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History of Female Combat

Female combat has a long and rich tradition. In ancient Greece and Rome, women wrestled each other, while in some ancient African tribes, women wrestled against both women and men. In the South Pacific, almost 1,000 years ago, women and men alike wrestled and engaged in other martial arts as part of their spiritual and ritual practices. Women were wrestling in Europe at least 150 years ago, but there focus has become slightly more about costume and spectacle. By the time female combat was gaining popularity and attention in America in the early 1900s, the focus was almost always entertainment as opposed to female combat and athleticism.

Over the last century, women’s wrestling as a sport and as entertainment have both developed, sometimes growing apart and other times coming together. At the extreme end of exploitation and spectacle were organizations like Women of Wrestling (WOW) and Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (GLOW). Somewhere in the middle are the federations like WWF/WWE that showcase very talented female athletes, but do tend to relegate them to second class status and sex symbols much of the time while the men take the limelight. At the other end of the female combat spectrum are the high school, college, and amateur, and professional venues that are giving increasing support and attention to women’s wrestling as a competitive sport.

Problems Facing Advocates of Female Combat
There is a complex history of legal issues revolving around female combat. Starting at the high school level, where girls wanted to be afforded the equal right to train and compete, there were significant concerns--some of which became lawsuits and controversies. For some time, the dominant paradigm seemed to be that if a woman could try out for a wrestling team and face off against men competitively, then she could be a team member.

The problems here were immediately obvious. Many schools required their male wrestlers to forfeit to women when they came up against them in tournaments. In some cases, religious groups or parents would demand this of boys, even if their schools did not. There was a scandal in 1996 when the Texas Wrestling Officials Association decided they would disband entirely rather than officiate coed matches. No serious athletes, male or female, wanted this contention to detract from their sport.

The obvious conclusion was for schools at the high school and college level to have women’s wrestling programs, but many schools did not think there would be sufficient support or interest in female combat. California, Hawaii, and Texas led the way to proving otherwise in the 1990s. The decade started with only a few dozen girls wrestling at the high school level; by the turn of the millennium, Hawaii, Michigan, and Texas had State Championships for high school female wrestlers, and California had countless all-girl squads. Washington soon joined their ranks. Almost 5,000 girls are now wrestling at the high school level, and there are 21 varsity wrestling programs in North American colleges, most of which offer scholarships for their female wrestlers.

Female Combat around the World Today
Starting in 1987, there were World Championships for women’s wrestling; and, as of 2004, the sport was included in the Olympic Games with four weight classes invited to Athens. Wrestlers from 54 nations attended, 21 of which qualified. The first medal ever awarded in women’s wrestling at the Olympics went to an American--Patricia Miranda.

As female combat gains popularity competitively, women’s professional wrestling is really changing. Steel Kittens offers the best in professional women’s wrestling, combining the amazing athleticism of today’s best female combatants with the exciting showmanship that makes professional wrestling great entertainment as well as an exciting and challenging sport.

Check these three Vintage Classic Womens Wrestling videos below



"Vintage Women’s Professional Wrestling #VA-70-20"

1. Tina Moretti, Sinday Paradise vs. Bad, Black and Beautiful 2. Judy Martin vs. Tina Moretti 3. Sindy Paradise, Cheryl Rusa vs. The Nasty Girls 4. Cheryl Rusa, Sindy Paradise vs. Black Venus and The Bad Girl 5. Cheryl Rusa vs. Black Venus 6. Alma Alvarez, Georgia Brown vs. The Nasty Girls 7. Malia Hosaka, Cheryl Rusa , Georgia Brown vs. Candi Devine, Rusty Thomas & LaGata (Six Woman Tag Team Match) 8. Cheryl Rusa , Sindy Paradise vs. The Nasty Girls 9. The Mighty Mites (Cheryl Rusa and Sindy Paradise) vs. The Beast

6 Tag Team Matches and 3 Pro Girl Matches

Get ringside with Professional Women’s Wrestling from the 90’s. From our own private collection, featuring stars like Alma Alvarez, Sweet Georgia Brown, Candi Devine, Tina Moretti, and Malia Hosaka in exciting Tag Team and Pro Girl Matches! Serious Pro Wrestling, Serious Action! 6 Tag Team Matches and 3 Pro Girl Matches!


"Vintage Women's Wrestling VA-50-18"

1. Sue Green (blonde) vs. Toni Rose 2. Brenda Scott (blonde vs. Olga Martinez 3. Brenda Scott (blonde) vs. Ann LaVerne 4. Fran Gravette (blonde) vs. Margeret Garcia 5. Penny Banner (blonde) vs. Jessica Rogers 6. Bambi Ball vs. Mona Baker (blonde) 7. Bambi Ball vs. Mary Jane Mull (blonde) 8. Evelyn Stevens (blonde) vs. Maria Deleon 9. Rita Boucher (short hair) & Barbara Owens vs. Patti Neilson & Lillian Ellison (Moolah)

VA-50-18 has 8 Pro Matches and 1 Tag Team Match

This Tape is loaded with history and brings you back in time to the 1950’s and 1960’s, considered the “Golden Age of Women’s Wrestling”. This tape reads like a Who’s Who of American Gal Grappling. You’ll see a host of famous stars! Like the bombshell blonde Brenda Scott. These matches are all silent and some of the were filmed by spectators at ringside with B&W 8mm film to video. Preserved forever in our Steel Kittens Vintage archives, a few of the 8mm transfers are a little faded by age, but we deemed it important to give you a glimpse of the “Golden Age of Women’s Wrestling”.


"Vintage 50’s, 60’s & 70's #VA-50-11"

1. Natasha Vs Laura Del Rio (Rose Suit) 2. Natasha & Sara Lee (Black Suit) Vs Laura Del Rio & Sylvia Hackney(Flower Suit) 3. Jacki West (Green Suit) & Susan Sexton Vs War Star(Red Flower Suit) & Cheryl Day (Pink Suit) 4. Laura Del Rio Vs War Star (White Boots) 5. Sherri Lee Vs Karen Kellie (Brown Suit) 6. Roselyn Royce (Black Suit) Vs Cheryl Day 7. Diane Flanagan (Black Suit) Vs Sandy Starr 8. War Star (White Suit) Vs Jackie West 9. Panama Franco Vs War Star (White Suit) 10. Cheryl Day Vs Gail Gardner (Long Hair)

8 Pro Girl and 2 Tag Team Classic Professional Women's Wrestling

More classic professional women's wrestling silent film transfers from the Mildred Burke era. Mildred was responsible for the first invasion by many American pro girls onto Japanese shores. On this tape you’ll see Natasha, Cheryl Day, Sylvia Hackney, Jackie West, Sherri Lee and Sandy Starr, all of whom challenged the Women Warriors of the Orient in the 60s & 70s. There are some vicious battles on this tape--and even though they had no sound equipment, you can see the banging, punching, and drop-kicks and know these girls were well schooled in the art or professional wrestling.


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