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Over the last few years, the women of WWE have made some historic leaps in cementing themselves as viable performers inside the squared circle. The popularity that they've received from the WWE Universe has been constantly growing, while their matches have been top notch. The Women's Evolution has risen to an all-time high, and there's no looking back now. These women are at the top of their game with NO sight of slowing down.
As WrestleMania is looming with what looks like a stacked card for the women, I thought about some matches in the women's division from over the years that I feel may be labeled as underrated.
Here are just a few examples of incredible women's matches in WWE that I have personally enjoyed witnessing:
Asuka vs. Mickie James at NXT TakeOver Toronto 2016 -- NXT Women's Title
A returning Mickie James made her way back home to WWE when she crossed paths with the dominating NXT Women's Champion at the time, Asuka. The Empress of Tomorrow was cruising through the women's division in NXT and her undefeated streak was still highly intact.
However, her opponent wasn't just any opponent. She just so happened to be a 6-time women's champion...
The technical prowess throughout this match was absolutely incredible. Both women seemed immensely comfortable with one another as their wrestling looked more like poetry in motion. Being away from the WWE for over 6 years and not ever competing in an NXT ring with Asuka before, Mickie proved just how amazing of an in-ring competitor she truly is. The future Hall of Famer pushed Asuka to her very limit, showing the entire wrestling world that she indeed "still got it".
The crowd was excited throughout the entire battle, watching in awe and awaiting to see what these two fighting females would do next to entertain them. The mind games shared by Mickie and Asuka were such a sight to behold, and the fans in attendance just ate that all up like it was their last meal.
In my opinion, this match was one of the best matches in EITHER woman's career. They both showed everything in their arsenals and reminded the WWE Universe just how perfect they are for this business. When deciding to write this article, THIS is the match I thought about first, and it will certainly go down as one of my favorites of all time.
Nia Jax vs. Alexa Bliss at WrestleMania 34 -- Raw Women's Title
Perhaps one of the most important stories told by the WWE, the Nia Jax and Alexa Bliss rivalry was a very special one. For weeks, The Goddess of WWE continued to body-shame and mock Nia Jax to the point of exhaustion for Nia. This led to an epic showdown on the grand stage of WrestleMania between the former best friends.
Alexa brought her partner in crime, Mickie James, to accompany her at ringside for the battle with The Irresistible Force. However, before the match could get underway, Nia made sure that Mickie wouldn't get involved and quickly disposed of her, much to the chagrin of the Raw Women's Champion.
As Alexa gouged the eyes of Nia on three separate occasions, it definitely seemed like The Goddess would do whatever it took to walk away with her gold. As someone of her size and stature, she had to pull out all the tricks she could possibly muster in order to defeat someone like Nia Jax.
Unfortunately for Bliss, her torture of Nia throughout the weeks leading up to their battle, as well as mocking her IN the match, made Nia extra angry and put her in an entirely different gear. She hoisted up Alexa on her shoulders, climbed to the second rope, and delivered the most devastating Samoan Drop she's ever delivered.
The amount of respect and adulation shown by the fans in attendance towards Nia after she raised her newly won Raw Women's Title in the air was tremendously special. A real life issue that Nia Jax had gone through prior to WWE was brought to life in a storyline with her best friend, and in result of it, she became a world champion at WrestleMania. That reason alone is why this match was really inspiring and deserves all the recognition in the world.
See my article entitled "Nia Jax and Alexa Bliss - How Bullying Led To Triumph" for more insight on this epic rivalry.
Ronda Rousey vs. Nikki Bella at Evolution - RAW Women's Title
In hindsight, Ronda Rousey vs. ANY woman in the world usually means that Ronda will win in a landslide. However, in the realm of professional wrestling where interference and assistance from an outside party can gain you an advantage, anything can surely happen. That undoubtedly was the case in the Evolution main event as Ronda faced off against Nikki Bella for the Raw Women's Title.
When the match first began, Rousey played around with Nikki, tossing her around the ring like a rag doll. It then became apparent to the Fearless one that she needed to orchestrate a new tactic. Enter her twin sister, Brie Bella. Distracting the referee is a veteran move one makes to gain advantage in a match and the Bellas pull that off better than anyone. The match shifted gears because of it and the dominating Ronda Rousey was backpedaling quickly.
Ronda needed to do something crucial to gain the momentum back. That opportunity arose when she hoisted up BOTH Bella Twins on her shoulders and slammed them down simultaneously. The power of Ronda Rousey was put on full display and the fans in attendance loved every second of it.
Many people thought that this battle would just be an onslaught, but Nikki Bella took it upon herself to change that perspective and make the match a whole lot more competitive and unpredictable.
In the end though, Ronda pulled off the victory and ended a monumental night with the rest of the women of WWE on the stage in an emotional moment in history. The match was truly entertaining and both ladies should be proud of what they accomplished that night.
