Penny Banner
American wrestler
Penny Banner
Mary Ann Kostecki, better know by her stage name Penny Banner, was a professional wrestler. She was best known for her time spent in the American Wrestling Association. She was also the Commissioner of the Professional Girl Wrestling Association (PGWA) from 1992 until her death.
Penny Banner's personal information overview.
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  • 2008
    Age 73
    She died in her sleep at the home of her daughter, Wendi, in Charlotte, North Carolina on May 12, 2008.
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  • 2007
    Age 72
    In late 2007, Banner suffered several health crises, including pneumonia, resulting in severe weight loss.
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  • 2005
    Age 70
    In late 2005, Banner was diagnosed with cancer.
    More Details Hide Details In February 2006, the cancer had shrunk considerably after a doctor's check-up.
    Also in 2005, she was featured in the documentary film Lipstick & Dynamite.
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    Banner's autobiography, Banner Days was completed 2005.
    More Details Hide Details The book took her three years to write.
  • 1994
    Age 59
    She was married to Johnny Weaver for 35 years before divorcing him in 1994.
    More Details Hide Details She had one child, a daughter named Wendi, whom she was pregnant with in 1959.
    She appeared at Slamboree 1994 with other wrestling Legends.
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  • 1992
    Age 57
    She also served as the Commissioner of the Professional Girl Wrestling Association from 1992 until her death.
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  • 1990
    Age 55
    In 1990, she was diagnosed with emphysema and began swimming competitively to quit her smoking.
    More Details Hide Details She competed in the Senior Olympics doing swimming plus the shot put and discus throws.
  • 1977
    Age 42
    During her career, Banner had her nosed ripped up and her elbow dislocated. Banner claimed that she retired in 1977 after June Byers, who owned the NWA Women's Championship, retired because of a car accident, and that Moolah had corned much of the national women's wrestling scene with her trainees and herself, which left Banner with nobody to wrestle in the Carolinas.
    More Details Hide Details In her last twenty years of wrestling, Banner was only defeated twice: once by Moolah and once by Belle Start, both of whom used the ropes for leverage while pinning Banner. After retiring from the ring, Banner worked as a real-estate agent, worked in a rodeo, was the president of a local 4H, and began showing horses.
  • 1961
    Age 26
    She was then booked into a match with Byers in Indiana for the newly formed American Wrestling Alliance (AWA) in August 1961, but Byers no-showed.
    More Details Hide Details Instead of their scheduled match, the AWA booked a battle royal, which Banner won to become the first AWA Women's Champion. She vacated the title when she moved to North Carolina with her husband and child.
  • 1959
    Age 24
    In 1959, a match with NWA Champion June Byers, which ended in a draw, although Byers had consistently beat her in matches for three years prior.
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  • 1956
    Age 21
    She held many titles in her career, including the NWA Women's World Tag Team Championship three times between 1956 and 1960 and the AWA World Women's Champion in 1961.
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  • 1934
    Born on August 11, 1934.
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