Ethel Johnson

Though is some debate, Ethel Johnson is generally credited as the first Black woman wrestler. Johnson broke into wrestling in 1950 as promoter Billy Wolfe took her under his wing. She was athletic, being one of the first women to se a standing dropkick in matches. By the late '50s, she was competing along with notable names such as June Byers and Penny Banner. wrestled for Stu Hart's Big Time Wrestling (later renamed Stampede Wrestling) and some NWA territories.

Johnson, along with her older sister Babs Wingo and other Black women wrestlers, formed a troup that worked several cities. They were such an attraction they came to the attention of promoter Vincent J. McMahon, who book them on cards at Griffith Stadium in Washington D.C. for his promotion Capitol Wrestling (which would become WWE). The women worked mainly tag matches.

It would be decades later when Jacqueline Moore followed the tone Johnson set, making history as she toppled Sable for the dormant WWE Women's Title in September 1998, becoming not only the first Women's Champion since Alundra Blayze but also the first Black WWE Women's Champion. Since then, there have been a few notable Black women wrestlers including Jazz, Kristal and Kharma. Today, Black women wrestlers continue to standout as Sasha Banks, Naomi, Ember Moon and recent NXT recruit Bianca Belair are some of the brightest spots of the Women's Division and WWE as a whole.