23. Stephanie McMahon
Stephanie McMahon is one of the most polarizing characters in WWE history. Either you enjoy her as an overbearing authority figure or you absolutely hate her.
Her 146-day reign as WWE Women’s Champion was no different. Many fans rightfully hated that Jacqueline dropped the title to her with the help of D-Generation X on the Mar. 28, 2000 episode of SmackDown.
On the surface, her reign wasn’t that different from some of the other relics from the Attitude Era that we lampooned earlier in this list. On the other hand, the McMahon-Helmsley angle was one of the biggest storylines at the time, making her an undeniably memorable champion.
Her run with the belt did have its merits. In a way, it propelled the title in the main plotline, even though she also basically made it a prop. Even more, McMahon’s eventual comeuppance made Lita’s first title win a feel-good moment.
22. Gail Kim
Gail Kim is definitely more well known for her successful run with TNA, which later became IMPACT, from 2011 to 2018. With that said, she also had a hot start with WWE in 2003.
Kim won the title in her debut match on the June 30, 2003 episode of Raw, making her the second Asian WWE Women’s Champion. Although her reign only lasted 28 days, she successfully defended the belt once against Molly Holly.
Gail Kim’s tenure with WWE never reached the heights that it could’ve. Still, her first women’s title win was a stepping stone in what would become an incredible career.
21. Candice Michelle
Candice Michelle was kind of a glimpse into what WWE’s women’s division would look like during the Divas Era. As a matter of fact, she was the first WWE Diva Search contestant to win the WWE Women’s Championship.
She defeated Melina at Vengeance: Night of Champions in 2007 and held the title for 105 days. Her reign was kind of forgettable. Still, she did successfully defend the championship at two consecutive pay-per-view events.
Michelle survived Beth Phoenix at Unforgiven 2007 by reversing the Gorilla Press into a crucifix pin. However, “The Glamazon” dethroned Candice in their rematch at No Mercy.
Layla became the first British WWE Women’s Champion when she pinned Beth Pheonix in a two-on-one handicap match on the May 14, 2010 episode of SmackDown.
She and Michelle McCool, better known as LayCool, were the first-ever co-champions. Their unofficial reign made for a fun storyline even though they both probably enjoyed better reigns apart.
Layla successfully defended the title at Money in the Bank. At the end of the year, McCool unified Women’s and Divas title at Night of Champions, making Layla the last WWE Women’s Champion.
19. Bull Nakano
Bull Nakano was one of the best additions to WWE’s women’s division in the early 90s. Her legendary feud with Alundra Blayze helped to legitimize women’s wrestling during this era.
Blayze retained in their title match at SummerSlam 1994, which is still one of the best bouts featuring women in the event’s history. In November, Nakano defeated her at the Tokyo Dome to become the first Japanese WWE Women’s Champion.
She held the title for 134 days. During that time, she defended it in a hidden gem against Kyoko Inoue for All Japan Women’s Pro-Wrestling (AJW). Blayze regained the championship in the following year on an episode of Raw.