BIOGRAPHY - JOHNNIE MAE YOUNG

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Wrestler: Mae Young
Real Name: Johnnie Mae Young
Birthday: March 12, 1923
Hometown: Sand Springs, Oklahoma
Previous Gimmicks: Johnnie Mae, Queen Mae Young
Favorite Moves: Bronco Buster
Notable Fueds: Eve Lee, Millie Safford, Carol Cook, The Kat/Stacy Carter

 

Johnnie Mae Young was an amateur wrestler on her high school's boys' wrestling team at the age of fifteen. Her brothers Fred, Eugen,

Lawarence, and Everett taught her to wrestle and helped her join the team. She was the youngest of eight children (one died at birth).

 

Her mother Lilly Mae Young was a single mother (her partner left to find work and never returned) living during the depression. Young's oldest sister Inie was severely disabled by whooping cough at a very young age. Young also played softball with Tulsa's national championship team. While still in high school, Young went to a professional wrestling show and challenged then-champion Mildred Burke when she visited Tulsa to wrestle Gladys Gillem. Because the promoters told her she could not wrestle the champion, she wrestled Gillem in a shoot fight, beating her within seconds. After the fight, promoter Billy Wolfe wanted Young to become a professional wrestler. She left home two years later to wrestle professionally.

 

In 1941, Young, along with Mildred Burke, opened up Canada for female wrestling. In Canada, they worked for Stu Hart. She was wrestling in Memphis, Tennessee on December 7, 1941, the day that Pearl Harbor was bombed by the Japanese, which led to the United States entering World War II. During the war, Young helped women take advantage of the fact that the men were fighting overseas by expanding their role in the sport.

 

She fought under the nicknames of "The Queen" and "The Great Mae Young", but she used her real name for most of her matches. During the 1950s, she wrestled for Mildred Burke's World Women's Wrestling Association (WWWA). In 1954, Young and Burke were some of the first females to tour Japan after the war. In 1951, she became the National Wrestling Alliance's (NWA) first Florida Women's Champion. Five years later in September 1956, she participated in the battle royal to determine the new NWA World Women's Champion after June Byers was stripped of the title, but the championship was won by Young's friend The Fabulous Moolah. In 1968, she became the NWA's first United States Women's Champion.

 

As an instructor, one of her students was Ric "The Equalizer" Drasin. Another one of her students was The Fabulous Moolah.

 

Young made her World Wrestling Federation (WWF) debut on the September 9, 1999 episode of SmackDown!, seated at ringside with The Fabulous Moolah. Jeff Jarrett invited Moolah into the ring and smashed a guitar over her head. When Young tried to help Moolah out, Jarrett put Young into the figure four leglock. After this appearance, Young and Moolah began appearing regularly on WWF televised shows. On the September 27 edition of Monday Night Raw Young and Moolah defeated then WWF Women's Champion Ivory in a Handicapped Evening Gown match, where Young got stripped to her bra and panties. Young managed Moolah during Moolah's WWF Women's Title victory over Ivory at the No Mercy pay-per-view in October 1999. Young and Moolah both competed at Survivor Series with Debra and Tori against Ivory, Jacqueline, Terri Runnels, and Luna.

 

At the age of seventy-six, she was named the WWF's "Miss Royal Rumble 2000" at the Royal Rumble by winning a bikini contest. Young appeared to remove her top during this pay-per-view show, which aired from Madison Square Garden. Young, however, was wearing a prosthesis and was not actually exposing herself. Also in 2000, Young began a storyline where she dated WWF superstar Mark Henry, including an announcement that Young was pregnant. During this storyline, The Dudley Boyz, specifically Bubba Ray Dudley, powerbombed Mae from the stage through a table. The "child" was eventually delivered and found to be nothing more than a bloody rubber hand.

 

In 2003, Young made an appearance at Bad Blood, where she stripped in the ring and performed a bronco buster on Eric Bischoff.

 

In 2004, Young and The Fabulous Moolah were invited to tour, as guests of honor, with the WWE's modern stars as part of that organization's fiftieth anniversary. Also in 2004, she was inducted into the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame. Young, along with several other lady wrestlers, starred in the 2005 film Lipstick and Dynamite, a documentary about the women wrestlers from the 1950s era. Moolah and Young appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien to promote the film.

