Before the announcement on the night of the event, the match was scheduled to be for Flair’s Divas Championship. That title was retired that night and is often looked at as a rough time for women in WWE. While that’s not inaccurate, there were still some standout matches for the Divas Title that get unjustly forgotten about.
WWE RAW 09/22/14:AJ Lee vs Nikki Bella
Becky Lynch c vs Charlotte Flair vs Asuka – WWE TLC 2018
WWE Top 10 Best divas matches history | photos and video online
10Beth Phoenix Vs. Layla – Over The Limit 2012
Beth Phoenix spent most of 2011 running through the competition. Nobody could stop her until she shockingly lost the title to Nikki Bella. Nikki dropped it in short order to Layla and soon after Beth made her return, this was set up.
Most people believed Beth Phoenix would pick up right where she left off. Most of this match was built around her dominance but Layla was especially resilient. Eventually, champion Layla pulled off the upset in creative fashion.
9Nikki Bella Vs. Paige – Raw 3/23/15
Nikki Bella gets a bad rap for her Divas Title run. She was consistently solid in the ring and stuff like this proved it. It was one of the earliest women’s matches to get time to shine on Raw following the #GiveDivasAChance movement.
Paige had come close to dethroning Nikki on several occasions and this might’ve been the closest call she had. They went back and forth through a few commercial breaks. The crowd was into everything. The one thing that kept this from ranking higher was a lame finish involving AJ Lee.
8Charlotte Flair Vs. Natalya – Roadblock 2016
The highly-touted match between these two over the NXT Women’s Title was nearly a year in the rearview mirror when this came around. At the first of two Roadblock PPVs in 2016, Charlotte Flair retained against Natalya in Toronto, Canada.
The action throughout was exciting, though interference from Ric Flair resulting in the ending was disappointing. It made Natalya come off like a bit of a goof. Of note, this ended up being the final televised Divas Title match in history.
7AJ Lee Vs. Paige – SummerSlam 2014
All in all, the feud between AJ Lee and Paige ended up being a huge disappointment. The “frenemies” thing was a solid idea but the matches between the two never clicked. Sometimes, good wrestlers just don’t mesh well together.
Still, this was the one night where it seemed to work for them. They blended quality ring work with some interesting character moments for both. Paige may have had her best main roster performance in this. She captured her second Divas Title with the win on her birthday.
6AJ Lee Vs. Natalya – Main Event 11/13/13
Though not a lot of people tend to watch Main Event as it’s a C-level show, it has delivered some gems in the past. Among them was this late 2013 encounter between AJ Lee and Natalya.
This was a case where two talented women were given about 10 minutes to do their thing with no shenanigans sprinkled in. Just good old fashioned wrestling. AJ retained and they’d meet again at TLC 2013, but this was far better.
5Charlotte Flair Vs. Nikki Bella – Hell In A Cell 2015
At the previous PPV, Night of Champions, Charlotte Flair beat Nikki Bella to end her record-setting Divas Title reign. While that meeting was more historic, this rematch a month later was actually slightly better.
Here, Nikki came in as the challenger for the first time in nearly a year. She used some underhanded tactics and dished out some serious punishment. Again, the finish was an issue as Charlotte shrugged off a back injury as if nothing had happened to win.
4Becky Lynch Vs. Charlotte Flair – Smackdown 1/7/16
One of the best things is finding a hidden gem on a random episode of TV. That was the case with this clash between former best friends Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch in early 2016.
Long before their memorable matches in 2018, this was their best work together. It was intense, hard hitting, and fitting of the feud. Even with some Ric Flair interference, it was entertaining and furthered their storyline. Charlotte won with a rollup after about 15 minutes.
3AJ Lee Vs. Nikki Bella Vs. Paige – Night Of Champions 2014
The AJ Lee/Paige rivalry always seemed to be missing something. That ingredient ended up being Nikki Bella. The freshly turned heel was inserted into the feud to add a new dimension and it worked wonders.
Nikki played the powerhouse role throughout and took a pretty painful bump off the apron. The “frenemy” story played a factor and Nikki was something of a wild card. AJ came out on top, scoring her third Divas Title victory.
2AJ Lee Vs. Natalya – Main Event 3/11/14
No, this is not a repeat. AJ Lee and Natalya actually had two pretty fantastic matches on different episodes of Main Event. This one took place at an interesting time. Main Event became a more important show in early 2014.
To test the new WWE Network, the company ran bigger live episodes of Main Event. This was one of them and AJ Lee and Natalya put on a show. They bested their prior outing, AJ retained, and it’s worth a look.
1AJ Lee Vs. Kaitlyn – Payback 2013
This was both the greatest Divas Title match ever and arguably the most significant. In 2012, AJ Lee was the company’s most prominent female, yet she had never been in the title picture. That changed in 2013.
She feuded with her best friend and former Chickbusters partner Kaitlyn. An emotional rivalry led them to this night where they nearly stole the show on a stacked card. Kaitlyn came out firing but AJ weathered the storm. AJ ultimately won to start her first Divas Title reign, which ended up setting a record.