WWE News Bytes
November 9, 2007
Before I post the official obituary for The Fabulous Moolah, I wanted to post a memorial of someone very near and dear to me.
The man who introduced me to the world of wrestling, my Dad,
passed away November 6, 2007 after a hard fought battle with leukemia.
He was 77 years old. It was a peaceful quiet passing.
At his funeral they talked about him being in the Army, about his being a
Mason, about the years he had worked to support his family, his volunteer work, and none of that meant as much to me as the time he was able
to spend with me. As I think about what I lost, I remember what I gained. I grew
up watching local wrestling with my Dad on Saturdays. Because of my Dad, I learned about wrestling watching Sonny
Myers, Pat O’Connor, Bob Geigel, Bulldog Bob Brown, and the list goes on and
on. Dad took me to my first live match and I saw Geigel, Brown and the amazing
Handsome Harley Race – although I wasn’t allowed to get too close to him –
he was a bad guy after all. Before Dad became so ill, we talked about how
wrestling had changed since that time. He wasn’t for the glitz and glamour
that wrestling has become. Every time I see a match, I will think of my Dad and
remember the positive things in my life and one of the gifts that he gave me –
the love of the squared circle. Rest in peace, Daddy, your daughter will always
love you and miss you.
The Fabulous Moolah Obituary
Mary Lillian Ellison, 84, Fabulous Moolah, Is Dead
By RICHARD GOLDSTEIN
New York Times
Published: November 6, 2007
Mary Lillian Ellison, whose flying drop kicks, flying head
scissors and hair-pulling “flying mare” body slams brought her renown as the
professional wrestler the Fabulous Moolah, died Friday in Lexington, S.C., near
her home in Columbia. She was 84.
She died at a hospital after shoulder replacement surgery and
might have had a heart attack or a blood clot, said her daughter, Maryetta
For more than half a century, as a wrestler, promoter and
trainer, the Fabulous Moolah was a leading figure on the women’s circuit. She
held versions of the women’s wrestling championship for all but short
intervals from the mid-1950s to the mid-1980s. World Wrestling Entertainment
brought her back at age 76. Clad in a sequined jacket over a green leotard, she
pinned her opponent, Ivory, in a match at Cleveland and was again proclaimed the
The Fabulous Moolah enjoyed the mayhem, but she especially
coveted the money.
When she started in pro wrestling in the early 1950s, the
promoter Jack Pfeffer decided a name change was in order. As she told it in
“The Fabulous Moolah: First Goddess of the Squared Circle” (Regan Books,
2002), written with Larry Platt, Pfeffer told her “the name Lillian Ellison
wouldn’t do. Not flashy enough.”
He asked her why she was wrestling, and, as she recalled:
“Annoyed, I blurted out: ‘For the money. I want to wrestle for the moolah.’”
First, she apprenticed as a valet for Nature Boy Buddy
Rogers; she was billed as Slave Girl Moolah and clad in a leopard-skin outfit.
Soon, she was wrestling as the Fabulous Moolah, and she won the championship
belt in 1956. On July 1, 1972, when the New York State Athletic Commission
lifted a ban on women’s wrestling, she was the featured attraction at Madison
Mary Lillian Ellison was born in the country town of
Tookiedoo, S.C., near Columbia, the 13th child and only daughter in her family.
When she was 10, her father took her to pro wrestling matches in Columbia and
she was inspired to become a wrestler by watching Mildred Burke, the reigning
The Fabulous Moolah was only 5 feet 4 inches and 118 pounds
when she began wrestling as a professional, and her physique did not seem
particularly imposing. But her maneuvers wowed the crowds.
“Flying drop kick is when you jump flat-footed from the
floor up as high as the person you’re looking at and kick them in the face or
in the chest, wherever you want to kick them, and then you fall to the floor,”
she told National Public Radio’s “Fresh Air” program in 2005.
“And then the flying head scissors is where you jump up,
put both legs around their head and throw them forward as you come down. And a
flying mare is when you get a girl by the hair of the head and pull her over
your shoulder, then slam her to the mat as hard you can. And I love doing
Her jet-black haired dyed strawberry blonde, Ellison remained
active in World Wrestling Entertainment into her last years, writing commercials
for it. She was profiled in the 2004 Ruth Leitman documentary “Lipstick &
Dynamite,” a history of women’s pro wrestling.
In addition to her daughter, of Conway, S.C., she is survived
by six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Her five marriages ended in
divorce. She lived for many years with Katie Glass, a former midget wrestler
known as Diamond Lil, who joined with her in training wrestlers.
The Fabulous Moolah said she never minded the booing inspired
by her roughhouse antics.
“I loved when they got mad at me,” she told The State
newspaper of Columbia in 2005. “They called me all kinds of names. I said:
‘Call me anything you want. You don’t write my check.’”
