Sorry for the delay on this post, but tax deadlines reared their ugly heads. If this excuse is not acceptable please feel free to flip over to Willie Nelson's Blog this time next year as I don't believe he allows himself to be burdened by such trivialities. Now back to our sociological study of sluttiness.
If my dating life, such as it is (was?), has taught me anything it's that the best way to extend the life of most endeavors is to start by setting the bar way down low. If you can survive the Drive Thru at White Castle suddenly appetizers at Applebee's is looking like Foie Gras at the Waldorf.
Fortunately for Diva-dom the pioneers of our previous post (Sunshine, Precious, et.al.) left plenty of room for growth. And between the expansion of cable TV, Vince McMahon's marketing acumen and advancements in breast augmentation by the late 80's the tawdry acorn had begun to sprout into the sleazy oak.
Syndicated TV, over the top characters and the WWF's promotion machine spurred Pro Wrestling into the entertainment mainstream and began attracting a higher class of harlot who had long been trapped in a too good for porn/too trashy for catalog modeling conundrum. We're still a safe distance from the super-model in tights phase, but unlike Hitler's early 1920's "National Socialist Bird Watching Society" this group is moving in a more positive direction.
1. Misty Blue Simmes- How bad was the state of women's wrestling in the 1980's? Consider that in her very first match the reasonably attractive Miss Simmes was handed not one, but two titles as promoters grasped at any straw to save this fast sinking sphere of their psuedo-sport. Prior to Simmes arrival on the scene this area was dominated by two types- the fat and aging as represented by the Fabulous Moolah and Judy Martin or emaciated platinum blondes who appeared to step directly from a Double-Wide to the ring with a slug of Boone's Farm for courage along the way as manifested in Debbie Coombs and Candi Devine. With sort of a Pat Benatar meets Morgan Fairchild look Misty Blue was light years beyond the Moolah group and a step up from Coombs/Devine. Problem was with the competition so lean and regionalized it was hard to find a place to settle and women to do the job often enough to build Simmes into anything more than a "One and Done" distraction in any territory. According to her won/lost record at OWW she wrestled female jobber Kat LeRoux so often it's a miracle she didn't contract Feline Aids and she was further hindered by mic work that could make Marcel Marceau look like Jimmy "Mouth of The South" Hart. After working the ill-advised LPWA for two years without being paid she decided to chuck wrestling for other endeavors which include working as a bodyguard for the Prime Minister of Pakistan in 1991 (sounds like they run a tight ship over there) and developing a stand-up routine with her husband in the 2000's.
Stylist: What can I do for you? Misty Blue: Gimme the Leather Tuscadero look, please.
2. Dark Journey- The Rosa Parks of wrestling. DJ is credited as being the trailblazer for women of color in the business as noted at BlackRasslin.com, a website that by its very name has done more to undermine the African-American experience in pro wrestling than a Tony Atlas interview and the One Man Gang's "Akeem the African Dream" persona combined. She was discovered as a teenage stripper by "Dirty" Dick Slater, who would later be shot in a bar brawl by Wahoo McDaniel and spend a year in jail for stabbing a girlfriend, so the fact that she survived to run a successful boutique in Los Angeles is a success story by itself. Her most notable feud was with Missy Hyatt (see below) where she legit chipped Hyatt's tooth, pulled out clumps of her hair and broke two of Missy's toes and her thumb. In retaliation Hyatt referred to Journey as a "cocaine-addicted bitch" on the weekly Mid-South TV show. And regional promoters wonder how Vince McMahon stole the "family viewing audience" from them in the mid-80's...hmmm.
3. "Sensational" Sherri Martel- If you need an idea how seamy was the underbelly of the wrestling biz in the 1980's think about this: by the time she was 19 Sherri Martel was a married and divorced single mom living off food stamps and stripping in a trailer park in Louisiana. She then took up wrestling which allowed her to travel around the world, be profiled with Randy Savage on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous and earn millions of dollars. Yet her mother barred all wrestlers from Sherri's 2007 funeral blaming her daughter's death from alcohol and drug abuse on the world of Sports-Entertainment. And considering the number of wrestlers who have died from similiar circumstances before reaching their 50th birthday it's actually hard to argue with her.
For the record the Sensational One died in June of '07 from an overdose after lying for three depressed months on her mother's couch in Birmingham, Alabama like the protagonist in Fred Exley's A Fan's Notes. But like Chandra Levy her death was mostly forgotten when the 9/11 of the wrestling world, the Chris Benoit murder/suicide, occurred one week later. That was unfortunate for her legacy since there was little time to dwell on what was, by any standard, a fine career highlighted by her role in one of the Top 20 greatest matches of all-time, an AWA blade-fest between the Midnight Rockers (Marty Janetty and Shawn Michaels) and the Martel managed "Playboy" Buddy Rose and "Pretty Boy" Doug Somers in which even Sherri's full length white dress was soaked in blood.
