Seven of the most influential women in WWE history

Paige's rise and success to the WWE was a monumental moment for women's wrestling, as discussed on Goals on Film, but there are others who have been just as influential.

After a well earned break throughout the month of March, the Goals on Film crew are back. This week, Jason and Stuey are joined by Edge of the Crowd alum Kieran Yap to discuss 2019 biographical wrestling drama, Fighting with my Family.

Fighting with Family follows the rise of real life former WWE Women's Champion Paige aka Saraya Knight from her humble days as a kid with a dream in Norwich, England, all the way to the top of the pro wrestling sphere and becoming WWE Women’s Champion.

In honour of Paige breaking the glass ceiling and heralding the women's revolution in WWE, we thought we would take a look at the seven most influential women to grace a WWE ring.

7. Miss Elizabeth

Debuting in 1985 as the manager of "Macho Man" Randy Savage, Miss Elizabeth played a pivotal role in popularising female managers in WWE. Miss Elizabeth's prominence in the business of pro wrestling helped break down barriers for women in the industry. Her involvement in major storylines and WrestleMania events paved the way for future female talent to make a lasting impact in the world of wrestling.

Although she passed away in 2003, Miss Elizabeth's influence remains strong in the WWE universe. As an integral part of wrestling history, her elegance, poise, and trailblazing spirit continue to inspire generations of fans and performers alike.

6. Mae Young

With a career spanning over seven decades, Mae Young was one of the first women to step into the wrestling ring. Her groundbreaking work began in the 1940s and continued well into the WWE era, inspiring countless female wrestlers to follow in her footsteps.

She had many memorable moments in the later stages of her career in WWE including competing in hardcore matches, being powerbombed through a table by the Dudley Boyz, and even participating in the 2000 Royal Rumble.

Mae Young was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2008. Her contributions to wrestling are immeasurable and her tenacity, trailblazing spirit, and undeniable charisma continue to influence the industry, ensuring her place in WWE history as an unyielding force and a timeless icon.

5. Sable

There is no question that Sable makes this list, And for different reasons than the rest of the women on this list.

Sable rose to prominence during WWE's Attitude Era, becoming one of the company's most popular female performers. Her sultry persona helped define a new era for women's wrestling and contributed to the era's edgy, groundbreaking content.

Sable's popularity extended beyond the wrestling ring, as she became the first WWE Diva to grace the cover of Playboy magazine in 1999. Her appearance marked a turning point in WWE's approach to marketing female talent and influenced the company's future relationships with mainstream media.

There is no question her magnetic presence continues to inspire future generations of female talent, ensuring her place in wrestling history as a true pioneer and unforgettable star.

4. Becky Lynch

The first of our current generation entries, Becky Lynch’s star has risen beyond even her own wildest dreams. She is one of three women who participated in the main event of Wrestlemania 35, the first time an all female match took the headline spot in the history of Wrestlemania.

Hailing from Ireland, Becky Lynch's passion for wrestling led her to travel the world in order to hone her craft. After securing a WWE contract she went on to make history by becoming the first ever WWE Smackdown Women's Champion.

In a groundbreaking moment for women's wrestling, Becky Lynch, along with Charlotte Flair and Ronda Rousey, headlined WrestleMania 35. Lynch captured both the Raw and SmackDown Women's Championships, becoming the first woman to win a WrestleMania main event.

As a trailblazer for women's wrestling and a symbol of perseverance, "The Man" continues to inspire fans and fellow wrestlers, proving that with passion and determination, anything is possible.

3. Chyna

The 9th Wonder of the World, Chyna made an immediate impact upon her WWE debut in 1997 as a bodyguard for Triple H. Her intimidating presence and unmatched physique broke the mould for women in wrestling, redefining expectations for female performers.

Chyna made history in 1999 as the first and only woman to capture the WWE Intercontinental Championship. Her victory over Jeff Jarrett at No Mercy shattered gender barriers and proved her ability to compete with male counterparts.

Chyna captured the WWE Women's Championship in 2001. Her reign showcased her dominance in the women's division and further cemented her place in wrestling history.

Her fearlessness, strength, and undeniable presence have left an indelible mark on WWE history, ensuring her place as a true wrestling icon and pioneer.

2. Charlotte Flair

From the moment Charlotte Flair stepped into a WWE ring, she was destined for greatness. As the daughter of legendary 16-time World Champion Ric Flair, Charlotte inherited a natural gift for wrestling and a flair for captivating audiences.

Charlotte played a crucial role in the Women's Revolution. She took part in numerous historic matches, including the first-ever women's Hell in a Cell, Money in the Bank, and the main event of WrestleMania 35.

With her natural athleticism and technical prowess, Charlotte has developed an arsenal of signature moves, including her father's iconic Figure Four Leglock, which she transformed into the Figure Eight Leglock, adding her unique flair to the submission.

Embracing her legendary lineage, Charlotte has adopted her father's signature "Woo!" and flamboyant robes, paying homage to Ric Flair while forging her own path. Her ability to balance this heritage with her distinct persona has endeared her to fans and made her an unforgettable figure in WWE.

1. Trish Stratus

Trish Stratus is an icon in the world of women’s wrestling and paved the way for future generations of female performers.

Stratus began her career as a fitness model and was introduced to the WWE in 2000 as a valet for the tag team T&A. However, it was not long before she began wrestling herself and quickly became one of the most popular performers in the company.

Stratus was also known for her exceptional in-ring skills. She was a seven-time Women’s Champion, a three-time Babe of the Year, and a two-time Diva of the Year. She was the first female wrestler to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013.

Stratus has been instrumental in the training and development of numerous female wrestlers, including current WWE star Charlotte Flair and former WWe star Sasha Banks.

Stratus also used her platform to advocate for women’s rights and empowerment. She was a vocal advocate for breast cancer awareness and worked with numerous charities throughout her career.

Trish Stratus is the most influential female performer in WWE of all time due to her ability to change the perception of women’s wrestling, her exceptional in-ring skills, her role as a mentor to other female wrestlers, and her advocacy for women’s rights and empowerment. She will always be remembered as a pioneer in the world of women’s wrestling and a true icon in the WWE.

Although Paige didn't make this list, that doesn’t make her story any less inspiring. Unfortunately Paige was forced to retire from wrestling due to a neck injury she suffered in the ring just after Christmas in 2017. 

She has recently made a comeback to pro wrestling with AEW, and who knows, maybe one day she will return to the summit that is WWE and force her way on to this list.

Listen to this week's episode of Goals on Film, 2019's Fighting with my Family on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.