Wendi Richter to Receive 2012 Lou Thesz Lifetime Achievement Award

The Cauliflower Alley Club has announced that this year WWE Hall of Famer Wendi Richter will receive their 2012 Lou Thesz Lifetime Achievement Award. This announcement makes her only the second woman to receive this award – the first was the first ever recipient of the award in 1997, Penny Banner.

A two-time former WWF Women’s Champion, Richter was “instrumental in helping to bring about the connection between WWE and the MTV generation” via her friendship with the legendary musician Cyndi Lauper.

Richter was famously on the receiving end of what has been dubbed “The Original Screwjob” (predating Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart at Survivor Series 1997). During her second championship reign (and in the midst of contract disputes with Vince McMahon), she was set to defend her title on November 25, 1985 against a mysterious masked opponent named “The Spider Lady”. Mere moments into the match, it has been said that The Spider Lady broke from the script and pinned Richter’s shoulders to the mat, with the referee quickly counting to three and ending the match – despite Richter kicking out at one. Wendi ignored the bell and unmasked her opponent – revealing it to be none other than her former trainer and mentor, The Fabulous Moolah.

After the match, a furious Richter left the arena – still dressed in her wrestling attire – and took a cab to the airport, where she booked a flight out of New York and never returned to the WWE again.

Although she turned down a chance to appear in the Divas Battle Royal at Wrestlemania 25 in April 2009, the relationship between her and the WWE has seemingly since been repaired, with Wendi accepting the opportunity to be a part of the WWE Hall of Fame in 2010. She became only the fourth woman in history to do so (they have since added a fifth, Sunny).

Other notable highlights of Wendi’s career include forming a very successful tag-team with Joyce Grable called “The Texas Cowgirls” (whom she won the NWA Women’s Tag Team Championships with twice), winning Puerto Rico’s World Wrestling Council’s Women’s Championship twice, defeating Madusa for the AWA Women’s Championship in December 1987 and a tour of U.S military bases in Europe via the National Wrestling Federation. She also wrestled twice at WrestleReunions in 2005.

Outside of wrestling, Wendi has worked as a real estate agent and raised show dogs. She also earned her Masters degree in occupational therapy.

She will be inducted during the CAC’s 2012 Reunion weekend of April 16-18 at the Gold Coast Hotel and Casino, in Las Vegas, NV. You may purchase tickets for the event here.

  • Williambitious

    Wow… I didn’t know she got screwed over. The WWE is unfair in many aspects. Anyway, congratulations are in order for Wendi.

  • Jhonmarco

    Congrats Wendi, very deserving <3. Her screw-job was a damn shame btw.

  • Jamal

    Very much deserved. Wendi was a pioneer and my first favorite wrestler.

  • shannymac

    Well deserved. Congrats to Wendi!

  • http://twitter.com/sulkingbeauty adifferentsame

    The headline picture makes me giggle on the grounds that I’ve just begin my fitness regime and that’s currently what my bicep looks like. Haha.

    • http://au.groups.yahoo.com/group/WWE_Divas/ art


  • DarknessRuler

    If I was her and that person that screwed me over was my real life mentor and trainer, it would have been OVER for that person. Put me to jail but no person you look up to should ever do that to you.

  • BobAnthony

    Wendi was also involved in part of the first season of David McLane’s POWW (Powerful Women of Wrestling) as a color commentator sometimes alongside Dick The Bruiser. And she did get a storyline involved with the character “The Terrorist.”

    But for Wendi, this upcoming honor is well deserved.

  • http://twitter.com/BroskiRomano Ryan

    Congrats Wendy!! Your such a classy intelligent strong woman! Mad respect for you and always very proud I saw the Screwjob with Moolah i was like WOW!!!

    Glad she found Life after Wrestling…

  • moogle

    This is great news, she truly was amazing.

    I lost a lot of respect for Moolah after the screwjob, it wasn’t even just the title change or the pin. But Moolah didn’t even bother selling any of Wendy’s moves before or after the win, eventhough you could see Wendy wanted to really hurt her, but she didn’t and Moolah didn’t respect it at all.

