Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Fabulous Moolah

Here's an obituary from the New York Times that I couldn't help noticing:

Mary Lillian Ellison, whose flying drop kicks, flying head scissors and hair-pulling “flying mare” body slams brought her renown as the professional wrestler the Fabulous Moolah, died Friday in Lexington, S.C., near her home in Columbia. She was 84.

So why was she called "The Fabulous Moolah?"

When she started in pro wrestling in the early 1950s, the promoter Jack Pfeffer decided a name change was in order. As she told it in “The Fabulous Moolah: First Goddess of the Squared Circle” (Regan Books, 2002), written with Larry Platt, Pfeffer told her “the name Lillian Ellison wouldn’t do. Not flashy enough.”

He asked her why she was wrestling, and, as she recalled: “Annoyed, I blurted out: ‘For the money. I want to wrestle for the moolah.’”

She elaborated on her wrestling technique as follows:
“Flying drop kick is when you jump flat-footed from the floor up as high as the person you’re looking at and kick them in the face or in the chest, wherever you want to kick them, and then you fall to the floor,” she told National Public Radio’s “Fresh Air” program in 2005.

“And then the flying head scissors is where you jump up, put both legs around their head and throw them forward as you come down. And a flying mare is when you get a girl by the hair of the head and pull her over your shoulder, then slam her to the mat as hard you can. And I love doing that.”


The Fabulous Moolah said she never minded the booing inspired by her roughhouse antics.

“I loved when they got mad at me,” she told The State newspaper of Columbia in 2005. “They called me all kinds of names. I said: ‘Call me anything you want. You don’t write my check.’”

No comments: