Laura Hummel: wrestling manager still has fight in her

DOWNEY - Laura Hummel had a distinguished and exciting career in her role as a professional manager on the Southern California wrestling circuit. "In a profession composed of colorful characters and wild nicknames, I used the catchy name of Luscious Laura for my entire career,'' smiled Hummel.

She was born in Cordoba, Argentina to a Swiss father and Argentine mother. She moved to Merida, Mexico located in the Yucatan Peninsula at the age of 8.

Hummel first viewed wrestling on television from Buenos Aires and Mexico City in the late l970s and l980s.

"I also vaguely remember watching some wrestling from the United States but really loved Mexican wrestlers such as Perro Aguayo and Mil Mascaras. I admired Perro the most for his blood and guts style,'' stated the luscious one.

Hummel attended wrestling matches at the major arenas in Merida during the late l980s and enjoyed the action.

"I sporadically attended matches at the Poliforum Zomna arena and somehow got talked into participating as a valet for a few small promotions in Merida in l988 and l989," she remembers. "I never expected to work as a manager in pro wrestling nor for that matter did I ever expect to move to the United States."

Hummel relocated to the United States in l992 and lived in various Southern California cities until she settled in Downey in early l996.

"Some years after living in Southern California, I was introduced to local pro wrestler Alex Knight by a mutual friend. Knight, a former WWF and AWA grappler, encouraged me to attend wrestling matches in the Los Angeles area which I finally did in l995,'' Hummel explained.

She was intrigued by the wrestling and decided since she knew someone (Knight) already in the game, it would become easier to get her foot in the door in the mysterious sport.

Knight began training Hummel, who decided to become a villain manager rather than a wrestler for many different reasons.

"A manager helps scout opponents, look for their strengths and weaknesses, discuss strategy and, above all, does whatever it takes to help your wrestler win the match. There's a lot of enjoyment but it does take a tremendous amount of work and luck to succeed,'' said Hummel.

She began working matches on the lucha libre Mexican circuit primarily at the All-Nations Arena in Los Angeles during the early part of l996.

''I moved up the ladder by working for the AIWA promotion in July or August of l996. I was 'placed' to work with the masked luchador Galeno since both of us spoke Spanish and the promoter felt we would make a good combination,'' she explained.

Galeno won a taped-fist title in Cudahy and Laura later worked with veteran wrestlers Leopardo Negro and Rosa Salvaje.

"I still have a wrestling flyer dated Aug. 23, l996 that advertised Galeno's first taped-fist title defense and my name appeared in the paper. I also have a La Opinion newspaper dated Sept. l3, l996 with a photo of wrestler Piloto Nuclear and myself in the sports page,'' said Hummel.

Ms. Laura's first major champion was Beautiful Jack Stud who had previously been managed by her rival Johnny Legend.

"Stud was a very good AIWA singles champ and he had won the title prior to me working with him," said Hummel. "I began working with him in late l996 and he held the title throughout much of l997 until he left the promotion."

The next champion that the "luscious one" managed was the hockey-masked Jason The Strong. Jason won the AIWA singles title on Sept. l2, l998 in Santa Ana.

"Jason was extremely tough, durable and in a lot of cases had a desire to strictly hurt his opponents," smiled Hummel. "We worked as a team for various promotions in the Los Angeles area."

She also managed other wrestlers such as the Ballard brothers (when they wrestled for the AIWA promotion), Hood, Desperado Mark Kissell, Medic, Pink Butterfly (a very good female wrestler), El Mongo, Tech 9, Rock Wilder, Super Chicano, Bad Boy Bubba Storm, U.K. Kid and Hop Sing Lee in her 12-year career.

"The Ballard brothers wrestled for a lot of promotions throughout the United States and are one of the best tag teams that I ever saw wrestle. The brothers are agile, acrobatic, great talkers on the microphone and above all both have great wrestling skills,'' she said.

Hummel worked matches in indoor areas, gyms and at a lot of street fairs.

"At many of the street fairs, we worked three or four days in a row and I sometimes managed 6-8 times during the events," she remembered. "The matches at the festivals took place mornings, afternoons and evenings."

The luscious one received the Independent Insider newsletter's Manager of the Year Award for l996 and the coveted International Royal Manager of the Year Award from Nigeria, Africa for 2002.

During her career, Laura wrote a column for five wrestling newsletters, represented the AIWA promotion in a number of parades, participated in three well-publicized arm wrestling contests and met a lot of well known people.

"I had the privilege of meeting pro wrestling greats such as Mr. Perfect (Curt Hennig), Terry Funk, Fabulous Moolah, Mae Young, boxing champs Mike Weaver, Mike Quarry, Bobby Chacon, Paul Gonzalez, Michael Moorer, former baseball players Bobby Castillo, Jay Johnstone, Blue Moon Odom, Derrel Thomas, Rudy Law and actors Matt Burch (Operation Repo) and Mario Lopez,'' noted Hummel.

In all her years, Hummel has frequently been asked the following question: How does one break into pro wrestling?

"The simple answer is to first get an education, get a day job and then go to a well known wrestling school to train," answered Hummel. "There are only a limited number of jobs in the two big league promotions the WWE and TNA."

Hummel - who once was rated as high as No. 7 in the world for female managers alongside WWE talent such as Sable, Torri Runnels, Elizabeth, Sunny and Chyna, all household names to hardcore wrestling fans - has no regrets about her career choice.

"I had a great time in the sport, received a lot of publicity, received tons of fan mail and was always allowed the freedom to take my own style as a manager," she said. "I have no regrets.'

Hummel last worked a match in 2008 but does not consider herself retired.

"No, I'm not retired and would like to work at least a match or more in the near future," grinned the luscious one. "I am ready to rock and roll."

********** Published: May 24, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 06