WWE Superstar and former member of the Shield
Donna Lemke wrote: I worked out of Minneapolis, MN wrestling office. Verne Gagne and Wally Karbo were the persons responsible for booking me at that time. I also worked for Bill Watts in Oklahoma and in Florida for Eddie Graham, Terry Funk in Texas. Steamboat in Hawaii. I was popular with the fans because there were so few young women wrestling at that time. Vivian Vachone was 21 when I was 18 so they booked us alot together. I went on the road alot to many states and Canada. Kay Noble and I worked together the most. Betty Niccoli and I worked in Missouri. There were other women around the country that I worked with. Also, mixed tag teams with men in Louisana, Oklahoma, Mississippi and Texas.
We had alot of fun on the road, The car trips to the next match were always amusing. When Dusty and I got together he did not want me to wrestle anymore. He was a wonderful man. I knew Dustin his oldest son when he was just a small boy. He was a cowboy even then like his dad. We all liked horses roping and riding.
Most of us woman wrestlers were “lost” in the shadows of the men wrestlers. It is great that you and your group are willing to give us our spot. We didn’t make the money that the men did, but we took the bumps and lumps the same as they did. Women and the midgets were gimmics to boost the sales when needed. Its a money making business. I was in a match with Kay Noble and she went over the top rope and hit the floor wrong and broke her foot. We still had towns booked to go to, and she wrestled with the broken foot in her boot. She had a cast put on after the last two matches. Dicky Murdoch would carry her on his shoulders to the ring and when she got into the ring, he would come at me with his legs wide set, I would run through his legs, drop kick him into Kay and she could sell the leg. I was the babyface,they both were the heels at that time. We some how got through those matches. What a trooper. Kay was her middle name. Malita (not sure if spelled correct) was what her mom called her and she hated it. I don’t know if she ever had it legally changed.
Another time, we were in a small town, with one “cop” for the event. On the way out of the ring the fans were all over us. They would grab our butts and boobs. I got a slice on my thigh once from a knife on the way to the dressing room.( Makes for a nice battle scar, ha ha ha. ) When the crowd would get to a riot stage, you had to STAY in the ring and beat the crap out of the “heel” until they calmed down enough to get out of the area. Thats when we usually got “grabbed” or hit or punched. All in a days work. There are lots of stories and every wrestler has there own. Some funny some not.