Abandoned: The History of the WWF Women's Tag Team Championship

Kyle SchadlerChief Writer IJanuary 1, 2012

Abandoned: The History of the WWF Women's Tag Team Championship

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    Throughout history, professional wrestling has seen many championships.

    In WWE, there are six major titles. Not many know that the company has had a total of at least 19 different titles, 13 of which have been abandoned for one reason or another.

    The other two major companies owned by WWE are WCW and ECW, which have at least 15 abandoned and forgotten titles between them.

    For as long as it takes, I will be concentrating on those forgotten titles.

    Each slide will feature the champion, who they defeated, where and when they won it, the length of their title reign, any special circumstances that happened during their reign and a bit of commentary.

    Belts with a lengthy history will get their own articles and may be broken up into two depending on the length.

    For this New Year’s Day edition of Abandoned, I present the WWF Women’s Tag Team Championship.

    The titles first appeared in the early 1950s, but unfortunately quite a bit is missing from its history.

    The records for this title are incomplete, so I did the best I could with it.

    The titles remained in the National Wrestling Alliance until the World Wrestling Federation withdrew from the territorial promotion in 1984.

    At the time, the WWF bought the rights to the titles and they became official WWF titles.

    They only lasted four years in the company, though.

    Throughout its almost 40 year history, the titles have seen at least 25 champions.

    Due to the incomplete history, it’s hard to tell what the exact number is, though.

    So let’s get started!

Ella Waldek and Mae Young

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    Defeated: N/A

    Where: N/A

    When: N/A

    Title Reign: N/A

    The early history of the title is not known.

    Waldek and Young are known to be the first National Wrestling Alliance women’s tag-team champions, despite it not being known who they defeated or when and where they won them.

    Waldek’s career began in 1952 and she worked with Mae Young as well as her trainer Fabulous Moolah.

    She gained notoriety after the death of Janet Boyer Wolfe. After a slam from Waldek, Wolfe rolled to the outside where she collapsed and died.

    Despite being ruled as an accident. Waldek was called in on the charge of manslaughter.

    The fans would later chant “murderer” during her matches.

    She was last seen in the 2005 documentary Lipstick and Dynamite.

    Young has been wrestling since the late 1930s and was the trainer of Fabulous Moolah.

    Mae will now appear once in a while for WWE, her most recent appearance being last month in a backstage segment that appeared only on YouTube.

    Her most recent match was a year before that, winning a Falls Count Anywhere match against Michelle McCool and Layla. With that win, she became the first person to ever wrestle in nine different decades!

    She has stated that when she turns 100 years old, Vince McMahon has promised her a match. Mae Young is currently 88.

June Byers and Millie Stafford

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    Defeated: N/A

    Where: Mexico City, Mexico

    When: 1952

    Title Reign: N/A

    Due to the incomplete history of the titles, it is not known who June Byers and Millie Stafford defeated or if they were any champions before them.

    Some consider June Byers the greatest women’s wrestler of all time.

    Back when the men dominated the business more than they do now, Byers was the face of women’s wrestling and helped open the door for fans to see more and more matches featuring female athletes.

    She has had many legendary battles with Mildred Burke and Penny Banner before retiring in 1964.

    I unfortunately couldn’t find anything on Millie Stafford.

June Byers and May Jane Mull

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    Defeated: Recognized

    Where: N/A

    When: Dec. 1953

    Title Reign: N/A

    After Millie Stafford took some time off, Mary Jane Mull won a tournament to replace her as June’s championship partner.

    The titles were declared vacant in August 1954 when June Byers won the NWA Women’s World Championship.

    After retiring, Byers became a real estate agent before passing away on July 20, 1998.

    Unfortunately, the only thing I could find on Mary Jane Mull is the fact that she passed away on April 12, 1999.

Penny Banner and Lorraine Johnson

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    Defeated: Tournament

    Where: Ohio

    When: 1955

    Title Reign: N/A

    It’s not known who they defeated, but Penny Banner and Lorraine Johnson won a tournament to become the new champions.

    Penny Banner has won many titles throughout her career and was well-known in women’s wrestling.

    It’s said that in her 23-year career, she was only pinned twice in the last 20 years.

    Banner would retire in 1977 and was last seen in the wrestling world in the 2005 documentary Lipstick and Dynamite.

    Penny Banner passed away on May 12, 2008.

    Unfortunately, all I could find on Lorraine Johnson is that her daughter wrestled under the name Baby Doll in WCCW, Jim Crocket Promotions, the WWF and occasionally on the independent circuit now that she’s semi-retired.

