|Women's Wrestling Association|
The Women's Wrestling Association (WWA) was established in 1984. The organization evolved and owes its creation to the World Wrestling Association of the Indianapolis-based professional wrestling organization promoted by Dick "The Bruiser" Afflis and his business partner Wilbur Snyder. The founding members of the Women's Wrestling Association were Princess Jasmine and Candi DeVine. These two wrestling personalities appeared internationally but were regular competitors for the Bruiser/Snyder World Wrestling Association and affiliated Minneapolis-based American Wrestling Association which was controlled by Verne Gagne.
Whereas, the three distinguishing letters of WWA have been used as the acronym for several professional wrestling organizations over the years, including a wrestling based promotion in Los Angeles and Chicago in the 1950's, it wasn't until 1964 when the National Wrestling Association promoter, Jim Barnett sold his Indianapolis based promotion to Bruiser and Snyder that the initialsm took on major status within wrestling circles.
Wrestling for the World Wrestling Association over the years were Cowboy Bob Ellis, The Crusher, Baron Von Raschke, Bobby Heenan, Sailor Art Thomas, Paul Christy, Nick Bockwinkel, football great Ernie Ladd, and the NCAA Division I and All-American heavyweight champion amateur wrestler Greg Wojciechowski. However, it was the women that wrestled for the Bruiser/Snyder promotion that prompted the shift of the acronyms first word from 'World' to 'Women' and the formation of the first and only-sanctioning body for women's professional wrestling.
Pushing forward 20 years to a regionally televised wrestling match between Candi DeVine and Princess Jasmine which took place in Indianapolis at the Tyndall Armory, an unknown announcer named David McLane promoted the vision that there could be a marketplace for an-all women's dedicated television program and league.
"My vision and assumption following the calling of that match between Candi DeVine and Princess Jasmine was that there is an audience for an all-women's dedicated television program and that vision has proven successful. And now with the proliferation of global interest and wealth of international female wrestlers, along with the exploding ancillary opportunities afforded to the women of this unconventional form of entertainment, the need for an active sanctioning body is needed more than ever," noted McLane.
Today, the Women's Wrestling Association sanctions several wrestling events, including the WOW live events and is dedicated to perpetuating the tradition of the thousands of women warriors stepping into the ring. With the WWA banner association a parent can know the programming and live events are sanctioned for family entertainment.
In 2012, the Women’s Wrestling Association established the Trailblazer Award to recognize the performers who have blazed the trail for future female stars of the ring. The first recipient of this prestigious award is Princess Jasmine. Princess Jasmine was considered by many to be the "barricade breaker" for many female athletes. Facing extreme pressures of discrimination for being a black woman in a traditional all-white male industry, Princess Jasmine was admired for her tenacity and considered an inspirational teacher of professional wrestling having helped launch the career of WWE wrestler Ivory (who was known as Tina Ferrari in Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling) and contributed globally to the passion of living life to its fullest.
The Princess Jasmine Trailblazer Award as it will be known as is awarded annually to a female wrestler who has done the following:
Demonstrated in their life, the same persistence, spirit, love and dedication as Princess Jasmine did to the student of wrestling, teaching skills and respect for the sport; and made a major contribution to the growth of female wrestling.
By honoring female performers who dedicated their life to this purpose, the WWA honors Princess Jasmine and encourages female performers to seek the same ideals and values.
Princess Jasmine (real name Cynthia Peretti/Johnson) credited as the inspiration to form the Women’s Wrestling Association competed during the 70’s and 80’s internationally and for the NWA and WWWF as well, was best known for wrestling for the AWA and WWA promotions headed by Verne Gagne and Dick The Bruiser respectively, passed away at the age of 60 in 2009 following a long battle with cancer. She is an honored star of the ring by the members of the prestigious Cauliflower Alley Club.