Elsie Schevchenka (December 2, 1929 – April 17, 2013), better known as Ella Waldek (Mecouch), was an American professional wrestler. She was one of the subjects of the 2005 documentary film Lipstick & Dynamite: The First Ladies of Wrestling.
|Birth name||Elsie Schevchenka|
|Born||December 2, 1929|
Custer, Washington, U.S.
|Died||April 17, 2013(aged 83)|
|Professional wrestling career|
|Trained by||The Fabulous Moolah|
Professional wrestling careerEdit
Ella Waldek was born as Elsie Schevchenko in Custer, Washington and grew up as a self-described "farm girl". Originally a roller derby performer, Waldek's professional wrestling career began in 1952 after a male friend took her to a professional wrestling event. "I didn’t even know there was such a thing" she claimed years later. She was trained by The Fabulous Moolah.
Despite her limited knowledge of professional wrestling at the time, Waldek began a career in Chicago, Illinois. She adopted the name "Ella Waldek" because, in her words, "who could stand in a ring and autograph an eleven letter last name?" Waldek earned the nickname "The Policeman" and also worked under the names "Jackie Lee" and "Charming Carmen". She adopted the short arm scissor lift as one her signature maneuvers. Over the course of her career, Waldek worked matches with other female wrestlers, including Mae Young.
Janet Boyer Wolfe died after a body slam she had received from Waldek during a tag team match, though she was not injured by the move. Wolfe rolled out of the ring and collapsed at ringside. Waldek called for the timekeeper to assist her and get her away from the ring. Though Wolfe's death was eventually ruled to be an accident, police initially arrested Waldek and the other participants in the match—Mae Young and Eva Lee. The police reportedly considered charging the three with manslaughter, but all three women were eventually released. Ironically, as a result of the incident, people attended wrestling events to see Waldek, who had to endure crowd chants of "murderer" directed at her.
Over the course of her wrestling career, Waldek held several titles including the NWA Florida Women's Championship, the NWA World Women's Tag Team Championship with Mae Young and two reigns with the NWA Southern Women's Championship, Florida version.
After almost twenty years of wrestling, Waldek ended her career in 1971. She then became a private investigator and subsequently founded her own security firm, before taking up gardening part-time. Her professional career had apparently taken its toll though, as she had been rendered unable to have children due to a kick she had taken to the solar plexus.
Waldek recounted her experiences as a professional wrestler for the documentary film Lipstick & Dynamite, reuniting with some of her fellow female wrestlers in the process. Through her involvement in the film, Waldek found out that singer-songwriter Neko Case, who had been working on music for the film, is her great-niece.
Championships and accomplishmentsEdit
- Eleanor Ringel Gillespie. "'Lipstick & Dynamite': You'll fall for these ladies". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved July 14, 2008.
- "Ella Waldek profile at Lipstick & Dynamite Official website". Retrieved August 8, 2006.
- Lyons, Charles (December 16, 2004). "Hollywood, the Global Village: Festivals Feed a Love of Movies". New York Times. Retrieved August 8, 2006.
- Renwick, Meredith. "Guts & endurance calling card of Lipstick & Dynamite". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved August 8, 2006.
- Belcher, Karen. "Lipstick & Dynamite". ProWrestlingDaily. Retrieved August 8, 2006.
- Ellison, Lillian. First Goddess of the Squared Circle, p.57.
- Oliver, Greg. "Documentary honors women of '50s: Lipstick & Dynamite, Piss & Vinegar: The First Ladies of Wrestling hits the screen". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved August 8, 2006.
- Banks, Wendy. "RUTH LEITMAN: LIPSTICK & DYNAMITE DIRECTOR WRESTLES WITH WOMEN ON THE EDGE AT HOT DOCS FESTIVAL". NOW. Archived from the original on June 21, 2006. Retrieved August 8, 2006.
- "N.W.A. Florida Women's Title". Puroresu Dojo. Retrieved May 13, 2008.
- "N.W.A. Women's Southern Title (Florida)". Puroresu Dojo. Retrieved May 13, 2008.
- "World Women's Tag Team Title". Puroresu Dojo. Retrieved May 13, 2008.