It was a title that lasted with the WWF for less than six years and just four teams held the gold but it is a history mired in innuendo and controversy. Today we take a look at the short-lived run of the WWF Women’s Tag Team titles.
In 1983, Vince McMahon made the bold move to break away from the National Wrestling Alliance and take his company, the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), on its own. It was a move that would signal the beginning of McMahon’s national expansion which would include raiding the various territories of their top talent. Two of those individuals that followed McMahon were the tag team of Princess Victoria and Velvet McIntyre. They were, at the time, the reigning NWA women’s tag team champions.
Showing their loyalty to Vince McMahon, and being the NWA women’s tag team champions, Victoria and McIntyre would be crowned as the first ever WWF women’s tag team champions. After Princess Victoria suffered a career-ending injury, she was replaced as co-holder of the tag team championship by Desiree Petersen. Her and McIntyre continued to hold onto the titles until finally losing the belts to Leilani Kai and Judy Martin in 1985. Kai and Martin held the belts for over a 900-day reign.
During that period of time, Kai and Martin were controlled by longtime WWF women’s champion Fabulous Moolah. All of their bookings and a large percentage of their pay went to Moolah. Leilani Kai and Judy Martin decided they had had enough of Moolah supposedly extorting money from them, so they broke off from Moolah’s control. Kai and Martin became the ‘Glamour Girls’ and were managed by ‘The Mouth of the South’ Jimmy Hart. Hart changed their whole look by dying their hair platinum blonde and giving them matching outfits.
To further boost the women’s tag team division, the WWF signed a red hot team from Japan consisting of Noriyo Tateno and Itsuki Yamazaki collectively known as ‘The Jumping Bomb Angels.’ The Angels had great success in Japan and were unique in the fact that they brought a high flying style to the WWF as well as an international flavor. The Angles would almost immediately begin a feud the Glamour Girls over the WWF women’s tag team titles.
The Jumping Bomb Angels would defeat the Glamour Girls for the titles in a two out of three falls match at the Royal Rumble in 1988. The WWF had big plans for the women’s tag team division and planned to have a rematch set between the two teams at WrestleMania 5. It would have been a huge payoff for the four wrestlers and bring a lot of attention to the division, but the match never happened. According to the Glamour Girls (Kai and Martin) it was all because of the Fabulous Moolah.
Still seething from being ousted as the team’s personal booker, Moolah called Judy Martin and informed her that head booker Pat Patterson wanted to have the Glamour Girls win back the tag team titles on the last night of the WWF’s tour of Japan. While Moolah was no longer in control of the Glamour Girls professionally, she still had a lot of clout within the company. So on June 8, 1988, with both teams utterly confused about the last minute decision to have the belts change hands, the Glamour Girls won back the belts by beating the Jumping Bomb Angels in an awkward count out victory.
Once the belts exchanged hands, Pat Patterson called the Glamour Girls from Stamford, Connecticut in a rage. He asked why did the two teams go into business for themselves and screw up all of the WWF’s plans for them. They tried to explain that they were told by Moolah of the exchange, but Patterson would hear none of it and hung up the phone on them. The incident led the WWF to not ask the Angels to return to the states with the company. As punishment, the big match planned for WrestleMania 5 was scrapped and ultimately the Glamour Girls were used less and less.
The WWF women’s tag team titles would officially be declared defunct in February of 1989. A sad ending to a promising division. If completely true, Moolah single-handedly destroyed an entire women’s division over money.