WrestleCrap is saddened to learn of the death of Mae Young, who passed away this morning at the age of 90. We had the honor of inducting her for several ‘comedy’ skits over the year, but even I (RD) have to give her props for not only being incredibly tough, but…well, yes, I will admit it…she made me laugh as well. Obviously, I will be keeping her friends and family in my prayers and urge you to do the same.
But Mae was more than the horny senior citizen she portrayed in the Attitude Era. Countless wrestlers, from Crash Holly to Bubba Ray Dudley to many others, have put her over as one of the toughest performers (not relegated to just ‘toughest female’) they’ve ever worked with.
The following story is reprinted from Bob Holly’s autobiography, “The Hardcore Truth”, published this year, and should be how the modern era of fan remembers Mae best.
Mae Young and The Fabulous Moolah are two of the sweetest ladies you’d ever meet. All the boys respected the hell out of them and everybody rolled out the red carpet whenever they were on the show. By 2000, they’d already got over 100 years of in-ring experience between them, so that tells you how old they were. But they would still get in the ring now and then when they were given the chance. On one show, Crash and I were booked to do a tag team match against them, so we sat down in catering together to go over the match. Out of respect for them, I took myself out of the equation and told them we would do whatever they wanted to do. Mae planned a spot where she would be in the ring with Crash and I’d sneak in behind her. She would turn around and I’d clothesline her. I said to her, “Mae, I’ve got all the respect in the world for you but if you’re asking me to clothesline you, you need to know that I lay it in there.” She said, “Sure I know that, I want you to clothesline me.” I said, “No, you don’t understand – when I clothesline somebody, I try to rip their head off. It’s TV, I don’t want it to look bad but I don’t want to hurt you.” This nearly 80-year-old woman just looked at me and said, “Bring it, motherfucker.”
In Gorilla, just before the match, I gave her a hug and thanked her in advance for the match, then asked if she was sure about the clothesline. She said, “If you don’t bring it, when we get back, I’m going to kick your ass.” Hell, I didn’t want to get beaten up by an 80-year-old woman, so I was going to do what she said and lay that clothesline in there nice and snug. We started the match and I locked up with Moolah, grabbed her in a headlock, and took her over. I landed right on top of her. I was 235 pounds at this point. She was 77 years old and she was taking everything I could throw at her. Unbelievable.
The time came for the spot with Mae. She had her back to me as I was getting ready. When she turned around, I charged – she didn’t have time to prepare for it and I threw that clothesline from left field like I was hitting Bradshaw. I ripped her head off so hard that the poor lady cut a flip. I felt so bad! I asked her if she was alright and she said, “Yep, I’m fine,” and carried on. When we got to the back after the match, I went over to thank her and asked, “Mae, are you okay?” She patted me on the chest and said, “That’s how you lay a clothesline in, right there,” and kept on walking. Why the hell can’t some of the boys be like that?! That match was great fun and good entertainment.