The list continues as we take a look at the last discontinued WWE belt, the WWE Women’s Championship. After we take a look at this one we will shift gears a little bit and take a look at the championships from the WCW and ECW before moving on to the belts currently in the WWE today. So… The WWE Women’s Championship. Before it was transferred to the disgrace of a butterfly belt that we see today, the WWE Women’s Championship was the pinnacle for female wrestlers. The belt design was phenomenal. It was elegant, sleek, and lacked the misogyny ripe with the Divas Championship that we see today. Okay, mini rant over on that department. Some of the greatest women of pro wrestling… And a couple that didn’t exactly do the belt any favors have held this illustrious belt. So today we are going to count them down, the ones that elevated the prestige to the top and others that dragged it down to the dregs of mediocrity.
Keep in mind this list is my own opinion that I based on the title run itself, the wrestler, and the legacy they left behind. If you disagree, please leave a comment. I love a good debate. With that being said, let’s start with the worst.
Unlike the others that feature prominently on this list, Michelle McCool and Layla El were surprisingly amazing wrestlers. We can talk about the idea of nepotism and Michelle McCool’s place in the WWE another day, but still the two while a little green at first, were pretty amazing. However when you put Michelle McCool and Layla El together into their LayCool gimmick… They were absolutely unbearable. Having heat and being good heels is one thing, but I equate LayCool to Vicki Guerrero in terms of heels that are so unlikable that you instantly turn the channel just so you don’t have to listen to them.
The fact that the two were ‘co champions’ and carried around a ‘split title belt’ was nothing short of depressing. The gimmick was terrible, the story line was terrible, and all of it just equaled out to me tuning out and hoping that Beth Phoenix would win the title so I wouldn’t have to watch the two anymore.
4. Miss Kitty
The sad fact is that sex does sell. Granted WWE takes this to mean vicious exploitation to the point of abhorrence but that is a story for another day. The fact that Stacy Carter received a job with the WWE does not bother me so much. The fact that she was put on TV and their only reason for doing so is so that she could show her breasts to get a little spike in the ratings makes my skin crawl.
During the late 90’s and early 2000’s, the WWE was filled with amazing women’s wrestlers who could hold the title. But instead of giving it to them, the title was placed on Stacy ‘Miss Kitty’ Carter in swimming pool evening gown match with Jacqueline, BB, and current champion Ivory. Soon after she flashed the audience. What is even more sad is the fact that she had little to no wrestling talent and held the title for fifty days until it was taken by the number one entry on this list. From December to January of 2000 marked one hell of a dark time for the Women’s title.
3. Candice Michelle
Out of all the possible people to make this list, Candice Michelle is probably the most forgivable. Candice Michelle was a decent personality and a relatively good actor. She just never should have attempted to wrestle. Her in ring work was sloppy and for the most part her competition carried her through most of her matches. She only had one championship reign under her belt that lasted near 3 months before dropping it to the far more talented Beth Phoenix.
Candice Michelle as a personality was fine, but as a wrestler she should have stayed far away from the belt and it showed.
This entire list has been made up primarily of Women who did not have the athletic ability in the ring, but were brought onto the roster to add sex appeal. There is probably none other than Debra who personifies this fact. Not only was Debra horrible in the ring, but she was also wasn’t the most charismatic person in the world either and was a terrible actress to boot.
Debra won the title once from one of the legit best wrestlers to hold the belt, Sable back in 1999 and quickly dropped the belt to one of the most underrated wrestlers in history Ivory a month later. Debra may be one of the worst but there is one that defeats even her.
Harvey Wippleman does not make it to number one on this list for being a man to hold the Women’s title. Oh no, I’m all for this. Exotico wrestlers in Mexico have won the Women’s championship many times. I see no problem with this. But whenever the WWE handles it, it is just tasteless and stupid. Harvey Wippleman, dressed in drag as Hervina won the championship in a ‘lumberjill snowbunny’ match on an episode of Raw. He would immediately lose the Women’s championship to Jacqueline the following night who would go on to have a decent 56 day run.
The reasons for this are slim. It doesn’t seem to make sense unless Vince McMahon for whatever reason found it funny. But other than Miss Kitty not being able to work an actual match even to the point of jobbing to Jacqueline may have had something to do with it. Either rate, this was a terrible idea and Hervina deserves her spot on the top of the list.
5. Alundra Blayze
Part of the class of 2015 in the WWE Hall of Fame, Alundra ‘Medusa’ Blayze’s spot on this list is a must. The WWE Women’s Championship was brought out of retirement with her in mind. She was an amazing wrestler and an amazing talent. She could work a match with the best of them and elevated the belt in prestige with excellent feuds with the likes of rival Bull Nakano.
Alundra’s reputation was somewhat tarnished when she jumped the ship to WCW and put the Women’s belt in the trash can, a move that she now regrets. She may have had an auspicious exit but Alundra Blayze is still one of the best wrestlers to step into the squared circle.
If you were to make a list of the most underrated wrestlers in the history of pro wrestling, Ivory would be near the top of the list. This woman was amazing! She was a powerhouse in the ring, she had excellent mic skills, and she was a tremendous foil to WWE’s sex sells type of attitude of the late 90’s early 2000’s. She was astonishing and was able to work with the best of them.
During the time when Miss Kitty and Hervina were fighting over the belt, whenever the WWE was finished having their fun then it was Ivory who took the title back from the bickering gimmicks to give the belt some true credibility. She was an excellent wrestler and an excellent performer.
Man, who didn’t love Lita growing up? Lita was the prime example of a woman wrestler who could give as good as she got. Amy Dumas may have a rather awkward stain on her resume, but wrestling as Lita and apart of the Hardy Boyz, she was something special. Her feud with Trish Stratus is one of the best in the industry and the two shared an in ring chemistry many rivals could only wish they had. Over her time with the WWE she held the title 4 times and remains the Queen of Extreme when it comes to the WWE.
For someone who started out as nothing more than eye candy valet turned the Women’s division into one of the most exciting parts of pro wrestling during the late 90’s and into the early 2000’s. Trish Stratus is an icon to the wrestling business as one of the greatest wrestlers to step into the ring. She had great charisma, a great look, and an all around amazing character. Trish Stratus’s feuds with Mickie James, Lita, Victoria, and so on are nothing short of legendary and it is one of those things that it is a joy to watch it unfold before your eyes.
Trish Stratus held the Women’s Championship a record 7 times and is only usurped in days held by the woman who is number one on this list. She was an amazing athlete and one of the best wrestlers in the business.
1. The Fabulous Moolah
Could there be any other? The Fabulous Moolah (real name Mary Ellison) was not only the inaugural champion but held the title for the better part of three decades! Twenty eight YEARS the Fabulous Moolah held the Women’s Championship before Wendi Richter was able to dethrone her. Up until her death in 2007, the Fabulous Moolah maintained a presence in the industry and was a shining example of power women in the pro wrestling industry.
Moolah may not be as known to newer fans of the business, but the fact that her title reign lasted through the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s shows just how amazing a performer she was and she deserve the top spot over all the others.
Thank you for reading and as always if you enjoyed this review then please like and subscribe for more. Come back to Tanner Reviews on Saturday for another episode of The Nerdiest Talk Show on Earth as well as another edition to Retro Video Game Month on Sunday!