Where did the term WWE Divas Come from?
The term Diva was coined in the late 1990s. In the height of the WWE transition into the attitude era, 'Diva' referred to women wrestlers, managers, valets or backstage interviewers. While the term is up for the debate, it was what most WWE Women wrestlers were referred to at the time. This carried much into the 21st century as recently as 2016.
- List of WWE Divas Champions
Who was the first WWE Diva?
The first WWE Diva was considered to be Sunny. She debuted in the company in 1995 accompanying her then-husband as Chris Candido in 1995 as part of the Bodydonnas. Sunny would manage other teams in the promotion including Legion of Doom and The Smoking Gunns. It also marked the transition of WWE female talent to be more sexualized as part of the transition to edgier content that WWE was offering at the time. Following the arrival of Sunny, other prominent female 'wrestlers' followed which include Marlene, Sable and Chyna. Of all the WWE Divas that was in the company at the time, Chyna was the most prominent. Thanks to her being a bodybuilder prior to entering the WWE, she could compete in the ring with both women and men.
Evolution of WWE Divas
While WWE Divas was mostly associated with oversexualised female characters, the 2000s brought about a change on how WWE treated their female performers. With the arrival of prominent athletic WWE women wrestlers that included Trish Stratus, Lita, Mickie James. Others followed suit and eventually, the WWE women's championship which was the only one at the time was not enough. This led to the creation of the WWE Divas Championship in 2010. While the championship was retired in 2016, in favor of the WWE Raw Women's Championship and WWE SmackDown Women's championship respectively, none can deny the impact WWE Divas had on the industry and more.
WWE Total Divas
Thanks to the WWE Divas name, a reality show called Total Divas premiered on July 28, 2013. This was a behind-the-scenes look at the personal lives of WWE's female superstars going their daily trials and tribulations. The show continues to this day and has even inspired a spin-off called Total Bellas and Miz & Mrs.
List of WWE Divas Champions
|Michelle McCool||July 20, 2008||The Great American Bash|
|Maryse||December 22, 2008||SmackDown|
|Mickie James||July 26, 2009||Night of Champions|
|Jillian Hall||October 12, 2009||Raw|
|Melina||October 12, 2009||Raw|
|Vacated||January 4, 2010||Raw|
|Maryse||February 22, 2010||Raw|
|Eve Torres||April 12, 2010||Raw|
|Alicia Fox||June 20, 2010||Fatal 4-Way|
|Melina||August 15, 2010||SummerSlam|
|Michelle McCool||September 19, 2010||Night of Champions|
|Natalya||November 21, 2010||Survivor Series|
|Eve Torres||January 30, 2011||Royal Rumble|
|Brie Bella||April 11, 2011||Raw|
|Kelly Kelly||June 20, 2011||Raw: Power to the People|
|Beth Phoenix||October 2, 2011||Hell in a Cell|
|Nikki Bella||April 23, 2012||Raw|
|Layla||April 29, 2012||Extreme Rules|
|Eve Torres||September 16, 2012||Night of Champions|
|Kaitlyn||January 14, 2013||Raw 20th Anniversary Special|
|AJ Lee||June 16, 2013||Payback|
|Paige||April 7, 2014||Raw|
|AJ Lee||June 30, 2014||Raw|
|Paige||August 17, 2014||SummerSlam|
|AJ Lee||September 21, 2014||Night of Champions|
|Nikki Bella||November 23, 2014||Survivor Series|
|Charlotte||September 20, 2015||Night of Champions|
|Deactivated||April 3, 2016||WrestleMania 32|
WWE Hall of Famer Lita announced that the winner of the triple threat match in which Charlotte was to defend the Divas Championship against Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks would instead be for the new WWE Women's Championship, subsequently retiring the Divas Championship.