Chris Masters has been released from his WWE contract. Source: www.pwbts.com. If you recall, Masters was one of the wrestlers recently suspended for failing a drug test. Masters has said the failed drug test was not his fault. He claimed it was something left over in his system. Masters has been suspended before, this suspension was to have been for sixty days. His first suspension was from being on the now famous Signature Pharmacy client list. Chris Masters is a WWE trademarked name, Chris will have to come up with something new if he intends to continue wrestling.
Harry (D.H.) Smith was also suspended for violating WWE’s
Wellness Policy. It is my
understanding that he was taking a drug similar to the drug used by his father,
deceased wrestler Davy Boy Smith.
Carlito seems to be having some problems at the office these
days. It is being reported that he is not happy with the lack of push he has
been receiving while sources report Carlito has not been putting one hundred
percent into his matches. It is rumored that Carlito has requested a release
from WWE at this time. This may mean Carlito will be returning to Puerto Rico
where his father and brother work in the wrestling business.
Al Snow is now engaged to former WWE diva Bobcat. Snow is a
trainer with Ohio Valley Wrestling in Louisville, KY. Source: www.gerweck.net.
WWE has decided against using "Dr. Death" Steve
Williams as a coach. WWE was flying him in from Colorado to help train the
developmental talent. Source: Gerweck.
JBL's wife Meredith Whitney caused some serious havoc on Wall
Street this past weekend and was on the receiving end of several death threats
which forced the former WWE champ to cancel his planned trip to Texas to stay
home with his wife. Whitney - a financial analyst from CIBC World Market -
recommended a 'sell' rating for Citigroup which basically transformed into
investors getting rid of the stock resulting in a $15 billion loss in market cap
for the company. The Dow Jones also dropped 360 points in related effect. A
total of about $369 billion were wiped off the US stock market value by the end
of the weekend thanks to Whitney's recommendation. "I'm
proud of Meredith for what she did," said JBL in an
interview with the WWE website. "She stuck her neck out and told the truth.
After all, she has to be honest with her investors, which a lot of analysts
won't do for fear of upsetting the wrong people." JBL met with Whitney
while he was doing some work for FOX News. Both of them now contribute to the
FOX Business Channel. (thanks to Colin Vassallo)
From the New York Post:
CITI $LICKER GOES TO THE MAT
WRESTLER HUBBY IN 'DOWNGRADE' ANALYST'S CORNER
By CHUCK BENNETT and TIM PERONE
November 3, 2007 -- There were profanity-laced angry calls,
hate-spewing e-mails, even wishes for her death.
Yet financial analyst Meredith Whitney isn't wrestling with
her conscience over the decision yesterday to downgrade Citigroup's stock that
caused $369 billion in the U.S. stock market to vanish in one day.
MORE: Citi Chief On His Way Out
"It is a major call, and it takes guts," Whitney
told The Post with her husband John "Bradshaw" Layfield, a 6-foot-6,
300-pound giant who wrestled as JBL for World Wrestling Entertainment and is a
fellow investment guru, at the St. Regis Hotel.
"This was the intellectually honest thing to do. I think
shareholders should get out of the stock," she said. "People have
always been afraid to come out with negative calls on Citi because it's a widely
held company, and people are intimidated by it."
On Thursday, Meredith, an analyst at CIBC World Market, a
subsidiary of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, issued a stern report
saying Citigroup needs to cut its dividend or sell assets to stave off a $30
billion capital shortfall. She further downgraded Citigroup shares to
"market underperform," which basically tells investors to sell.
Almost immediately, Citigroup's shares plunged 7 percent,
costing the company $15 billion. More significantly, the bank took the rest of
the market with it. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 360 points, or 2.6
percent, socking it to investors big and small around the globe.
"To see wealth destruction is upsetting. Look, my mom
owns the stock, my husband owns the stock," the Manhattan money maven said.
"I certainly thought it was going to be a big deal. Did I think a $369
billion decline in the market? No."
Her phone rang off the hook yesterday. Friends and colleagues
called with support. Other wished her to hell.
She described the typical rant as: "F - - - you, dumb
analyst. I hope you get hit by a truck," but added, "The abusive phone
calls, thankfully, have gone straight to voice mail."
Whitney, 37, shrugged off all the hate.
"When a lot of money is at stake, it's the average
investor who reacts most emotionally. I suspect that's the case here. I'm more
than capable of defending myself. If I were a shrinking violet, I wouldn't have
made the call."
Still, her husband, who won the WWE championship in 2004, was
unnerved enough to cancel a trip to his native Texas.
"I just don't want her to be alone this weekend. She
tried to talk me into going, but if someone accosted her on the sidewalk or
something, I don't know what I would do," Layfield said.
(thanks to Mike Informer) Source: www.gerweck.net.
WHERE ARE THEY NOW
While rumors still swirl regarding Jericho’s return to the
WWE ring, another piece of information popped up regarding a verbal altercation
Chris had with a radio host on the “Opie and Anthony” radio show.
A disparaging remark was made about Christopher Reeve.
Jericho promptly said the joke was inappropriate and that Reeve was a
friend. Jim Norton, the joke teller, refused to let it go. Opie later explained
the reason Jericho took offense to the remark about quadriplegic Christopher
Reeve was that Jericho’s mother was a quadriplegic. Source: www.rajah.com.
