered: Mickie James
Mickie James has recently made her return to WWE and is now seen as the veteran in the eyes of many of the WWE Universe. Mickie was a fresh-faced youngster who was taken under the wing of Trish Stratus when she first arrived and, at WrestleMania 22, the torch was passed to Mickie after one of the greatest female matches of our time between the duo.
Mickie then went on to feud with the likes of Beth Phoenix and Melina for many years and carry the Women’s Division through what was seen as one of the dark years for Women’s wrestling. Mickie may have had a few personal issues outside of the ring, but she deserves to be remembered for the difference she made inside of it.
10. Forgettable: Torrie Wilson
Torrie Wilson is remembered as one of the most attractive female wrestlers of all time. That being said, she never actually did anything during her time in WWE. Torrie was the superstar that Bra and Panties matches were made for, she didn’t possess a lot of wrestling ability at this point, but WWE still kept her around.
She is also a former Playboy cover girl and was even given a match at WrestleMania, but she was never considered to be a wrestler, she was there as eye candy. She never won a Championship and was never put into a position where she could prove her worth. It’s the sad story of many female wrestlers at the same time she was in WWE, but it’s the story that Torrie Wilson is now remembered for.
9. Remembered: AJ Lee
AJ Lee was a female wrestler who’s sole aim in WWE was to make a difference and to prove that you didn’t have to be a pin up to be a Champion in WWE. AJ wanted to be a wrestler for many years and literally starved herself to save up the money for her WWE tryout and was then told that she wasn’t attractive enough to be a WWE Diva.
AJ was out to prove everyone wrong and was part of some of the biggest main event storylines of her time. AJ walked away from WWE because she managed to achieve everything that she wanted to in the business in a short amount of time, and now she is remembered for being the first woman who did it her way and refused to change for the company.
8. Remembered: Gail Kim
Gail Kim is widely considered to be one of the best female wrestlers in the world. She’s a former Women’s Champion in WWE and a record six-time Knockouts Champion in TNA. She is a veteran at her craft and she is a woman who stands up for what she believes is right.
During her stint with WWE, Gail Kim stated that she decided to walk away because the Women’s Division was going in a direction that she didn’t agree with so she thought it was time to go. She stuck to what she stood for and went on to have a lengthy career with TNA afterwards where she continued the same way.
7. Forgettable: Ashley Massaro
Ashley Massaro won the 2005 Raw Diva Search. She came into WWE without any prior wrestling experience and then went on to be part of some of the biggest feuds that year between Trish Stratus and Mickie James. Ashley was even part of the only female match at WrestleMania 23 when she faced Melina, but it is still recognized as one of the worst WrestleMania matches.
Ashley is also one of many women from that time in WWE that decided to pose for Playboy magazine, something that gave her the boost to go on and be part of a WrestleMania match. Ashley later asked for her WWE release to look after her ill daughter and hasn’t looked back at the company since.
6. Remembered: Victoria
Victoria is a female wrestler that was never given the opportunities that she deserved. Victoria came through the ranks with the likes of Trish Stratus and Lita and she still managed to be overlooked and placed with acts like Candice Michelle and Torrie Wilson instead.
Victoria had strength, talent, and power as well as an impactful finishing move but it wasn’t until she moved to TNA that she was finally used the way she deserved. Victoria rarely made news outside of WWE and was the kind of female wrestler that many girls used as a role model. Victoria decided to retire from active competition after more than a decade a few years ago and leaves a long legacy behind her.
5. Remembered: Jacqueline
Jacqueline was put in her rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame last year after a lengthy career of fighting in many crazy matches that involved some of the biggest male stars in the WWE.
Jacqueline took some incredible bumps throughout her career and fought with men as well as women. She was hardcore and she always managed to remain elegant whenever she did it. She’s a former Women’s Champion and a former Hardcore Champion in her own right, and she stepped up to the men on many occasions and proved that she was not a woman to be messed with which is exactly the kind of woman the WWE Universe needed at that point.
4. Forgettable: Stacy Keibler
Stacy Keibler is mostly remembered throughout her time in WWE for having the longest legs in the history of the company. Stacy never did anything memorable during her time in WWE and she was never pushed towards a title. She was a placeholder and she was clearly a person who was just there as eye candy.
Stacy has since gone on to play her part in Dancing with the Stars and has also dated George Clooney over the past few years, which has boosted her in the eyes of the WWE Universe but she is still a forgettable female wrestler when it comes to remembering many of the women who came before the current generation.
3. Remembered: Lita
Lita is a former four-time Women’s Champion in WWE and is remembered as one of the best female wrestlers of all time. Lita fought with men, she showed that it was a good thing that she could hang with the men and the women and she proved that she was something different.
Lita is now a WWE Hall of Famer which proves that even WWE respects her for what she did for the business. She is always going to be the woman who was part of one of the biggest love triangles in wrestling, but at the same time she proved her worth in the ring and she proved that she deserved to be in that position many times, which secures her place in WWE history.
2. Remembered: Trish Stratus
Trish Stratus is one of the best female wrestlers in the history of WWE and has held the Women’s Championship a record seven times. She is the most recognized female wrestler in the history of the company. And even though she retired back in 2006, she has returned a few times since then and proved that she still has it.
Much like Lita, Trish is now a WWE Hall of Famer, and is the mother of two children. She’s managed to leave her wrestling career behind her and go on to have a very different life ever since she left the ring. Trish is one of very few female wrestlers who never had problems backstage and only has her in-ring career to be remembered by.
1. Forgettable: Sunny
Sunny is widely considered to be one of the first ever WWE Divas. She was the girl next door, the woman that every guy in the 90s had a picture of on their wall. She really was the one who first defined what a WWE Diva was.
She is a former Playboy cover girl and a WWE Hall of Famer but it seems that over the past few years her fame has been more of a hinderance to her because she has been arrested several times, she has sold her Hall of Fame ring, she’s been caught online in some compromising positions, and it seems that Sunny will now be remembered much more for her life outside of WWE than she ever will for the character that she portrayed on live TV.