Friday, March 9, 2012

Miss Elizabeth

Elizabeth Ann Hulette (November 19, 1960 – May 1, 2003), best known as Miss Elizabeth, was an American professional wrestling manager. She gained international fame from the mid-1980s to the early 1990s in the World Wrestling Federation, and the mid-1990s in World Championship Wrestling in her role as the manager to wrestler "Macho Man" Randy Savage. She died as a result of a drug and alcohol overdose on May 1, 2003 in the home she shared with wrestler Lex Luger.

While working at International Championship Wrestling shows, Hulette met Randall Poffo, a professional wrestler with the stage name "Macho Man" Randy Savage. They eventually married in December 1984.

In late 1985, the WWF did an angle (a fictional storyline) in which all the managers in the promotion were competing to offer their services to Randy Savage. During a match on July 30, 1985, several managers were at ringside in hopes that he would name one of them as his new manager. After the match, Savage thanked the managers for their consideration and then asked that his new manager come to ringside. An attractive, unnamed woman then came down to the ring, and announcer Bruno Sammartino remarked, "She must be some sort of movie star," referring to her glamourous sex appeal. It was later revealed that her name was Miss Elizabeth. Elizabeth's WWF debut aired on the August 24, 1985, edition of WWF Prime Time Wrestling. From that point on, she was the manager of Randy Savage.

Following WrestleMania V, Savage replaced Miss Elizabeth in favor of Sensational Sherri.

For the remainder of 1989, Elizabeth's appearances were very sporadic. Elizabeth appeared at the 1989 SummerSlam, managing Hogan and Brutus Beefcake as they headlined the show against Savage and Zeus (who appeared with Sensational Sherri); Elizabeth, who rarely became physical with other wrestlers beforehand, tripped Sherri during a critical point in the match. Elizabeth also appeared at a few matches managing Hogan in matches against Savage. Elizabeth also briefly co-hosted WWF Wrestling Spotlight with Vince McMahon.

Miss Elizabeth disappeared from WWF television until WrestleMania VII, when Savage lost a retirement match to The Ultimate Warrior. Upon his loss, Sherri began beating and kicking the defeated man until Elizabeth, who was sitting at ringside, entered the ring and defended Savage. Elizabeth grabbed Sherri by the hair and threw her out of the ring, reuniting Savage and Elizabeth. Macho Man punctuated the reunion by holding down the ropes for Elizabeth after years of her doing it for him.

The couple then held a heavily promoted on-air wedding billed as "The Match Made in Heaven" at SummerSlam 1991 in New York's Madison Square Garden (the couple were officially married on December 30, 1984). At the wedding reception, Elizabeth opened a gift package containing a live snake, which frightened her; newly-turned-heel Jake "The Snake" Roberts and The Undertaker crashed the reception and attacked Savage. This started a feud between Roberts and Savage, where Elizabeth quickly figured prominently. The first high-profile Savage-Roberts match was at the Tuesday in Texas pay-per-view event, where, after Savage gained a pinfall victory, Roberts beat down Savage, then forced Elizabeth to beg him to stop the beating. Apparently dissatisfied with her begging, Roberts grabbed her by the hair and slapped her across her face. On the February 8, 1992 edition of Saturday Night's Main Event, Roberts, with a steel chair in tow, was waiting in the backstage area for Elizabeth and Savage to come through the curtain after a match. Roberts was about to strike Elizabeth with the chair, but Undertaker stopped him. This started Undertaker's feud with his former ally.

Shortly after Elizabeth's final WWF appearance, she and Savage divorced. After the decree was finalized late that summer, Savage issued a statement that was printed in WWF Magazine revealing that he and Elizabeth were no longer together, and thanking the fans for their support through the years. The publication of Savage's statement marked, at the time, a rare acknowledgement of the wrestlers' private lives for both the WWF and its flagship publication. Savage continued with the WWF for two more years, and except for the statement in WWF Magazine, his divorce from Elizabeth was neither referred to nor figured into any of Savage's future feuds.

Between her WWF and WCW stints, Elizabeth worked briefly for ESPN as a commentator for Speedboat racing events.

Elizabeth briefly married Cary Lubetsky, a South Florida attorney, on December 6, 1997. The wedding was held at the Cuban Hebrew Temple in Miami Beach. The marriage was short-lived, as the couple soon separated and were officially divorced on April 19, 1999.

