wrestling / Columns

Cook’s Top 7 Wrestling Childhood Crushes

May 5, 2024 | Posted by Steve Cook
Miss Elizabeth Image Credit: WWE

Dark Side of the Ring recently chronicled the life & times of Sherri Martel, who I believe to be the greatest valet in the history of pro wrestling. Sherri paved the way for so many that came after her, but I don’t think she’s been equaled as a presence at ringside. Sherri would do anything necessary to get her wrestler’s match over, including taking bumps that most male managers wouldn’t take.

I must admit that I didn’t appreciate Sherri while watching her on WWF & WCW television as a kid. As a young boy that only saw somebody interfering against my favorite wrestlers with an annoying voice, I didn’t see much in the Sensational One. That was because she was good at her job. Also, she came along just before I got out of that period of time known as the “cootie” phase.

Fortunately for a young Steve Cook that didn’t have access to a vast array of pornographic material, the mid-1990s saw an uptick in the amount of attractive women gracing wrestling TV shows. In the early 90s you maybe saw one or two members of the female gender per show. Once ECW exploited that flaw in WWF & WCW programming and sexed it up a bit because the 90s were about that, the big two had to compete. Young boys approaching or going through puberty were quite happy about it.

I’m guessing that most of you reading this column had some of your first childhood crushes appear via the world of professional wrestling. Today seems as good a time as any to look back at some of mine. For the purposes of this column counting down my top 7 wrestling childhood crushes, I’m considering “childhood” as anywhere up to the teenage years, which means all of these ladies were prominent in my wrestling viewing sometime prior to mid-1997. I understand that some of us are still in our childhood at heart, but 13 seems like a good biological cutoff point to me.

7. Missy Hyatt

Image Credit: WWE

Missy would be so much higher on this list if I was a few years older. Her mid to late 1980s run was some all-time top notch stuff. By the time the mid-90s rolled around, her career had kinda slowed down. There was the time managing the Nasty Boys, which was pretty cool and fit her character. Then it ended with a lawsuit and Missy wound up in ECW with Sandman for a little bit. It was fun, but didn’t last long.

Like Sherri, Missy is someone I’ve grown to appreciate while watching old footage. Some of those music videos from the Continental days…yowie wowie.

6. Kimona Wanalaya

Kimona wasn’t in ECW for an especially long time, but was certainly one of the most memorable valets in the company’s history. If you ever watched ECW you surely saw the commercial for Extreme Warfare Volume 2, which aired at least once per show for five years. After long enough I could recite the voiceover in my sleep, which included the following line:

“And witness the night that Kimona Wanalaya danced atop the ECW Arena”

What happened was that the ring broke and they needed to fill time somehow. That’s what they came up with, and there weren’t too many complaints from the live attendees from what I could tell. Kimona’s stint with ECW included a number of sexually charged incidents, including one involving a woman later on this list that got ECW kicked off most of their TV stations. She wasn’t around for a long time, but us young & impressionable viewers definitely had a good time.

Kimona would later appear in WCW as Leia Meow, and had a similar stint there. No dancing atop arenas, but I remember she was on a trampoline at least once.

5. Miss Elizabeth

Image Credit: WWE

Every 1980s heterosexual male WWF fan loved Elizabeth, right? I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t have. She was perfect in the role of Randy Savage’s innocent manager everyone felt sorry for in the beginning before the Macho Man saw the light and the love story stole the hearts of everyone.

Sadly, that story didn’t last much longer. It wouldn’t be the last we saw of Miss Liz though, as she would follow Randy to WCW and side with his rival, Ric Flair. It was nice to see a new side of Elizabeth. After all, nobody’s perfect. Elizabeth and her high heel would be a thorn in the side of the former Mega Powers for a good year or so.

I must admit a certain bias towards Elizabeth, as she hailed from the great Commonwealth of Kentucky. I hoped to one day find my own Elizabeth from Kentucky…now I hope I haven’t run out of time.

