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October 22, 2009

The Ring Posts Female 20

In the spirit of Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s Female 50 – a feature in last month’s issue of PWI that ranks the top women wrestlers over the past year – I’ve come up with my own list, although I limited mine to 20.

The rankings are based on championships won, won-loss records, marketability, overall athletic ability and activity between Sept. 1, 2008 and Aug. 31, 2009.

Before getting to the list, please keep the above criteria in mind, as this is not a list of the top 20 workers. Also, only wrestlers under contract to WWE and TNA were considered, since I have not seen enough of women on the independent circuit to accurately judge them. Finally, let me reiterate that activity during the aforementioned period is a key factor. Therefore, wrestlers who missed significant time or did not make their debuts until later in the grading period (such as Sarita and Alissa Flash) did not make it.


8. ODB

15. EVE


Posted by Kevin Eck at 9:00 PM | | Comments (23)


#15 EVE????? Just because she can dance?

Where's Santina ;-)

RESPONSE FROM KE: Eve -- athletic, marketable, and has won her share of matches

Kev did maryse even defend her title more than 10 x in 6 months hers the list:

1. Angela 2. melina 3. kong
4. mickie 5. McCool, 6 Maryse
7. Tara, 8. ODB 9. Beth
10. taylor 11. Gail 12. So Jo
13. maria 14. Kelly 15. Velvet
16. sarita 17. eve 18. daffney
19. nattie 20. Roxxi

RESPONSE FROM KE: Well, maybe if you count house shows. Bottom line is that she held a title longer than any other woman during the time frame

I have no problem with your list. I only have a problem with WWE not utilizing Phoenix properly. Instead of having models become wrestlers, focus on real wrestlers. Gail Kim/ Beth Phoenix rivalry can lift the women's division up since there's no more sex going on. TNA use s the sex but they really have some great performers over there.
Plus Gail and Phoenix are so good, they really are too good for the rest of the female talent in the WWE.

Please don't confuse this with some "YELL YELL ANGRY I DON'T AGREE!!!" post

What is your reasoning behind putting Maryse at 1? She was sidelined by injuries for a long time. Yeah she was champ for awhile but it was a very forgettable reign

RESPONSE FROM KE: As you said, she was champ for longer than anyone else. Very marketable, more athletic than she's given credit for. Plays her character very well and has presence. She didn't miss as much time as you might think. She missed a few weeks when she injured her knee, and she didn't have to take time off for surgery until the end of July, which was a month away from the grading period ending.

Huh , ...... must have been a misprint . Oh , I get it , ..... she wasn't active during that time frame . Otherwise Traci Brooks would surely have been at the top of the list :)

Is there any reason why Jillian Hall couldn't have held the belt at least for a little bit? Who didn't wanna hear her sing "I am the Champion" (or better yet, take it back to the Karate Kid and do "You're the Best") while they tried desperately to not throw their TV out the nearest window for a couple weeks?

Funny how much higher Gail Kim would have been on this list a year ago.

Who would have ever thought there would be a Top 20 female wrestler list (valet/mgr maybe), let alone a top 50.
The days of the female wrestling match as a special attraction at the local arena are definately over.
I am glad that Maryse was your #1. When I 1st saw the topic, thought Micki James had #1 from you written all over it.

How could you not put Bret Hart over Triple H? Oh wait, wrong argument...

i cannot stand melina, she is a guaranteed channel changer for me. i do think maryse and michelle mccool are good workers. mickie james has all the moves, but somethings not there

How can you not include the First ever Ms. Wrestlemania, Santina Marella, in your top 20?

LOL. I used to wonder if you were a WWE mark. But now after seeing these rankings it's crystal clear to me. As soon as I saw Maryse at #1 it was bad enough, but for you to have 3 WWE Divas in the top 5, but to have 11 in the 20 is just hilarious. How you could rank any Diva besides Mickey James over any of the top TNA Knockouts, who are head and shoulders over the WWE women, is unfathomable.

RESPONSE FROM KE: Here we go again with the WWE mark stuff. Look at the criteria and tell me who in TNA should be higher.

Its a very interesting list and I'd have to say completely accurate in light of the criteria you used.

It does raise a few questions however as to how the Diva's are used/pushed/booked. For me the top 5 are (not in order)

1. Beth Phoenix
2. Gail Kim
3. Awesome Kong
4. Mickie James
5. Melina

I suppose I can't argue too much with these as you've factored in win-loss record and titles-held. If you were simply rating them on what they brought to their organization, specifically the women's divisions, would you change those rankings?

Personally, Kong and Love would be 1 & 2... in that order. The TNA women's division, as a whole, is light years ahead of WWE's, and those two were a big part of that.

