WWE Raw Women's Championship
The WWE Raw Women's Championship is a women's professional wrestling world championship created and promoted by the American professional wrestling promotion WWE on the Raw brand. It is one of the top two women's championships for WWE's main roster, along with the SmackDown Women's Championship on the SmackDown brand. The current champion is Becky Lynch, who is in her first reign.
|WWE Raw Women's Championship|
The Raw Women's Championship belt with default side plates
|Date established||April 3, 2016|
|Current champion(s)||Becky Lynch|
|Date won||April 8, 2019|
Introduced as the WWE Women's Championship on April 3, 2016 at WrestleMania 32, it replaced the Divas Championship and has a unique title history, separate from WWE's original Women's Championship and the Divas Championship. Charlotte Flair, then known simply as Charlotte, was the inaugural champion. As a result of the 2016 draft, the championship became exclusive to Raw and SmackDown created the SmackDown Women's Championship as a counterpart title. The championship was the first women's title to headline a WWE pay-per-view event at Hell in a Cell in October 2016 and, along with the SmackDown Women's Championship, was also defended in the main event match of WrestleMania 35 in April 2019, WWE's flagship event.
On April 3, 2016, WWE Hall of Famer Lita appeared during the WrestleMania 32 pre-show: after recapping the history of women's professional wrestling in WWE, she declared that WWE's women would no longer be referred to as WWE Divas, but as "WWE Superstars" like their male counterparts. The term "Diva" had been criticized by some commentators, fans, and several past and present female wrestlers, including then-Divas Champion Charlotte, as diminishing female's athletic abilities and relegating them to "eye candy". Lita also unveiled a new title belt and revealed that the Divas Championship would be retired in favour of a new WWE Women's Championship. The inaugural champion was determined by a triple threat match between Charlotte, Becky Lynch, and Sasha Banks later that night, which was originally scheduled for the Divas Championship. Charlotte, the final Divas Champion, became the first WWE Women's Champion by winning that match.
Following the reintroduction of the brand split in July 2016, then-champion Charlotte was drafted to the Raw brand, making the championship exclusive to Raw. It was subsequently renamed to Raw Women's Championship after SummerSlam in August, when SmackDown created the SmackDown Women's Championship as a counterpart title.
When the title was introduced, it shared its name with the original Women's Championship. However, the new title does not share the same title history as the original, which was unified with the Divas Championship in 2010, with the combined title inheriting the latter's lineage and history. WWE acknowledges the original championship as its predecessor, and notes that the lineage of female champions dates back to The Fabulous Moolah's reign in 1956.
The championship was the first women's title to be defended in a WWE pay-per-view main event, which was at Hell in a Cell on October 30, 2016; this was also the first-ever women's Hell in a Cell match and the first women's match to main event a WWE pay-per-view. At the event, Charlotte defeated Sasha Banks to become a three-time champion. After two years, it was again featured in the main event match of a pay-per-view, which was the first-ever all-women's pay-per-view Evolution on October 28, 2018, where Ronda Rousey retained the title against Nikki Bella. Rousey then defended the title in a winner takes all triple threat match against SmackDown Women's Champion Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch in the main event of WrestleMania 35 on April 8, 2019, which Lynch won. This was the first women's match to main event a WrestleMania – WWE's flagship event.
Brand designation historyEdit
When the championship was unveiled, there was no brand division as that had ended in August 2011. From its inception until the reintroduction of the brand extension in July 2016, then-champion Charlotte defended the title on both Raw and SmackDown.
|Date of transition||Brand||Notes|
|July 19, 2016||Raw||WWE Women's Champion Charlotte was drafted to Raw during the 2016 WWE draft.|
After the introduction of the SmackDown Women's Championship, the title was renamed to Raw Women's Championship.
Championship belt designEdit
The Raw Women's Championship belt is similar in appearance to the WWE Championship belt, with a few notable differences. The strap is smaller to fit the champion, and white, as opposed to black. The die-cut WWE logo in the center plate sits on a red background, as opposed to a black one. The small print below the logo reads "Women's Champion". Like the WWE Championship belt, the Raw Women's Championship belt includes two side plates, both separated by gold divider bars, with the WWE logo on the globe as default plates, which can be customized with the current champion's logo. This is the first women's title in WWE with replaceable side plates.
In what has become a tradition since fall 2014, the WWE has created custom WWE Championship belts for championship winners in professional sports, with non-removable side plates commemorating the achievement. In September 2019, the WWE began doing the same with the Raw Women's Championship, presenting a custom belt to Bianca Andreescu for winning the 2019 Women's US Open.
As of October 19, 2019, there have been 15 reigns between 7 champions. Charlotte Flair, then known simply as Charlotte, was the inaugural champion. She is tied with Sasha Banks for the most reigns at four. Ronda Rousey's reign is the longest at 232 days while Banks' fourth reign is the shortest at 8 days (9 days as recognized by WWE). Alexa Bliss has the longest combined reign at 398 days (396 days as recognized by WWE). Nia Jax is the oldest champion, winning the championship at the age of 33, while Banks is the youngest as she won the title at 24 years old.
Becky Lynch is the current champion in her first reign. She defeated previous champion Ronda Rousey and SmackDown Women's Champion Charlotte Flair in a Winner Take All Triple Threat match to win both titles at WrestleMania 35 in East Rutherford, New Jersey on April 8, 2019.
- When she became the inaugural champion, her ring name was just Charlotte.
- WWE officially recognizes it as 9 days.
- "Raw Women's Championship". WWE. Retrieved December 24, 2017.
- Konuwa, Alfred (March 30, 2016). "Is WWE Planning To Rebrand Its Divas Division?". Forbes. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
- Ahmed, Tufayel. "WrestleMania 32: By Dumping the 'Divas' Branding, WWE Makes Its Biggest Step to Gender Equality". Newsweek. Retrieved 2016-04-05.
- Gass, Dorathy (2014-06-20). "Wrestlemania 32: How The Women Stole The Show". Wrestle Newz. Retrieved 2016-04-05.
- "All-new WWE Women's Championship introduced at WrestleMania". WWE. April 3, 2016. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
Lita introduced the all-new WWE Women's Championship at WrestleMania, and revealed that Charlotte, Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch will compete for this title tonight.
- Caldwell, James (April 3, 2016). "4/3 WrestleMania 32 PPV Pre-Show Results – CALDWELL's Complete Report". PWTorch. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
- Powell, Jason (October 30, 2016). "Powell's WWE Hell in a Cell 2016 live review: Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte for the WWE Women's Championship, Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins for the WWE Universal Championship, Roman Reigns vs. Rusev for the U.S. Championship". Pro Wreslting .Net. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
- Powell, Jason (October 30, 2016). "Powell's WWE Evolution live review: Ronda Rousey vs. Nikki Bella for the Raw Women's Championship, Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair in a Last Woman Standing match for the Smackdown Women's Championship, Mae Young Classic Finals". Pro Wrestling .NET. Retrieved October 28, 2018.
- "WrestleMania to feature first-ever women's main event". WWE. March 25, 2019. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
- Triple H [@TripleH] (September 8, 2019). "Her first appearance in the @USOpen .. Her first grand slam title.. The first Canadian to win the #USOpen… And now her first @WWE Raw Women's Championship to celebrate! Congrats @Bandreescu_! #SheTheNorth" (Tweet) – via Twitter.