97 years ago today, on 12th March 1923, Johnnie Mae Young was born in Sand Springs, Oklahoma.
Mae Young worked extensively throughout the US and Canada during her long and storied career, which began in the early 1940s when she joined Mildred Burke in Billy Wolfe's travelling troupe of female wrestlers.
She worked for a number of promotions, including the National Wrestling Alliance. In 1951, she became the NWA's first Florida Women's Champion and would go on to win the United States Women's Championship in 1968. In the years that followed, she wrestled sporadically in the WWWF until she was hired by the WWF in 1999.
During the WWF's attitude era, Young was known for taking part in some controversial storylines and matches. Her in-ring debut on Raw is War on September 29th, 1999 would see her compete in a handicapped
evening gown match with the Fabulous Moolah against then-champion Ivory. Ivory stripped Mae of her gown before Moolah took the victory. A few months later, she won the Miss Royal Rumble 2000 swimsuit contest and "flashed" her breasts.
Through 2000, Young would be involved in a romantic storyline with Mark Henry. This included a kayfabe pregnancy, and in a legendary sports-entertainment moment, she would give birth to a rubber hand.
She was also known for taking some crazy bumps during her tenure with the WWF. On more than one occasion she was powerbombed through a table by Bubba Ray Dudley. Young would go on to appear on what was by then WWE television sporadically between the years of 2002 to 2013, either wrestling in gimmick matches or providing comic relief.
Young was inducted into the Professonal Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum in 2004, and inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2008. She is widely recognised as being the pioneer for women's wrestling and her legacy lives on in the Mae Young Classic, a tournament that took place in 2018 and 2019.