Charlotte Flair

Charlotte Flair (Photo by Kathy Hutchins on Shutterstock)

Professional wrestling is sports entertainment at its finest. Whether it’s a championship match, a tag team match, a ladder match, or any variation thereof, professional wrestling is always guaranteed to entertain fans. But, a good wrestling match doesn’t just have to feature muscle-bound men, and the ladies of wrestling have really started to steal the show as of late. So, to commemorate some of these amazing performers, we’re breaking down the best female wrestlers of all time. 

And speaking of amazing performances, a recent study found that sports fans can expect a self-esteem boost in the days following a big win for their team. Researchers at the Ohio State University surveyed 174 students from Michigan State University and the Ohio State University in the days before and after a big football game between the rival schools in which Michigan State won 17-14 on a last-second field goal. Researchers found respondents from the winning side experienced a self-esteem boost for up to two full days following the big win.  

Wrestling has the potential to create the same impact on your mental health, especially when attending a live event. In fact, a recent study suggests that seeing a sporting event in person can boost your mental health as much as getting a job. Scientists at Anglia Ruskin University say that watching live sporting events actually improves well-being and can reduce feelings of loneliness. Researchers surveyed over 7,000 adults and found that sports fans who attend a live event, whether it’s pro or amateur sports, scored higher in two categories – life satisfaction and feeling worthwhile. That sounds like the perfect excuse to attend the next Monday Night Raw

So, which lady wrestlers deserve to be called the greatest? StudyFinds did the research, consulting 10 wrestling, sports, and pop culture websites in an effort to bring you the consensus best female wrestlers of all time. Our list comprises the five most frequently listed athletes from across these sites. Think we missed one? Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!

WWE Flag (Photo by Adam McCullough on Shutterstock)

The List: Best Female Wrestlers of All Time, According to Fans

1. Trish Stratus

The lovely Trish Stratus doesn’t look like she’d be a professional wrestler until the bell rings, and then she’s all fury. Trish proved to be a natural in the ring, and that’s part of why she’s considered the best. “One of the most popular and most successful female wrestlers of all time was also the catalyst for WWE’s obsession with turning models into divas. Stratus started out as a pretty face on the sideline. Once put in the ring, she quickly found her footing and became a compelling worker. During her seven WWE Women’s Championship reigns, she gained a throng of dedicated fans and helped launch the careers of several divas. There are more talented wrestlers than Trish, but no one combined a marketable look, mic skills and in-ring storytelling like she did. And save for one fabulous wrestler, no one impacted the sport like her either,” explains Bleacher Report

trish stratus
Trish Stratus (48649709751)” by Super Festivals from Ft. Lauderdale, USA is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

In the late ’90s and early 2000s, Trish Stratus helped revitalize and rejuvenate a somewhat struggling women’s division in the WWE. From there, Trish turned into one of the most popular female athletes in the world. 

“Trish Stratus has been a great heel and while fans know they should hate her, most can’t help but root for her. Whether she’s competing alone or in a team, Trish has proved she’s much more than a model recruited into wrestling. Stratus is a natural in the ring and can easily compete with the best wrestlers in WWE,” writes CBR

Trish Stratus has been involved with professional wrestling for over two decades, and her experience is invaluable to up-and-coming female wrestlers. Still, Trish Stratus is an icon in women’s professional wrestling. 

“If you’ve followed pro wrestling at all for the last twenty years, then you probably know by now which name takes our number one spot. Trish Stratus wasn’t born a great wrestler, but her story is one of hard work, determination and the drive to exceed all expectations. It would’ve been easy for Stratus to coast in her eye candy role as a valet for the tag team of T & A, but instead she worked on improving her in ring skills to the point where she as basically bullet proof. Trish Stratus simply couldn’t be stopped when she was at her peak, nor did she disappoint when she returned from retirement in 2018 to compete at the ‘Evolution’ all-women’s pay-per-view event,” furthers Watch Mojo