Blackjack Mulligan, WWE Hall of Fame member, recently
suffered a stroke.
Big Van Vader, former WWE star, underwent hip replacement surgery.
Brock Lesnar will be facing former UFC Heavyweight Champion
Frank Mir at UFC 81 in Las Vegas on February 2, 2008. This will be Lesnar’s
second pro fight. Source: Rajah.
Nicholas Bollea, son of former wrestler Hulk Hogan and member
of the cast of Hogan Knows Best, has
been arrested in Florida on charges stemming from the accident which has left
John Graziano disabled. The charges
include Reckless Driving Involving Serious Bodily Injury, Use of a motor vehicle
in commission of a felony, A person under the age of 21 operating a vehicle with
a breath-alcohol level of .02 or higher, and illegal window tint. True to form,
the Hogan family claims that since Graziano was not wearing his seat belt “it
isn’t Nick’s fault”. The driver of the Dodge Viper Nick was racing has
also been cited for reckless driving. While I agree that Graziano should have
been wearing his seat belt, the lack thereof would not have been a problem if
little Nicky hadn’t wrecked the car in which Graziano was a passenger.
Brooke Adams, ECW Extreme Expose member, was allegedly
terminated after an altercation backstage with Melina regarding fur boots Adams
was wearing for the Diva Battle Royal Match.
Melina often uses fur boots in her ring appearances.
How petty can these people get? We also hear that Adams was a true
“diva” and got considerable backstage heat before the boot incident.
Teddy Hart is now back in Canada after leaving Florida and
being released from his WWE developmental contract. Hart recently got a huge pop
during his return to Jersey All Pro Wrestling at their tenth anniversary event
in Rahway, NJ two weeks ago. Source: www.prowrestlingfans.com.
Former multiple-time World Champion to undergo triple heart
Posted on 11/08/107 by Mike Informer (Courtesy: Georgianne
Nick Bockwinkle will under go triple bypass heart surgery
Friday morning at 6:00 am. Nick went in for a heart catherization today, and the
doctors discovered he needed a triple bypass.
Nick is resting comfortably at the hospital.
Please keep Nick in your thoughts and prayers.
Benoit's doctor has connection to another dead wrestler
By JOHN HOLLIS
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 11/05/07
The Carrollton doctor who prescribed steroids to Chris Benoit
before the wrestler's double murder-suicide in June also prescribed a steady
dose of potentially addictive pain killers and muscle relaxers to a local
professional wrestler who died last year.
Dr. Phil Astin III, who has been indicted on federal charges
of overprescribing to two patients, wrote wrestler Michael Durham four
prescriptions for painkillers within a 25-day span of March 2005, pharmacy
records provided by his widow reveal. The prescriptions included two for 60
350-milligram Soma pills, a powerful muscle relaxer, over a four-day period from
• More Fayette news
Overall, Astin's signature was on 32 of the final 36
prescriptions Durham received over the last year of his life, including the
final one given to him the day prior to his death on Feb. 16, 2006 at age 40,
the pharmacy records show. All 120 of those 350-milligram Soma pills were
missing the next day when authorities discovered Durham's body, Tyrone police
officials have said.
Astin, who declined comment when reached at home Monday
afternoon, was among 11 doctors to dispense medication to Durham over a span of
seven years dating to 1999, records show.
Durham, a Peachtree City resident who performed under the
stage name of "Johnny Grunge," died a day after filling the last of
the prescriptions he received from Astin. His autopsy report attributed the
official causes of death to blockage of vessels supplying blood to the heart,
but cited toxic levels of Soma, and the painkiller hydrocodone as contributing
Authorities began investigating Astin after Benoit's murder
of his family and subsequent suicide in late June. Testosterone was discovered
at the Benoit's Fayettville home. Astin told The Associated Press he'd been
supplying Benoit with the steroids and was soon indicted by federal authorities
on seven counts of overprescribing to two people, although Benoit was not one of
The revelations about Durham led a medical specialist to call
Astin's actions into question.
"You've got a lot of meds in a short period of
time," said Dr. Barry Straus of the North Georgia Pain Clinic and a case
reviewer for the state medical board. "The doses aren't necessarily odd —
it's just the jump-start. If he had worked up to those levels, it's no big
Astin's attorney, Virginia Natasha Perdew-Silas, has declined
comment on the case since being appointed as his public defender in October.
However Astin's former counsel, Manny Arora, had warned
earlier against any rush to judgment without knowledge of all the facts and
pertinent medical data.
"The prescriptions were completely normal if you talk to
any doctor specializing in hormone issues," he said, though he said he knew
little about Durham.
A sequence that caught Straus' eye occurred in November 2006,
when Durham was given a prescription from Astin for 100 painkillers on Nov. 21
and for another 100 again just six days later.
Durham's widow, Penny Bordeau, called Astin "a suburban
drug dealer" in a recent TV interview.