WWE Raw Women's Championship
|WWE Raw Women's Championship|
The Raw Women's Championship belt with default side plates
|Date established||April 3, 2016|
|Current champion(s)||Ronda Rousey|
|Date won||August 19, 2018|
The WWE Raw Women's Championship is a women's professional wrestling championship created and promoted by the American professional wrestling promotion WWE on the Raw brand. It is one of two women's championships for WWE's main roster, along with the SmackDown Women's Championship on the SmackDown brand. The current champion is Ronda Rousey, who is in her first reign.
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 with a subsequent rename and SmackDown created the SmackDown Women's Championship as a counterpart title. It is the only WWE women's championship to have been featured in the headlining match of a pay-per-view event, at Hell in a Cell 2016.
On April 3, 2016, WWE Hall of Famer Lita appeared during the WrestleMania 32 pre-show and, after recapping the history of women's professional wrestling in WWE, unveiled the brand-new championship and declared that WWE's women would no longer be referred to as WWE Divas, but as "WWE Superstars" just as their male counterparts are. This came after the term "Diva" was scrutinized by some commentators, fans, and several past and present WWE female performers, including then-Divas Champion Charlotte, who were in favor of changing the championship to the Women's Championship. It was also changed because some WWE female wrestlers felt it diminished their athletic abilities and relegated them to "eye candy". Lita then announced that the winner of the Divas Championship triple threat match between Charlotte, Becky Lynch, and Sasha Banks later that night would become the first-ever WWE Women's Champion, subsequently retiring the Divas Championship. Charlotte, the final Divas Champion, became the inaugural WWE Women's Champion when she defeated Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch.
Following the reintroduction of the brand extension, then champion Charlotte was drafted to the Raw brand on the July 19, 2016 premiere episode of SmackDown Live, making the championship exclusive to Raw. In response, SmackDown created the SmackDown Women's Championship on August 23, 2016. The WWE Women's Championship was subsequently renamed to reflect its exclusivity to Raw.
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.
Brand designation history
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 design
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 features two side plates, both separated by gold divider bars, with the WWE logo on the globe as default plates, which are customized with the current champion's logos as a similarity of the name plate feature of other championship belts. This is the first ever women's title in WWE having replaceable side plates of the respective champion.
As of September 19, 2018, there have been 14 reigns between 6 champions. Charlotte Flair, then known simply as Charlotte, was the inaugural champion. She is tied with Sasha Banks for the most reigns at four. Alexa Bliss' second reign is the longest at 223 days and she has the longest combined reign at 398 days. Banks' fourth reign is the shortest at 8 days (WWE recognizes it as 9 days). 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.
- 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.
- Powell, Jason. "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 Dot Net. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
- "Raw Women's Championship". WWE.com.
- 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.
- WWE Staff (April 3, 2016). "All-new WWE Women's Championship introduced at WrestleMania". WWE. 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. "4/3 WrestleMania 32 PPV Pre-Show Results – CALDWELL's Complete Report". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved April 3, 2016.