Ringbelles Retro: More matches from the mid-twentieth century

Penny Banner June ByersA funny thing happened last Thursday. The Chicago Film Archives set up a YouTube channel featuring more than a hundred videos from the city – some of which are more than 60 years old. Some of the names featured included bona fide legends of the industry like Lou Thesz, Verne Gagne, Édouard Carpentier, Killer Kowalski and Dick the Bruiser, and there are also a few stars from the women’s wrestling world too.

Among the 101 contests are four women’s matches which may be of interest to you. Starting off, we have two contests featuring June Byers – the first is her defending the World Women’s Championship which took place between late 1953 and the following year against Penny Banner which features a blistering finishing sequence, and the other sees Byers against Violent Viann. The other two are a singles contest between Lorraine Johnson and Shirley Strimple, and a tag team contest pitting Johnson and Rose Roman against Strimple & Ramona TeSelle from late 1955.

Similar to the Mae Weston/Mildred Burke match which we posted about three weeks ago, the commentary isn’t exactly the most politically-correct which you will ever hear, but it’s nice to have a good handful of matches from a busy era for women’s wrestling. Have a watch.




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