8 times women held pro wrestling titles in the Men's Division.
Women's pro wrestling goes back in history for more than a hundred years. Despite this longevity, women have struggled to be taken seriously in what has been, for most of its existence, a male-dominated industry.
Early women wrestlers were part of the carnival sideshow act, just like the men. Many of these women were not especially large or powerful, but were well-schooled by the Hookers and Shooters--legit wrestlers with genuine Greco Roman credentials--so they could defeat their typical opponents; men selected from the crowd.
Because wrestling is as much about skill as strength, the women often defeated the local men. Eventually, someone had the idea of women wrestling each other, and as the sport transitioned from a legit athletic contest to more of a performance, women went along for the ride.
In the 1950s there was a women's pro wrestling boom, led by the controversial but significant figure, Fabulous Moolah. The developing medium of broadcast television helped put women's wrestling in homes across the world.
But then there was a decline in women's wrestling, and it had all but vanished from the United States by the mid-1980s. The only promotions featuring women's wrestling regularly were either across the sea or titillation like GLOW (Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling).
Thankfully, the Women's Evolution has changed all of that. Women main evented Wrestlemania for the first time in history in 2019's Wrestlemania 35 and Becky Lynch remains arguably the most marketable star the WWE has on their roster.
Recently, Tessa Blanchard turned heads by challenging for the Impact World Title and turned out victorious. But she is not the first woman to hold a major men's championship.
Here are eight times women have held men's championships in pro wrestling.
#1 Chyna - WWE Intercontinental Championship
One of the most dearly missed performers of the Attitude Era who is no longer with us, Chyna turned a lot of heads when she debuted with Hunter Hearst Helmsley (now known as Triple H) acting as his manager/valet.
Standing at just under six feet tall and weighing nearly two hundred pounds, the muscular amazon presented a stark contrast to the typical female in WWE during that era. Unlike many valets of the past, Chyna presented a legit physical threat to Triple H's opponents.
Eventually, Chyna started wrestling herself and wound up embroiled in a feud with Jeff Jarrett, a future WWE Hall of Fame member and the founder of Impact wrestling. Jarrett was due to jump ship to then-rival WCW but demanded additional payment from WWE to drop the IC title. Contrary to popular belief, this wasn't because Jarrett was misogynist: His WWE contract had expired, and he had no obligation to work the match at all.
The match itself was a "Good Housekeeping" bout, which was sort of like a hardcore bout except that household items were utilized as weaponry. Unfortunately, Chyna's IC title reign was brief but remains an important achievement.