Wigner-Ville distribution (WVD) has the characteristics of very high-energy accumulation and excellent time-frequency resolution. It is a good way to extract fault feature of acoustic emission (AE) signals due to mechanical component broken. The characteristics of typical AE signals initiated by damages are analyzed. Based on the extracting principle of AE signals from damaged components, the WVD analysis method of AE signal is developed. WVD method is employed to the fault diagnosis of rolling bearings with AE technique. The fault features reading from experimental data analysis are clear, accurate and intuitionistic, meantime, the validity and accuracy of WVD method proposed are nice from the experimental results. Therefore, WVD method is useful for condition monitoring and fault diagnosis in conjunction with AE technique.