Wrestling By The Numbers: Johnnie Mae Young
The professional wrestling community has been morning the death of iconic female wrestling pioneer known as ‘The Queen’, the great Johnnie Mae Young. The 90-year-old Sand Springs Oklahoma native passed away at her home in Columbia South Carolina from natural age related causes on January 14th. Young’s legendary career according to recorded information, spanned an unbelievable 72-years after she debuted in 1941 when she started touring with Billy Wolfe’s group of female performers. Her final appearance in the business was on the March 4th 2013 episode of Old-School Raw where she celebrated her 90th birthday with an appearance. Her career inside the ring spanned an incredible 69-years with her final match being on the November 15th 2010 episode of WWE Raw where she defeated Michelle McCool and Layla in a carefully scripted No DQ Falls Count Anywhere Handicap Match.
Mae Young was an amateur wrestler on her high school boys team and also played softball with Tulsa Oklahoma’s national championship team prior to entering the wrestling business. She became apart of Billy Wolfe’s group of women after going to an event in Tulsa in 1941 and challenging wrestler Gladys Gillem to a shoot fight match. Young surprisingly won the contest within seconds and then was signed to tour for Wolfe. In the early 1940’s she then started appearing throughout the United States as a top female attraction throughout the National Wrestling Alliance. In 1941 alongside fellow legend Mildred Burke they became the first women to compete inside the squared circle in Canada working for Stu Hart. During the 1950’s Young worked primarily for Burke’s World Women’s Wrestling Association and Championship Wrestling From Florida where she was a former 1-Time NWA Florida Women’s Champion. She and Burke were also some of the first women to tour Japan after World War II.
After challenging for years for the NWA Women’s Championship, in 1968 Mae Young became the first ever NWA United States Women’s Champion. She continued to sporadically make appearances in the business in the 1970’s and 1980’s and continued training wrestlers as she had done her entire career. In 1991 she left the wrestling business to care for her ailing mother and also became a Christian Evangelist. Later in the year she renounced her beliefs and moved into a home with fellow wrestlers The Fabulous Moolah and Katie Glass and again began making wrestling appearances. Both The Fabulous Moolah and Mae Young made their return to World Wrestling Entertainment in 1999 appearing on a episode of Smackdown in September where they were attacked by Jeff Jarrett. Over the next year the duo would become regular parts of the company’s attitude era and become even more famous for their ability to compete and take bumps while both being in their 70’s. Young’s most infamous moments during this time included removing her shirt and flashing a pair of prosthetic’s to the crowd at the 2000 Royal Rumble and also taking two powerbombs from wrestler Bubba Ray Dudley through tables. The second being the most famous with Young being powerbombed for a second straight week on Raw only the second time off the steel entrance ramp. She continued making occasional appearances from 2002 to 2013 and was an highly respected locker room figure.
Below we look at the televised professional wrestling career of the great Johnnie Mae Young by the numbers…
World Wrestling Entertainment:
* 1 Match on WWE Pay-Per-View.
* 7 Matches on WWE Raw.
* 4 Matches on WWE Smackdown.
* 2 Matches on WWE Sunday Night Heat.