Thursday, September 19, 2013

Favorite ladies in wrestling

So I've been super interested in everything that's going on right now in WWE surrounding the women. And I"m not alone. Everyone is talking about the women again in a meaningful way, which makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It's no secret that I'm a fan of women in wrestling and I thought that since they seem to be on the rise again, now would be a perfect time to compile a list of my favorite ladies in wrestling. Bear in mind as you read this article, that I didn't start watching wrestling until 1998, just after WrestleMania XIV, and while I have seen quite a bit of footage older than that, my own experience is going to heavily influence how I rank the women in this list.

#5: Sable
I've got to start out this list with what I consider to be a bang. I mentioned that I began watching wrestling after WrestleMania XIV, and Sable's feud with Luna was the reason I began tuning in on a weekly basis. The Mixed Tag match they had with their male counterparts (Marc Mero & Goldust, respectively) told a fantastic story, and it single-handedly revived the women's division in the company. The Women's title had been having a spotty history. It was deemed inactive in 1990, and then revived in 1993, only to be vacated again in 1995. Sable & Luna proved that women's wrestling could be important again, and mere months after Sable delivered her first TKO to Luna, the company had taken notice, picked up a few more talents, and revived the title once and for all. Although she lost her initial bout with Jaqueline, Sable did go on to win the championship the next month, and in my mind, she remains one of the most important women ever to wrestle in WWE.

#4: Miss Elizabeth
Often credited as being "The Original Diva", Miss Elizabeth was the picture of how young women wanted to be seen when they grew up. She may have had her share of ups and downs with "Macho Man" Randy Savage, but through everything, Elizabeth always seemed to exude a level of class that elevated her near-royalty levels of admiration. In fact, she was wrestling royalty. She was always gracious, always smiling, and on the occasion that she did get into trouble (because, let's face it, that's the nature of the business), fans would genuinely be concerned for her, regardless of anything else that was going on at the time. She was the uncrowned queen of the WWF, and she will always be seen as a beacon of compassion & tenderness in an otherwise troubled universe.

#3: A.J. Lee
I remember vividly the night that A.J. became a star in the WWE. It wasn't when she won the Diva's championship. It wasn't when she was having a love triangle with Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, and Kane. It was before that. It was the night she first became associated with the American Dragon. She expressed she loved Daniel Bryan, and later on that night, we heard Daniel ask her, "How much do you love me?" Sensing that she would do anything for love, he brought her out ringside, and sure enough he was right. As the match unfolded, Big Show gave chase to Daniel Bryan outside the ring, and ran over this poor little girl that the world did not yet know would become the most important Diva of this era. That night, I turned to my friends and said, "That girl is the future of the Divas division." She has happily proved me right. She is the current Divas champion, having successfully defended that title on several occasions, and she has proved time and time again that she can dish it out just as well as much of the roster. She can trade verbal blows with the commentators, and she is legitimately The Girl To Beat. And she has a submission finisher, which is a rare thing to see amongst the ladies.

#2 Mae Young & The Fabulous Moolah
Alright, I admit, even I feel like I'm cheating on this one, but to be fair, I did come into my own during the Attitude Era, when you were hard pressed to find one of these ladies without the other. They were the women who paved the way for future generations of female wrestlers to follow their dreams and become the Divas and Knockouts that we know today. And they were tough old broads, too. They weren't just talking the talk, they could put their money where their mouths were any day of the week. Combined they have earned 11 singles championships, and 3 women's tag team championships. And that's not to mention their various other awards and accomplishments, including being hall-of-famers.

#1: Vickie Guererro
What??? I can hear you all clicking over now, but hear me out here. There is a reason that I love seeing Vickie Guerrero on my TV so much that I would dare to put her as my favorite woman in wrestling ever. I'll admit, when Vickie first began to work on WWE television on a regular basis following the death of her husband Eddie, I hated her. I wanted her to go away. She was SUCH a bad actor, and I didn't feel she added anything that someone else couldn't do better. Over the years, however, I've turned my opinion on her completely around. She's great at what she does. Although she might not be a wrestler, Vickie Guererro has possibly the biggest influence on the product than any woman I've ever seen. And it's not just her voice. It's how she uses her voice to elicit the appropriate response. And what a response! Even in the deadest of crowds, you can expect a deafening reaction when Vickie appears. And at this point, she has such a grip on that reaction, that on the off chance it isn't strong enough, all she has to do is throw a couple more "Excuse Me!!"s in to reach the proper decibel level. I was sad to see her fired from her Raw position, ecstatic that she was immediately appointed GM of SmackDown, and I hope she stays on my TV for a very, very long time.

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