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.
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
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.
WWE Women's Championship - 1958 to 2010
- The Fabulous Moolah: September 18, 1956 - Live Event
- Bette Boucher: September 17, 1966 - Live Event, Title change not recognized by WWE.
- The Fabulous Moolah 2: September 30, 1966 — Live Event, Title change not recognized by WWE.
- Yukiko Tomoe: March 10, 1968 - Live event Title change not recognized by WWE.
- The Fabulous Moolah 3 :April 2, 1968 - Live event Title change not recognized by WWE.
- Sue Green: February 2, 1976 - Live Event, Title change not recognized by WWE.
- The Fabulous Moolah 4: March 5, 1976 - Live Event, Title change not recognized by WWE.
- Evelyn Stevens: October 8, 1978 - Live event, Title change not recognized by WWE.
- The Fabulous Moolah 5: October 10, 1978 - Live event, Title change not recognized by WWE.
- Wendi Richter: July 23, 1984 - Brawl to End It All
- Leilani Kai: March 5, 1985 - Prime Time
- Wendi Richter 2: March 31, 1985 - WrestleMania
- The Spider Lady: November 25, 1985 - Live event
- Velvet McIntyre: July 3, 1986 - Live Event
- The Fabulous Moolah 3: July 9, 1986 - Live event
- Sensational Sherri: July 24, 1987 - Live event
- Rockin' Robin: November 8, 1988 - Prime Time
Deactivated — February 21, 1990
- Alundra Blayze: December 26 1993 -All American Wrestling
- Bull Nakano: November 20, 1994 - Big Egg Wrestling Universe
- Alundra Blayze 2: April 3, 1995 - Raw
- Bertha Faye: August 27, 1995 - SummerSlam
- Alundra Blayze 3: October 23, 1995 - Raw
Deactivated — December 13, 1995
- Jacqueline: September 21, 1998 - Raw
- Sable: November 15, 1998 - Survivor Series
- Debra: May 10, 1999 - Raw
- Ivory: June 14, 1999 - Raw
- The Fabulous Moolah 4: October 17, 1999 - No Mercy
- Ivory 2: October 25, 1999 - Raw
- Miss Kitty - December 12, 1999 - Armageddon
- Hervina: January 31, 2000 - Raw
- Jacqueline 2: February 3, 2000 - SmackDown!
- Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley: March 30, 2000 - SmackDown!
- Lita: August 21, 2000 - Raw
- Ivory 3: November 2, 2000 - SmackDown!
- Chyna: April 1, 2001 - WrestleMania 17
Vacated — November 1, 2001
- Trish Stratus: November 18, 2001 - Survivor Series
- Jazz: February 4, 2002 - Raw
- Trish Stratus 2: May 13, 2002 - Raw
- Molly Holly: June 23, 2002 - King of the Ring
- Trish Stratus 3: September 22, 2002 - Unforgiven
- Victoria: November 17, 2002 - Survivor Series
- Trish Stratus 4: March 30, 2003 - WrestleMania 19
- Jazz 2: April 27, 2003 - Backlash
- Gail Kim: June 30, 2003 - Raw
- Molly Holly 2: July 28, 2003 - Raw
- Victoria 2: February 23, 2004 - Raw
- Trish Stratus 5: June 13, 2004 - Bad Blood
- Lita 2: December 6, 2004 - Raw
- Trish Stratus 6: January 9, 2005 - New Year's Revolution
- Mickie James: April 2, 2006 - WrestleMania 22
- Lita 3: August 14, 2006 - Raw
- Trish Stratus 7: September 17, 2006 - Unforgiven
Vacated — September 18, 2006
- Lita 4: November 5, 2006 - Cyber Sunday
- Mickie James 2: November 26, 2006 - Survivor Series
- Melina: February 19, 2007 - Raw
- Mickie James 3: April 24, 2007 - Live event
- Melina 2: April 24, 2007 - Live event
- Candice Michelle: June 24, 2007 - Vengeance
- Beth Phoenix: October 7, 2007 - No Mercy
- Mickie James 4: April 14, 2008 - Raw
- Beth Phoenix 2: August 17, 2008 - SummerSlam
- Melina 3: January 25, 2009 - Royal Rumble
- Michelle McCool: June 28, 2009 - The Bash
- Mickie James 5: January 31, 2010 - Royal Rumble
- Michelle McCool 2: February 26, 2010 - SmackDown
- Beth Phoenix 3: April 25, 2010 - Extreme Rules
- Layla: May 14, 2010 - SmackDown
— Deactivated — September 19, 2010 - Retired after Michelle McCool, who had been unofficially co-reigning with Layla, defeated Melina to unify the Women's and WWE Divas Championship.
2016 to Present
Lineage Continues From WWE Women's Championship
- Sasha Banks - July 25 2016 - Raw
- Charlotte 2 - August 21 2016 - SummerSlam
- Sasha Banks 2 - October 3 2016 - Raw
- Charlotte 3 - October 30 2016 - Hell in a Cell
- Sasha Banks 3 - November 28 2016 - Raw
- Charlotte 4 - December 18 2016 - RoadBlock: End of the Line
- Bayley - February 13 2017 - Raw
- Alexa Bliss - April 30 2017 - Payback
- Sasha Banks 4 - August 20 2017 - SummerSlam
- Alexa Bliss 2 - August 28 2017 - Raw
- Nia Jax - April 8 2018 - WrestleMania 34
- Alexa Bliss 3 - June 17 2018 - Money in the Bank
- Ronda Rousey - August 19 2018 - SummerSlam
- Becky Lynch - April 7 2019 - WrestleMania 35
VACATED - May 11 2020 - Vacated When Lynch Announced She Was Pregnant.
- Asuka - May 11 2020 - Raw - Awarded Championship in exchange for her Money in the Bank Cash In
- Sasha Banks 5 - July 27 2020 - Raw
- Becky Lynch - September 11 2016 - Backlash
- Alexa Bliss - December 4 2016 - TLC
- Naomi - February 12 2017 - Elimination Chamber
VACATED - February 21 2017 - Due To Injury
- Alexa Bliss 2 - February 21 2017 - SmackDown Live
- Naomi 2 - April 2 2017 - WrestleMania 33
- Natalya - August 20 2017 - SummerSlam
- Charlotte Flair - November 14 2017 - SmackDown Live
- Carmella - April 10, 2018 - SmackDown Live
- Charlotte Flair 2 - August 19 2018 - SummerSlam
- Becky Lynch 2 - September 16 2018 - Hell in a Cell
- Asuka - December 16 2018 - TLC
- Charlotte Flair 3 - March 26 2019 - WWE SmackDown Live
- Becky Lynch 3 - April 7 2019 - WrestleMania 35
- Charlotte Flair 4 - May 19 2019 - Money in the Bank
- Bayley - May 19 2019 - Money in the Bank - Note
- Charlotte Flair 5 - October 6 2019 - Hell in a Cell
- Bayley (2) - October 11 2019 - SmackDown