Saturday, May 12, 2007

Ella Waldek - Female Pro Wrestling

Ella Waldek - Female Pro WrestlingElsie Schevchenko, (born 1930 or 1929) better known as Ella Waldek, is a former American professional wrestler. She is one of the subjects of the documentary film Lipstick & Dynamite: The First Ladies of Wrestling.( I FINALLY got to see it and it's great!)

Ella Waldek was born as Elsie Schevchenko in Custer, Washington and grew up as a self-described "farm girl". Originally a roller derby performer, Waldek's professional wrestling career began in 1952 after a male friend took her to a professional wrestling event.“I didn’t even know there was such a thing” she claimed years later. Despite her limited knowledge of professional wrestling at the time, she went on to have a successful career as a professional wrestler. Waldek began her career in Chicago, Illinois. She adopted the name "Ella Waldek" because, in her words, “who could stand in a ring and autograph an eleven letter last name?” Waldek earned the nickname "The Policeman" and also worked under the names "Jackie Lee" and "Charming Carmen". She adopted the short arm scissor lift as one her signature maneuvers. Over the course of her career, Waldek worked matches with other notable female wrestlers including Mae Young. It was during a match involving Young that the most infamous moment in Waldek's career occurred.

Janet Boyer Wolfe died after a body slam she had received from Waldek during a tag team match, though she was not injured by the move. Wolfe rolled out of the ring and collapsed at ringside. Waldek called for the timekeeper to assist her and get her away from the ring. Wolfe, who was apparently being pushed to be a major wrestling star by her soon-to-be father, promoter Billy Wolfe, had been complaining about her head hurting before the match. However, despite Waldek's reported pleas to Wolfe that she see a doctor, Wolfe,who wanted to impress promoter,worked the match nonetheless. Though Wolfe's death was eventually ruled to be an accident, police initially arrested Waldek and the other participants in the match, Mae Young and Eva Lee. The police reportedly considered charging the three with manslaughter, but all three women were eventually released. Ironically, as a result of the incident, people attended wrestling events to see Waldek and Waldek had to endure crowd chants of "murderer" directed at her.

Over the course of her wrestling career, Waldek held several titles including the NWA Florida Women's Championship, the NWA World Women's Tag Team Championship with Mae Young and two reigns with the NWA Southern Women's Championship, Florida version.

After almost twenty years of wrestling, Waldek ended her career in 1971. She then became a private investigator and subsequently founded her own security firm, before taking up gardening part-time. Her professional career had apparently taken its toll though, as she had been rendered unable to have children due to a kick she had taken to the solar plexus.

Waldek recounted her experiences as a professional wrestler for the documentary film Lipstick & Dynamite: The First Ladies of Wrestling, reuniting with some of her fellow female wrestlers in the process. Through her involvement in the film, Waldek found out that singer-songwriter Neko Case, who had been working on music for the film, is her great-niece.


Ella Waldek - Female Pro Wrestling http://www.tinadiane.net/
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