Name: Mae Young
Year Inducted: 2004
Induction Category: Lady Wrestler

Mae Young

Jerry Lawler quipped, "When God said let there be light, Mae Young threw the switch" -- but he was only kidding on the square. There is but one way to graphically illustrate the extraordinary caliber of this woman's career in the professional wrestling rings of North America, and that is by glimpsing at a couple of paragraphs, separated in time by more than three score years:

SMALL TURNOUT AT USO MAT PROGRAM (Charleston WV Daily Mail, Tuesday, July 22, 1941)
"Mae Young, 18-year-old wrestler, headed for Atlantic City Tuesday to fill a mat engagement with boos still ringing in her ears following her Armory match with Ann LaVerne Monday night in the semifinal of the America Legion bill. After Miss LaVerne, 20-year-old Croatian girl with a cauliflower ear, had annexed the opening fall in 7:24, her 180-pound opponent ran amuck. Miss Young choked Miss LaVerne to win the second fall in 6:03 and go so unmanageable in the third, she was disqualified by referee Laverne Stokes in 2:46."

EXCERPTED FROM A MONDAY NIGHT RAW ACCOUNT (Dallas TX, American Airlines Center, June 16, 2003)
"Test fought Mae Young (accompanied to the ring by the Fabulous Moolah) to a no contest when Test shoved Moolah and hit the pumphandle slam on Mae as guest referee Scott Steiner made his way to the ring with Stacy Keibler; moments later, Steiner held Test off as EMTs tended to Mae, who was later taken out on a stretcher."

Johnnie Mae Young has wrestled in EIGHT different decades, eclipsing by one decade even the phenomenal longevity of the late, great Lou Thesz. She has been active on MAJOR circuits over a span of SIXTY-THREE years, or since 1941 when, as a 180-pound, erstwhile evangelist from Tulsa, Okla., she was challenging the legendary Mildred Burke for the women's world title. Or, let me put it to you another way: Lillian Ellison, aka Moolah, is 80 years old... and she was trained by Mae Young!

A striking and handsome woman to this day, Mae Young's is a face familiar to wrestling fans from FOUR generations. Not only did she train Moolah, she had a hand in the development of several male wrestling stars while based out in the Los Angeles area. Remember that this was 25 to 30 years before she was depicted, in one of Vince McMahon's promotional episodes, as the 'true love' of Mark Henry.

If anyone ever had a more varied Hall of Fame career, I donŐt know who it was.

- J MICHAEL KENYON



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