Since I’ve made a rant about what makes the women’s division suck and how to improve it, I come to my senses that it’s time to countdown the greatest women wrestlers of all time. Now I’m not looking for women who had the greatest sex appeal because that’s a whole different list, I’m counting down the best wrestlers that showed that women’s wrestling can be taken seriously by displaying great athleticism, move sets, and uniqueness towards their matches. These are the women that convinced me, personally, that they are (or were) capable of displaying the artistry of grappling at its full potential and showed that people regardless of sex can do it. More importantly they also have to have a historical impact on the wrestling world in order to make it higher in the list, so here are the best grapplers from women’s wrestling world.
Number 10. – Beth Phoenix
What makes it sucks to see “The Glamazon” go is that she came in looking like she’s going to be the next Chyna and then ended her career facing women wrestlers who are inferior than her. If you seen Beth Phoenix in her days at the independent circuit she was so powerful that she made women and men cry in the same ring with her. I was very impressed with the creative moves to test her strength. She carried two men on her back, that’s insane! I’ll give WWE credit that she did wrestle in the men’s league a couple of times, but not as long as Chyna did when she was still in the company. She used to be the dominate woman that ever set foot in the Divas division but sadly she lost all credibility when she started loosing to much weaker women in a 2-5 minute matches that aren’t even in the same league as her. If only given any chance at all to do what she does best, Phoenix will likely make much more history.
Number 9. – Lisa Marie Varon (a.k.a Victoria / Tara)
People keep saying that AJ Lee’s gimmick of a crazy girl is a breath of fresh air to see, but Victoria was the original WWE crazy hellcat. Time has been incredibly kind to her as she continues to get better in the ring. Victoria has some of the roughest move set I’ve ever seen from American wrestling and she has the strength to prove it. Still, her finishing maneuver The Widow’s Peak is still the deadliest and effect maneuver in seen in the Diva’s devision. 2004 was her prime when she won the Women’s Championship from Molly Holly and made herself a tough obstacle. After she left WWE, she continued her dominance in TNA’s Knockouts Division. It has been over a decade since Victoria started wrestling and I’m impressed that she looks very good today. However for Victoria, I still feeling the same way with Beth Phoenix, that Victoria wasn’t used properly and started loosing to women who aren’t even in the same league as her in matches towards the end of her career. Since she’s still in great shape, can she still continue to dominate for another Women’s championship?
Number 8. – Chyna
No other woman has gone far as Chyna did; being the first woman to enter the Royal Rumble and winning the Intercontinental Championship twice was historical nonetheless! She was also the first muscular woman that combined beauty and strength to be accepted to the public when she’s thanks to romantic storylines with Chris Jericho and Eddie Guerrero. When Chyna wrestles you know it means business. There was not a single novelty act when she wrestled against men and its sad to see that there isn’t another woman in mainstream North American wrestling that enters men’s wrestling and made them look like push-overs. I’m still waiting for another female wrestler just like her and accomplishes more than Chyna did because since she got out of WWE, she didn’t really care for wrestling anymore and she’s now a porn star; continuing to disgrace the wrestling business that she came from. It’s really tragic how she left the company due to the fact that Triple H (her former boyfriend) had an affair with Stephanie McMahon, but a lot of respect has lost from me after what she put herself through over the years…
Number 7. – Trish Stratus
Now, I’m going to sound like a pig because there’s no other way around it… I like Trish Stratus as a model/valet than a wrestler because she’s just one of the most gorgeous women I’ve ever seen! But that doesn’t mean that I did not like her as a performer because Trish has been in the wildest story-lines any woman wrestler could ever get. From being in the family feud with the McMahons, love affair with Mickie James, and so much more! I always enjoyed seeing her tied up in such conflict and she delivers with some of the hottest women’s matches ever. However, I really can’t say that I was at all impressed with her moves because a lot of people can do them as well. But what’s really impressive is that she goes with some of the most perverted segments and still remains loyal to the company (not even Sable could do that). Now, if this is a sexiest wrestlers list, she would already be number 1, but as a wrestler… I just find several more women who were better than her in the field. But still, it’s a rarity to see a competitor that has a better look than Pamela Anderson and wrestles just as good and for someone who dedicated her life from a model into a serious wrestler, winning the WWE Women’s Championship seven times is simply impressive!
