At its core, professional wrestling is all about reading between the lines and seeing the moves in the ring as more than just moves and the fights as more than just fights.
At times, the storylines and narratives
even take precedence over the brutal in-ring competition. This being the case,
it’s no surprise that WWE would apply their penchant for larger-than-life
stories to their own corporate mythos. With WWE Evolution right around the
corner, it seems like an appropriate time to focus on the company’s complicated
history with its female talent.
As with any mythology, the history of WWE elevates certain performers to near-deific status while downplaying or covering up the achievements of others. From The Fabulous Moolah, to Trish Stratus and Lita, to Nikki Bella, to the Four Horsewomen, WWE has always promoted certain women over others and created a narrative around whatever female stars are on top to suit their own interests. Today, with the “Women’s Revolution” in full swing, the company aggressively promotes the current generation of female wrestlers as breaking down the barriers of the past.
What WWE neglect to mention however, is that those very barriers were built in-part by WWE itself. One doesn’t even need to look abroad for examples of talented women who were fighting for recognition; WWE has many examples of great female wrestlers throughout its history.
Unfortunately, whether due to bitter departures or simply getting lost in the shuffle, here are 10 female wrestlers ignored by WWE’s revisionist history.
10. Velvet McIntyre
Originally a wrestling journeyman, Velvet McIntyre first appeared in the WWF in 1982, before it had broken away from the NWA. She spent time in Mid-South Wrestling, the AWA, and Stampede Wrestling, to list a few of her promotions, but when she returned to the WWF in 1984, she did so as one-half of the NWA Women’s World Tag Team Champions with her partner, Princess Victoria. The duo were immediately handed the new WWF Women’s Tag Team Championships, but the division was thin. Victoria was eventually replaced by Desiree Petersen, but McIntyre’s run with the titles lasted over two years before dropping them to The Glamour Girls in 1985.
She won the WWF Women’s Championship from The Fabulous Moolah in 1986, but her time with the belt was brief, as she ended up losing it back to Moolah only six days later. After her title run, McIntyre slipped down the card, primarily putting on losing efforts against Moolah and Sensational Sherri, and by 1988, she was out of the company.
Although never considered a top star in the WWF, McIntyre was a good worker in the ring, capable as both a singles and tag team wrestler. As a tag team champion for over 800 days, she’s more than secured her place as a female wrestler worthy of note, but like many of the women in the early days of the WWF, her legacy’s been lost to the history books, set aside in favor of lionizing The Fabulous Moolah.