4. Woman

My first memory of Woman is probably different than yours. Some remember her as Kevin Sullivan’s Fallen Angel in Florida. Others remember her coming to WCW as Rick Steiner’s obsessed fan, then transforming into Woman. Me, I first saw Woman in ECW leading Sandman & 2 Cold Scorpio to all the championships. Then she went to WCW and joined up with the Four Horsemen, specifically Chris Benoit. This led to issues with Kevin Sullivan that I was only aware of on a basic level since kids that weren’t on the Internet all day weren’t the target audience for this worked shoot storyline that kinda ended up being a shoot.

Let’s not dwell on that. Woman was great in her role as a dastardly heel manager and window dressing for the Horsemen during their promos. She had this thing where she’s physically flirt with Gene Okerlund while Ric Flair or whoever was talking that I found amusing. The visual of Woman being unable to keep herself off of good ol’ Mean Gene was always hilarious to me. She could also swing a mean Singapore cane. One of those ladies you knew could handle her business.

3. Alundra Blayze/Madusa

Madusa was probably the best North American female worker of her time period. There was only one problem with that. The 1990s weren’t exactly the best days for women to make a living as active in-ring competitors. Not in North America, anyway. Japan had quite the Joshi scene going, and we’d see some of their wrestlers from time to time. In America, well there was the LPWA for like a minute, but none of the mainstream promotions had any time for women’s wrestling.

So Madusa could either work in Japan or work as a valet in America…up until 1994 when the WWF decided to rebuild their women’s division and base it around her. The quality definitely varied, as her matches with Bull Nakano were much better than the ones with Bertha Faye. Either way, like most things in mid-1990s WWF it didn’t get over and was eventually forgotten about. Madusa was released, which was kind of awkward since she still had a title belt. She wound up going to WCW, where she got to make money for the rest of the decade.

I enjoyed Alundra a bit more than Madusa because Alundra was friendlier, but both were great.

2. Beulah McGillicutty

The issues between Tommy Dreamer & Raven went all the way back to summer camp. Dreamer was the popular jock, Raven the freak that couldn’t fit in. Raven would get his revenge years later, with a multiple-year winning streak in the ring over his childhood nemesis. He also re-introduced Tommy to a fellow camper, a fat girl that Tommy didn’t have time for. It turned out that puberty had been kind to Beulah, much kinder than Tommy would be in the ensuing months that involved multiple pile drivers.

Unfortunately for Raven, his plan to make Tommy’s life hell took a bit of a twist when Tommy impregnated Beulah. Well, actually, that was a work and we found out Beulah was cheating on Tommy with Kimona Wanalaya. When asked by Shane Douglas what he thought about that, Dreamer replied with one of the classic lines in wrestling history:

“I’m hardcore, I’ll take them both!”

Screw The Bloodline. That, my friends, is cinema.

Also, the Beulah vs Francine cat fight is one of the wrestling matches I’ve re-watched the most for reasons. If you’ve seen it you probably know why.

1. Sunny

Image Credit: WWE

Tammy Sytch had a harder fall from grace than most. Unfortunately, she’s still been making headlines for all the wrong reasons for the past decade or two. I’m not here to cast blame on what led to all that, or tell you where she should be now. 

I’m here to talk about Sunny in the mid-1990s, who had more charisma & star power than just about anybody else in the WWF at the time. She was the most downloaded celebrity on America Online. I may have helped with that. Sunny was a natural at getting heat and attention, which made her perfect for pro wrestling. The WWF tag team division was built around her managerial skills for much of 1996, and it’s tough to imagine that group of talent & the way they were booked at the time (Bodydonnas, Godwinns, Smokin’ Gunns) being watchable without her around.

Oh, and don’t get me started on those Raw magazine photoshoots. What can I say? Sunny came along at just the right time for boys of my era. 

Thanks for reading! Hit me up at [email protected] or on the social media with thoughts, comments or suggestions. Feel free to hit the comment section and tell us about some of your favorite childhood wrestling crushes. Until next time, true believers!

article topics :

ECW, WCW, WWE, Steve Cook