WRESTLING HERITAGE

V: Paula Valdez

Paula Valdez


Princess Paula

The world loved Paula Valdez. From the days she was one of the greats of female wrestlers until the time she managed Fit Finlay, instructing him in that very dogmatic way that is the hallmark of a Lancashire woman. Oh, how we enjoyed watching her.


Mancunian Paula had it all – the looks, the personality and she could wrestle too. In the early 1970s she was a favourite of the rings in cracking bouts with the likes of Mitzi Mueller, Tracey Kemp and Klondyke Kate. Paula usually wrestled as a blue-eye, but Howard M has a different memory, "I once saw Paula wrestle Klondyke Kate at the Wirrina in Peterborough and she was so brutal she pretty much turned the usual monster heel, Kate, into the crowd favourite. Paula spoke to some of the fans after the show and was very amiable and charming."


Wrestler Eddie Rose told us: “Paula was a lovely girl and came from my part of Manchester, even the same school in Gorton, although at different times. She wrestled as Paula Valdez and a lovely old MC, Harold Holt, was so besotted by her that he changed his name by deed poll to Harold Valdez. Paula worked with all the women wrestlers of her day especially with Mitzi Mueller with whom she had some very good bouts.”


Yet one successful career was about to follow another. Following her marriage to Dave Finlay Paula assumed a new identity of Princess Paula, the manager of her husband. As manager hers was not to be a quiet, unassuming role. Dressed in a native American costume she would she would accompany her husband to the ring, scowl at the fans, rebuke her charge for any shortcomings she perceived and address the audience with microphone skills rarely heard. SaxonWolf recalled, “I remember the first time I saw her slap Dave Finlay across the face after he messed up and lost a fall, or something like that, she looked like she gave him a real smack!” 


Make no mistake, when Paula was in the ring she was the boss.


When wrestling finally left the tv screens in 1988 Paula continued to tour around the halls with Finlay but with no television she also had time to revert back to her love of wrestling and again began to wrestle more than she had done in previous years.


Following their divorce Paula shortly left the wrestling business and returned to live in Manchester.


Paula Valdez died on Thursday 5th December 2013. She will always be remembered by the wrestling fans as one of the best managers and female wrestlers in the business.


Paula Valdez was inducted into the British Wrestlers Reunion Hall of Fame in August 2016.


Page added 10/07/2022