Monday, July 9, 2007

Judy Martin - Women's Pro Wrestling

      Leilani Kai and Judy Martin

Wrestler: Judy Martin
Real Name: Judith Hardee
Pro Wrestling Debut: 1985
Finishing Move: Drip Dry (Powerbomb) Judy was the first North American wrestler to debut the Powerbomb on the continent.
Notable Feuds: Jumping Bomb Angles

Judith Hardee is a former female professional wrestler known as Judy Martin. Martin is a former WWF Women's Tag Team Champion. She held the title with partner Leilani Kai as The Glamour Girls. The Glamour Girls also held the LPWA Tag Team titles.

In the early 80's, Judy Martin competed in the WWF's women's tag-team division. She was often partnered with Leilani Kai (and occasionally Donna Christanello). Martin would also challenge champion Wendi Richter for the WWF Women's title as part of The Fabulous Moolah's stable of wrestlers (not so much a stable, more of a revolving door of challengers the WWF would bring in to face Richter) that included Spider Lady, Mad Maxine and Leilani Kai.

A tag team title match between Kai & Martin and champions Velvet McIntyre and Desiree Petersen was reported to have happened in Egypt in 1985, but in actuality, the match never took place. Kai & Martin were awarded the titles after McIntyre & Petersen split up.

After touring on the independent circuit and Japan for a few years, Martin and Kai returned to the WWF, repackaged as the platinum haired The Glamour Girls. The duo appeared at the first Survivor Series in 1987 as part of then champion Sherri Martel's team to face the Fabulous Moolah's team. Martel's team consisting of Martel, The Glamour Girls (Leilani Kai and Judy Martin), Dawn Marie and Donna Christanello lost to The Fabulous Moolah's team consisting of Moolah, Velvet McIntyre, Rockin' Robin, and the Japanese imports, Jumping Bomb Angels (Noriyoi Tateno and Itsuki Yamazaki).

The Glamour Girls (managed by Jimmy Hart) would feud for much of 1988 with The Jumping Bomb Angels for the Women's Tag Team Championship. The two teams staged an epic 2 out of 3 falls match at the first Royal Rumble event in 1988, with the Bomb Angels capturing the gold. Kai & Martin would recapture the titles months later in Japan before the belts were once again abandoned.

In 1989, Martin wrestled Rockin' Robin for the WWF Women's Championship at the Royal Rumble. She continued to challenge Robin throughout the Spring and Summer of 1989, until the WWF phased out the women's division.

After leaving the WWF in 1989, Martin joined AWA to compete for the AWA Women's Championship. She first fueded with reigning champion Wendi Richter, but was unsuccessful. After Richter left the company, she wrestled Candi Devine in a match to determine the new champion on December 6, 1989, and Devine won.

The Glamour Girls then surfaced in the newly formed Ladies Professional Wrestling Association (LPWA), managed by Adnan El Kassey and then by the "Queen of Wrestling" Christopher Love. They would wrestle as both a tag team and in singles competition as top contenders to LPWA Champion Susan Sexton's title. After months of feuding with Tag Team Champions Misty Blue Simmes & Heidi Lee Morgan (Team America), The Girls finally captured the LPWA Tag Team Titles. They feuded with teams like the Bad, Black & Beautiful; The New Team America (Misty Blue Simmes & Alison Royal) & Bambi and Malia Hosaka (who the duo would face at the first and only LPWA pay per view - Superladies Showdown) before the LPWA folded in 1993.

While working in the LPWA, Martin also made appearances in WCW. On the October 19, 1991 edition of WCW Saturday Night, Martin wrestled Bambi, but the match was interrupted when Madusa interfered. Then on the October 26, 1991 edition of WCW Worldwide, Martin lost a match to Madusa. WCW was phasing out the women wrestlers and focusing more attention on the valets, so Martin disappeared shortly thereafter.

Although largely retired by the late 1990s, Martin still worked occasional cards in the Mid-Atlantic region, and she became embroiled in a feud will fellow veteran, Susan Green, who was then the PGWA (Professional Girl Wrestling Association) champion. In the Spring of 1999, Martin cannily got Green to agree to an unusual stipulation for a Mixed Tag Match they were both signed for: Should Green lose, Martin would win the PGWA belt. Susan took this to mean that Judy would have to pin her or make her submit during the tag match, but she instead discovered too late that it meant that when Martin's male partner, Thunderfoot, pinned Green's ally, George South, to win the tag match, the women's belt automatically went to Judy! One month later, Green met Martin in a proper singles match with the title on the line, and Susan pinned Judy to regain the belt. Judy Martin's title reign remains the shortest in PGWA history.

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