The Fabulous Moolah and Toni Rose

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    Defeated: N/A

    Where: N/A

    When: May 1970

    Title Reign: Anywhere from one to 15 days

    Due to the incomplete history of the titles, it is not known who the Fabulous Moolah and Toni Rose defeated to win the titles or if there were any other champions in the 15 years missing in the timeline.

    The Fabulous Moolah is one of the most well-known and respected women’s wrestlers in the history of the business.

    After June Byers retired, Moolah took the reins of women’s wrestling and brought it to new heights.

    She won many titles throughout her career and never truly retired, as she had the occasional match with WWE or on the independent circuit.

    Toni Rose was trained by Fabulous Moolah and after only a few years in the business, she was blinded in one eye.

    Despite that, she kept wrestling.

Donna Christanello and Kathy O’Day

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    Defeated: The Fabulous and Toni Rose

    Where: Los Angeles, CA

    When: May 15, 1970

    Title Reign: 21 days

    Donna Christanello was one of the many wrestlers trained by the Fabulous Moolah.

    She spent the majority of her early career teaming with Toni Rose, winning this title three times.

    I unfortunately couldn’t find anything on Kathy O’Day.

The Fabulous Moolah and Toni Rose

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    Defeated: Donna Christanello and Kathy O’Day

    Where: Bakersfield, CA

    When: June 5, 1970

    Title Reign: N/A

    The Fabulous Moolah was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 1995 and even won the Women’s Championship one more time in 1999 at the age of 76.

    She was last seen at SummerSlam 2007 in a backstage segment before she passed away on November 2nd.

    Rose has held this title multiple times with two different partners. She would later win the title with Donna Christanello.

Donna Christanello and Toni Rose

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    Defeated: N/A

    Where: N/A

    When: Nov. 1970

    Title Reign: One year

    Due to the incomplete history of the titles, it is not known who Donna Christanello and Toni Rose defeated to win the titles or if there were any other champions in the five months missing in the timeline.

    Christanello would move on to the World Wrestling Federation in the mid-1980s, where she competed mostly in tag team matches.

    Rose was also a contender for her trainer Fabulous Moolah’s Women’s Championship but she was never able to win it.

Susan Green and Sandy Parker

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    Defeated: Donna Christanello and Toni Rose

    Where: Hawaii

    When: Nov. 1971

    Title Reign: Three months

    Sue Green made her debut in 1969 and is a former NWA women’s world champion.

    She has also been inducted into the NWA Hall of Fame earlier this year.

    Green has yet to retire and still wrestles to this day at the age of 56.

    Sandy Parker made her debut the same year as her partner and the two ended up forming this team early on in their careers.

    Parker would find more success in Japan than she did in the states, winning nine titles in All Japan Women’s Pro Wrestling.

    Parker retired in 1986.

Donna Christanello and Toni Rose

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    Defeated: Susan Green and Sandy Parker

    Where: Hong Kong, China

    When: Feb. 1972

    Title Reign: Eight months

    After moving into singles competition in WWF, Christanello would retire from the ring in 1991.

    During her retirement, she helped train Sherri Martel and worked at Wal-Mart.

    Despite being a contender for multiple titles throughout her career, Toni Rose is known to have only won this title. 

Joyce Grable and Vicki Williams

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    Defeated: Donna Christanello and Toni Rose

    Where: New York, NY

    When: Oct. 15, 1973

    Title Reign: 677 days

    Joyce Grable debuted in 1971 where she wrestled singles matches before forming this team.

    She would hold this title six times, three times with Williams and three more with Wendi Richter.

    Williams was a contender for the Fabulous Moolah’s NWA Women’s Championship but would never capture the title.

Donna Christanello and Toni Rose

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    Defeated: Joyce Grable and Vicki Williams

    Where: Boston, MA

    When: Aug. 23, 1975

    Donna Christanello would pass away this past August on the 25th.

    I couldn’t find what Toni Rose was up to now, but I assume she’s retired from professional wrestling.

Joyce Grable and Vicki Williams

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    Defeated: N/A

    Where: N/A

    When: April 16, 1978

    Title Reign: N/A

    Due to the incomplete history of the titles, it is not known who Joyce Grable and Vicki Williams defeated to win the titles or if there were any other champions in the three years missing in the timeline.

    While never winning the World Championship, Grable is a former NWA United States women’s champion.

    After not being able to win the world title, Williams formed this team with Grable and they dominated the women’s tag team division for several years.

Beverly Shade and Natasha the Hatchet Lady

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    Defeated: Recognized

    Where: Memphis, TN

    When: Aug. 1978

    Title Reign: N/A

    Due to the incomplete history of the titles, it is not known if there were any other champions in the four months missing in the timeline, especially since Beverly and Natasha were recognized in the Tennessee territories only.

