Last week, WWE celebrated the five-year anniversary of the start of the Women’s Evolution. In July of 2015, this watershed moment marked the end of what many consider a low point in women’s wrestling, the Divas Era. Incidentally, WWE crowned the inaugural Divas Champion 12 years ago today.
During the brand extension, WWE established the Divas Championship as a SmackDown exclusive title because the Women’s Champion was on Raw. This was a precursor to current women’s division where there’s a women’s belt for each respective brand.
Vickie Guerrero announced the debut of the infamous butterfly-shaped belt on the June 6, 2008 episode of SmackDown. In the following month, Michelle McCool defeated Natalya at The Great American Bash to become the first-ever WWE Divas Champion.
The Divas Championship eventually became the sole women’s title in 2010. It remained so until WWE retired the title in 2016 at WrestleMania 32 when they unveiled what would become the Raw Women’s Championship.
Many fans and performers rejoiced that company got rid of the “Divas” moniker and acknowledged it’s performers as women again. The era that spawned the title is heavily criticized because it’s characterized by short matches and problematic tropes.
However, the Divas Era wasn’t a total disaster. In fact, some fans remember it fondly because there were several talented women and memorable storylines during that time. The Diva title was only around for eight years but it developed its own history and a cult following in that time.
In celebration of its twelve-year anniversary, here’s a ranking of every WWE Diva Champion from worst to best.
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Putting AJ Lee over Nikki is ridiculous.