May 3rd, 2003

chef bites

Mute the pomp and circumstance

Autopsy Results Pending in Death of Miss Elizabeth
(with abridgements)
MARIETTA -- Preliminary autopsy results in the death of the professional wrestler known as Miss Elizabeth could be released Friday as authorities continue their inquiry into how she died.

Elizabeth Hulette, 42, known in the wrestling world as Miss Elizabeth, was taken early Thursday from the Cobb County town home owned by Lawrence Pfohl, who wrestled professionally as Lex Luger.

Rescue workers were summoned around 5:30 a.m. to the home, Cobb police spokesman Cpl. Brody Staud said. He said the woman died at Kennestone Hospital shortly after she arrived, but authorities have not yet determined her cause of death.

"At this point, we don't know if it's a suicide, we don't know if it's a natural death (and) we don't know if it's a homicide," said Staud, who added later that there was no indication of foul play.

The woman was transported to Kennestone by ambulance. Authorities said Pfohl, 44, rode with her to the hospital. Neighbors said the woman was Pfohl's girlfriend.

Several hours after Hulette was pronounced dead, Pfohl was arrested after investigators found illegal substances in his home, which were identified as large quantities of anabolic steroids. He was released from jail Thursday after posting a $25,000 bond.

Authorities said police recently responded to a domestic disturbance call at his home two weeks ago, during which Pfohl was arrested for allegedly beating Hulette, according to a copy of the police report. He was out on a $2,500 bond in connection with that incident when he was re-arrested on the controlled substance charge. It was not immediately clear what the substance was.

Hulette had been married to the wrestler known as Macho Man Randy Savage but the two are now divorced.

I wish I were finding a more pleasant way to out myself as a fan of pro wrestling.

Anyone who, like me, began taking an interest in wrestling during the glory days of the first Wrestlemanias and the Cyndi Lauper angles certainly has fond memories of our fallen "First Lady." I think it is safe to argue that there had almost never been another character like her before, and very few since. She wasn't trampy, or delinquent, or even mouthy. The kayfabe world is filled with valets, debs, chicks, broads, and now Divas, but dammit when they called her Lady it carried weight. True, most of the time she played the victim, a rather passe concept in the light of modern take-charge grrls like Lita or Ivory. But Miss Elizabeth had simple glamour and normalcy, and just being there in the ring in a gown and that incredible smile lent a sort of softness to the proceedings. When a heel hurt her, you booed harder. When her man got a victory and she beamed, you beamed with her. Even during her own heel turns in later years, she never played it dirty like other characters, so you couldn't fully hate her; you just kept rhetorically asking how she could run with such meanies. Sure, you were booing, but you still wouldn't kick her out of the club for wearing jeans with pumps. You had to love her.
Have there been better women in wrestling, with more athletic skill, or verbal abilities, or audience psychology? Likely. But there was only one Miss Elizabeth, and you couldn't take your eyes off her. You didn't want to. That's why she was the First Lady of Wrestling.
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