    I truly was shocked, we all know Vicne is capable of these horrible things but I didn’t expect it from Moolah tbh

    • http://facebook.com/mykael.kennedy mykel1990

      Moolah is not as revered and as liked by other wrestlers as most fans would think, especially the old-school women (and the Iron Sheik lol). A vast majority of them don’t like her, or have been screwed over by her over the years.

      • http://twitter.com/sulkingbeauty adifferentsame

        Said it once and I’ll say it again, but behind the glittering reverence the WWE wrap her in, there is a hint of the Lady Marmalade to Moolah. Arguably, the Karma-is-a-bitch-in-12 inch-heels theory rang true in the end, because Vince McMahon willingly scripted her into some really distasteful and frankly humiliating scenes right up until her passing.

    • elsimate

      ” I truly was shocked, we all know Vicne is capable of these horrible things but I didn’t expect it from Moolah tbh ”

      Then you dont know anything about Moolah other than what WWE has told you. An incredibility self centred and cruel woman.

      • http://twitter.com/BroskiRomano Ryan

        Despite knowing all of this from Moolah believe it or not Its behind her. And I still respect and have mad RIP love for Moolah. I saw the Lipstick and Dynomite documentary on Youtube and wow..Moolah had to wrestle Midgets and Bears!! o.0
        Because back then Womens wrestling was considered a joke and the LOWEST form of entertainment. She screwed MANY MANY women out of things but her school brought in Lailani Kai Wendy Richter and many others..she actually screwed Billy Wolfe who owned the women’s championship division back then and basicly she took it from him. he used to rape the women and screw them out f money.
        When she sold the Womens Championship to Vince McMahon all the women got to appear in WWF and actually i believe in the 80s womens wrestling was a huge hit!!

        So despite all that..hey pple have done worse

        Love Wendy Richter and Moolah!

      • moogle

        I agree she isn’t the nicest lady in the industry lmfao, but when I first saw it I was very shocked, I mean she practically brought this girl into the whole industry, it felt too cold for anyone to be able to do that to someone who trusts you so much.

        • http://twitter.com/BroskiRomano Ryan

          Moolah had a house in South Carolina she gave housing to retired female wrestlers who were injured and couldnt work and she adopted a midget. Funny thing is the ladies who were in housing were interviewed and all hated Moolah but thanked her for the “crappy” housing lol

  • Brayiaino

    I really glad Wendi is getting this reward and I recently watched her Hall of Fame acceptance speech. She’s a sweet, gracious lady.

    As for the screwjob, it kinda justifies Madusa’s actions in dumping the belt in the bin. How did you like that Vince?

    • http://twitter.com/sulkingbeauty adifferentsame

      I could retract some of my distaste for Madusa (the character, absolutely loved her wrestling) if the alleged incident with the belt was truly down to Bischoff putting a gun to her head, but I still think it was a sad moment of lighting a match to a division that could have carried on without her.

      • Firewalker

        WWF released her because they decided to scrap the women’s division. Even if Madusa hadn’t trashed the belt on Nitro, you still wouldn’t have seen the division continuing in the WWF.

        • Kessuki

          i didnt know wwf released her, i assumed she quit for a bigger payday from wcw after wwe expected her to drop the belt to aja kong?

        • http://www.youtube.com/user/ElectricMVx Future Endeavoured

          yes, Kessuki is right, she left for WCW cos she didn’t wanna drop the title to Aja Kong.

          She kinda threw her career away, the WCW “divas” division was a joke.

        • http://twitter.com/BroskiRomano Ryan

          WCW their womens division which NEVER was official included Jacqueline Molly Holly Malia Hosaka Lexi Fiffe Madusa and Sherri Martel but it wasnt ever taken seriously

          Meanwhile I have a hard time thinking with Sunny around the WWF at the time that Vince could of cared less for the Womens Championship simply because he kept discontinuing the division in 1991 then brought it back in 1993 only to discontinue it again and finally again in 1995 but then Madisa decides to do this and Vince took it mega personal as I would of too

          Finally in 1998 Sable Jacqueline and Luna Vachon bring it back..mostly due to Sable of course