    Beverly Shade was known as “The Hammer” due to her hammering away on her opponents.

    She and Natasha held multiple tag team titles together before retiring from professional wrestling in 1989.

    Natasha was mostly known as a brawler throughout her career and would follow her partner into retirement the same year.

Joyce Grable and Vicki Williams

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    Defeated: The Glamour Girls (Leilani Kai and Judy Martin)

    Where: Saint Petersburg, FL

    When: Aug. 25, 1979

    Title Reign: N/A

    Due to the incomplete history of the titles, it is not known if there were any other champions in the one year missing in the timeline.

    Since Beverly Shade and Natasha the Hatchet Lady were only recognized in the Tennessee territories, it’s speculated that this was the finals of a tournament to crown champions to be recognized throughout the NWA.

    Grable has also wrestled for the WWF, AWA and Stampede Wrestling, though she would never win any titles in those companies.

    After winning the UWA Women’s Championship three times, Vicki Williams would retire from professional wrestling in 1980 after 10 years in the business. 

Joyce Grable and Wendi Richter

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    Defeated: N/A

    Where: N/A

    When: N/A

    Title Reign: N/A

    Due to the incomplete history of the titles, it is not known who Joyce Grable and Wendi Richter defeated to win the titles or if there were any other champions in the missing pieces in the timeline.

    Grable would retire from professional wrestling in 1991 due to back problems.

    Wendi Richter debuted in 1979 and soon found herself in the WWF during the boom known as the Rock ‘n’ Wrestling Connection.

    During that time, she would capture the WWF Women’s Championship two times.

Princess Victoria and Sabrina

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    Defeated: Joyce Grable and Wendi Richter

    Where: Kansas City, MO

    When: April 29, 1982

    Title Reign: Seven days

    Victoria debuted in 1980 where she got her start in the NWA but would soon find herself in the WWF as one half of the WWF women’s tag team champions alongside Velvet McIntyre.

    I unfortunately couldn’t find anything on Sabrina.

Joyce Grable and Wendi Richter

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    Defeated: Princess Victoria and Sabrina

    Where: Kansas City, MO

    When: May 6, 1982

    Title Reign: Seven days

    Before retiring, Grable began training wrestlers working for the Fabulous Moolah’s school.

    While there, she would train her partner Wendi Richter as well as Sherri Martel.

    In 1985, Richter was involved in what was known as the Original Screwjob.

    In it, Fabulous Moolah, masked as the Spider Lady, pinned her and the referee proceeded to deliver a fast count.

    Even after the bell rang, Richter continued to attack her opponent, as that wasn’t the predetermined ending.

    She left WWF that day and wouldn’t return for 25 years.

Penny Mitchell and Velvet McIntyre

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    Defeated: Joyce Grable and Wendi Richter

    Where: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

    When: May 13, 1982

    Title Reign: One year

    Velvet McIntyre was one of the very few female wrestlers who executed high flying moves.

    It was her high flying style that got her recognized by the NWA and later WWF.

    I unfortunately couldn’t find anything on Penny Mitchell.

Joyce Grable and Wendi Richter

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    Defeated: Penny Mitchell and Velvet McIntyre

    Where: Canada

    When: May 1983

    Title Reign: Anywhere from one to 13 days

    Joyce Grable can still be seen at independent shows and conventions but she will not wrestle.

    She was last seen at a TNA live event in New York earlier this year.

    After leaving WWF, she wrestled primarily on the independent circuit but would appear for the AWA.

    After 25 years of holding a grudge, Richter accepted an invitation back to the WWE and was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a member of the class of 2010.

Velvet McIntyre and Princess Victoria

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    Defeated: Joyce Grable and Wendi Richter

    Where: N/A

    When: May 13, 1983

    Title Reign: 208 days

    When the World Wrestling Federation withdrew from the NWA, they bought the rights to the NWA Women’s World and Tag Team Championship.

    When Velvet McIntyre and Princess Victoria entered the company on April 4, 1984, they were recognized as the first WWF women’s tag team champions.

    Victoria would also be a contender for the WWF Women’s Championship but would never win the title.

    She would retire from professional wrestling in 1984 when a neck injury ended her very promising career.

    McIntyre would go on to win the WWF Women’s Championship in 1986 but lost the title after only six days.

    She then became a jobber for the company.

Velvet McIntyre and Desiree Peterson

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    Defeated: Recognized

    Where: N/A

    When: Dec. 7, 1984

    Title Reign: 603 days

    Desiree Peterson replaced Princess Victoria due to the former champion sustaining a neck injury and being forced to retire because of it.

