Ringbelles Retro: There’s old-school, then there’s this

Mae Weston Mildred Burke“It’s a fast-changing world we live in. Men, move over.”

They’re the words which close out the video for this Retro featuring a match between Mildred Burke and Mae Weston from the 1950’s. At the time, it was implied that women’s wrestling was on the verge of becoming as recognised and respected as the male equivalent. Women’s wrestling has seen an upsurge over the previous decade or so because of the men being overseas fighting during the second World War – documented nicely in the Lipstick and Dynamite DVD – and was being celebrated as being something that would become the norm, though the voice-over on this video still has one foot in the sexist gutter.

More than 60 years on, women’s wrestling is still seen as a special attraction in some areas. In fact, Jeremy Borash announced it as if it was something of a departure from the men’s action during the filming of the British Boot Camp qualifiers earlier this month. Should things have not moved on further than where we are at right now?

At least there has been progress in the likes of promotions around the world like SHIMMER, SHINE, Women Superstars Uncensored, NCW: Femmes Fatales, Pro Wrestling: EVE, Bellatrix, Fierce Females, JWP, Stardom, OZ Academy, Pro Wrestling WAVE, Ice Ribbon, Sendai Girls and more. However, short of national TV shows like Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, Ladies Professional Wrestling Association and Wrestlicious, it’s been a bit light on the televisual front, as it’s always been seen as a sideshow act by global groups like WWE, TNA and WCW – though in its defence, TNA has produced a few all-women shows in its history, so it’s done more than most.

Still, minor rant aside, have a watch of some pretty historical footage. It’s the sort of thing which shaped Thunderkitty‘s wrestling style.


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