Number 6. – Debrah Miceli (a.k.a. Madusa/Alundra Blayze)
Anyone who’s anyone can already say that Madusa is only famous for throwing the WWF’s Women’s Championship in the trash live on WCW Nitro, but she is more than pulling off that infamous stunt. Quite frankly, she was the best female wrestler that WCW has ever had. It was foolish for WWF at the time that they revived the Women’s division and never did anything special with Alundra Blazyze. Madusa was a lot of fun seeing a tough chick so determined to kick ass regardless who it was. She had some of the most powerful move-set I’ve seen from a singular woman like a spinning deck-kick, diving cross body, powerbombs, and the rest! She even trained all the women in WCW at the time (like Stacy Keibler & Torrie Wilson) on how to be a wrestler. Madusa is without a doubt the toughest woman who ever stepped into the wrestling and gave all she got in almost all of her matches. In fact, she was the best part of watching WCW in their final years with memorable storylines like Team Madness, relationship with Evan Karagias, and more! Though she’s no longer in wrestling today, she still proves that she is one of the toughest women in the world by being a professional Monster Truck driver.
Number 5. – Molly Holly
Go ahead and say that she doesn’t deserve to be on the list, but Molly Holly has got to be the most underrated and unappreciated wrestler of all time (both man and woman). Nora Greenwald was trained in WCW by Malia Hosaka and the always dangerous Madusa Miceli; she debuted as Mona wrestling barefoot most of the time but wearing an evening gown–the girl was built like a wrestler and powerlifter. From being a valet girl for the awesome Macho Man Randy Savage into a serious and dominant woman in any women’s division is incredibly impressive! I admit that her start in the WWF/WWE was a directionless character from a woman that was needed for a team (Hollies), to a love interest with Spike Dudley, to a stupid super heroine gimmick with the Hurricane, it took her about three years to finally get that serious woman wrestler that the women’s division needed. The problem however is that since this is a division that was required to show sexiness, no pervert could ever see Molly’s talent in the wrestling ring. Because she was so feminine about how women’s wrestling, she deserved to have the top spot in the women’s division throughout 2003. What makes Molly Holly a fantastic athlete is that she has tremendous grappling skills and wasn’t afraid of high risk maneuvers. She was one of those wrestlers that wasn’t afraid to put pain on her opponents and she was a tough obstacle for any bimbo to get pass through her. Oh man, if you seen Molly Holly in 2003 she was so eager to lay painful submission moves on these women and she’s a great example on women’s wrestling. Most importantly, she was the one wrestler that innovated the Molly-Go-Round, her finishing maneuver. It’s a really difficult move to apply but not once did I ever see Molly botch when applying that maneuver. She has without a doubt the best moves I’ve seen from a female wrestler and she never displayed anything suggestive when she fought her opponent; it was taken seriously and artistically about grappling and showmanship! In many ways, she was the anti-diva that truly defied all the others. Quite frankly, she was the last of her kind and really represented what women’s wrestling should have been. I was surprised that the company released her, and never read an explanation of why they did. My only wish was to have a women’s division taken more seriously, offer athleticism, & dedication as Nora Greenwald. That’s why I have full appreciation for someone like her while everyone still googling over other women who doesn’t even match Nora’s talents.
