After two weeks of reports on the deterioration of her health – and misinformation about her death – WWE confirmed yesterday evening that Mae Young has passed away at the age of 90. The company’s website wrote:
WWE is saddened to learn of the passing of WWE Hall of Famer Johnnie Mae Young.
“There will never be another Mae Young,” said WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon. “Her longevity in sports entertainment may never be matched, and I will forever be grateful for all of her contributions to the industry. On behalf of WWE, I extend our sincerest condolences to her family and friends.” (more…)
Considering Sensational Sherri won the World Wrestling Federation Women’s Championship on a house show in Houston, TX on July 24, 1987, I’m pleasantly surprised to find that the title change was filmed and was given commentary from Gorilla Monsoon and Jimmy Hart.
Sherri – competing under the name of Sherri Martel at the time – defeated the Fabulous Moolah, who was enjoying her third reign as champion at the time. Holding the belt for 441 days, she boasts the fourth longest Women’s Title reign in WWF/E history, with only Moolah, Rockin’ Robin and Trish Stratus having runs longer than hers.
If you haven’t yet, have a listen to our Women Of Wrestling Podcast which we put together to mark five years after her death on June 15, 2007. Bill Apter, Candi Divine, Marianne Ryan, Lexie Fyfe & “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase all offer their stories and thoughts. (more…)
While being interviewed for the new WWE 13 video game, Amy “Lita” Dumas explained the difference between the Divas now and the ones from the Attitude era:
I think the women of The Attitude Era really did a good job at figuring out who they were and what they wanted to portray to the fans. So each woman was such an individual — you were never going to get Lita and Ivory confused. You’re not going to get the two confused, as opposed to now, is it the hot athletic girl with the short shorts on? No, it’s the other hot athletic girl with the short shorts on.
It’s harsh, but fair, and she has a point.
There are eight women on the main roster who are considered wrestlers rather than valets or managers, and for the most part, they are interchangeable curvy shapes with little character to speak of. The obvious exception which jumps out is AJ Lee, who despite being tiny, geeky and – compared to the others but probably not in real life – could be considered mousey or plain, is the most developed personality of all the women who step into the ring… and that’s something that Dumas pointed out:
I think it’s interesting to see the Divas of today and to see who the fans are attaching to. Obviously, right now, it’s AJ Lee, who’s not the strongest; she’s not one of those classically hot chicks. But she sets herself apart, and you have emotion when she’s out there and you get a sense of who she is, and so I think that’s really cool to see the kid that wasn’t supposed to make it being the one that’s out there, and that’s who the fans want to know more about.
Have you listened to the latest Women Of Wrestling Podcast yet? It was released on Friday to mark five years since the passing of Sensational Sherri, featuring a group of men and women who knew her well – Bill Apter, Candi Divine, Marianne Ryan, Lexie Fyfe & “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase. Seriously, if you haven’t had a chance to hear it yet, give it a download, if only for the Ric Flair story that Marianne Ryan tells…
At the bottom of the piece, there are a few links to some videos from Sherri’s career, including one of her matches with Devine, and some other skits and moments. However, we reckon we could add a couple of extra matches from her time in the WWF before she became the manager of Randy Savage. As a result, we bring you this week’s Retro featuring two matches from the tail end of 1987.
The first is from the first ever Survivor Series on November 26, with then-WWF Women’s Champion Sherri captaining a team consisting of Dawn Marie (no, not that one), Donna Christianello and then-WWF Women’s Tag Team Champions the Glamour Girls (Judy Martin & Leilani Kai) taking on the Fabulous Moolah‘s quintet, also including Velvet McIntyre, Rockin’ Robin and Noriyo Tateno & Itsuki Yamazaki of the Jumping Bomb Angels. The other is from a month later with Sherri defending her Women’s Title against Robin in Madison Square Garden. (more…)
A week ago we talked to the lovely Lisa Moretti, aka Ivory – and we left her on the verge of heading off to Los Angeles to attend the LA premiere of GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. A week on, it’s time for another chat to discuss how the premiere went, what she thought of the documentary, and who showed up. From there, it’s time for a headlong dive into the massive second part of Lisa’s wrestling career, as Ivory in WWE. We talk how she got into the promotion, her ho psychology, getting up to speed after so many years away from the business… and just WHAT WAS UP WITH THAT PURPLE SCARF?? We talk working with The Fabulous Moolah & Mae Young, the horrendous Armageddon ’99 Evening Gown Swimming Pool match, Miss Kitty as a locker room poison, the Right to Censor and her program with Chyna, and Steve Austin‘s opinion on their WrestleMania match. Lisa also discusses Stacy Keibler & Torrie Wilson (and deviating from the script), Fit Finlay and the evolution of the Divas division and the end of her road with the company. Once again, an absolute pleasure and a class act. Enjoy.
