The WWE Women's Championship is a professional wrestling championship in the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) promotion. Created in 1956, it was the oldest active professional wrestling championship in World Wrestling Entertainment history until its retirement in 2010 after unification with the WWE Divas Championship. It was reactivated as a new title in 2016 along with another new title when the second brand split occured.
For Title Lineage Heat To WWE Women's Championship (Original)
The WWE Women's Championship was originally known as the NWA World Women's Championship of the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA). In 1956, The Fabulous Moolah became the inaugural champion on September 18 as recognized by World Wrestling Entertainment. The WWE Women's Championship is descended from the original NWA World Women's Championship of the National Wrestling Alliance, which is still active today. In 1983, the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) disaffiliated with the NWA and recognized then-NWA World Women's Champion The Fabulous Moolah as the promotion's World Women's Champion. The Fabulous Moolah's reign is considered to have lasted 10 years by the promotion. The WWF soon renamed their recognition of the title as the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) Women's Championship.
In 1990, the Women's Championship became inactive after Rockin' Robin vacated the championship following her departure from the WWF. Then in December 1993, the title was reactivated with Alundra Blayze winning a tournament for the vacant Women's Championship. The Women's Championship, however, became inactive again when Blayze unexpectedly signed with World Championship Wrestling in 1995 while still champion, forcing her to relinquish the title. The Women's Championship was reactivated again in September 1998 when Jacqueline Moore defeated Sable to win the title.
After the WWF/WWE name change in 2002, the championship was subsequently referred to as the WWE Women's Championship. With the WWE Brand Extension, the WWE Undisputed Championship and WWE Women's Championship became the only titles allowed to be defended on both the Raw and SmackDown brands, while all other titles were exclusive to a single brand. Later, the Women's Championship became exclusive to only the Raw brand.
On June 24, 2007, Candice Michelle became the first ever former WWE Diva Search contestant to win the Women's Championship by defeating then champion Melina at WWE Vengeance 2007. The Women's Championship remained the sole championship contested by women, until July 4, 2008 when a counterpart to the championship, called the WWE Divas Championship, was created for the SmackDown brand.
On April 13, 2009, the Women's Championship became exclusive to the SmackDown brand when reigning champion Melina was drafted from Raw to SmackDown during the 2009 WWE Draft. On June 28 at WWE The Bash 2009 pay-per-view, Michelle McCool became the first ever Diva to have held both the WWE Women's Championship and the WWE Divas Championship in her WWE career. Other divas that have held both the Women's and Divas Championship include Mickie James, Melina Perez, Beth Phoenix and Layla. Michelle McCool and Melina are the only women in WWE history to record multiple reigns with both Women's and Divas Championships.
It was announced on the August 30 edition of Raw that the championship would be unified with its counterpart, the Divas Championship, at the WWE Night of Champions 2010. This match was won by Michelle McCool and unified both titles creating the Unified WWE Divas Championship, thus making the Women's Championship defunct as the unified title follows the lineage of the Divas Championship.
Return and Raw Women's Championship
Following the reintroduction of the brand extension, then champion Charlotte was drafted to the Raw brand on the July 19, 2016 premiere episode of SmackDown Live, making the championship exclusive to Raw. In response, SmackDown created the SmackDown Women's Championship on August 23, 2016. The WWE Women's Championship was subsequently renamed to reflect its exclusivity to Raw.
SmackDown Women's Championship
For Title Lineage Head To WWE SmackDown Women's Championship
The WWE SmackDown Women's Championship is a women's championship created and promoted by the WWE on the SmackDown brand. It is a counterpart title to the Raw brand's WWE Women's Championship. General Manager Daniel Bryan announced the championship via Twitter and officially unveiled it on the August 23, 2016 episode of SmackDown Live. On the same night, Daniel also unveiled that there was also going to be the new WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship as well, while the brand's many Divas and tag teams stood by as he explained how they would be contested for.