Penny Banner

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Title History


  • Canadian & USA Women’s Tag Team titles w/Betty Jo Hawkins (1955);
  • Canadian & USA Women’s Tag Team titles w/Bonnie Watson (1956-57);
  • Canadian & USA Women’s Tag Team titles w/Lorraine Johnson (1958-59);
  • NWA Women’s World Tag Team titles w/Lorraine Johnson (1957 thru 1959);
  • AWA Woman’s World title -first ever- (1961);
  • Texas Women’s title defeating Nell Stewart (1963);
  • Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame Inductee in Amsterdam, NY (2005);
  • St. Louis Wrestling Hall of Fame Inductee (2007);
  • Hall of Fame Inductee (2007);


Career Highlights


  • August 11, 1934: Penny Banner (Mary Ann Kostecki) was born in St Louis, Missouri..
  • Penny Banner was enrolled in St. Vincent DePauls orphanage when her parents divorced when she was just 11 yrs old..
  • July 10, 1954: Benny Banner wrestled her first match at the age of 19 against Cathy Branch..
  • 1957: Penny Banner & Lorraine Johnson won a tournament to win the NWA Women’s Tag Team titles and held them until 1959..
  • September 9, 1960 – Atlanta, GA: The Mighty Yankee d. Johnny Weaver with Penny Banner as special guest referee..
  • September 30, 1960 – Atlanta, GA: Johnny Weaver & Penny Banner d. Dick Steinborn & Fran Gravette in a mixed tag match..
  • August 26, 1961: Penny Banner wins a battle royal to become the first AWA World Women’s title and vacated it in 1964..
  • 1963: Penny Banner won the Texas Ladies Championship from Nell Stewart..
  • Penny Banner dated Elvis Presley, who would attend her matches when she worked in the Memphis territory..
  • 1977: Penny Banner retired from the sport of professional wrestling because of lack of women to wrestle..
  • 1995: Penny Banner won a Silver Medel in the Senior Olympics in the 50 meter butterfly in San Antonio, Texas..
  • 1997: Penny Banner won a Silver Medel in the Senior Olympics in the discus throw in Tucsan, Arizona..
  • Penny Banner held the “weight Pentathalon Record” in the North Carolina Masters for “95-96-97..
  • 2003: Penny Banner won the bronze medal in Newport News, Virginia for the 50yd Backstroke..
  • ~~~Penny also placed 6th in the 50 Butterfly and an 8th in the 100 yd Backstroke!
  • June 2005: Penny Banner entered the National Olympic Games in Pittsburgh, Pennylvania……
  • ~~~She won a Bronze Medal in the 50yd BackStroke..and two 4th places -100 and 200 back strokes..
  • Late 2005: Penny Banner was diagnosed with cancer which doctors believe started in her falopian tubes…….
  • November 25, 2005: Penny Banner was operated on by Oncologist-Dr. Robert Higgins at the Carolinas Medical Center..
  • December 21, 2005: The pathologist believes Penny’s fallopian tubes are in the advanced stages, but is curable..
  • January 2006: Penny Banner begins her six treatments of chemotherapy, which are three weeks apart.
  • ~~~The staff of wishes Penny Banner all the best and a speedy recovery after surgery..
  • February 2006: Penny Banner learned that her tumor has shrunk considerably after a doctor’s check-up…
  • Penny Banner is the ‘Champion Emeritus’ and Commissioner of the Professional Girl Wrestling Association (PGWA).
  • May 12, 2008: Penny Banner (a long-time friend of Online World of Wrestling) passed away after a long battle with cancer..
  • November 15, 2008–Professional Girl Wrestling Association: Wendi Weaver was on hand for a tribute to Penny Banner..