This film is part of Free

Wrestling Women

Wrestling Women

A ringside seat in Newcastle upon Tyne to see some women warriors of wrestling in a 1970s All Stars promotion.

Magazine and Review show 1976 3 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for North East Film Archive

Overview

Are these fearless wrestlers ringing the changes for women in the 1970s? Attitudes to girl wrestlers are ‘so square and behind the times’ thinks European Ladies Champion, Mitzi Mueller, who takes on hellcat opponent Lolita Loren in her boyfriend Brian Dixon’s All Star Wrestling promotional tour, stopping off in Newcastle upon Tyne. In her best performance art mode, deadpan Loren baits the crowd (and the male reporter) in her role as the villain: “I go out to kill actually.”

Breaking into the ‘masculine melodrama’ of professional wrestling was not easy for women in the 1960s and 70s. In the 1930s professional wrestling was outlawed in London. When the ban was lifted in 1952, the Home Office excluded women. They were prohibited by the Greater London Council until the late 1970s, and promoters such as Dixon found it hard to get a license around Britain to hold women’s matches. Sue Brittain, who wrestled from the 1960s to 1982, campaigned to get women’s wrestling legalised in the capital and won through in 1979, earning her comparisons with Emmilene Pankhurst. Mitzi Mueller also released a campaign record with Suzy Quatro’s backing band called ‘Let the Girls In (To London Town)’.