With the Women’s Evolution still finding new ground to break seemingly every few months (first WrestleMania main event, first match in Saudi, and soon the first-ever War Games match), it’s hard to forget that it all began with about a two-second match and a hashtag, #GiveDivasAChance. The ladies of the WWE were always a fairly integral part to whatever storyline they were a part of, but now they’re integral to the overall growth of the company.

Despite having to wrestle in some rather…interesting matches or being viewed solely as sex symbols and not as great wrestlers, the women of the Attitude Era made an indelible mark on the industry and each one helped push the boundaries of what ladies wrestling could be. Without them, Women’s wrestling in WWE would have lied dormant with the title that Madusa tossed in the garbage. Here are the 10 Most Successful Female Wrestlers Of WWE’s Attitude Era.

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10Sunny

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To ignore the importance of the original Diva, Sunny would be an insult. She showcased several aspects of being a female in the WWE could be, and some of which are still used to this day.

She started as an interviewer before becoming a manager and she did all by using her feminine whiles. She knew all the guys wanted her and the girls wanted to be her, and she knew how to use her sex appeal no matter what the situation.

9Chyna

Never mind all of the backstage drama that may or may not have led up to her release. Never mind her subsequent fall from grace that may or may not have been caused by it. The Ninth Wonder Of The World was THE quintessential female in the WWE for the entire Attitude Era.

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As a member of DX and on her own, she was a powerhouse in the ring and did all she could to increase her femininity making her what eventually would be coined by several of the Divas she influenced as Pinup Strong.

8Terri Runnels

Debuting slightly before the Attitude Era as Marlena, Terri Runnels helped usher in the Attitude Era thanks to her work with Goldust. The pair pushed the boundaries of androgyny just about as far as the WWE could take it.

When Marlena and Goldust ran its course, Terri kept pushing boundaries as a vixen type character who would utilize her femininity to control male wrestlers.

7Ivory

Thanks to being an original GLOW girl, the former Tina Ferrari walked into the WWE more or less fully trained by Mando Guerrero. Rechristened Ivory, she got her start as one of The Godfather’s ladies of the night before transitioning over to the valet or Mark Henry and D’Lo.

As one of the only trained wrestlers on the female roster, she was able to put together some decent matches in between the slop and bikini matches. She also was part of the Right To Censor. Ivory got inducted into the Hall Of Fame Class Of 2018. But she’s not done by a long shot – she also participated in the Evolution Battle Royal last year.

6Mae Young

As one of the pioneers of women’s wrestling in pre and post World War II eras, Johnnie Mae Young returned to the WWE alongside the Fabulous Moolah in the late nineties. Not only did new fans get to learn a little bit about the early days, Young got to reinvent herself for the Attitude Era.

Ask anyone who worked with her and she was game for anything – giving birth to a hand, getting powerbombed by Bubba Ray, winning bikini contest; the Hall Of Famer became memorable to an entirely new generation.

5Sable

After Sunny, the next model turned WWE Diva was Sable. You’d be hard-pressed to find any male fan who wasn’t infatuated with her. She debuted with her then-husband, Wild Man Marc Mero, but it was quickly apparent that she was the better Mero in every single tangible way except in-ring ability.

For a few years during the Attitude Era, she was the most over female, just by walking out and doing what she did best – modeling WWE t-shirts.

4Lillian Garcia

Other than the Fink, Howard Finkel, Lillian Garcia is the WWE Universe’s favorite ring announcer. Besides announcing, she would occasionally get involved in the storylines, most famously involving Finkel and Viscera.

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Also known for her amazing singing voice, Garcia has gotten to perform in front of all kinds of crowds but perhaps most inspiring and rousing, the Smackdown after 9/11.

3Lita

Watch any Raw during the Attitude Era and you’ll hear humongous cheers for the mainstays and big names like Stone Cold and the Rock, but right behind them if not more so depending on the night, was the WWE’s Queen Of Extreme, Lita.

She was the perfect compliment to the Hardys and all three had the alternative, skater flair that was popular at the time. On top of the grunge appeal and sex appeal, Lita could go in the ring and main evented Raw, breaking down a barrier that took years to do again.

2Trish Stratus

Being the most decorated female in WWE history is a rough job, but someone has to have the moniker, right? Trish Stratus may never live down that time when she was Vince’s mistress and barking like a dog, but her career speaks for itself.

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As one of the first models to come in and learn how to work, she became one of the best of her or any other era, finally and totally calling it quits at this year’s SummerSlam. There are few performers as loved as Trish and even now whenever Lil’ Kim’s strange giggle blasts through the crowd, the fans are on their feet waiting for some Stratusfaction.

1Stephanie McMahon

Her last name might be McMahon, but that doesn’t mean that Stephanie rested on her laurels. She started as a sweet innocent girl in peril and quickly learned that being a heel is much more fun. But it’s behind the scenes where she has made tremendous strides, helping the WWE usher in this new era for women all over the world and not just WWE. She’s way more talented as a performer than jaded fans give her credit for.

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