While men’s titles like the WWE Championship and Intercontinental Championship are nearly guaranteed for title defenses at WrestleMania, the Women’s Championship – in its multitude of incarnations from WWF Women’s Champion to Divas Champion to Raw and SmackDown Women’s titles – has often struggled to get a spot on the Grandest Stage of Them All. It is for that very reason that this Sunday’s historic main event, featuring Raw Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey, SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch is such a landmark achievement. Here’s a look at every time a challenger won a Women’s Championship at WrestleMania.
WrestleMania I: Wendi Richter Defeats Leilani Kai (c) to Become the New WWE Women’s Champion
Before Hulkamania captivated a planet, Wendi Richter‘s program with Fabulous Moolah, aided and abetted by a partnership with Cyndi Lauper and MTV, was WWF’s biggest drawing storyline. It all came to a head at the very first WrestleMania, when Richter defeated Moolah’s protege Leilani Kai for the WWF Women’s Championship, as Richter celebrated with Lauper in her corner.
WrestleMania X-7: Chyna Defeats Ivory (c) to Become the New WWE Women’s Champion
Despite competing against men for the bulk of her WWF career from 1997 to 2000, including holding the WWE Intercontinental Championship on a couple of occasions, Chyna entered the Women’s division for the first time at the end of 2000, when she was goaded into battle by Right To Censor‘s Ivory, who held the title. It culminated in a squash match at WrestleMania 17 in 2001, but it would prove to be the final major landmark for Chyna, as she departed the WWE in November of that year.
WrestleMania XIX: Trish Stratus Defeats Victoria (c) and Jazz to Become the New WWE Women’s Champion
Trish Stratus was already a 3x WWE Women’s Champion when she walked into WrestleMania 19 in Seattle, Washington to face WWE Women’s Champion Victoria and Jazz in a triple threat. Victoria and Stratus had been feuding the past year during a squabble that included their on-screen boyfriends at the time, Jeff Hardy (Trish) and Stevie Richards (Victoria). Trish finally defeated her rival in Seattle at WrestleMania for her fourth WWE Women’s title.
WrestleMania 22: Mickie James Defeats Trish Stratus (c) to Become the New WWE Women’s Champion
Mickie James debuted in the WWE in 2005 as an obsessed fan of Trish Stratus and ultimately won the Women’s Champion over. But she went from being Trish’s helpful valet into becoming a Single White Female stalker, who became romantically obsessed with her idol. Trish soon rejected Mickie, causing James to snap and turn on her mentor, and the two faced off at WrestleMania 22 in Chicago, with James winning her very first WWE Women’s Championship.
WrestleMania 32: Charlotte Flair Defeats Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks to Become the New WWE Women’s Champion
It would be a decade later that the WWE Women’s Championship would become a title of prestige in WWE. While the Divas title would squeak into a couple of cards in that decade, it was mostly an afterthought as WWE sought to best figure out how to handle their women’s division. In 2016, at WrestleMania 32, WWE abandoned the Divas Championship and rebooted a new WWE Women’s Championship, with the last Divas Champion, Charlotte Flair, facing off against Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch, the other two new faces of the Divas Revolution, to crown the new champ. It would become Charlotte’s second Women’s Championship in her short career on the main roster and her elevation to the top of the card.
WrestleMania 33: Naomi Defeats Alexa Bliss (c), Carmella, Mickie James & Natalya to Become the New Smackdown Women’s Champion
It was a hometown moment at WrestleMania 33 in Orlando, as Orlando’s own Naomi regained her SmackDown Women’s Championship in front of her friends and family in a 5-way match against Carmella, Mickie James, Natalya and SmackDown Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss. Naomi had been champion earlier that year, defeating Bliss at Elimination Chamber in February, but an injury forced WWE to strip her of her title after only nine days. Fans were devastated, as it seemed that Naomi’s dream of defending her title in her hometown was now squashed. But she made an early return prior to the big show and was inserted into the match and instead got a greater moment than expected – instead of defending the title in her hometown, she got to win the championship instead.
WrestleMania 34: Nia Jax Defeats Alexa Bliss (c) to Become the New Raw Women’s Champion
Last year saw the latest WrestleMania Women’s Championship title change, as Nia Jax finally got revenge on her bully captor Alexa Bliss by defeating her for the Raw Women’s title in New Orleans. Nia Jax had been a constant companion for Bliss in the year prior, acting as the muscle for the multi-time champion. But by the end of 2017, it became apparent that Bliss had just been using Jax for her size and didn’t like her at all. An emotionally charged Jax sought to prove her worth to her bully and got final redemption in Louisiana at last year’s Showcase of the Immortals.