In the mid-1980s, Jim Crockett Promotions (which eventually became World Championship Wrestling) was a member of the National Wrestling Alliance and recognized the NWA World Women's Championship, which was held by Debbie Combs. The Kansas City promotion that recognized Combs as the champion withdrew from NWA in 1987 and closed in 1988. During this time, the NWA vacated Combs' title and awarded Misty Blue Simmes the reactivated NWA United States Women's Championship (a replacement of the prior NWA World Women's Championship held by Combs). Simmes defended the title from 1987–1989, when the title was no longer recognized by Jim Crockett Promotions.
In 1990, the organization recognized Ladies Professional Wrestling Association Champion Susan Sexton as the World Women's Champion. Sexton defended the title against Bambi at Clash of the Champions XII "Fall Brawl: Mountain Madness".
WCW attempted to create a new women's division in 1991. At WCW Wrestle War 1991, a women's match was featured pitting Itsuki Yamazaki and Mami Kitimura against Miki Handa and Miss A. Later in the year, former United States Women's Champion Misty Blue Simmes returned to the organization and competed in matches against Linda Dallas and Kat LeRoux. During this time, the organization also featured televised matches involving Madusa, Bambi, Leilani Kai, and Judy Martin. By the end of the year, all of the female wrestlers departed from the organization except Madusa (who was retained as a valet).
The women's division in WCW was slowly revived in 1996 following the return of Madusa, who spent the first half of the year feuding with Sherri Martel and Bull Nakano. This led to the creation of the WCW Women's Championship. The first official WCW Women's Champion was crowned in an 8-woman tournament that was begun on an episode of WCW Monday Nitro on November 4, 1996 and concluded at Starrcade on December 29, 1996. The tournament used only seven wrestlers; five of these wrestlers were Japanese women from the GAEA Japan promotion (Akira Hokuto, Chigusa Nagayo, KAORU, Meiko Satomura, and Sonoko Kato). The other competitors were Madusa and Malia Hosaka. Akira Hokuto actually competed twice in the first round of the tournament, losing to Madusa wrestling under her masked Reina Jabuki gimmick and defeating Satomura competing as Hokuto.
The two primary competitors over the history of this title were Akira Hokuto and Madusa, as they met in the tournament finals and at subsequent PPV events. Other women that competed in the division included Malia Hosaka, Leilani Kai, Peggy Lee Leather, Debbie Combs, and Luna Vachon. The last defense of the title occurred at The Great American Bash on June 15, 1997 when Hokuto defeated Madusa in a title vs. career match. Madusa retired and Hokuto went back to Japan and the title was apparently vacated. On September 20, 1997 in Japan, Devil Masami won the vacated title; however, it was abandoned shortly thereafter. In the United States, WCW continued to feature women's wrestling throughout 1998. During the match between Malia Hosaka and Starla Saxton that aired on December 26, 1998, Mike Tenay acknowledged Akira Hokuto as the reigning WCW Women's Champion, even though she had not appeared in WCW since June 1997 and the title had been won by Devil Masami in Japan.
In late 1999 and early 2000, WCW rebuilt the women's division by hiring several female wrestlers, as well as training the Nitro Girls how to wrestle. An onscreen angle featured Madusa attempting to revive the WCW Women's Championship, but she was consistently halted in her efforts by the chauvinistic Oklahoma (who had been feuding with her over the WCW Cruiserweight Championship). During this time, the women's division included Madusa, Mona, Sherri Martel, Rhonda Sing, Patty Stonegrinder, Brandi Alexander, Little Jeanne, Dee Dee Venturi, Fantasy, Lexie Fyfe, Asya, Midnight, Daffney, Major Gunns, Miss Hancock, Torrie Wilson, Kimberly Page, Spice, Paisley, and Tygress. Although women's matches were featured regularly, the WCW Women's Championship was not reinstated.
Vacated - June 15, 1997
Retired - 1997