The 10 best women’s matches in WWE history
The Women’s Evolution has done a great deal in bringing female Superstars to the forefront of the sports-entertainment world. However, women wrestlers have been blazing trails in the squared circle for decades. Whether it’s in classic pay-per-view battles or in history-making matches, the women of WWE have been proving they’re elite competitors for years. In honor of Women’s History Month, take a look at the 10 best women’s matches in WWE history. What’s your favorite women’s match? Let us know in the comments below!
2018 Women’s Royal Rumble Match
A woman in the Royal Rumble used to be a special attraction. Now it’s the main attraction. The maiden attempt at an all-female Rumble turned out to be both entertaining and profound, as the Superstars of today (Sasha Banks, Bayley, Becky Lynch), yesterday (Michelle McCool, Beth Phoenix, Molly Holly, Jacqueline) and tomorrow (Ember Moon, Kairi Sane) battled for a piece of history. The undefeated Asuka last eliminated Nikki Bella to win the match and set up a title bout against SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania. That the victor’s nickname is The Empress of Tomorrow is entirely fitting. If nothing else, the Women’s Royal Rumble was a proclamation that the future is now. — ANTHONY BENIGNO
Alundra Blayze vs. Bull Nakano — Women’s Championship Match: SummerSlam, Aug. 29, 1994
Alundra Blayze and Bull Nakano were two female Superstars who were way ahead of their time, so it’s only fitting that their storied Women’s Championship contest at SummerSlam 1994 was a battle that not only raised the bar for women’s wrestling, but still holds up as an all-time great more than 20 years later.
Blayze and Nakano’s clash had everything you could want: Nakano’s methodical submission wrestling, Blayze’s high-octane style and Luna Vachon’s villainous presence in Nakano’s corner.
The crowd ate up every second of this classic bout, and rightfully so, as Blayze and Nakano put on a clinic, and Blayze got the three-count after a devastating German Suplex to retain her title in a battle that will go down as one of the greatest ever. — SCOTT TAYLOR
Charlotte Flair vs. Bayley — Raw Women’s Championship Match: Monday Night Raw, Feb. 13, 2017
WE SAID: Huggers gonna hug, winners gonna win.
Dismissing Bayley as a mere WWE fan and not championship material, Charlotte Flair had no choice but to respect her rival following this instant-classic main event, pitting Bayley’s underdog tenacity against Charlotte’s WWE Hall of Fame-worthy genetics.
Despite Dana Brooke attempting to intervene — a threat that was neutralized by Bayley’s bestie Sasha Banks — The Huggable One hit Charlotte with a thunderous Bayley-to-Belly Suplex that won Bayley her first Raw Women’s Championship, a title she would carry to, and out of, WrestleMania 33. If you didn’t think Bayley belonged in the main event, this incredible Raw battle made you a firm believer in Hug Life. — JAMES WORTMAN
THEY SAID: “Obviously it’s a dream come true. Charlotte and I were in the main event of that Monday Night Raw, and I had Sasha at ringside. It felt like everything I worked for since the very beginning. You hear it all the time; you feel like you made it when you get signed and all that, but it wasn’t until that moment when I felt like, ‘OK. I’ve actually done it.’ [After I won], I immediately thought of my mom and my family because we were in Las Vegas, and my mom always liked to come to all my title matches in NXT because she always says, ‘You never know when it’s gonna happen!’ So I was like, ‘She’s gonna be so mad she’s not here.’” — BAYLEY
Paige vs. Emma — NXT Women’s Championship Match: NXT ArRIVAL
NXT ArRIVAL was a landmark moment for the future female Superstars of WWE. The live special on WWE Network gave the rookies a chance to show the world everything they were capable of. That was especially true for then-NXT Women’s Champion Paige and Emma.
Their championship showdown at ArRIVAL had all the pomp and circumstance of a pay-per-view main event. Even Stephanie McMahon, who was confident that Paige and Emma would prove that they could do everything their male counterparts did, took a ringside seat.
The two rivals threw everything they had at each other, bringing the NXT Universe to its feet with a hard-hitting match. Although the quirky Australian nearly scored the pin on several occasions, Paige’s smash-mouth style won out, as the raven-haired champion debuted the devastating submission hold now known as the PTO to retain her title in a match that made the world take notice. — BOBBY MELOK
Trish Stratus vs. Lita — Women’s Championship Match: Monday Night Raw, Dec. 6, 2004
In one of the few instances where female Superstars were featured in the main event of Raw, Trish Stratus and Lita shined like true stars. Their rivalry couldn't have been any more personal, as Trish repeatedly tried to humiliate Lita by poking fun at her pregnancy and relationship with Kane. One month after getting disqualified for breaking Trish's nose with a steel chair at Survivor Series, Lita got another opportunity to capture the Women's Championship and teach Trish a lesson.