In addition, Martel held pretty much every women's title of any significance during her career, managed several tag team champions and was a "honoree" of the presitigious Cauliflower Alley Club as early as 1994. Not bad for a woman who was kicked out of Fabulous Moolah's Wrestling School for drinking/drugging. A feat that ranks with drummer Steven Adler's bouncing from Guns & Roses under the heading "You May Have A Serious Problem". RIP.
With Ted DiBiase looking like, well, a million bucks...
4. Baby Doll (Nickla Roberts)- When your bio lists you as a "High School State Shot Put Champion" the reader is no doubt bound to conjure up images of meaty East German women with enough chin hair to qualify as the 4th Little Pig. So when Nickla Roberts began her career managing "The Half-Breed Heathrob" Gino Hernandez as Andrea the Giant, an early version of Chyna, it seemed perfectly plausible. When she showed up in Crockett Promotions managing Tully Blanchard as Baby Doll-The Perfect 10 it was...well let's just say I had an easier time believing Buddy Rose weighed 217 pounds or Baron Mikel Scicluna owned half of Malta.
Not that Roberts didn't have a bit of a sexy full-figured thing going on like, say, the woman who hosts The Biggest Loser. It's just that at her best she was no more than a 6/drunken 7 and like a chubby cheeked yet curvaceous Delta Burke in HBO's First & 10 you knew she was a Krispy Kreme or quart of Haagen-Dazs from going all to pieces.
Still you can credit Roberts with at least being true to her heart when in 1986 she married wrestler Sam Houston despite warnings she'd be fired by the Crocketts if she did. Even worse they shipped her to the dying Central States Wrestling region out of St. Louis where she probably got to witness Harley Race win the NWA Title for the 27th or 28th time (who could keep count) before drifting out of the business by the 90's.
According to various online sources she is divorced from Houston, currently works as a security guard at Wal-Mart and is dating "some guy named Timber". Not exactly comparably to the fate of Bo Derek, but for a fleeting moment at least they had one thing in common.
Ah yes, spandex with a belt, it's gotta be the '80s!
5. Missy Hyatt- The self-proclaimed "First Lady of Professional Wrestling"; let's just say Bess Truman or Mamie Eisenhower she's not. She has a degree in Psychology from Marymount College, but it didn't take 4 years of studying Freud and Jung for her to figure out how the male mind functions. With billowing bleach blonde hair, bulbous breast implants and a wardrode of tops and skirts that could double as dinner napkins Hyatt was, from an early age, all about giving the boys what they want.
The first of many wrestlers to get what she was offering was "Hollywood" John Tatum who she began dating in 1985. Next thing you know Missy's star was on the rise courtesy of a lascivious "Mud Pit Match" with Sunshine at WCCWs annual Texas Stadium show. When Tatum's career did not similiarly take off Hyatt moved on to "Hot Stuff" Eddie Gilbert and the Universal Wrestling Federation in 1987.
There she began building a reputation on the kind of Diva work we know so well today- cacophonous quantities of cleavage, erotic entrances and plenty of good old fashion clothes ripping cat-fights. Soon Vince McMahon came calling asking her to replace "Piper's Pit" with a segment called "Missy's Manor", but in an effort that could make JaMarcus Russell and Michael Myers' "Cat in The Hat" avert their eyes Hyatt botched the sure thing and the potential dawning of the Divas Division sadly gave way instead to "Adorable" Adrian Adonis' Flower Shop.
Ultimately Vince would offer her a job as a WWF Dancer which she refused calling the position "beneath her". Considering she'd wrestled in mud, been spanked by Lance Von Erich and dated actor Jason Hervey (The Wonder Years), 9 years her junior, when he was still in high school these were tough words indeed. For her troubles Hyatt was hired by WCW where in 1993 she entered the offices to find a blownup pic of her topless adorning the wall. She protested and in the worst business move since the guy who ran the Credit Default Swap desk at AIG Eric Bischoff fired her. One lawsuit and out of court settlement later Missy moved on to ECW and WCW moved on to bankruptcy proceedings.
In ECW Hyatt was infamously front and center in the Paul Varelans-Taz "Shoot Fight" incident where MMA fighter Varelans agreed to tap out to Taz in exchange for fellatio from the "First Lady". When Varelans did his "job", but Missy did not reciprocate in kind he tore up the dressing room in a fit of anger to which I say, get over yourself. I mean if I had a dollar for every time...
Anyway today Hyatt along with other 40-plus valets/wrestlers like Tammy "Sunny" Sytch and Malia Hosaka appear semi-nude on her website "Wrestling Vixxxxens" whose ridiculously superflous spelling reminds me of those beer-bellied, rec league softball players who think wearing number 69 is somehow clever. Nonetheless she took the genre to a new level and for that horny teenagers everywhere are grateful.
Missy Hyatt: a woman who gave new meaning to the wrestling phrase "jobber".
We know, we know Miss Elizabeth is coming in the next post plus Woman, Chyna and the frankly frightening Luna Vachon. Check back before Easter.