From “Sensational” Sherri Martel, Mae Young, Wendi Richter, and Chyna (as part of D-Generation X), several worthy women have gone into the WWE Hall of Fame throughout the years. While we are sitting at the doorstep of what WWE dubs a “revolution in women’s wrestling,” one important (and often forgotten) name is missing the honors – the original “Irish Lass Kicker,” Velvet McIntyre.
Velvet McIntyre – A Hall of Fame Worthy Wrestling Career
Irish-Canadian Velvet McIntyre had a fantastic professional wrestling career that spanned from her early beginnings in Idaho in the 1980s to her eventual retirement in 1998 after she found out she was pregnant and chose to raise the child instead of being on the road.
In 1983, McIntyre, alongside her partner, Princess Victoria, won the NWA Women’s Tag Tiles in Calgary. After the then-WWF split from the NWA, the WWF bought the NWA Women’s Tag Titles resulting in Velvet McIntyre and Princess Victoria becoming the first-ever acknowledged WWF Women’s Tag Team Champions. The duo successfully defended the championship against Wendi Richter and Peggy Lee and would hold onto the titles together for 574 days.
On September 1st, 1984, Princess Victoria suffered a career-ending neck injury. As a result, Velvet McIntyre would gain a new partner in Desiree Petersen. The new duo would hold onto the titles for a further 237 days (811 days in total for McIntyre). They would eventually lose the titles to Judy Martin and Leilani Kai (“The Glamour Girls”) in Egypt in August of ’85. Despite never losing the tag team belts during her reign with Princess Victoria, Velvet McIntyre is considered a two-time WWF Women’s Tag Team Champion.
In a career full of many highlights, Velvet McIntyre had the honor of being one of the first ten women to compete in a Survivor Series match in 1987 when she teamed with The Fabulous Moolah, The Jumping Bomb Angels (Itsuki Yamazaki and Noriyo Tateno), and Rockin’ Robin. Her team came out victorious against the team of Dawn Marie Johnston, Donna Christanello, The Glamour Girls (Leilani Kai and Judy Martin), and “Sensational” Sherri.
As a singles competitor, McIntyre found much success as well. She held the Women’s World Title in the CWA, ECCW, WWWA, ICW, NWA, and the WWF. In the WWF, she had showdowns with the likes of “Sensational” Sherri and “The Fabulous” Moolah. On July 3rd, 1986, McIntyre would beat “The Spider Lady” (Moolah under a mask) at a live event in Brisbane, Australia. She would hold onto the belt for six days before dropping it to Moolah (without the mask) in Sydney.
Moolah and McIntyre would have a feud culminating in a singles match for the WWF Women’s Championship at WrestleMania 2 at the Rosemont Horizon. This match ended controversially after the 1:25 mark after the referee counted McIntyre’s shoulders down, giving Moolah the title victory despite McIntyre’s foot being on the bottom rope. This rule should have stopped the three count.
Did you know? This was certainly not The Fabulous Moolah’s first foray into screwjob finishes. On November 25th, 1985, a controversy occurred in the ring at Madison Square Garden between then-champion, Wendi Richter. “I’ve never seen her this aggressive and this flagrant about breaking rules.” You can read all about this on our website here.
One distinct trait throughout Velvet McIntyre’s career was not only her high-flying ability but also that she wrestled barefoot – something usually reserved for Samoan wrestlers at the time. This, however, was not by choice. One night before the matches, somebody hid her wrestling boots as a rib resulting in her having to compete barefoot for her match. After that, it became a part of her routine as an entertainer.
Velvet McIntyre accomplished something a lot of women could not do in wrestling in the 1980s. She thrived in a man’s world when women were mostly relegated to short, fragmented matches or were forced to be a valet. It is a complete oversight by WWE that she has not yet taken her rightful place in the Hall of Fame. Perhaps, hopefully, it is only a matter of time.
WATCH: Desiree Petersen and Velvet McIntyre defend their WWF Women’s Tag Team Championships against Peggy Patterson and Penny Mitchell on WWF Prime Time Wrestling
If you enjoyed this piece, be sure not to miss the following articles on our site:
- The Original WWF Screwjob – How Vince and Moolah Screwed Wendi Richter
- The Fabulous Moolah – Her Career and Controversial Legacy
- Asuka and Her Surprising Life Outside of Wrestling