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Women's pro wrestling legend Mae Young dead at 90

Mae Young
Slam! & Wrestling revue

Mae Young passed away from a lengthy illness Tuesday, she was 90 years old. She was not only a pioneer in pro wrestling for women but she also trained people in the sport as well. During her career which can be broken into two phases, the first one involved active wrestling and the second was when she came out of retirement in the late nineties to work with fellow female wrestler "The Fabulous Moolah" in a series of comic and heat angles in the midst of the WWF's "Attitude" era.

Born on March 12. 1923 in Sand Springs, Oklahoma and an amateur wrestler in high school, Mae Young got into the business at the age of sixteen. Women's pro wrestling was a very niche sport at the time and there were very few on the touring circuit. She would work with wrestling legend Mildred Burke during the 40's and 50's and toured Canada and Japan in a series of matches for the W.W.W.A. Women's title. Young would also train valet and future N.W.A. Women's Champion "The Fabulous Moolah" around this time. The two would become lifelong friends and competitors in the circuit as well.

Young would eventually win a few titles in her career (N.W.A. Florida's Women Champion, N.W.A. Women's World Tag Team Champion, N.W.A. U.S. Champion, California Women's Champion) in the latter stages of her career. Women's pro wrestling in America would be relegated back to sideshow fair but due to her tours of Japan the sport would become very popular amongst women. She retired from active wrestling to pursue a career in Christian ministry and to take care of her ailing mother. Later on she returned to pro wrestling as a trainer and resided with her former protege Moolah. The two later on became part of the WWF's "Attitude Era" and worked with the promotion's next generation of female wrestlers.

Mae Young was a pioneer in women's pro wrestling. Along with Mildred Burke they brought about pro wrestling action that would rival the men's. Young also exposed Canada and Japan to the sport from where it's popularity would continue to grow and become more legitimized amongst the fans. Let's remember her for being a great in-ring performer and innovator of the sport.

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