Every day from March 1 until WWE WrestleMania 33 on April 2, Fightful will be bringing you the Countdown To WWE WrestleMania 33. Each day, you will be getting a top 10 list or an event preview or statistics/figures from past ‘Mania events and everything in between.
In today’s column, we will be taking a look at the Top 10 Female Wrestlers In ‘Mania History, as the women of the WWE have shaped WrestleMania just as much as the men have. This column will take a look at the top 10 women who have made the biggest impact by competing or participating in some other way at WrestleMania.
#10: Torrie Wilson
Of all the women that will be on the list, the name Torrie Wilson is probably the one you never expected to see on it. However, there was a time in the WWE that random WWE Diva would grace the cover of Playboy Magazine and that would usually culminate with a storyline at WrestleMania. Torrie got that honor twice, posing alongside Sable prior to WWE WrestleMania 20 and also competing in a Playboy Pillow Fight. During this era of the WWE/Playboy relationship, Torrie Wilson was the queen and she cultivated that into several appearances/matches at WrestleMania.
Melina was kind of the opposite of Torrie Wilson during her WrestleMania appearances, in the sense that she destroyed a few of the WWE Divas who posed for Playboy. At two separate WrestleManias, Melina would first defeat Ashley Massaro and then Maria Kanellis (in a tag match that included Ashley and Beth Phoenix). In an interesting twist of fate, both of Melina’s wins at WrestleMania occurred in "Lumberjill" Matches. Melina’s match at WWE WrestleMania 24 was actually contested in the dark as the lights above the ring went out midway through the match.
2016 was arguably the most important year for WWE women’s wrestling in quite some time and that was due to the women’s wrestling revolution that began a few months earlier. The first ‘Mania match since that women’s revolution was a triple threat match between WWE Diva’s Champion Charlotte, Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks. The match would be historical for another reason as it was the night that the WWE Diva’s Title was retired and the WWE Women’s Title was reborn. Charlotte would walk away the victor that night, thanks to some help from her father, the “Nature Boy” Ric Flair.
#7: AJ Lee
Just before the women’s wrestling revolution began, there were a few bright spots in the women’s wrestling world and the brightest of them all was AJ Lee. Lee, in her first in ring WrestleMania appearance, would defeat the entire women’s roster in the Vickie Guerrero Invitational. The next year would mark her final ‘Mania appearance as she teamed with Paige to defeat the Bella Twins. Lee would leave the WWE a few weeks after WWE WrestleMania 31 and just a little over a year later, the current women’s wrestling revolution would begin.
#6: Mickie James
We don't currently know if the recently returning Mickie James will be taking part in WrestleMania 33, but she does have some history at The Showcase of the Immortals. She made her ‘Mania debut at WWE WrestleMania 22, where James would defeat Trish Stratus to become the WWE Women’s Champion. James made her final ‘Mania appearance (to this point) at WWE WrestleMania 26, where she was part of a team that lost to a 5 woman team captained by Vickie Guerrero. The match saw Vickie pay tribute to her late husband in Eddie Guerrero by performing an assisted frog splash from the top rope onto Kelly Kelly.
#5: Wendi Richter
It all had to begin somewhere with women wrestlers and WrestleMania, that beginning would be WWE WrestleMania 1. Richter was challenging Leilani Kai for the WWE Women’s Title, Kai was managed by The Fabulous Moolah and Richter was managed by Cyndi Lauper. This was important because Lauper was a huge part of the Rock N’ Wrestling Connection, which was a partnership between the WWE and MTV. Richter would win the match and the title, but a contractual dispute with the WWE would cause ‘Mania 1 to be her only ‘Mania appearance.
Earlier I wrote about the Torrie Wilson/Playboy connection; well, that relationship between the WWE and Playboy started off with one woman posing for the magazine … Sable. Sable actually made her professional wrestling debut at WWE WrestleMania 14, teaming with then husband Marc Mero to defeat Goldust and Luna Vachon. Sable would defend the WWE Women’s Title against Tori a year later, then disappear from the WWE for several years. At WWE WrestleMania 20, Sable would team with the aforementioned Torrie Wilson to defeat Stacy Keibler and Miss Jackie, it would be Sables final appearance at ‘Mania.
Lita made her ‘Mania debut at WrestleMania 17, interfering in the TLC Match on behalf of the Hardy Boyz, doing spots from the top of the ladder onto the opposing teams. In fact, a total of nine wrestlers either wrestled or interfered in that match, Lita was the only woman out of the nine competitors. Lita would compete in her only ‘Mania match at WrestleMania 18, but was on the losing side of a triple threat match between Women’s Champion Jazz and Trish Stratus. Lita would manage Christy Hemme and Edge at separate ‘Mania events, but nothing may top her role in that TLC Match at ‘Mania 17.
Chyna made her ‘Mania debut at WrestleMania 13, but would not compete in the ring until WrestleMania 2000. That match was actually a historical one in a sense because she competed in the first intergender match in ‘Mania history, teaming with Too Cool to defeat the trio of Eddie Guerrero, Saturn and Dean Malenko, with Chyna getting the pin on Guerrero. Chyna would win the WWE Women’s Title a year later at WrestleMania 17, defeating Ivory in what would be her final ‘Mania appearance, as she ended up leaving the WWE a few months later.
#1: Trish Stratus
The majority of Trish Stratus’s ‘Mania appearances were memorable for one reason or another, beginning with WrestleMania 17. Stratus was the “slave” for Vince and Stephanie McMahon, she would attack Stephanie in that match, which would lead to a run in from Linda McMahon to attack Vince. Trish would then win the WWE Women’s Title at WrestleMania 19, defeating Jazz and Victoria in a triple threat match. Trish would successfully defend the gold against Christy Hemme at WrestleMania 21, but would lose the gold to Mickie James at ‘Mania 22. Trish would return a few years later to team with John Morrison and Snooki to defeat the trio of Dolph Ziggler, Michelle McCool and Layla.