Pictured: Billy Wolfe: Man of Integrity.
After only a few months, the betrayer struck.
It wasn't enough that without Mildred Burke entering his life, he would still be a penny-ante promoter playing to the carnival crowd in Kansas while using his talents as half wrestler/half sex-toys.
It wasn't enough that she tolerated his infidelity for nearly two decades while lining his pockets with gold.
It wasn't even enough that he had tried to ruin her once already for leaving him.
He wouldn't be content until he destroyed not "Mildred Burke," but the woman he promised to love and cherish, and did not, Mildred Bliss.
And sadly, he was finally successful in his efforts.
Billy Wolfe went right back into women's wrestling and directly competed with Burke's new company established from their deal: Attractions Inc.
Basing his attack from out of the heart of Ohio, Wolfe sneakily undercut Burke's pay-rates to performers by paying out higher rates than she could manage and still keep her company afloat.
When Burke was offering under 50 percent of the gate to performers, Wolfe underbid her by going 50. Burke lowered to compete by going to 60. Wolfe, practically throwing a chance at profit away just to destroy Burke, lowered his take to 25 percent with 75 percent of the proceeds going to performers.
It successfully put Attractions Inc. into bankruptcy and, through the courts, right back into the hands of Wolfe.
Not content with breaking her, he then attempted to humiliate her by sending out flyers throughout the region, claiming that he was now the booker for Burke and her 27 talents.
Burke would obviously fight this claim in court, but more importantly, she hoped that by leaning on some of her contacts inside of the National Wrestling Alliance, she could turn around the fate of not only herself, not only her two children that she had with this beast, but also the 27 women who were loyal to her.
She would hope in vain.
The NWA wouldn't even so much as let her sit in on the meeting, leaving her to sit in the lobby while they acknowledged that what Wolfe had done was acceptable. (This is where I remind you that this is a lone woman in 1953 fighting against not just a man, but her ex-husband and ex-promoter with deep ties to the NWA.)
Even after all this: Wolfe still wasn't done with her.
He spread lies claiming that she wouldn't work with other female wrestlers, he created animosity between her and other bookers and killed her pushes as an in-ring competitor against men in territories. He hounded and terrorized her to such a degree that a man might be thrown in jail today for stalking and harassment.
Certainly, he would be sued blind. But in 1954, a single mother of two didn't have much legal recourse or standing.
Finally, the last slap in the face.
On August 20, 1954, with her financial options gone, Mildred Burke agreed to do business with Billy Wolfe one more time and face June Byers for the Women's World Championship still in her possession.
In a screwjob that would predate both Moolah and Richter, as well as Hart and Michaels, through his connections, Wolfe placed a friendly referee in to judge the match between Byers and Burke, which would become a shoot fight, as they genuinely hated each other. (Moolah alleged that this was because Byers had been sleeping with Wolfe when he and Burke were still married.)
The match was to be three falls to a finish. Byers won the first fall, which Burke conceded in order to rally for the second and third. But the officials ended the second fall in the match as a sudden stalemate. This purposely created confusion to prevent Burke from winning the fall, and possibly the third fall, so that they could more easily award the World Women's Championship to Byers.
And that is exactly what happened.
The NWA recognized Byers as the true Champion, and Burke's reign was officially ended.
Remember that 5,149-1?
That was her "1."
But, as they say, "You can't keep a good woman down"...