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Top 10 Women Wrestlers: Countdown Part Four, Who’s Number One?

July 31st, 2014 at 1:11 PM
By Peter Schifani

This month we have been counting down the Top 10 women wrestlers of all-time and you can't have such a countdown without the one woman who held the title of Women's World Champion the longest. Before we reveal number one, you can go back to part three here, and included are the links to parts one and two.

Number One: Fabulous Moolah

The woman born as Mary Lillian Ellison began her wrestling career in the 1940's in the NWA. At the time Billy Wolfe was the biggest promoter of women's wrestling and would ask his women to enter into relationships with there male counterparts. Ellison refused and would lead to her not being recognized officially as Women's World Champion until June Byers retired in 1964. Moolah would win her first World title in 1956 in a 13 woman battle royal. She actually held the Women's Championship a total of five times, the NWA Women's World Tag-Team titles twice in 1970's and the WWF Women's Championship on four occasions. One thing that helped her to stay champion over long stretches and for many years at a time was that Fabulous Moolah bought the rights to the Women's World title in the 1970's. When the WWF expanded under Vince McMahon Jr. in the early 1980's she allowed Wendi Richter to defeat her for the WWF Women's Championship, since she was the first woman recognized to have held the WWF version of the title. Even though WWE billed Moolah as Women's Champion for nearly 30 years when she battled Wendi Richter during the "Rock and Wrestling" era she really had held the title over four decades but not consecutively throughout.

We all remember the times Moolah and Mae Young appeared on WWF television during the "Attitude Era" in a comedic role, but during that time she defeated Ivory for her last championship at 'No Mercy' on October 17, 1999. Fabulous Moolah is not only in the WWE Hall of Fame (1995 class), she also was inducted into the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2003 and the NWA version of same in 2012. She was 84 years old when she passed away in November, 2007. There will certainly never be another woman quite like her as she paved the way for many of the women who compete today.

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