In the history of women’s wrestling, there are only several participants who paved the way
for all the rest. June Byers was one of them. Along with Mildred Burke, Byers was one of
the first few women’s champions. She married renown television commentator and wrestler
Sam Menacker in 1957.
She began her career in the 1940s and followed Burke around the country as the second
leading active female professional wrestler. It was apparent that it was just time before she
was holding the World Championship Belt. Byers won a World Title Tournament in
Baltimore during June 1953. She participated in a controversial bout with Burke on August
20, 1954 in Atlanta. According to one source, the state athletic commission stopped the
bout and stripped Burke of her championship. In turn, it awarded the prize to Byers. She
appeared as the World’s Champion on Friday, March 22, 1957 against Penny Banner in St.
Louis. The Kiel Auditorium match under Promoter, Sam Muchnick, Byers beat Banner in 34:
39 by pinfall. Byers retired from the mat game in January 1964.
Mrs. Byers died on July 20, 1998 in Houston at the age of 76, at her home.
Research by Tim Hornbaker
|June Byers Wrestling History
Legends of Pro Wrestling