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Penny Banner

[Penny Banner Interview][Benner Days.com]

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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);
  • OnlineWorldofWrestling.com 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 OnlineWorldofWrestling.com 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..



Social Media


Trained By

Marines in Judo Class


July 1954


August 11, 1934


ST. Louis, Missouri





165 lbs

Finishing Move(s)

Favorite Move(s)

Catch as Catch Can
Small Package
Sunset Flip

Notable Feuds

Betty Hawkins
Jo Mullinaux
June Byers
Judy Glover
June Byers
Vivian Vachon