Wrestling / Wendi Richter


Wendi Richter (born September 6, 1961) is a retired American professional wrestler. Trained by The Fabulous Moolah and Judy Martin, she began her professional wrestling career teaming with Joyce Grable, with whom she held the NWA Women's World Tag Team Championship twice. In the 1980s, she joined the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), just as WWF owner Vince McMahon brought in Cyndi Lauper for a feud with Captain Lou Albano, which eventually resulted in Albano seconding WWF Women's Champion The Fabulous Moolah, while Lauper was in the corner of Richter. Richter defeated Moolah at MTV's The Brawl to End It All for the Women's Championship on July 23, 1984, ending what was billed as the longest championship reign in professional wrestling history, Moolah's 28-year reign as recognized by the WWF.note  This match was also the beginning of the "Rock 'n' Wrestling Connection", an era that combined both music and professional wrestling. Richter faced Moolah's protégé, Leilani Kai, who defeated Richter for the title, in early 1985 at The War to Settle the Score. Richter regained the title at the first WrestleMania one month later. Richter was also animated for a CBS Saturday morning cartoon, Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n' Wrestling.

After regaining the title from Kai, Richter was scheduled to defend it at Madison Square Garden on November 25, 1985 of that same year against a mysterious masked opponent known only as The Spider Lady. During the match, The Spider Lady broke from the pre-scripted events, and the referee delivered a swift three count, despite Richter kicking out after a count of one. Richter ignored the bell and continued to attack the Spider, unmasking the new champion to reveal that it was The Fabulous Moolah in disguise: Richter fell victim to a real-life "screwjob" finish who would be known as "The Original Screwjob" (to differentiate it from that other screwjob).

Upon leaving the WWF, Richter wrestled in Puerto Rico, Japan, and throughout the United States in independent promotions. She resurfaced in the American Wrestling Association (AWA) in 1987 to challenge champion Madusa Miceli for the AWA Women's Championship, winning the title in December 1988, but the title would be vacated in December 1989 when Richter left the promotion. She would eventually mend her differences with the now renamed WWE and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2010.

As usual, you can find the basics at her page over at The Other Wiki.

Tropes related to Wendi Richter:

  • '80s Hair: A poofy Dynasty-like hairdo.
  • Action Girl: She had been one her entire life, working rodeos and training with horses before she started learning to wrestle.
  • All American Face: Mainly in WWE during the Rock N Wrestling Era.
  • Amazonian Beauty: She wasn't necessarily big (only billed at around 150 lbs) but many of her promotional pictures featured her smiling like a beauty queen while also flexing her muscles.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • The Fabulous Moolah, both on-screen and off.
    • In Stampede Wrestling, she and Joyce Grable were always feuding with the team of Velvet McIntyre and Judy Martin. Years later they rekindled their feud this time with Penny Mitchell in Judy Martin's place.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: Inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2010.
  • Blue Is Heroic: She often wore blue whenever she worked babyface.
  • The Bus Came Back: She and Cyndi Lauper made a surprise guest appearance on Raw in 2012 as part of the lead in for the 1000th episode.
  • Catch Phrase: She joked that "Girls just wanna have fun" was already her mission statement by the time she was paired with Cyndi.
  • Everything Is Big in Texas: From Dallas. Her initial gimmick was of a Texas cowgirl.
  • Face: She tended towards this and had natural likeability that made her a good fit. She did play heel several times in the territories but was WWE's favourite female face during her time there. She has stated she preferred being a face.
  • Finishing Move: Sitout DDT.
  • Genius Bruiser: She has a business degree.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Wendi said her preferred type of role was a "rough babyface", putting her in this category.
  • Leotard of Power: This was the standard garment for women wrestlers at the time but it still fits.
  • Lovely Angels: She and Joyce Grable teamed as the Texas Cowgirls.
  • Odd Friendship: Wendi - a down-to-earth country girl - and Cyndi Lauper - a pop superstar. Wendi confirms that they were great friends when they worked together.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun".
  • Ring Oldies: She stepped into the ring for some Wrestle-Reunion events when she was in her forties.
  • Undermined by Reality: Wendi's superstardom in the 80s takes on a much more sombre note when you hear her talk about how she never received any royalties from any of the extra stuff she did - the cartoons, music videos, action figures etc. She was also criminally underpaid compared to her male colleagues - claiming she only made $5000 for her match at the first WrestleMania in contrast to Hulk Hogan making $50,000. She suspects that her constantly asking Vince about money led to her being dismissed.
  • Wrestling Family: She was married to Hugo Savinovich, former WWE Spanish commentator and current Lucha Underground Spanish commentator.