August 14, 2011

Strong & Beautiful: 15 Greatest Women of Wrestling

I know I mostly write about movies and music here at my blog, but it's funny that I don't really write about my third love that is professional wrestling. Well, that's all about to change. Professional wrestling has been a part of my life ever since I can remember. I grew up watching shows like Monday Night Raw and Monday Nitro with my brother. We always pretended to be our favorite wrestlers and have our own little matches like most kids who love wrestling do. Those were good times. I'm sure most can agree that it's not as exciting to watch these days, but in recent months it has become pretty exciting again much thanks to guys like CM Punk, Dolph Ziggler and Daniel Bryan.

Anyways, I figured since I wanted to write more about wrestling on here that I would start it off with a list of my favorite female performers. Being a female who loves wrestling, it's pretty obvious that I looked up to a lot of the women wrestlers/Divas growing up. They taught me how to be strong and courageous. Luckily, it wasn't too hard for me to pick who I wanted on the list even though I know I left a few out. Feel free to tell me or make a post about who would be on your list.

Of course, I should mention that wrestlers such as The Fabulous Moolah, Mildred Burke and Mae Young are really the greatest women of professional wrestling, because without them there wouldn't be a women's division today.

15. Natalya

Known for being a third-generation wrestler as a member of the Hart wrestling family, Natalya has proven that she's worked very hard to get where she's at. Joining the WWE in 2008, she managed her cousin David Hart Smith and real-life boyfriend Tyson Kidd in one of the last great tag teams to come around in a while The Hart Dynasty. After Hart Dynasty disbanded in late 2010, Natalya went on to become a first-time WWE Diva's Champion. Even though she sports the pink and black attire, you can also tell that she is a Hart by her in-ring abilities with her multiple suplex variations and of course the Sharpshooter. I think Natalya will be sticking around much longer to continue her family's legacy.

14. Amazing Kong/Kharma

Currently known as Kharma in the WWE, Amazing Kong is one tough woman. Name any female or male wrestler Kong can take them all. Winning over ten Championships in different companies worldwide, I could see her possibly winning even bigger gold very soon now that she's with the WWE. I know she's on a leave of absence right now, but she will definitely dominate the women's and maybe the men's division when she comes back.

13. Bull Nakano

There are two things that I love most about Bull Nakano. First, I love her unique style. Second, I love how vicious she was in the ring. Her feud with Alundra Blayze was one of the greatest in wrestling history. She even won the WWE Women's Championship by defeating Blayze in Tokyo on November 20, 1994. While her time with companies like the WWE and WCW were short-lived, Nakano will be remembered for bringing a new style to the women's division.

12. Mickie James

Alright, I have to admit it. When Mickie James first entered the WWE, it was around the time when I really wasn't watching wrestling at all. I was too busy being a teenager. I knew who James was and all though. I remember her as Alexis Laree back in her early days with TNA and I knew that when she first started out as Mickie James she was playing Trish Stratus' obsessed fan and that was about it. I didn't really get to see everything she did after that. When I finally got back into it again though, I realized how far she had come. Being a five-time WWE Women's Champion, WWE Diva's Champion and a TNA Women's Knockout Champion, I'd say that is pretty damn impressive. With her bubbly personality and the Long Kiss Goodnight as one of her finishers, who doesn't love Mickie James?

11. Luna Vachon

I loved Luna Vachon. She looked like a character from a heavy metal horror film. What was great about her was that she wasn't like most of the women in the wrestling business. She wasn't trying to be a big bombshell. She was a woman who actually wanted to be a wrestler. Although she never won the Women's Championship, Luna Vachon will always be remembered for creating one of the most wackiest characters in wrestling history. From her feuds with Alundra Blayze aka Madusa and Sensational Sherri to her days of being a valet for superstars like Goldust and the Oddities, Luna Vachon was sure fun to watch. It's very sad that we lost her last year. We'll miss you, Luna!

10. Molly Holly

Molly Holly was probably the greatest female technical wrestler to ever enter the WWE. I should also mention that she was one of the most underrated as well. Known for being the "cousin" to Hardcore and Crash, Molly Holly could always put on a match. Although it was fun to see her team up with guys like Spike Dudley and The Hurricane, Molly showed us that she could be just as great on her own by winning the Women's Championship twice and even winning the Hardcore Championship. What was most important to Molly Holly was that she wanted people to appreciate her for her in-ring abilities more than anything. That's why she developed this somewhat prudish character to avoid being looked at as just another pretty face and who could really blame her for that? Her most memorable moment came at WrestleMania XX, when she lost the Women's Championship to Victoria and was forced to have her head shaved after the match. I would love to see Molly Holly return to wrestling very soon, because I think she still has a few more Molly-Go-Rounds left in her.

9. Beth Phoenix

Although she is the best and strongest female wrestler in the WWE right now, "The Glamazon" Beth Phoenix has already proven that she is one of the greatest of all-time. With winning the Women's Championship three times and being the second woman to ever enter the Royal Rumble match, Beth could possibly be working her way to winning the Intercontinental or the U.S. Championship someday. That's only if the WWE would change their PG programming. I'm so glad that she turned heel a few weeks ago, because I believe this move will help bring some meaning back to the Divas division. Beth Phoenix will continue to dominate the WWE for many years to come.

