WWE’s women’s championships have a long, fractured, and sometimes dark history. From the storied Women’s Championship to the pink and purple monstrosity that was the Divas Championship to now having two separate women’s titles. The women themselves have come a long way, as well. We’re a long way from the “Bra and panties” match days.

While this is far from a comprehensive list, here are some of my favorite WWE women’s champions from past and present.

Trish Stratus

No list of great WWE champions would be complete without mentioning Trish Stratus.

Long before the 2015 women’s revolution, Trish and longtime rival Lita headlined “Monday Night Raw” during an era when WWE’s women were little more than an afterthought. And while Lita is certainly great in her own right, I think Trish edges her out just a bit. Not only is Trish a record seven-time Women’s Champion, but she’s also a one-time WWE Hardcore Champion. Sure, she may have lost the title to Steven Richards right after winning it from Crash Holly, but what other women can say that?

Mickie James

I’ll admit that I have a personal soft spot for Mickie James for two reasons: we both hail from the Commonwealth of Virginia and we were both born on August 31st. However, there’s no denying her rightful place on this list.

Mickie is a five-time Women’s Champion and one-time Divas Champion, not to mention a three-time TNA Knockouts Champion. WWE did her dirty with the awful “Piggy James” storyline that led to her departure in 2010, and I sincerely hope they give her a good title run now that she’s back with WWE. Giving her the match against Asuka was a good start, but I’d like to see her win the Raw Women’s title soon.

AJ Lee

AJ Lee may not be the longest-reigning Divas Champion, but she certainly did the most for that horrible “butterfly belt.”

During an era when the women’s matches were written off as bathroom breaks, AJ gave fans of women’s wrestling a reason to watch WWE again. In fact, if it weren’t for AJ’s tweet begging WWE to “Give Divas a Chance,” the likes of Sasha Banks, Charlotte, and Bayley may not have gotten the opportunities that they have.

It’s unfortunate that AJ left WWE due to her husband’s bad blood with the company — but more unlikely returns have happened.

Charlotte

Charlotte has been on WWE’s main roster for less than two years, and already she’s a five-time champion, having held the Divas Championship once and the Raw Women’s Championship a record four times.

Now I’ll be frank: when I first started watching NXT and became acquainted with the Four Horsewomen, I thought Charlotte was just riding her father’s coattails to greatness. But after a series of astounding and history-making matches with Sasha Banks, she’s more than proven to be a marquee athlete and champion in her own right. Can we get another pay-per-view with the women headlining, please?

More to Come!

Like I said at the start, this is far from a comprehensive list. But if there were ever a golden era for WWE women’s wrestling, we’re in it. I fully expect more great women’s champions to make their mark on the sport, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds. Bring on the Mae Young Classic!

Who is your favorite female wrestler? 

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