WWE Divas Championship
|WWE Divas Championship|
The Divas Championship belt, being held by former two-time champion Maryse
|Current champion(s)||AJ Lee|
|Date won||June 16, 2013|
|Date established||July 20, 2008|
The WWE Divas Championship is a professional wrestling championship in WWE. It is competed for by WWE Divas. The championship was created by WWE in 2008, and was introduced in storyline by then-SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero as an alternative to Raw's Women's Championship. Michelle McCool became the inaugural champion on July 20, 2008 when she defeated Natalya at The Great American Bash. After former Divas Champion Maryse was drafted to Raw as part of the 2009 WWE Draft, she took the title with her. Michelle McCool won a match to unify the WWE Divas and Women's titles at the September 19, 2010, WWE pay per view, Night of Champions (2010), creating the Unified Divas Championship.
With the first WWF Brand Extension, a storyline division in which WWE assigned its employees to different television programs and touring companies, in 2002, the WWE Women's Championship was originally to be defended on both brands. At some point that year, however, it became exclusive to the Raw brand. Thereafter, only Divas on the Raw brand were able to compete for the title, while the Divas on the SmackDown brand were unable to compete for a women's-exclusive championship. However, on a few occasions the regulation was bypassed with Melina, Ashley, Torrie Wilson and Nidia challenging for the title while on the SmackDown! brand, but none were successful.
As a result, WWE created the WWE Divas Championship and introduced it on the June 6, 2008 episode of SmackDown when then SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero announced the creation of the title. The championship belt was officially unveiled on the July 4, 2008 episode of SmackDown. After winning respective matches to earn the opportunity to wrestle for the new championship, Michelle McCool defeated Natalya at The Great American Bash to become the inaugural champion. When Maryse won the title from McCool in December 2008, she dislocated her kneecap at a live event later that month. Similar to how Trish Stratus kept the Women's Championship when she was sidelined with a herniated disc in 2005, Maryse was able to keep the Divas Title upon her return in late January 2009. As part of the 2009 WWE Draft, then-Divas Champion Maryse was one of the people drafted to the Raw brand, in the process making the championship exclusive to Raw.
It was announced on the August 30, 2010 episode of Raw that the Divas Championship would be unified with the Women's Championship at a match at Night of Champions. And with that, the title (known briefly as the WWE Unified Divas Championship) became accessible to both WWE brands and the champion could appear on both shows, a situation made permanent by the ending of the Brand Extension in 2011.
There have been 20 total reigns. The inaugural champion was Michelle McCool, who defeated Natalya at The Great American Bash (2008) on July 20, 2008 in Uniondale, New York. Maryse holds the record for the longest reign at 216 days and is the first to hold the championship on two different occasions. She also holds the record for longest combined reigns at 264 days. Jillian Hall is the shortest reigning champion, with her reign lasting 4 minutes and 30 seconds after her defeat to Melina. Eve Torres holds the record for having the most reigns at 3. Alicia Fox is the first woman of African American descent to hold the championship, as she won at the WWE Fatal Four Way pay-per-view event: defeating Gail Kim, Eve Torres and Maryse. The current champion is AJ Lee, who is in her first reign. She defeated Kaitlyn on June 16, 2013 in Rosemont, Illinois, at Payback.
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