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History of Women in Wrestling

Women in wrestling have 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 women in wrestling were gaining popularity and attention in America in the early 1900s, the focus was almost always entertainment as opposed to female combat and athleticism.

Women in Wrestling Entertainment

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 the exploitation and spectacle of women in wrestling 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 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.

There is a complex history of legal issues revolving around women in wrestling. 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.

An Increase in the Number of Women in Wrestling

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. 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 women in wrestling, 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.

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 women’s competitive wrestling gains popularity, women’s professional wrestling is really changing. Steel Kittens showcases the best professional women in 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 50’s & 60’s #VA-50-15"

1. Sonya Sanchez (Orange Bikini) Vs Marlene (Shaving Cream Match) 2. Cheryl Day (Black Bikini) Vs Casey Carr 3. Rhonda Singh (Monster Ripper)(Black Suit) Vs Sonya Sanchez 4. Jackie West Vs Rebecca Reyes (White Suit) 5. Tanya West Vs Casey Carr (Blue Suit) 6. Sonya Sanchez Vs Luis Romero (Mixed Wrestling) 7. Casey Carr (Dark Bikini) Vs Cheryl Day 8. Sharon Lee (Blonde) & Jane O’Brien Vs Cheryl Day (Blue Suit) & Jackie West (Brown Suit) 9. Cheryl Day (Blue Suit) Vs Rebecca Reyes 10. Lynn Black (Blonde) Vs Wendy Burke- Boxing Match 11. Marlene (Green Suit) Vs Wendy Burke

1 Boxing Match, 1 Tag Team Match, 1 Mixed Match and 8 Pro Girls Matches


Mildred Burke did it all! We see a shaving cream match between Marlene and Sonya and also three matches from a live audience at Millie’s Gym. As usual she brought in some Mexican talent, had a mixed match and the crowd was pleased. She then had her daughter Wendy box Lynn Black, who got a bruising lesson in boxing at the end. All silent 8mm films digitalized to preserve their quality.


"Vintage 70’s, 80’s & 90’s – Tape VA70-12"


1. Candi Devine, Bambi, Peggy Lee Leather, Penelope Paradise, Penny Mitchell, Baby Face Nellie, Olympia, Lisa Starr, Sandy Partlow, Malia Hosaka, Jackie Moore, Ondi Austin, Velvet McIntyre, Denise Storm, and Lady Justice 2. Judy Martin Vs Tina Moretti 3. Reggie Bennett Vs Denise Storm 4. Terri Power Vs LeLani Kai 5. Misty Blue Sims $ Heidi Lee Morgan Vs Judy Martin & LeLani Kai 6. Lady X Vs Sindy Paradise 7. Bad Girl & Black Venus Vs Terrie Power & Alona Starr 8. Malia Hosaka Vs Despina Montages 9. Susan Sexton Vs LeLani Kai 10. Miss Linda Vs Sheba 11. Terri Power Vs LaGata 12. Magnificent Mimi Vs Alma Alvarez 13. Malia Hosaka Vs The Goddess 14. Heidi Lee Morgan & Misty Blue Sims Vs La Gata & Comrade Orga 15. Susan Sexton Vs Kat LeRoux (Title Bout) 16. Misty Blue Sims & Allison Royal Vs Judy Martin & LeLani Kai

1 Battle Royal, 4 Tag Teams & 11 Pro Girl Vintage Professional Women’s Wrestling Matches

This vintage professional women’s wrestling tape starts with a wild 15 girl Battle Royal in which 14 of the ladies go up and over the top rope and are eliminated. All of your favorite girls are on this video, showcasing all the glamour and hot action that brought women’s wrestling back into the sports scene from the middle 70s to the early 90s.


"Nude Professional Women's Wrestling - 60's & 70's - Tape VA50-8"

1. Casey Carr Vs Cheryl Day (Nude) 2. Casey Carr Vs Lynn Black (Nude) 3. Cheryl Day Vs Gail Gardner (Nude) 4. Lynn Black Vs Cheryl Day (Nude) 5. Cheryl Day Vs Casey Carr (Nude) 6. Lynn Black Vs Gail Gardner (Nude) 7. Lynn Black Vs Gail Gardner (Nude) 8. Casey Carr Vs Cheryl Day (Topless Finish) 9. Roselyn Royce Vs Spice Williams (Topless) 10. Roselyn Royce Vs Spice Williams (Topless)

10 Rare N*de or T*pless Professional Women's Wrestling Matches

Very Rare! In the late 60s & early 70s, Mildred Burke shot a series of completely n*de and t*pless matches in her indoor ring! These are incredibly unique in the history of classic professional women's wrestling. In fact, to our knowledge these "Star Films,” are the only nude matches done by pro girls that were ever filmed. Millie had a way with her girls! Prominently featured are two of Mildred's best pros, Casey Carr & Cheryl Day. Also featured in this series are Roselyn Royce and Spice Williams in two t*pless matches and Lynn Black and Gail Gardner facing each other and the pros.


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