8. Wendi Richter
During WWE’s Golden Era, Wendi Richter was undeniably the biggest star in women’s wrestling. With Cyndi Lauper in her corner, Richter’s stardom reached a level that rivaled “Hulkamania.”
At MTV’s The Brawl to End It All, she ended the longest championship reign in professional wrestling history when she beat The Fabulous Moolah to become the second WWE Women’s Champion. The win put Richter on the map and kicked off the “Rock ‘n’ Wrestling Connection” era.
Wendi held the title for 210 days before she lost it to Moolah’s protege, Leilani Kai. In 1985, Richter returned to Madison Square Garden to challenge Kai for the championship at the first WrestleMania.
To put it in perspective, this match was so big that it was the second to last match on the card. Backed by Lauper again, Ricter regained the title to become the first two-time WWE Women’s Champion.
Wendi controversially dropped the belt back to Moolah, who was disguised as The Spider Lady, in what was dubbed the “Original Screwjob.” Last year, the final episode of VICELAND’s docuseries, Dark Side Of The Ring, covered the incident in detail.
Richter abruptly left the company afterward and it did irreparable damage to an already thin women’s division. Sadly, this was a reoccurring theme for WWE.
Ever since her debut on the Apr. 14, 2005 episode of SmackDown, fans could tell there was something special about Melina. She had a unique look, good promo skills, and an unforgettable entrance.
Later, she coupled that with innovative in-ring work to become one of the best new stars of her era. The “A-List Diva” won the WWE Women’s Championship for the first time on the Feb. 19, 2007 episode of Raw when she caught Mickie James with an overhead pinning predicament.
James and Melina had a lengthy feud, which culminated in the first-ever Women’s Falls Count Anywhere match in March of 2007. Strangely, the “Paparazzi Princess” lost the title to Mickie when she pinned Victoria in a triple threat match at a house show in Paris.
Melina got a rematch at the same event and regained the title to become a two-time WWE Women’s Champion. She held the title for two more months, adding up to 125 days total, before she lost it to Candice Michelle.
The “A-List” eventually turned face and had a phenomenal feud with Beth Phoenix, who she defeated to win the title for a third time at Royal Rumble 2009. She dropped the title in the spring during a fun series of matches with Michelle McCool.
6. Beth Phoenix
Along with Michelle McCool and Melina, Beth Phoenix was one of five women who held both the WWE Women’s and Divas Championship.
“The Glamazon” won the women’s title from Candice Michelle at No Mercy 2007 and went on to enjoy a 190-day reign. Phoenix lost the title to Mickie James in April of 2008.
Later, Phoenix regained the WWE Women’s Championship in a Winner Take All match at SummerSlam. At “The Biggest Party of the Summer”, she teamed up with Santino Marella to defeat James and Kofi Kingston for their respective titles.
During her second reign, she feuded with Melina, who returned from an injury to dethrone “The Glamazon” at Royal Rumble. Pheonix won the title for a third and final time at Extreme Rules 2010.
This time she only held the title for two weeks, but she still amassed 367 combined days as champions when all is said and done.