2. Charlotte Flair

Next up on the list of the best female wrestlers of all time is none other than the living legend, Charlotte Flair. Of course, you might recognize the name as Charlotte’s father, Ric Flair, is widely regarded as one of the best pro wrestlers in history. Charlotte Flair isn’t far behind her father in terms of accomplishments, either. Charlotte Flair has held the women’s championship on several occasions, and she’s not even close to hanging up her boots

Charlotte Flair arrives to the 'WWE' FYC Event in 2018 in Hollywood, CA
Charlotte Flair arrives to the ‘WWE’ FYC Event in 2018 in Hollywood, CA (Photo by DFree on Shutterstock)

“Charlotte Flair’s in-ring acumen, rapid growth, and magnetism saw her become one of the most decorated female superstars of her generation. A 12-time women’s champion, Charlotte Flair holds the all-time record for the most titles in the women’s division. To cap her rather illustrious wrestling career, Charlotte Flair is also the only female superstar to hold the Worlds Women’s title and the NXT Title. One of the most hardworking female wrestlers, Charlotte Flair began her trade with WWE’s development program NXT… While many might argue whether Charlotte Flair has eclipsed her father’s legacy or not, one thing remains evidently clear; Charlotte is already an all-time great, despite having so many wrestling years ahead of her,” explains Sport Lister

“The daughter of 16-time world champion Ric Flair, Charlotte Flair has become one of the best women wrestlers of all time… She reached the mountaintop for the first time in 2015 when she won the Divas Championship. She was the last one to hold that belt as it was replaced by the (Raw) Women’s Championship at WrestleMania 32. She is a triple crown and grand slam champion. She won the tag team title once and the NXT title twice as well as the 2020 Women’s Royal Rumble,” adds Daily DDT

Charlotte is an athlete, not a model or a runway icon, and that’s what makes her one of the best. Whether fans like it or not, Charlotte has won the women’s gold more than any other female wrestler. 

“Arguably the greatest female wrestler of all time, Charlotte Flair has done it all in the world of the WWE. The female wrestler is one of the most decorated champions in the company’s history. She has won the Divas Championship once, the NXT Women’s Championship twice, the Women’s Tag Team Championship once, the Raw Women’s Championship a record six times, and the SmackDown Women’s Championship a record six times. She also won the 2020 Royal Rumble match… While not always a crowd favorite (many feel she is given the gold far too often), there is no doubting Flair’s talent and influence on young female wrestling fans,” adds Next Luxury

3. Lita 

The third spot on the list of the best women’s wrestlers of all time belongs to a true pioneer in women’s wrestling – Lita. Lita got her start with The Hardy Boys, one of the best pro wrestling tag teams in history, before quickly becoming one of the most exciting female athletes wrestling fans have ever seen. 

“Lita burst onto the scene in WWE as part of Team Extreme, where she worked with ‘The Hardy Boys.’ This was where Lita showed that she was a high-flyer willing to jump from the top ropes and could flip just like the men. Lita held the WWE Women’s Championship in this period and also engaged in a legendary feud with Trish Stratus. Together, they were the first women to headline Raw’s main event,” furthers CBR

Lita mimicked the high-flying style of The Hardy Boys and she was willing to take all the risks associated with that style of wrestling. However, Lita was also cool. She was a female rockstar in the form of a professional wrestler. 

“No woman has ever made female wrestling as cool as Lita. This rock chick from Fort Lauderdale was one of the most popular WWE Superstars of the ‘90s and, in line with the group’s attitude era, was a fiery character that could stand up to the men and take it to the women. Lita’s full-on style often saw her risking life and limb to pick up a victory. Lita won the WWE women’s championship four times and was Inducted into WWE’S Hall of Fame in 2014,” explains Muscle and Fitness

LIta had an all-time feud with another one of the best female wrestlers on this list in Trish Stratus. Together, Lita and Trish transformed the perception of women’s wrestling, taking it from the undercard to the main event

“Lita alternated lucha libre-inspired moves with hammering away on her opponent with her fists.  Seeing her in action, it’s no surprise how popular she became and still is. Her matches with Trish Stratus are some of the best women’s matches WWE has ever produced. Though she’s busy with her musical endeavors, the wrestling world would be better off if she decided to come back and DDT a few more ladies,” writes Bleacher Report

4. Fabulous Moolah

The fourth spot on the list of the best female wrestlers of all time belongs to the legendary Fabulous Moolah. As the experts explain, it’s safe to say that women’s wrestling would look much different without the feisty performer.

