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  October 5, 1998



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READER ALERT: For all the latest wrestling happenings, check out our News & Rumours section.

Moolah: Twenty-eight years was the reign
By CHRIS SCHRAMM -- For SLAM! Wrestling

"Where the Big Boys Play," is the motto of World Championship Wrestling today, but it was not too long ago that men were not the only ones who ruled the ring. The top women's wrestler of her day, and into about two other generations, was the Fabulous Moolah.

Moolah, who's real name is Lillian Ellison, always showed an interest in wrestling from the beginning. As a teenager she asked the women's promoter of her area to give her a try-out in the ring. The promoter quickly glazed over the small physique of Moolah, and he gave her a no. Moolah's eyes became like fire wanting to torch the world.

Fabulous Moolah The promoter's response motivated her to become a wrestler under the name "Slave Girl." It was soon after she started to wrestle full time that she took the name "Fabulous Moolah."

She wrestled her first tournament to determine a new World champion for women. On September 18, 1956, Moolah defeated Judy Grable, who was considered the best female wrestle of the time, to win that title.

No one expected what would come next. Shockingly, she would hold the title for some 28 years straight. She only lost it a few days along the line, but it took until 1984 that someone had beaten her for the gold. Someone that was not even alive when Moolah won that title.

Moolah worked matches every week for 28 years to defend her title. To put it into perspective. When Moolah won the title, Hulk Hogan was only two years old, Dwight Eisenhower was the President of the United States, "I Love Lucy" was the number one show on television and The Beatles were not even thought about. When Moolah lost the title in 1984, Ronald Reagan was President, Madonna was the top singer around, "Different Strokes" was one of the top television programs and Ken Griffey Jr. was an underclassman in high school.

When Moolah lost the title to Wendi Richter on a special wrestling telecast on Music Television (MTV), most thought Moolah's career was over. Well, in late 1985, Moolah was able to defeat Richter for the title under a masked Spider Lady. The last title win of Moolah was always looked at as one of the most controversial matches of all time. It seems, according to insiders, that Moolah had somehow persuaded the official to allow her to win the match, but no one failed to tell Wendi Richter. Richter would leave the WWF shortly after, and the truth never seemed to be told; yet.

Despite an aging figure, Moolah would go on to hold the title for an additional two years before losing it for the last time to Sherri Martel.

The Fabulous Moolah occasionally wrestled in the 1990s, but she spends most of her time at her wrestling school in South Carolina. Maybe she will help train the next champion of the world, but most believe that in this day and time that no one will match the reign of Moolah.

Chris Schramm is from Lawrence, Kansas.


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