Women’s wrestling has evolved over the years, and even when it wasn’t at the forefront, a number of stars blazed the trail for the generations to come. Names like Alundra Blayze, Trish Stratus, Mickie James, Lita, Victoria, Beth Phoenix, and many more fought for more opportunities, and they helped women’s wrestling become what it is today.
Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks, Bayley, and others followed in their footsteps with the women’s evolution, which led to the historic main event of WrestleMania 35, where Lynch beat Flair and Ronda Rousey to win the RAW and SmackDown Women’s Championships. Two years later, Banks and Belair became the first two Black women to headline WrestleMania. The evolution and the progress have continued since then, as women all around wrestling continue to push for new heights. While a number of these stars could be considered queens, a few can truly be considered royalty.
Given the depth of talent women’s wrestling has featured throughout the history of the business, important factors place a few select individuals above the rest. These traits include somewhat tangible talents like in-ring ability and mic skills, as well as more subjective aspects, like charisma and overall impact on the industry. With that said, let’s take a look at the top five best queens in pro wrestling history.
As it says in her theme song, “All hail the queen.” Charlotte Flair is synonymous with the word “queen” in the wrestling world, and this association is well deserved. The daughter of WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair, Charlotte was a buzzworthy prospect when she came to WWE, but nobody could have predicted this level of greatness.
Flair is a 14-time champion on the WWE main roster, and she is also a two-time NXT Women’s Champion. Charlotte also made history when she headlined WWE WrestleMania 35 in a Triple Threat match against Becky Lynch and Ronda Rousey. Flair has had a vital part in the women’s evolution, and she has helped change the game for women’s wrestling as a whole. For that reason, along with her incredible list of accolades, Flair undoubtedly deserves a spot on this list.
Miss Elizabeth was true royalty. She managed “Macho Man’ Randy Savage, and years before he was the “Macho King” she was his queen. Elizabeth and Savage had a magical on-screen connection, and they were part of a number of memorable storylines throughout their run together. The Mega Powers uniting and imploding over Savage’s insecurity stemming from Hulk Hogan’s care for Elizabeth is widely considered one of the best storylines of all time.
Elizabeth and Savage later split up, but they had an emotional reunion at WrestleMania VII. They also got married at SummerSlam 1991, which led to more dynamic storytelling across multiple high-profile feuds. Their on-screen love story continued years later in WCW before they parted ways again. Elizabeth’s time in WCW fell short of her WWE run, but altogether, she put together one of the most remarkable careers for a valet, and for a manager in general, in WWE history.
Sherri Martel, also known as Sensational Sherri, like Miss Elizabeth, had an impressive career as a manager, but she stands apart because she arrived in WWE as a wrestler. She had a remarkable 15-month reign as the WWF Women’s Champion that stands the test of time, especially considering the fact that it came shortly before WWE phased out its women’s division.
Sherri went on to cement her status as a legendary manager when she paired up with Randy Savage and feuded with Miss Elizabeth. There, she adopted the moniker of “Queen Sherri” to complement Randy Savage’s new “Macho King” gimmick.
She also managed Shawn Michaels and helped lead him to stardom early in his WWE career. Sherri continued to build her legacy in WCW, as she added Ric Flair and Harlem Heat to her all-star lineup of clients. Her contributions to the business were immortalized when she was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006. Sherri was also inducted into the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2014. There’s no doubt that she will go down as one of the greatest women in wrestling, given her in-ring success, her charisma, and her stacked list of clients.
Sharmell got her start as a Nitro Girl, but by the time her full-time wrestling carer ended, she had become one of the most iconic managers of all time. In her most memorable run, Sharmell managed Booker T, her real-life husband. The duo make magic together after Booker won the King of the Ring tournament and Sharmell became his queen. They were featured in plenty of fun storylines, including Booker’s feud The Boogeyman. Sharmell also worked alongside Booker and remained his queen in TNA. During her time there, Sharmell wrestled and proved her toughness. Sharmell was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2022.
Zelina Vega is still young, and while she isn’t a 14-time champion like Charlotte Flair or an icon like Stratus, she is still carving her legacy, which is already impressive. Plus, Zelina is one of WWE’s true queens. Vega won the inaugural Queen’s Crown Tournament in 2021, and she had a memorable run on the throne, complete with a royal accent, a crown, and a scepter.
Vega has also held the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship, though she hasn’t been able to capture any singles titles yet. That being said, Vega continues to make her mark in other ways. She was part of an unforgettable moment at WWE Backlash in Puerto Rico, where she competed in front of her people and they gave her a standing ovation despite her loss to Rhea Ripley. Seeing that level of support, it’s easy to predict that Vega has a bright future, and she’ll continue to add reasons that show why she’s one of WWE’s greatest queens.
“The Queen of Spades” Shayna Baszler has to be part of the conversation due to her moniker alone. On top of that, Baszler is a legitimate badass with her background as a former UFC fighter. She is a former NXT Women’s Champion and a three-time WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion. Baszler currently holds the titles with Ronda Rousey, and the powerful duo firmly reigns supreme over the rest of the division, so Shayna could easily continue to build her legacy.
As with Sherri Martel, Richter made a name for herself as a wrestler in WWE at a time when women’s wrestling was a long away way from what it is today. Still, her legacy is undeniable; she defeated Fabulous Moolah at the classic MTV event The Brawl to End It All and won the WWF Women’s Championship in the process. The bout kickstarted the “Rock ‘n’ Wrestling Connection”, which helped take WWE to new heights, and Richter appeared in the Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling Cartoon. Richter was later inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
Since Trish Stratus turned heel, she has been telling everyone to thank her, and maybe we should. Many of the things she has in her promos are true, at least to an extent. As impactful as the women’s evolution has been, Stratus and the other women of her time laid the foundation for the movement. Trish and others, such as Lita and Mickie James, blazed the trail that the current generation is now walking. Lita and Stratus broke barriers, as they were the first women’s main-event for WWE RAW, a milestone that had been unheard of previously.
Like Flair, Stratus also racked up plenty of tangible success; she is a seven-time WWE Women’s Champion, and she also won the WWE Hardcore Championship. In 2021, she was voted the Greatest WWE Feame Superstar of All Time. But Stratus’ true legacy is immeasurable, as she inspired countless women to follow in her footsteps. Overall, it’s safe to say that women’s wrestling wouldn’t be what it is today without Stratus.