Is Charlotte Already the Greatest Women’s Wrestler in WWE?


Forbes published an article in which it boldly laid claim that Charlotte had already achieved the distinction of being the greatest woman to ever compete in WWE. Is there truth to this statement? Or is too early to tell?

Prior to Charlotte and Sasha Banks’ amazing main event Women’s title match to close out Monday Night Raw, WWE spotlighted a Forbes article that made the proclamation that Charlotte was the greatest women’s wrestler to ever compete in WWE.

Although Charlotte would end up losing her title to Sasha by night’s end, the match certainly did help some of the arguments made in favor for her. In a losing effort, Charlotte was the star of the match, and subsequently, the star of the night, one-upping her Wrestlemania 32 top rope moonsault to the outside, this time, with a top rope corkscrew moonsault to the outside, a maneuver that already puts her in rarified air as there have not been many women who could pull that off.

But is Charlotte the greatest women’s wrestler ever in WWE? Keep in mind that Charlotte is only a mere three years removed from her debut; to some, that is too small of a sample size to accurately say that she is the greatest. Charlotte is perhaps the greatest pure athlete the women’s division has ever seen; she can easily lay claim to such a notion, as stated earlier with her gymnastics background allowing her to pull off a corkscrew moonsault with the greatest of ease.

To call Charlotte the greatest would imply that she is in the conversation along the likes of the Fabulous Moolah, Alundra Blayze, Chyna, and Trish Stratus. It’s always worth noting that, especially in the world of pro-wrestling, simply being a once-in-a-lifetime freak of nature athlete doesn’t always necessarily qualify you to be the greatest.

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Case in point, Hulk Hogan was far from being considered a superior athlete in every sense of the word, as compared to, say, Brock Lesnar, and yet in the annals of time, most people would argue that Hogan, overall, would belong in the category of one of the greatest of all time, over Lesnar, who, to his credit, also makes valid points as to why he should be in the same conversation.

Charlotte, although she did enjoy a lengthy title reign with her first run as the WWE Divas/Women’s Champion, by comparison, it’s only a fraction of the time that Moolah held hers. That’s a bit unfair, however, as the Moolah and Sammartino-esque title reigns that lasted for years will never happen in today’s industry. CM Punk and the New Day have held their respective titles for over 400 days, but it pales in comparison to Sammartino’s eight-year run as the champion.

Charlotte, up to now, has not had the same cultural impact for women the same way Chyna did during the Attitude Era, nor Charlotte’s contemporary Ronda Rousey for her sport. Chyna, while not a technically-sound wrestler such as Charlotte, was considered to be a once-in-a-lifetime star, and to this day, even after her death, it remains true: there hasn’t been another woman quite like Chyna to compete in the WWE, to achieve what Chyna did (capture the men’s exclusive Intercontinental Championship), and we may never see another one ever again.

Comparisons to Moolah or Chyna should be disqualified for the purposes of this article. That said, who can we compare Charlotte with to quantify her greatness? Two names that come to mind are Alundra Blayze and Trish Stratus. Blayze, the former Madusa, was brought into the-then WWF in 1993 to revive the women’s division, similar to Charlotte’s role in the Women’s Revolution almost twenty years later.

Blayze would become Women’s Champion, the first since the title was vacated and essentially abandoned since 1990, and subsequently requested that WWF bring in talent to build around her and help bolster the re-emergence of the new division. In that sense, Blayze’s spot in the history of the sport, for WWE at least, was that she not only engineered the return of women’s wrestling to the company in the 90s, but brought about a new level of athleticism and in-ring work that had not been seen during the Moolah dynasty, spanning from the 50s to the 80s.

One can argue that while Blayze brought back women’s wrestling to the fold and raised the level of competition and changed people’s perceptions women could be and do more than valet, Charlotte, and her fellow Horsewomen had to fight to repair the damage done to the image of women’s wrestling as a result of the Attitude and Ruthless Aggression eras, where T&A and runway models became the norm.

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Prior to Charlotte’s rise to stardom, WWE would unequivocally proclaim that Trish Stratus was the greatest women’s champion the company had ever seen. Trish is perhaps the singular best person to attempt to compare Charlotte with. By the end of her career, Trish was a 7-time WWE Women’s Champion, and headlined Raw with her rival Lita in 2004. Trish, compared to everyone else mentioned in this piece, with the exception of Chyna, is most notably a purely-bred WWE talent, as is Charlotte. However, Trish retired, arguably in her prime, in 2006 at the age of 31. Charlotte is only 30 years old, and only three years into her career, astonishingly enough with her best work yet to come.

Compared to Trish, Charlotte has already held the title longer than any of Trish’s individual reigns. Despite not being crowned champion as many times as Trish, her impressive first reign cancels it out, as it had done for Punk’s 434-day reign as WWE Champion compared to say, Stone Cold Steve Austin, or The Rock, or John Cena’s multiple titles. Charlotte is a far superior in-ring performer than Trish is as well, but that is almost a given considering Charlotte’s athletic background as opposed to Trish’s in modeling.

While it’s even then still to early to say that Charlotte is better than Trish Stratus, what we can confidently say, in addendum to the original Forbes article is that Charlotte is quite possibly the greatest women’s wrestler that WWE has produced. Moolah, Blayze, Jacqueline, Lita, Paige, AJ, Sasha, Bayley, and Becky all wrestled on the indies or another territory or another promotion prior to joining WWE. Charlotte is a product and a testament to the effectiveness of the WWE Performance Center in the creation of talent.

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Chyna and Trish were also exclusive-WWE talent but only time will tell whether or not Charlotte will surpass both of them. Given her meteoric rise, it won’t come as a surprise or a shock if she does indeed to go down as the greatest of all time. But for now, it’s a much safer bet to say that Charlotte is the best women’s wrestler that WWE has produced to date.