8. Victoria/Tara

I miss Victoria. I know she's currently known as Tara on TNA, but I don't really watch TNA anymore. Now, I should say that I really miss the psychotic Victoria back when she debuted in the WWE. In my opinion, that was one of the greatest wrestling characters ever created. I also can't forget to mention the great feud she had with Trish Stratus that involved some of my favorite matches like the Hardcore match at Survivor Series (2002). Winning the WWE Women's Championship twice and the TNA Women's Knockout Championship four times, you can definitely say that Victoria/Tara is one of the most successful female wrestlers of the past ten years. I think she'll get the credit she deserves very soon, because she is one of the most talented female wrestlers around. If you ask me, the Widow's Peak is still one of the coolest finishing moves in professional wrestling.

7. Alundra Blayze/Madusa

Probably better known as Madusa, no one can ever forget that night when she dropped the WWE Women's Championship in the garbage can on WCW's Monday Night Nitro. Sure it hurt her career some, but it was an important moment in wrestling history. With being a three-time WWE Women's Champion and being the first woman to ever win the WCW Cruiserweight Championship, Alundra Blayze/Madusa made it clear that she was a wrestler and she made the right decision by leaving the wrestling business around the time it wasn't focusing much on the women's division. Blayze will always be remembered for helping shape women's wrestling during the '90s and I hope to see her be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame very soon.

6. Sable

"This is for all the women who want to be me and for the men who come to see me!". This quote alone is why Sable earned a spot on my list. Oh, and the fact that she once powerbombed her ex-husband Marc Mero. Sable was the queen of the "Attitude Era". She pretty much had it all when she became the first woman in the WWE to pose for Playboy. Though she had the good looks, Sable proved that she could mix it in the ring as well when she became a WWE Women's Champion. While she's probably known as Mrs. Brock Lesnar today, Sable will be always be remembered for being one of the WWE's original Divas.

5. Wendi Richter

If one woman ruled wrestling during the '80s it was Wendi Richter. She was "150 pounds of twisted steel and sex appeal". Her most memorable moment was when she defeated The Fabulous Moolah (ending her 2,113 day reign) to win the WWE's Women's Championship at MTV's The Brawl to End it All on July 23, 1984. At the end of the match, Richter celebrated her win with pop singer Cyndi Lauper. This soon lead to the Rock 'n' Wrestling Connection . Another unforgettable moment for Richter happened on November 25, 1985 at Madison Square Garden when she was involved in the "Original Screwjob". She was set to defend her title against a mysterious masked opponent by the name of The Spider Lady. The referee of the match made a swift three count as The Spider Lady pinned Richter, even though Richter kicked out after the count of one. She continued to attack The Spider Lady and soon unmasked her to reveal that it was The Fabulous Moolah in disguise. It was reported that this was all set up by Vince McMahon to rid Richter of the title after she refused to sign a new contract with the WWE. That was her last appearance with the company. In 2010, she was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. Although her time with the WWE was short-lived, Wendi Richter paved the way for many female wrestlers today.

4. Sherri Martel

In my opinion, Sherri Martel was the greatest female manager in wrestling history. She managed some of the greats like "The Heartbreak Kid" Shawn Michaels, "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase, "Macho Man" Randy Savage and "The Nature Boy" Ric Flair just to name a few. Martel could wrestle too and she even held the WWE's Women's Championship for a total of 441 days. Sensational Sherri has in some way influenced everyone in professional wrestling. She was the one who could do it all. Sadly, Sherri Martel passed away in 2007, but her legacy will continue to inspire generations.

3. Chyna

Chyna has had more accomplishments more than any other Diva in the WWE. She's the first and only woman to ever win the Intercontinental Championship (She actually won it on two occasions). She's also the first woman to ever enter the Royal Rumble match, qualify for the King of the Ring tournament and be a number one contender for the WWE Championship. Oh yeah, and she was still the WWE Women's Champion until she left the company in 2001. They didn't call her "The Ninth Wonder of the World" for nothing. Chyna was also a member of D-Generation X, one of the most popular stables in WWE history. Also, who could forget the time when she was Eddie Guerrero's "Mamacita"? What makes Chyna one of the greatest is that she was the first to prove that she could dominate both the women and men's division.

2. Trish Stratus

First of all, I know what you're thinking, "Why is Trish Stratus at the No. 2 spot and not No. 1?". Well, let's just say that as much as I love Trish I wanted to give the No. 1 spot to someone else. A seven-time WWE Women's Champion, WWE Hardcore Champion, Babe of the Year from 2001-2004 and the Diva of the Decade, Trish Stratus is the most successful WWE Diva of all-time. Although she first started in the WWE as a valet for wrestlers such as Val Venis and T & A (Test & Albert), Stratus worked her way to the top of the women's division. She was able to show everyone that she was more than just eye candy. While she may have retired in 2006, we all know that Trish always delivered 100% Stratusfaction guaranteed.

1. Lita

The Queen of Extreme! Growing up, I wanted to be just like her. I had the red hair, fishnet shirts, pretty much everything. Heck, I even had a cat named after her (I hope that doesn't sound creepy). First starting her WWE career as the valet for luchador Essa Rios, Lita gained her popularity when she formed Team Xtreme along with the Hardy Boyz. From then on, she dominated the women's division. A four-time WWE Women's Champion, Lita was even the first woman to be in the main event twice on Raw. The first time was when she defeated Stephanie McMahon to win her first WWE's Women's Championship in 2000 and the second was when she won the Championship a second time by defeating Trish Stratus in 2004. In my opinion, Lita was the first to make people interested in women's wrestling again since Alundra Blayze.  She was definitely a trendsetter for women's wrestling with her tomboy attitude and high-flying moves. She showed us that she was a woman who was not afraid to take chances. It was very sad when Lita retired from the WWE, because the Divas division started to fall apart right after that. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that she will return for one more match someday.