Thursday, May 22, 2008

Penny Banner - (August 11, 1934 – May 12, 2008)

Penny Banner - wrestling - wrestler - wrestlers
I know this is late but things have been hectic around here......

Penny Banner died in her sleep at the home of her daughter, Wendi, in Charlotte, North Carolina on May 12, 2008.
I was lucky enough to see Penny wrestle " back in the day". Our local TV station actually had wrestling matches here, and I got to see Penny and some of the other greats when they were with the NWA.
Penny was married to Johnny Weaver for 35 years before divorcing him in 1994.
She also competed in the Senior Olympic Games doing Swimming plus the Shot Put and Discus throws later in life.
I think if one word could describe Penny it is " Guts".
She stared cancer in the face till it blinked.
She stayed active all her life.
And she was a role model for a lot of up and coming wrestlers.
And she entertained us.

Rest in Peace Penny.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Simply Luscious / Veronica (Ronnie) Stevens

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Wrestler Name: Simply Luscious
Real Name: Veronica (Ronnie) Stevens
Birthday: July 19, 1973
Hometown: San Antonio, Texas
Marital Status: Divorced
Height & Weight: 5'5" - 130 lbs
Trained by: Rudy Boy Gonzales, Shawn Michaels, Dory Funk Jr
Pro Wrestling Debut: 2000
Previous Gimmicks: Simply Luscious (Indys), Nurse Veronica (TNA)
Finishing Wrestling Move: Luscious Landing (Dudley Dog)
Favorite Moves: Springboard Elbow, Tarantula, Twist of Fate

Veronica "Ronnie" Stevens, better known by her ring name, Simply Luscious, is a female pro wrestler who works on the independent circuit.

Stevens studied karate and ballet before getting into wrestling. She became the only female graduate of the Shawn Michaels' Texas Wrestling Academy, where she trained along with Paul London, Brian Kendrick, Matt Bentley and Bryan Danielson. She made her in-ring debut against Chris Marvel in San Antonio, Texas, under the name Simply Luscious, a name she supposedly got from her ex-husband, hockey player Ryan Pisiak.

Mostly, Simply Luscious is a heel character. But despite her nasty in-ring character, she is still loved by many fans. Part of her gimmick is to come out from the back, bouncing on one leg (similar to that of Shawn Michaels.) She will often taunt and insult the crowd if they don't cheer for her - which only infuriates the fans more. Part of an on-going in-character joke (which can be seen on WEW pay-per-views and recent DVD releases) is to exaggerate her weight. When the ring announcer says where she is from and how much she weighs, she often will take the microphone and correct him by saying her real weight is ten pounds more than what was announced.

Simply Luscious appeared briefly in the WCW in a spot with Tank Abbott, where she received a concussion.

Throughout 2002, Simply Luscious worked Jersey All Pro Wrestling, but made a name for herself in Ring of Honor. On June 22 of that year, Simply Luscious joined ROH stable The Prophecy led by Christopher Daniels. At Final Battle on December 28, Simply Luscious was defeated by Alexis Laree (Mickie James). Later that night, she left the Prophecy to join Steve Corino's new Group and feud with the Prophecy.

In 2003, Luscious was brought up to work for the NWA:TNA promotion as a Knockout. She was given the new ring name Nurse Veronica and became the leader of an all-female faction known as "Bitchslap" with Tracy and Valentina. Ronnie Stevens turned down a two-year contract with TNA Wrestling, hoping to someday sign with the WWE or a company in Japan.

Throughout 2004 and 2005, after returning to her Simply Luscious ring name, she worked in indy promotions all across the world. On February 14, 2004, Simply Luscious beat Sumie Sakai to become the USA Pro Women's champion. During the summer of 2004 she spent time in Mexico working for LLF and CMLL. She also occasionally works in Zero-One Japan with a heel referee gimmick as well as wrestling.

Stevens returned to the Texas Wrestling Academy in 2006 and spent May through July training in preparation for a WWE try-out in mid July (though she didn't make the cut), and still continues to wrestle with WEW (where she is the current champion) as well as other indy companies.

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