“The Fabulous Moolah set the standard for every woman to come after her. She was undoubtedly the best female wrestler for several decades, her prime stretching from the ’50s to the ’70s. Hulk Hogan and Bruno Sammartino have nothing on Moolah in terms of sustained success.  Her WWE title reign officially lasted for an insane 10,170 days. Mixing a well-executed technical style with a flash of nastiness, Moolah entertained crowds like few wrestlers ever have. There is no more influential or iconic female wrestler,” writes Bleacher Report

In today’s world of professional wrestling, title reigns rarely last beyond a year or so, with Roman Reigns being the exception, of course. However, Moolah was a pioneer in women’s wrestling on more than one front.

“Moolah managed to become the first woman to wrestle in Madison Square. To accomplish this fate, Moolah took the State of New York to court over the ban the state imposed on women’s wrestling. Just like in the rings, Moolah was quite impressive in the courts and managed to register an emphatic and historic win over the state. With the WWE, Moolah won various Women’s titles with her reigns ranging from 8 to 6 to 8 years. When Vince McMahon began expanding the WWE, Moolah became the first-ever women’s champion. On top of that, Moolah went on to hold the title for 25 consecutive years,” notes Sports Lister

Fabulous Moolah helped make women’s wrestling a viable attraction in more ways than one. Her epic fight against the courts in the state of New York is just another example of Fabulous Moolah’s influence on the women’s division in professional wrestling.

“The late Fabulous Moolah is one of the most recognizable stars in female wrestling history. She first won the NWA women’s championship in 1956 and dominated the title, astoundingly, for almost 30 years. Moolah then signed with WWE during the ‘80s Rock’n’Wrestling era and famously [feuded] with Wendi Richter and singer Cyndi Lauper. Whilst wrestling historians debate Moolah’s true character and business traits… her successes are unquestionable. The Fabulous Moolah held the WWE women’s championship on four occasions and was the first woman to be inducted into WWE’s Hall of Fame,” furthers Muscle and Fitness

5. Chyna

No other women’s wrestler has had the same type of physique as Chyna. “She was the ‘Ninth Wonder of the World,’ a game-changing figure when it came to shifting the paradigm of women’s wrestling in the WWE. We’re talking, of course, about Chyna, who rose from a valet position with Degeneration X to become one of the most accomplished and beloved performers of her era… She was great on the mic, had a character that evolved with time and absolutely dominated during her days at the top. There will never be another one like her,” writes Watch Mojo

Chyna was more than willing to step into the ring against her male counterparts, and she has participated in matches against some of the top names in wrestling history including Stone Cold and The Rock

“There has not been a wrestler who has crossed more boundaries than Chyna. She was the first woman to enter the Royal Rumble, to wrestle in the King of the Ring tournament and to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship. When she wrestled against men it was not a novelty act.  Her power and toughness made those contests legitimate and entertaining. In such a short career, Chyna made a lasting impact, carving her name into the annals of wrestling history,” explains Bleacher Report

Chyna got started as the female manager and ring escort for Triple H and Degeneration X. The world was truly introduced to Chyna’s wrestling acumen when she became the first woman to win the Intercontinental Championship. Although Chyna’s life had a tragic ending, her accomplishments in the world of professional wrestling cannot be overlooked. 

“As a part of D-Generation X, Chyna was billed as a rebel who wasn’t keen on following the WWE’s rules and her nickname, the 9th Wonder of the World, was a nod to her impressive strength. Chyna was the first woman to hold the Intercontinental Championship and it hasn’t been held by a woman since. She also won the Women’s Championship. Chyna would eventually leave WWE and work in Japan. Wrestling fans were shocked in 2016 when they learned that Chyna had died of an apparent overdose but her legend is still running strong,” furthers CBR

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Sources: 

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About Matthew Sherdan

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