Natalya vs. Naomi at SummerSlam 2017 -- SmackDown Women's Title
With Natalya being the ultimate "heel" during this time, it was the absolute perfect match for her to show off her technical wrestling skills, especially on one of the biggest pay-per-views of the year. Nothing flashy to show, but only pain to dish out. At this point in time, Naomi was a fighting champion that made every member of the WWE Universe feel that glow each time she entered an arena.
However, Natalya was on the war path and took control of this SummerSlam battle for the SmackDown Women's Title early on. Although Naomi had some moments of triumph throughout, it was just Nattie's time to shine. The determination that the Queen of Harts displayed, while yelling at anyone and everyone within earshot of her, made her completely unstoppable. She made everyone watching that night truly understand why she's one of the best technical wrestlers in the entire WWE.
This match undoubtedly brought the best out of these two ladies and was such a pleasure to watch. The athleticism of Naomi and the wrestling prowess of Natalya were the ultimate ingredients towards perfection. Those two reminded the WWE Universe that night just why they are two of the best females to ever lace up a pair of wrestling boots.
I demand a rematch soon. Please and thank you.
Trish Stratus vs. Melina at Survivor Series '05 -- WWE Women's Title
Leading up to this match for the WWE Women's Title, Melina and her MNM cronies, Nitro and Mercury, kidnapped the women's champion, tied her up, and demanded a title match at one of the biggest shows of the year. Trish Stratus, being the fighting champion that she always was, gladly accepted.
As soon as the bell rang, the Master of Stratusfaction attacked Melina with multiple punches, showing how much she craved getting her hands on her nemesis. With her "fan", Mickie James, watching on in her corner, Stratus was poised on annihilating Melina and walking away with her women's title still intact.
As the match rolled on, you can just see the intensity and aggressiveness from BOTH women, as they destroyed one another in hopes to get the best of the other. To see the anger from both Trish and Melina made the match THAT much more entertaining and thoroughly believable.
With the slight help from Mickie, Trish picked up the victory and retained her title, further insinuating the upcoming remarkable feud the two would then have with one another.
This match was unquestionably underrated and, in my opinion, the best match of Melina's WWE career. If you haven't seen this battle or you've forgotten about it, do yourself a favor and find it on the WWE Network. Those two women BROUGHT IT!
Alundra Blayze vs. Leilani Kai at WrestleMania X -- WWE Women's Title
Although back in 1994, women's wrestling didn't get the time inside the ring that they do now, this match was still amazing to me. Speaking of underrated, Leilani Kai may be the most underrated women's wrestler in WWE history. If you watch this match against Alundra Blayze at WrestleMania X, you can see the utmost potential of a heel character that she possessed. Under the bright lights and on the main stage of WrestleMania, Kai really shined and her tremendous wrestling ability was displayed in front of a capacity crowd.
Alundra was and still is one of the greatest women superstars in the history of professional wrestling. She proved once again during this match just how smooth of a worker she was and how easy she made it all look.
Despite the match being less than five minutes long, you can tell just how incredible of a match those two would have had if it were longer. They were just two bad-a$$ women putting on a show for the WWE Universe. Nothing but respect to them from me.
Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Carmella -- SmackDown - 1/8/19
The Empress of Tomorrow, Asuka, was the SmackDown Women's Champion going into the Royal Rumble pay-per-view at the time and, well, she needed an opponent. Therefore, a triple threat match featuring three of the most prominent contenders went down on an episode of SmackDown to determine who that opponent would be.
Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, and Carmella pulled out all the stops in this match in order to get the opportunity to hold gold up in the air once again.
What really stood out to me was the simple fact that Carmella proved all her haters who say she can't wrestle wrong (again) and took Becky and Charlotte to their absolute limits. The level of intensity and poise that she brought to the table that night was very, very impressive. SO impressive to the point where it was a believable thought that she could defeat two of the greatest women superstars to ever be on a WWE roster.
Although it was only a short amount of time on an episode of SmackDown (with commercial breaks), all three women put on an absolute clinic together that kept the fans in attendance excited and left them wanting more.
When it was all said and done, however, The Man walked away with the "W" and collided with Asuka in an epic showdown at The Rumble.
The Respect For Women's Wrestling
I could have been sitting here writing all day about even more underrated women's matches in WWE history since there are so many. However, these are the ones that have stood out to me and continue to stand out to me to this very day. The simple fact that women's wrestling is where it's at right now STILL blows my mind. These ladies have been doing everything in their power to ensure that they get the respect that they rightfully deserve, and it's truly paying off.
With WrestleMania quickly emerging, there's no telling how incredible the women's matches are going to be on the grandest stage. I can assure you though that all the women involved in major matches that night are going to try bringing the fans in attendance to their feet, with their jaws dropped on the floor.
Women's wrestling is at an all-time high right now, and the blood, sweat, and tears that the ladies of the past, present, AND future are for sure going to be remembered and respected forever.
© 2020 Steve Smith
Jacoby on March 04, 2020:
Naomi vs Paige on Main Event in February 2016
Liat Zachs from Ramat Yishay, Israel on February 23, 2020:
A very good article! thank you.