Aside from the red-hot rivalry, what made this clash so outstanding were the daring maneuvers that shattered the mold of women’s matches. From a high-risk dive through the ropes to a back-breaking superplex, Lita electrified the crowd by venturing outside the norm throughout the match. In a thrilling conclusion, Lita countered a Stratusfaction attempt and hit a reverse Twist of Fate, followed by a mighty moonsault off the top rope to end Trish's 176-day title reign.
Charlotte Flair vs. Bayley vs. Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch — NXT Women’s Championship Fatal 4-Way Match: NXT TakeOver: RIVAL
WE SAID: This match defies a moment-by-moment description of why it deserves to be here because the match itself was the moment. Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks, Bayley and Becky Lynch’s four-way tussle for the NXT Women’s Title was the most defining statement of their division’s passion and talent. And even if Sasha was the winner, to label anyone a “loser” after the efforts on display would be nitpicky to the point of cruelty. It was so good, and everyone involved was so perfect, that Charlotte even allowed herself a quiet “follow that” moment behind the curtain. She needn’t have been so modest: The message was loud and clear. — ANTHONY BENIGNO
THEY SAID: “I gave it my all, and I was in the ring with three of the best women in the world. To have the reaction from the crowd and the energy from each other and from everybody watching, I feel like we stole the show. I feel like it was another mark in putting women’s wrestling on the map.” — BECKY LYNCH
“I didn’t win, but it was one of the best times of my life. Leaning against the guardrail, looking at Becky at the right side of me, Charlotte laying on the floor and Sasha standing up there with the title, it made me feel proud to be a part of something like that. I knew it was something special, and this was a match that everyone was going to look back at.” — BAYLEY
Asuka vs. Ember Moon – NXT Women’s Championship Match: NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III
As all of us now know, nobody in NXT was ready for Asuka. Yet, over the course of her remarkable 523-day NXT Women’s Title reign, no one posed a greater threat to Asuka’s dominance than Ember Moon, and at no point did Moon come closer to toppling Asuka than at TakeOver: Brooklyn III.
The War Goddess threw everything she had at Asuka, and the NXT Universe’s astonishment grew with each near-fall that The Empress of Tomorrow survived. Their disbelief when she kicked out of Moon’s picture-perfect Eclipse may well have registered on the Richter scale. Asuka persevered to protect her streak and her championship, but even she knew the outcome was dangerously close to swinging the other way. — JOHN CLAPP
Charlotte Flair vs. Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch — WWE Women’s Championship Triple Threat Match: WrestleMania 32
WE SAID: 2016 was full of groundbreaking moments for the women of WWE, but the one that started it all was the Triple Threat Match between Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch for the WWE Women’s Championship at WrestleMania 32. With the three ladies performing in front of the eyes of the Universe — both WWE and otherwise — a new title to usher in and an old moniker to set aside, the Generals of the Women’s Evolution refused to leave the field until the show was stolen… and that’s exactly what happened. “Divas” were gone, but these Superstars? They were just getting started. — RYAN PAPPOLLA
THEY SAID: “Considering we were having that same Triple Threat Match a year earlier in Lakeland, Fla., in front of 22 fans, and then 101,000 the following year as one of the headliners for WrestleMania, I guess you could say it was the most special moment I’ve had in WWE. And having my dad walk me down to the ring, I don’t know if that’s ever happened. That’s what he spent his whole life doing, and walking his daughter, not his son, down the aisle at WrestleMania? That’s history in itself.” — CHARLOTTE FLAIR
Charlotte Flair vs. Sasha Banks — WWE Women’s Championship Match: Raw July 25, 2016
WE SAID: No disrespect to either of their other Monday night title fights (both of which were Raw main events), but the tentpole moment in the ever-developing classic conflict between Charlotte Flair and Sasha Banks was their WWE Women’s Championship Match from the July 25 episode of Raw. After a grueling contest that had just about everything you could want out of a wrestling match, Banks finally broke through, capturing her first WWE Women’s Championship to seal what was arguably Raw’s match of the year. — RYAN PAPPOLLA
THEY SAID: “Even I didn’t really see it coming. To be on Raw and win a WWE championship, you only really imagine those things on pay-per-views. I just remember that crowd being truly amazing. From that match to the one after, where I won it again in Los Angeles and we were in the main event, I feel like Charlotte and I just keep topping ourselves. It’s legit insane. 2016 was the year of The Boss and the Flair.” — SASHA BANKS
Sasha Banks vs. Bayley – NXT Women’s Championship Match: NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn
WE SAID: An arrogant champion who thinks nobody can touch her. A gutsy underdog who gritted her way to the big time and willed herself to finish the job. A fanatically devoted crowd at their most rapt, raucous attention. A promise of a “revolution” fulfilled and, finally, a well-deserved curtain call for four trailblazers. The amazing thing is, everyone involved is just getting started. — ANTHONY BENIGNO
THEY SAID: “[This] was my favorite one out of the two. I knew going into that match it was supposed to be my last match in NXT. The emotion was so high, and I remember coming back through the curtain and thinking, ‘I did it, I made a name for myself.’ I knew we stole the show.” — SASHA BANKS