As noted in recent editions of the Ringbelles Roundup, veteran female grappler Joyce Grable has been announced as being inducted into the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame in Amsterdam, NY (the only bricks and mortar pro-wrestling Hall of Fame in the world) as part of their Class of 2013 alongside such luminaries as The Assassins, Dick Murdoch, Bill Watts and El Santo. Born Betty Wade, she will join fellow female inductees Mildred Burke (2002), The Fabulous Moolah (2003), Mae Young (2004), Penny Banner (2005), June Byers (2006), Cora Combs (2007), Betty Niccoli (2008), Donna Christianello (2009), Kay Noble (2010) and Judy Grable (2011) (the last of whom was Joyce’s childhood idol and trainer – and who, along with Fabulous Moolah, bequeathed the ringname “Joyce Grable” to her) in the Hall. The PWHOF induction will be on the back of induction into the NWA Hall of Fame this year, an iPPV appearance at Shine 3 and a Cauliflower Alley Club award in 2010.
Seemed like an opportunity to dig up one of Joyce’s old matches for a Retro, eh? Indeed – and in a week where we’ve been discussing intergender wrestling on the site at length, how apropos that we managed to turn up a genuinely historic little gem with Joyce and her partner Judy Martin proving that intergender wrestling isn’t just something invented recently – as they compete against male tag team Steve O and Jerry Roberts (an early ring name for the future “Mountie” Jacques Rougeau Jr) in the first round of the National Tag Team Championship tournament on Thanksgiving night at Atlanta’s Omni in 1980. Nineteen Eighty. Yes, around the time Andy Kaufman had declared himself the world’s first intergender wrestling champion in Memphis (and making a bit of a mockery about it, until Jerry Lawler shut him up), Grable & Martin were doing their bit to advance the cause. It’s not a full match, but it’s a nice historial curiosity. (more…)
Sometimes a great Retro just falls into our laps, and such an occurrence happened earlier today, when the official YouTube channel of the Ladies Professional Wrestling Association uploaded one of its home videos for everyone to see.
LPWA wasn’t around for long – a mere three years in its original incarnation between 1989 and 1992, before coming back for a further two between 1998 and 2000 – but differed from Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling, which preceded it by a couple of years by being more about the in-ring action, making it more similar to Powerful Women of Wrestling, which was set up by GLOW creator David McLane after he left his original concept.
You may also notice a few of the women featured on the video, such as former World Wrestling Federation Women’s Tag Team Champions the Glamour Girls (Leilani Kai & Judy Martin), as well as former WWF Women’s Champion Madusa “Alundra Blayze” Miceli, D-Generation X member Terri Power, who went on to be better known as Tori, and Reggie Bennett, who went on to win the All Japan Women All Pacific Championship (a title that both Kai and Martin also held prior to their LPWA days).
Click after the link to see the video, as well as the match listings. (more…)
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…)
Unable to decide what match to choose for this week’s Retro, I threw the decision over to you, the Ringbelles reader. I turned to our Twitter and Facebook to make the call on whether I should feature a hardcore match, or an old-school affair. Without any more information than that, we received votes on both sides – even asking other Ringbelles staff members, wrestlers and friends.
Therefore, being left with the casting vote, I did what anybody would do – sit on the fence. So for this week’s Retro, you have BOTH a hardcore match and an old-school contest. The first is a violent affair from the 2007 Queen of the Deathmatches (available as part of the Pride and Passion set from Highspots) between Mickie Knuckles and Roxie Cotton (now Gabby Gilbert), which Roxie discussed with us on the Women Of Wrestling Podcast earlier this year, describing it as “fun”, and saying she “would do it again”. (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…)