On the January 4 episode of Nitro, Elizabeth was seen talking to police detectives. According to the storyline, she claimed that Bill Goldberg was stalking her and that he even accosted her by the water cooler. She then filed charges against Goldberg. Goldberg was arrested later that night for aggravated stalking and taken into custody by police. However, later that night, Elizabeth admitted that she was lying. As it turned out, Elizabeth was a pawn for the nWo so that Goldberg would be unable to have his scheduled title match with Kevin Nash later that night. Due to Goldberg's apparent absence, the returning Hulk Hogan took Goldberg's title shot in the match that became known as "The Fingerpoke of Doom". Soon after, Elizabeth accompanied Lex Luger, and sometimes Kevin Nash, to ringside. However, Luger injured his biceps at a February 1999 house show and they soon took time off the road.

In February, Elizabeth managed the short-lived partnership between Luger and Ric Flair. The three of them were known as Team Package. The trio's main goal was to take down Hulk Hogan, whom Luger had been publicly challenging to a match during the previous few weeks. Hogan made his return to WCW during the February 2 edition of WCW Thunder, and while his back was turned during an interview segment, Elizabeth came into the ring, baseball bat raised. However, Hogan quickly turned around and easily out-muscled the bat from her possession. As a receipt for her dastardly act, and in a throwback to his attacks on Sensational Sherri in the World Wrestling Federation, Hogan picked up Liz and held her up high in the air and delivered his patented atomic drop. However, Elizabeth no-sold the maneuver and quickly rolled out of the ring. Later that week, Hogan called into Bubba the Love Sponge's radio show to discuss his program with Luger, not to mention Elizabeth no-selling his atomic drop maneuver on the previous edition of Thunder. Hogan claimed that Elizabeth refused to take a bigger bump because she wasn't wearing any panties underneath her skirt. Shortly thereafter, Team Package went their separate ways as they fought various members of The New Blood. Elizabeth engaged in short-lived feuds with Vince Russo and Kimberly Page. On May 8, 2000, Elizabeth wrestled in her first official match against Daffney. She then competed in matches against Rhonda Singh and Madusa.

WCW released Elizabeth from her contract on August 17, 2000.

At the 2011 Comic Con, the Mattel toy company announced a voting poll for fans to decide the next five figures to be made in their Wrestling Legends series. On August 14, 2011 before SummerSlam, Mattel had wrestling personality Jimmy "Mouth of the South" Hart announce that Miss Elizabeth was one of the five winners (along with King Kong Bundy, Diamond Dallas Page, Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard.) To date there have only been two figures released of Miss Elizabeth. The first was from the original WWF series released in 1987 by LJN. The next was in the Power & Beauty set featuring an nWo version of her and Macho Man Randy Savage released in 1998 by Toy Biz.

Despite being let go by WCW, Elizabeth and Luger stayed together as a couple. Friends of Elizabeth said the two were planning to get married sometime in 2003. After her departure from wrestling, Hulette began working at the front desk at Main Event Fitness in Marietta, Georgia, a gym that Luger had owned for years after he and Steve Borden opened it during their wrestling heyday.

Elizabeth was advertised to make her first wrestling appearance since her departure from WCW during the World Wrestling All-Stars tour of Europe in November 2002 and December 2002 alongside Luger. She accompanied Luger on the tour overseas, but didn't appear on a single show. Elizabeth never made another wrestling appearance on television after her release from WCW. Luger ended up winning and losing the WWA World Heavyweight Championship in matches with Sting during the tour.

On April 19, 2003, Elizabeth was involved in a domestic dispute with Luger, who allegedly struck her in the garage of their townhouse in Marietta, Georgia. Cobb County police found Elizabeth with two bruised eyes, a bump on her head, and a cut lip. Luger was charged with a misdemeanor count of battery and released on $2,500 bond. Two days later on April 21, Luger was arrested for driving under the influence after rear-ending another car while driving his Porsche. According to the report on the arrest, Luger had slurred speech and bloodshot eyes and could not locate his driver's license. Luger had a 9-mm handgun in the car. Elizabeth was a passenger in the vehicle, and was sent home in a taxicab. Luger was also driving with a suspended license for not appearing in court on March 5, 2003, for a hearing on a previous offense – driving with expired tags and having no proof of vehicle insurance.

On May 1, 2003, in Marietta, Georgia, Luger called 9-1-1 from his second home he was hiding from his wife and sharing with Elizabeth, reporting that she was not breathing. She did not respond to mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, and paramedics rushed her to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Elizabeth was 42. Luger's phone call was later aired on an episode of WWE Confidential.

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