 

Young re-appeared in 2006 at New Year's Revolution during the Bra and Panties Gauntlet match, where she entered the ring and did a strip-tease, whilst Moolah watched. She was attacked by Victoria as she left the ring, which led to Moolah and Mae removing Victoria's top, which helped Ashley Massaro win the match. Mae made an appearance at WrestleMania 22 in April 2006 in a backstage segment with Gene Snitsky (who had a storyline foot fetish), in which he "fondled" her feet. Mae also appeared (with the aid of a walker) with The Fabulous Moolah on the Raw Family Reunion special on October 9, 2006, where the duo waved to the crowd from the stage.

 

On March 31, 2007, Young, along with The Fabulous Moolah, attended the WWE Hall of Fame 2007 Ceremonies on the eve of WrestleMania 23. At WrestleMania 23, she appeared dancing backstage with several other WWE superstars of the past and present. Mae made another appearance at the 2007 Draft Lottery on June 11. Mae also made a special appearance on SmackDown! on August 24 winning a bikini contest. She also appeared at the Raw 15th Anniversary special in a skit with the McMahon family, where Vince McMahon implied that he had a sexual relationship with Young after Moolah's funeral.

 

On March 29, 2008, Pat Patterson inducted Young into the WWE Hall of Fame as a part of the Class of 2008. She along with Wendi Richter are the only living females currently in the WWE Hall of Fame. Mae made yet another appearance on the 800th episode of Raw where she competed with the current divas in a 16 diva tag match. Young was later pinned in the match by Beth Phoenix costing her team the win. She later made an appearance at Armageddon in 2008 where after the "Santa's little helper" diva match, she kissed The Great Khali. On April 5, 2009, Young was the special guest time keeper for the 25 Diva Battle Royal at WrestleMania XXV. Young also appeared on February 16, 2010 on a special segment where Jerry Springer guest hosted raw where it was revealed that she was Jerry's secret romance.

 

Her most recent appearance came at Wrestlemania XXVI in a backstage segment that saw her kissing Santino Marella.

 

In 2001, Young quit the wrestling business and moved to California to become a Christian evangelist and take care of hermother, who was sick. She later quit the evangelist business. Beginning in 2001, she moved in with The Fabulous Moolah and Katie Glass in a house in Columbia, South Carolina, an arrangement which lasted until Moolah's death in November 2007.

 

Young appeared at WrestleMania XXVII, in a backstage segment with Dwayne Johnson and Eve Torres. During the May 2, 2011 edition of Raw Young was a "birthday gift" from Vickie Guerrero and Dolph Ziggler to The Rock. After Ziggler and Guerrero laughed at The Rock, The Rock responded by kissing Young. On April 10, 2012, Young made an appearance on SmackDown: Blast from the Past, kissing The Great Khali after kicking him in the shin to make him bend over.

 

Young also made a backstage cameo at Raw 1000 on July 23, 2012 when AJ Lee was getting ready for her wedding with Daniel Bryan. During the appearance, she was escorted by a man dressed in a giant hand costume; the man claimed to be Young's "son" who was born at the conclusion of the 2000 Mark Henry storyline.

 

On September 24, 2012 on Raw, Young took part in one of Kane and Daniel Bryan's "Anger Management" skits. On the December 31, 2012 edition of Raw, Mae Young was warming up for her match with then-Divas Champion Eve Torres and began experiencing stomach cramps. It was determined that she was once again pregnant. Later in the broadcast, Young gave birth to "Baby New Year," played by Hornswoggle.

 

Young's last on-screen appearance came about on the March 4, 2013 episode of "Old School" Raw, Young featured in a segment where various WWE wrestlers celebrated her 90th birthday. Later backstage, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon and WWE executive Triple H presented Young with a personally monogrammed Divas Championship belt.

 

On December 31, 2013, it was reported that Young had been hospitalized. The Charleston Post & Courier erroneously reported that she had died on January 9, 2014. Young's death was announced by the WWE on the morning of January 14 after having died at her home in Columbia, South Carolina. On January 16, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling dedicated their live Genesis episode of Impact Wrestling to the memory of Young. On January 17, SmackDown was also dedicated to her memory. Two weeks later, Shine 16 dedicated to her 10 bell salutes. Mae Young is interred near her friend Lillian Ellison "The Fabulous Moolah" at Greenlawn Memorial Park in Columbia, South Carolina.