After WWE reinstated the women’s title in 1998, Sable became one of the company’s breakout stars. Although she became well-known for her salacious segments, Sable made a name for herself during her storyline with her ex-boyfriend, Marc Mero.
She famously hit Mero with the Sable Bomb at Unforgiven 1998. This star-making performance led to a match for the vacant WWE Women’s Championship. Jacqueline won with the help of Mero but Sable obtained the title two months later at Survivor Series.
She went on to enjoy the most memorable run with the title in the late 90s. The only thing that keeps her out of the top ten is that most of her biggest moments had nothing to do with wrestling.
Still, her Playboy covers and outrageous swimsuit contests changed the direction of the women’s division for the next two decades for better or worse.
Of course, one could argue she set women’s wrestlers back during that time. Regardless, she became one of the most successful and talked about women in WWE history.
10. Michelle McCool
McCool became the first woman to hold both the WWE Divas and Women’s Championship when she defeated Melina at The Bash in 2009. She held the title for 217 days, competing with the former champion and Mickie James for the most part.
Her initial reign included that horrendous “Piggy James” angle, which is best left forgotten. James got her revenge at Royal Rumble 2010 but she dropped the title back to McCool a month later.
During her second reign, McCool had an excellent match with Beth Phoenix at Extreme Rules 2010 aside from the “Extreme Makeover” stipulation. At any rate, Pheonix ultimately ended McCool’s 61-day reign at the event.
However, she technically became a three-time champion two weeks later when she helped Layla win the title on the May 11 episode of SmackDown.
As an unofficial co-champion, McCool successfully defended the WWE Women’s Championship against Tiffany and unified it with the Divas title at Night of Champions. No matter how you look at it, that’s a strong two-year run.
Chyna honestly made a bigger impact outside of the women’s division. Her run as the first and only female Intercontinental Champion was much more significant.
Nevertheless, her storyline with Ivory following her Playboy cover in November of 2000 was much better than it had any right to be. At a time when eye candy was a fixture on their programming, WWE managed to deliver a great feud centered around body shaming.
Ivory and Right to Censor helped to make Chyna into a sympathetic character over the next few months, injuring her neck in December. When she returned, the “Ninth Wonder of the World” challenged Ivory for the WWE Women’s Championship at Royal Rumble 2001.
At the event, Chyna reinjured her neck, setting the champion up to retain. This led to a rematch at WrestleMania X-Seven, where she finally claimed the WWE Women’s Championship in one of the biggest wins of her career.
Chyna held the title for 214 days, dominating most of her opponents. She notably had a standout match with Lita at Judgement Day 2001 before she vacated the title in November because of a contract dispute with WWE.