I was deeply saddened to recently hear that the Fabulous Moolah passed away. She made great contributions over her storied years to not only the sport of women’s wrestling but to professional wrestling in general. She was well respected by her peers and served as a mentor to many people in the sport regardless of gender. I can tell you that I had a profound respect for her as a professional wrestler and as an individual. Those that know me will say that is significant considering the fact that I have very little respect for women in the business but that is a whole different issue left for another time. The sharpest memory of her that I will not soon forget was the time she gave me an unsuspecting kiss.
Most remember the diabolical duo of Moolah and Mae Young taking on male World Wrestling Entertainment superstars in the not too distant past. Their storylines were more comedic in nature but they were able to garner strong positive reactions for the crowd considering their age and gender. However outrageous the parodies were, the pure entertainment value was considerable enough that they regularly appeared on broadcasts. Most don’t know that the proving ground for a lot of the entertaining ideas that eventually make there way onto national television were matured on the independent wrestling circuit. Such was the case with the team of Moolah and Mae Young several months prior to them appearing in such a role on a national syndication.
There is a promoter and agent still lingering around in the business today that goes by the name Mike O’Brian. Mike ran stellar events in the State of Connecticut on a consistent basis that regular independent wrestlers were eager to be a part. The complete product was first class with top stars from major companies performing in front of several thousand fans at any venue he choose. He was a class act and it was well reflected in his production. Mike made an investment in me and Don Montoya at the time which was a positive for both the company and us as individuals. He would position either or both of us into key positions on the shows against bigger name opponents. To my knowledge, Mike O’Brian was the first promoter to ever dare book Moolah and Mae Young against a male tag team. Don Montoya and his manager Paul Atamovic were the honorable first to compete against the ladies in the ring. I was not a part of that particular show but I did have the privilege to team with Montoya on what was his third tag team match-up against the tandem.
Don was pretty comfortable since he had worked with the two on a few occasions and more or less gave me the ropes of how the whole match would play out. At the time, I had come from working matches that typically lasted somewhere in the neighborhood of twenty minutes including entrance and promo. So when Montoya started explaining where the “filler” went I just took it as we would have our usual control barring anything complicated or extraordinary considering our opponents. It wasn’t like I was going to expect to give a huracanrana anyway. I was only obsessed with giving one of them a knife edge chop during the heat. I know I sound like a complete heel for saying that but I had an odd feeling that if women were in the sport that they should be taking much if not anything that a guy would have to regularly suffer. I thought how appropriate it was that Chris Benoit gave a chop to Medusa Michelli when they faced on an old World Championship Wrestling broadcast. Montoya cursed me for even thinking about it but I was going to do it none the less. Between me and Don discussing how I would take the finish, I joked how I would convulse my legs during the spot like the old school WWE TV finishes. Sometimes you’ve got to just try to make yourself laugh to keep sane.
With the match in mind and the knowledge that they had the ultimate control during the event, we began our trek out to the ring with Montoya garnering the normal heated reaction after his typical microphone work. The balance of the match saw the control on our favor since we were the heels and the crowd was behind Moolah and Mae Young. Mae Young took the heat which led to the corner chop stop by me. I made sure to do it right in the corner with Montoya looking at me and his eyes were opened so wide I thought they might fall out. Moolah didn’t take to kindly to that and definitely made me pay for it by coming in to punch me square in the face. I only briefly traded blows with Moolah during the match but she hit me harder than just about any man had ever hit me. She was a tough cookie. Somewhere close to fifteen minutes onto the match was when we started to wrap it all up. Mae Young could barely do what was required because of the lengthy heat she took at my hands. I later came to find out that their matches were usually only four to five minutes in length. Montoya was yelling at me afterwards about how I kept her in the heat too long. In my defense, I didn’t even realize it and had thought it was a relatively short match. It was not a malicious attempt on my part at all. Regardless, the match went without much of a hitch and the final sequence could have gone better but it was still rewarding to the crowd none the less. At the point of the finish with my legs jokingly convulsing and mouth wide open laughing at Montoya, Moolah took the opportunity to plant a very big kiss on me.
After the match while being read the riot act by Montoya for the Mae Young heat, I was more concerned about Mae Young’s health than the kiss. Apparently, she requested a doctor after the show and I later left worried for the rest of the weekend if she was fine. It turned out that she was alright and they both expressed appreciation for us both treating them to more of a match than they had in quite some time. I take some solace in the fact that I walked away with a great story about how I was kissed by one of the true wrestling legends. If she’s not smiling down on me, I’m certainly smiling up at her.