Cmon Kev...Beth Phoenix is the most dominating woman in wrestling ..and not too bad looking too boot..Awesome Kong would be next then ODB..those 3 should be dominating the sport but I guess unlike the "real" world pyt's like Taylor Wilde & Kelly Kelly can defeat them...if they are so tough why do I have to always step in and defend them?

Hi Kev,
I would have placed Micki as number 1 over Maryse based on in ring performance (is it just me or has Micki's matches been a bit sloppy lately?) but I have to agree on the presence comment, she generates more heat with that little wrist flick she does to the camera then most women heels do with a chairshot.

what is Roxxi up to?

RESPONSE FROM KE: Roxxi is working indys as far as I know.

I love your column, but I must say the idea of a "Woman's top 20" list is absolutely absurd.
I don't watch TNA wrestling, so the following comments are based solely on what I see in WWE.

I honestly cannot remember the last time I've seen a women's match that was even remotely watchable. Every match features multiple botched moves and no continuity between the combatants. The VERY few women who CAN work, rarely get the opportunity to do so.

Perhaps I am being too hard on the women wrestlers, but there are so very many talented and athletic women in this world that it absolutely amazes me the WWE cannot do a better job of finding better workers for their shows.

Lastly, I'll just say that there are some very attractive women in WWE, and I think that's great. I really dont see them having any contribution to the show other than eye candy, however, and that's fine to me. There's no reason to make a top 20 list based on wins, championships or athletic ability. Let's just make a top 20 hottest women list since that's really all that matters.

... sigh...

Maryse deserves to be on top.

The reason why she's there is because she's over.

You don't need to be the greatest in-ring performer to be on top in the wrestling world. Hogan, Cena, and Rock to an extent prove that.

Same with the women.

I think Beth could be a great face, now with her on SD against McCool, because she has the right combination of looks, talent and charisma. Maryse has them as well.

The reason why women like Katie Lea, Gail, and Natalya don't get pushed is because the fans don't want to like them. It's a free country. The

i think tara and kong are 1-2 tara has a better finishing move then some of the top guy performers!!!

RESPONSE FROM KE: I like Tara, too, but, remember, she was basically a jobber in WWE before coming to TNA. and in TNA, she only held the title for a short time.

Interesting list. I will state that I don't watch much WWE (can't stand the "sports entertainment concept" so I am probably biased in this), but the marketability criteria is tough for the TNA girls to overcome because TNA is not an established national brand that has been around for years like the WWE.

Other than Mickie James and Beth Phoenix, I doubt the others have anywhere the wrestling ability hang with the TNA girls if they had to go in TNA for a year or two. I bet the more of the TNA girls would succeed in the WWE under the same time frame, even if they had to go the sports entertainment route of the WWE.

Maybe that would be a good future column; which TNA and WWE wrestlers (male or female) would be better/worse/stay the sam if they switched promotions?

Repsonding to Flair:

I believe the marketability factor has more to do with the individual girl, not the company. If Maryse was in TNA, she would still have all the marketing potential she does in WWE. The only difference is that there's a better chance of that marketing potential being realized in WWE.

And as far as the rosters go, the difference between the two is becoming smaller and smaller as TNA has starting using more women lately who definitely are more attractive than they are skilled.

In a lot of ways, being hot is more important than being a great wrestler.

Look at Trish Stratus, she was a good wrestler, but it was her looks, charisma, and personality that elevated her to the top woman of the decade, IMO.

I'll add that Velvet Sky is over in TNA, she would be just as over if she were in WWE.

Maybe that's why TNA brought in Lacey Von Erich, and Taylor Wilde is getting a push as one half of the TNA Knockouts Tag champs, along with Sarita.

Hot women bring attention.

"And as far as the rosters go, the difference between the two is becoming smaller and smaller as TNA has starting using more women lately who definitely are more attractive than they are skilled."

I disagree. Look at the 4 most recent acquisitions: Lacey, Hamada, Sarita & Tara. The only one that fits this description is Lacey Von Erich (who is abysmally bad and needs to be cut loose before Ed Ferrara decides to make her Suicide's valet). Sarita is certainly gorgeous, but she wrestles a luchador style that few, if any, in WWE can match. Hamada certainly doesn't fit that bill as she's built like a brick s***house. Tara was brought in because of her work rate, though I think her in-ring ability has been a bit overstated.

Now, some on the WWE roster are improving (Kelly Kelly), but they've got a long way to go. I think the smaller 6-sided ring in TNA also helps the women's division to shine.

Don, I probably shouldn't have said "recently," but my main point still stands. Having Lacey Von Erich, Velvet Sky, and Christy Hemme on the roster is the kind of thing they mocked WWE for doing. However, TNA, to their credit, seems to have stopped the Diva bashing, which is good as they would now look somewhat hypocritical.

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About Kevin Eck
The Baltimore Sun's Kevin Eck blogs about professional wrestling.
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