(left click on picture to stream, right click and “save as” to download)
This first came to my attention a year ago when I was searching Amazon for wrestling DVDs. From the “Editorial Review” I believed this was a documentary on female wrestling through the years and that it featured thoughts and insights from various females in the business. However, I was mistaken. This being an “Outside the Ropes” presentation, it is basically dozens of clips from various RF video shoot interviews spliced together into one video. In my mind, that’s not a documentary; however, I still gave it the benefit of the doubt and watched it.
The shoots themselves have taken place in a variety of locations – everywhere from hotel rooms to studios even to a Waffle House. Some parts, such as the Waffle House segment with April Hunter and Talia Madison, are hard to hear unless you have the volume up high, but for the most part the audio is of good quality. The lighting is as well; you can see each woman as she speaks. At the very beginning, a quick clip of Sherri Martel speaking is shown, followed by “In Memory of Sherri Martel” along with her dates of birth and death, then a picture of her in the ring. As this DVD was released in 2008 and includes clips of her shoot, this was a nice gesture.
The women included in the video are: Fabulous Moolah, Mae Young, Luna Vachon, Sherri Martel, Ryan Shamrock, Joanie Laurer, Baby Doll, Jasmin St. Clair, Tammy “Sunny” Sytch, Francine, Jackie Gayda, Gorgeous George, Kimona, Dana Dameson, and Missy Hyatt. However, not every segment features a clip from every woman. (more…)
Sensational Sherri is one of the reasons why I started watching wrestling. She wasn’t actually in the ring, though she was such a major factor in the match that she may as well have been a participant. Her work as a manager on that night was utterly… well, sensational. She was spiteful, hateful, vindictive, dangerous and scary, so when she got her comeuppance a couple of times in the match, you really felt happy that she had made a mistake.
The match in question was the first one that my friend Glenn showed me when I was 10 and he was 11 – Randy Savage v the Ultimate Warrior at WrestleMania VII. Screaming and slowly going more and more insane as the match went on and the stakes in the Career Match got even more real, you could see Sensational Queen Sherri (as she was known then) unravel and become more desperate in her attempts to interfere on behalf of her Macho King. She was utterly evil, and everything that a heel manager could be. Without a doubt, it’s her shining moment as a performer.
However, let us not look past the fact that this is a woman who also wrestled for a sizeable portion of her career, winning the American Wrestling Association Women’s Championship on three occasions between 1985 and 1986, and also had a reign as the World Wrestling Federation’s Women’s titleholder, winning the belt on her return to the promotion by beating the Fabulous Moolah on July 24, 1987.
Return, you say? That’s right – Sherri had a stint in the WWF five years earlier as one of Moolah’s many protégés, which was useful, as being pally with Moolah was the best way to get some ring time in the big leagues, albeit losing a cut of your money to her as a result. However, Sherri was reportedly kicked out of Moolah’s school for indulging in a party lifestyle. (more…)
If you saw this week’s Vintage Collection, you would have seen this – but for everybody else, here’s the champion being screwed over by Vince McMahon and the WWF.
No, not Bret Hart – had you forgotten that we’re a site dedicated to female wrestlers? No, I’m on about the original screwjob back in November 25, 1985. Wendi Richter was – along with Hulk Hogan and others – one of the figureheads of the Rock And Wrestling Connection. She was accompanied to the ring at the first WrestleMania by Cyndi Lauper, and won the Women’s Championship for a second time from Leilani Kai. Her first reign may have been more historic though, as she defeated the Fabulous Moolah for the belt, ending what was billed as the longest championship reign in professional wrestling (which isn’t true, as she had won and lost the title on numerous occasions which went unrecognised by the WWF).
Something happened after WrestleMania though – Richter and McMahon’s relationship got tense over contract negotiations, which led to the match we have for you on the Retro this week. (more…)