|LADY WRESTLERS- THEN & NOW|
INTERVIEW WITH SUSAN GREEN
by Dale Pierce
DALE PIERCE: Where were you trained, and where did you have your first match?
SUSAN GREEN: Trained in Corpus Christi, Texas; first match was in Victoria, Texas against Maria DeLeon.
DP: You never official retired, did you, although you stepped out now and again?
SG: I have never retired from the business, although due to injuries I have been out of the ring some. August of 1979 had my neck and back broken, out till August 1982. July of 1992 shoulder was crushed, out till 1996. February 2003 knee surgery, out till February of 2004.
DP: You had a big injury a year or so ago. What happened?
SG: The injury was to my knee. Since I no longer make my living in the ring, I was in the parking lot of my job which I work for the city of Columbia, South Carolina, and we had an ice storm come in. I live in the country, so when the weather is bad, I have to leave early to make it to work on time. I left home that morning at 5 because the ice was really bad, and the roads don't get sand out where I live, so I knew I was going to have trouble getting into work. It normally takes me 45 minutes to get to work. This morning I made it to the parking lot in 2 hours and 33 minutes. As I walked across the parking lot, I slipped on some black ice and fell with my left knee under me. Which torn the ACL on the inside and outside of the knee, also the cartilage was torn on the back side of the knee.
DP: But you just made a comeback.
SG: I did just have my first match with a girl from Canada named Charlotte Webs.
DP: You run your own wrestling school now, correct? Where is it, and how might students reach you?
SG: I do run my own school. It is in West Columbia, South Carolina. Be reached by writing me at P.O. Box 280453, Columbia, SC 29228.
DP: Do you still run your own shows?
SG: I still run some shows.
DP: Who are some of the people you have trained?
SG: I trained Joyce Grable, Ms. Wrestling, Shelia Sheppard, Kia, and Shebia. Most noted would be Joyce Grable and Kia.
DP: Though it wasn't broadcasted much in the USA, you actually beat Moolah for the World Title in Japan and lost it back to her there years ago, didn't you?
SG: I beat Moolah in Dallas, Texas, and lost it back about a month later when I had to defend the belt when I was injury with three broken ribs.
DP: You were also a tag team partner to Sandy Parker long ago and for a long time. There was gossip she had died, but you found out it was a rumor, right?
SG: I was Sandy Parker's partner, and we won the World Tag Team title from Donna Christanello and Toni Rose in November of 1971 in Hawaii and lost them in February of 1972 to Donna and Toni in Hong Kong. Sandy had blown her knee out, and I could not see us risking any more injury to the knee so we forfeited the title back to them. And yes there was a rumor Sandy had died, and I found out from a phone call from her she is alive and well in Las Vegas.
DP: Was there a marked difference in the attitude or style of the Japanese women wrestlers as apposed to the USA?
SG: The difference in the attitude or style of the Japanese Women wrestlers from the USA is the Japanese women tried to hurt the American women wrestlers. As my first trip, I had 35 stitches in the back of my head the first match. I learned to fight as well as wrestle them.
DP: Did you ever make it to Mexico to wrestle? They have some all-girl promotions there and some high flyers. SG: Yes, I wrestled in Mexico, and most of the girls I wrestled in the 70s have passed away or retired now. There you learn how to not only fight in the ring but be prepared outside the ring. I was stabbed when I was wrestling Lola in Mexico City, by a fan
. DP: Would you also be interested in commenting on some of the people you wrestled with in the past?
SG: She was always my partner. Sweet girl.
DP: Paula Kaye?
SG: Was one HE-- of a wrestler and could and would push you to the limit. Made me become more of a fighter at time because she could use her fist.
DP: Sherri Martel?
SG: Never got to wrestler Sherri. Have met her at conventions and enjoy telling her my road story and listening to her.
DP: Lily Thomas?
SG: Tough woman to be in the ring with
. DP: Wendi Richter?
SG: Never met Wendi.
DP: LeiLani Kai?
SG: As I am the one that trained Kai, she became one of my toughest women to have to climb in the ring with. You never teach a student all you know, because you never know when that student will or would become your next opponent. And Kai gave me a run for the money each time we climbed into the ring against each other.
DP: Any others you would like to say anything about, as there are so many?
SG: There are so many, and any one I stepped into the ring with, it was an honor for me to be there.
DP: How do you feel about the current T&A trend as opposed to serious female wrestling and managing?
SG: I don't care for the T&A style, and I know the fans would still love to see the women go at it as we did in the 60s, 70s, and part of the 80s. Of course the big promotions are using the T&A, and the girls are doing it. I feel only a few of the girls that are in the lime light of wrestling now with the T&A could have stepped in the ring with the style that wrestling was in the 60s and 70s.
DP: How long do you think you will continue, as frankly, you have outlasted most of your competition?
SG: As long as I feel and look the way I do, I will step into the ring. If my body starts to fail me, I will step as side. I still enjoy training the guys and girls in the ring, and that keeps me young at heart when I see that I am still able to do things that the young folks can't. Gives me a good feeling also when I step in the ring in front of a crowd and they still cheer for me. After being in this business for almost 36 years, it is a part that will be hard to let go
. DP: Any other interesting stories?
SG: Stories, Lord, I have a million of them, and can't make up my mind which one to tell. So I will leave them for the convention when I am able to tell them in person. *smile*
DP: Closing comments?
SG: I wish the ladies would get a fair shake in the business. And that it would be the talent of the person and how much that person was willing to show that made them the money. Don't get me wrong, I am one for making money, and I did when I wrestled. I have my place in Texas that is paid for and my school and home here in West Columbia. So in wrestling I made my fair share of money, and it was wrestling and being able to fight that got me there, not showing my body. I preach for the guys to wear tights and the girls to wear a one-piece bathing suit. And most are seeing that they are getting the respect from the bookers when they dress the way the old timers did.