The WWE Women's Championship (1956–2010) was a professional wrestling championship in the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) promotion. Created in 1956, it was the oldest active professional wrestling championship in World Wrestling Entertainment history until its retirement in 2010 as a result from a unification with the WWE Divas Championship. The New WWE Women's Championship title does not carry the lineage of the original Women's Championship.
The Championship is descended from the original NWA World Women's Championship of the National Wrestling Alliance, which is still active today. In 1983, the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) disaffiliated with the NWA and recognized then-NWA Women's World Champion The Fabulous Moolah as the promotion's World Women's Champion. Additionally, the WWF also recognized Moolah's reign at the time as a continuation of her first NWA World Women's Championship reign, which occurred in 1956, resulting in the promotion not recognizing other reigns that occurred during the title's existence in the NWA. Thus, The Fabulous Moolah's reign is considered to have lasted 27 years by the promotion. The WWF soon renamed their recognition of the title as the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) Women's Championship.
In 1990, the Women's Championship became inactive after Rockin' Robin vacated the championship following her departure from the WWF. Then in December 1993, the title was reactivated with Alundra Blayze winning a tournament for the vacant Women's Championship. The Women's Championship, however, became inactive again when Blayze unexpectedly signed with World Championship Wrestling in 1995 while still champion, forcing her to relinquish the title. The Women's Championship was reactivated again in September 1998 when Jacqueline Moore defeated Sable to win the title.
After the WWF/WWE name change in 2002, the championship was subsequently referred to as the WWE Women's Championship. With the WWE Brand Extension, the WWE Undisputed Championship and WWE Women's Championship became the only titles allowed to be defended on both the Raw and SmackDown! brands, while all other titles were exclusive to a single brand. Later, the Women's Championship became exclusive to only the Raw brand. The championship remained the only women's exclusive championship for the promotion until July 4, 2008, when a counterpart to the championship was created for the SmackDown brand, called the WWE Divas Championship.
On April 13, 2009, the Women's Championship was transferred to the SmackDown brand when reigning champion Melina was drafted from Raw to SmackDown during the 2009 WWE Draft. On June 28 at The Bash 2009 pay-per-view, Michelle McCool became the first ever Diva to hold both the WWE Women's Championship and the WWE Divas Championship. Other divas that have held both the Women's and Divas Championship include Beth Phoenix, Layla, Mickie James and Melina.
It was announced on the August 31 edition of Raw that the championship would be unified with its counterpart, the Divas Championship, at the Night of Champions event. This match was won by Michelle McCool and unified both titles creating the Unified WWE Divas Championship, thus making the Women's Championship defunct as the unified title follows the lineage of the Divas Championship.
On April 3, 2016 at WrestleMania 32, a new WWE Women's Championship was introduced to succeed the Divas Championship, however, this new title does not carry the lineage of the original Women's Championship
The inaugural champion was The Fabulous Moolah who defeated Judy Grable in September 1956 by far had the longest official reign by holding it for 10 years and 1 day or a total of 3,651 days under the WWE banner it's 27 years, 10 months, 5 days, or a total of 10,170 days and has had more recognized reigns than anyone else with 8 while under the WWE banner it's Trish Stratus with 7. Mickie James has the shortest reign, while in Paris on April 24, 2007. James defeated then-champion Melina and Victoria in a Triple Threat Match. However, Jonathan Coachman, the Acting General Manager for Raw said that since Mickie pinned Victoria, Melina deserved an immediate rematch in which she won by having her feet on the ropes. Chyna is the only undefeated champion in WWE history as she retired during her first reign. Rockin Robin was stripped of the title when she left and the title was deactivated.
Layla was the final champion after she defeated Beth Phoenix in a two-on-one handicap match, on the May 11, 2010 taping of SmackDown, which aired on May 14. Overall, there have been a total of 29 recognized champions with 59 official WWE Women's Championship reigns combined.
- World Wrestling Entertainment
- Champion history - History of the wrestlers who have held the belt.
- Title matches - Matches in which the title was defended.
- Champion gallery - A gallery of all champions.