    McIntyre would leave WWF in 1990 after the company lost interest in women’s wrestling.

    She spent the rest of her career in Canada before retiring in 1998 due to pregnancy.

    Desiree Peterson was one of the many wrestlers trained by the Fabulous Moolah.

    She spent the early part of her career in WWF but would leave in 1988 after feuding with then-women’s champion Sherri Martel.

    Peterson wrestled for the Ladies Professional Wrestling Association in Nevada as well as the independents before retiring in 2007.

The Glamour Girls

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    Defeated: Velvet McIntyre and Desiree Peterson

    Where: Egypt

    When: Aug. 1985

    Title Reign: 1,637 days

    Both Leilani Kai and Judy Martin trained at the Fabulous Moolah’s wrestling school which is where they met in the late 1970s and formed the Glamour Girls in 1985.

    They were quite the dominant team but the WWF’s loss of interest in women’s wrestling would end their dominance.

    Kai would win the WWF Women’s Championship six months prior, a title her partner was never able to capture despite multiple tries.

The Jumping Bomb Angels (Itsuki Yamazaki and Noriyo Tateno)

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    Defeated: The Glamour Girls

    Where: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

    When: Jan. 24, 1988

    Title Reign: 136 days

    The Jumping Bomb Angels got their start in 1981 in Japan winning the WWWA World Tag Team Championship.

    They arrived in the states in 1987 and entered into a long feud with the Glamour Girls.

    After losing the titles, the team would disband three years later.

    Tateno would retire from professional wrestling last year.

    I unfortunately couldn’t find anything on her partner Yamazaki.

The Glamour Girls

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    Defeated: The Jumping Bomb Angels

    Where: Omiya, Japan

    When: June 8, 1988

    Title Reign: 251 days

    The titles were abandoned February 14, 1989.

    There was a loss of interest in women’s wrestling at the time and it also resulted in the abandonment of the WWF Women’s Championship a year later.

    After leaving WWF, the Glamour Girls would wrestle in Japan as well as WCW as singles wrestlers.

    Judy Martin would retire in 1999 while Leilani Kai would hang up her boots in 2004 after winning the NWA Women’s Championship at a TNA event the year before.

    They can still be seen together at wrestling conventions.

Statistics and Final Thoughts

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    Due to the incomplete history of the titles, the records presented here many not be accurate.

    Most Reigns: Donna Christanello and Toni Rose, Joyce Grable and Vicki Williams, Joyce Grable and Wendi Richter (3).

    Longest Single Reign: The Glamour Girls (1,637 days).

    Longest Combined Reign: The Glamour Girls (1,888 days).

    Shortest Reign: Princess Victoria and Sabrina, Joyce Grable and Wendi Richter (seven days).

     

    Women’s wrestling was something that has always had a stigma to it.

    Women’s wrestling was banned in certain states during the early days of wrestling and even where it was legal, the profession wasn’t respected very much.

    Things changed, though, thanks to the ability of wrestlers like Mildred Burke, June Byers and the Fabulous Moolah, and titles like this one had the chance to exist and flourish.

    Unfortunately, WWE lost interest in women’s wrestling as a whole and abandoned the titles in 1988.

    Despite a renewed interest in the early 1990s, and continuing on into today, the belts were never brought back.

    Seeing a women’s tag team title return could be beneficial to the Divas' roster.

    It could give the Divas that don’t get to do much the chance to get some television time as well as time in the ring to improve.

    TNA currently has their own Knockout’s Tag Team Championship but they have no lineage to this title.

    With WWE not giving a damn about their women’s division, I highly doubt we’ll ever see these titles revived.

    The WWF Women’s Tag Team Championship will remain gone and forgotten.

     

    Previous Installments 

    WWE Women’sWWE EuropeanECW TelevisionWCW HardcoreWCW US Tag TeamWWF Martial ArtsWWF InternationalWCW Women’sECW WorldWWE CruiserweightWWF Light WeightECW Tag TeamFTW WorldWCW 6-Man Tag TeamMillion DollarWWF Junior

     

    Sources

    http://www.wrestling-titles.com/nwa/world/nwa-wt.html 

    http://www.wrestling-titles.com/wwe/wwf-wt.html 

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NWA_Women%27s_World_Tag_Team_Championship 

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WWF_Women%27s_Tag_Team_Championship 

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/June_Byers 

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penny_Banner 

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fabulous_Moolah 

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donna_Christanello 

    http://www.garywill.com/wrestling/decwres.htm