With male wrestling being in the spotlight for years, the 1980s brought a new wave of excitement in the pro wrestling world when a few good-looking and highly skilled women came to conquer the ring and start a new era in sports entertainment.

From the impressive aerial skills of Rockin’ Robin to the legendary duels between Wendi Richter and The Fabulous Moolah and the thrilling shows of duos like Jumping Bomb Angels, WWE had a lot to show that decade.

Wrestling in the 80s showed that women can be as popular as men in the ring. This was a decade where viewing records were broken, a decade when the fans finally saw how women can also create amazing sports experiences.

Some of these women revolutionized female wrestling and set the scene for all that came after. These are the

Best Female Wrestlers of the 80s

The Fabulous Moolah

Mary Lillian Ellison, better known as The Fabulous Moolah is a female wrestler with one if not the biggest careers among the women. Starting her career in the late 50s, she won the NWA Woman’s Championship and held the title for 28 years making her the longest-reigning champion in woman’s wrestling history. 

Later, in the 1980s, after dominating the NWA she made a huge name for herself in the WWE as well. There, she had one of the most famous quarrels in wrestling against another huge star, Wendi Richter. In a match between the two, they broke MTV’s viewing record.

Fabolous Moolah won the championship two more times before entering semi-retirement in 1987 when she focused on captaining a team that featured many of the greatest female wrestlers ever including the earlier mentioned Rockin’ Robin.

Moolah made many different appearances in the business and continued to promote the sport. She also became the first female wrestler that was allowed to wrestle in the Maddison Square Garden, and the first woman to be introduced to WWE’s Hall of Fame.

While she was certainly one of the greatest, Famous Moolah’s career was stained by the many allegations of forcing the girls on her team to do prostitution, drug use, and more.

Sensational Sherri

While there aren’t many iconic female wrestlers in terms of fame and influence, Sherri Martel is most likely one of the biggest names in the sport. With a long career full of titles both as a wrestler and a manager, Sherri has proven that she deserves to be called Sensational.

She started her wrestling career in the early 80s and quickly became one of the best in the sport by defeating Candi Devine on three separate occasions. In 1987, this amazing wrestler took a step forward and introduced herself to the WWE by winning a championship in a match against her mentor. Fabulous Moolah.

Sherri didn’t stop here and kept on being, you guessed it, sensational. She captained a Survivor Series team and also remained on the top of the WWE for two more years until she lost the title to the next woman on this list.

Rockin’ Robin

Rockin’ Robin’ was among one of the best female wrestlers of the second half of the 80s. Robin was born in 1964 and comes from a wrestling family. Her father Aurelian “Grizzly” Smith, and her two brothers are professional wrestlers as well.

While she had a rather short career that lasted for 6 years, Rockin’ Robin competed for the WWE Woman’s Championship title and left her mark as the last champion of the competition.

Robin won the belt by defeating Sherri Martel in 1988 and retained her reign in a match against Judy Martin the following year. She held this status until the championship was canceled in 1990.

She is also known for singing “America the Beautiful” as part of the opening ceremony of Wrestlemania V. According to many fans, this was definitely not the brightest moment of her career. 

Wendi Richter

Wendi Richer has to be on any list of the most influential female wrestler of all time. After training at The Fabulous Moolah’s professional wrestling club and being successful in the AWA and NWA, in 1983, Wendi debuted in the WWE.

Here, she became a star, and aside from winning two championships, she won the hearts of the fans with her looks and spectacular skills in the ring. Richer’s biggest influence comes from working with pop-culture stars such as singer Cyndi Lauper which helped in promoting the women of wrestling.

This collaboration inspired the creation of “The Brawl to End it All”, a WWE event broadcasted on MTV. This event featured a match between Wendi Richter and The Fabulous Moolah which recorded the highest ratings on MTV at that time. 

Using her fame and marketing skills, Wendi worked on many similar projects that helped increase the WWE’s popularity and promote this highly entertaining sport. 

The Jumping Bomb Angels

We talked about the best female wrestlers of the 80s. However, aside from them, there have been some famous teams too. One of the most interesting duos in wrestling was a group named Jumping Bomb Angels whose skills and display were loved by the fans.

Consisting of Noriyo Tateno and Itsuki Yamazaki, this dynamic duo came from Japan to conquer the WWE. They made an appearance in the 1987 Survivor Series and later beat the Glamour Girls for the WWE Woman’s Tag Team Championship title in 1988. The team broke up three years later after Itsuki Yamazaki retired.

Jesse Ventura did a great job summarizing the spectacularity of the Jumping Bomb Angels, saying: “You know, I’ll tell you, I have seen a lot of good tag teams, and The Glamour Girls, I’m gonna go on the record, they’re in trouble. Because the Jumping Bomb Angels are something else. I’ve never seen lady wrestlers with the kind of moves that they got. They’re like watching a Dynamite Kid or like watching Randy ‘Macho Man’ Savage or like watching a Ricky Steamboat with those aerial moves. It was just fantastic, I enjoyed it.”