Number 4. – Wendi Richter
The wrestling world would never be the same without the “Rock and Wrestling Connection” movement that happened in the 1980’s and you couldn’t have that boom without Wendi Richter (minus Hulk Hogan). It’s really sad to see that newer generation wrestling fans never understood the impact that Wendi Richter did for women’s wrestling. She made history when she defeated the Fabulous Moolah for the Lady’s Championship with the help of the legendary Cyndi Lauper, 1980’s famous pop star that popularized WWF on the map. When you watch any of Wendi’s matches, she pulls off some of the most unbelievable moves in women’s wrestling. She’s so good in ground wrestling, technical wrestling, submission maneuvers, and so much more. Whenever Wendi hits her opponent it always looks very effective. She never laid down a fight and she gave all of her abilities. At a certain point in time, she was the Hulk Hogan in the women’s wrestling world… until the screw job on Wendi, pulled by Moolah herself (which is one of the reasons why Moolah is off the list). Nowadays, I look at Wendi as some of the forgotten women wrestlers but thankfully WWE came to their senses and gave her the deserving WWE Hall of Fame in 2010. I can really see why so many do miss the Golden Age of Wrestling, each time I see Wendi Retcher and Cyndi Lauper celebrating in the ring it just brings the joy right out of the audience. There have been celebrities that worked with wrestlers throughout the years, but it’s always something special to see Cyndi and Wendi together like sisters from a distant memory…
Number 3. – Mickie James
I can’t be the only guy in the world that thinks Mickie James was a better wrestler than Trish Stratus. She started her career as Alexis Laree but had a total make-over as the crazy and over-excited Mickie James. She shocked the wrestling world when she introduced lesbianism towards Trish Stratus and beat Trish Stratus at Wrestlemania 22 for that Women’s Championship as revenge. The one thing that I’ll always remember of about that match was that the Trish-Mickie match was the best match in Wrestlemania 22! That’s saying a lot considering that the other matches were a sausage-fest with guys who didn’t do as anything as memorable as what Mickie and Trish did in Wrestlemania 22! When Trish left the company, there was no doubt that Mickie was her replacement. Mickie offered high risk maneuvers, hard slams, and even many kisses to her female opponents before she kicks their heads off. She already knows that she’s beautiful but she never held back in a fight. Everything she does looks believable and there’s a reason why she has a huge fanbase today. Entering TNA, she kept her name but went for the cowgirl gimmick that was just as good of a character. Time after time she has always made her opponents work harder than they wrestled before in order to beat her. You can really tell that she has a real passion for wrestling as she not only works for TNA, but at the same time works in multiple wrestling organizations in the independent circuit. Enough said!
Number 2. – Lita
Right next to Chyna, Lita wasn’t afraid to wrestle against the men. She’s been notorious for being in relationships with Matt Hardy, Kane, and Edge, but I like to see her as the most daring woman ever seen in pro wrestling. The reason why she’s so popular today is because of her punk-rock attitude, used everything that she learned from Lucha Libre, and takes a lot of risks in wrestling. Back in the day, she was the most beloved female wrestler because when she sells a hit, she makes it look painful and we all feel sympathetic that she’s trying harder than she needed to. She has the bravery to do almost anything and we all love her for it. Lita has made a lot of history being involved in the first women’s cage match, the first bra and panties match, and so much more. This fiery redhead had it all and almost everything that she does had an impact to wrestling. By every stretch of the imagination, she was the most different female wrestler.
Number 1. – Manami Toyota
No doubt about it, Manami Toyota has to be the best female wrestler I’ve ever seen in my life. She’s a woman who isn’t afraid of anything; not even high risk moves, most painful submissions, and receiving the worst pain could even intimidate this individual. Manami just has that relentless spirit of keep going and keep coming back like a widow out for revenge. She’s just capable of doing some of the most ridiculous stunts and give you an impression. Manami Toyota has one hell of a reputation in Japan; she’s been main event in Dreamslam I & II, had 10 five-star matches, and multiple championships from so many Japanese wrestling promotions. No other woman wrestler have accomplished what Manami has done in the wrestling world. Never has there been such intensity and excitement from a singular wrestler. Regardless of size, gender, or race, she will still take you down and does it all with raw emotion. You can just feel what she’s going through and we route for her like the Rocky movies. She made this grappling sport look like art and that’s all I want from all my wrestlers, if not 100% the effort. I’m not just putting Manami Toyota on the top of the list because of her accomplishment (which is the most important part) but I can even put my money where my mouth is that she can actually take on all of these women if she ever had the chance. It’s really a shame that All Japan Women’s Pro Wrestling (AJW) is no longer in business and who knows how much they would put their talents such as her’s to it’s full potential. You all really need to see what is Manami made of because this is all I really want to see in today’s women’s wrestling. For all those who hopes to be a professional wrestler, you need to see Manami Toyota’s matches to see what I mean.