Candi Devine Preserving Her Memory and Legacy
By Heidi Waters
Pro wrestling legend Candi Devine passed away on February 9th, 2022, at the age of 63. Candi had a legendary career and was a multiple AWA and NWA Women’s World Champion. She had feuded with Debbie Combs, WWE Hall of Fame Inductee Sherri Martel, and Diane Von Hoffman. Prior to her passing international award-winning filmmaker Christopher Annino was going to include her in his documentary “Circle of Champions the History of Women’s Pro Wrestling” Annino had gotten a pre-interview with Candi as they were going over questions almost a month prior to her passing.
“Candi Devine was a true friend. When her health was failing, she would always go out of her way to check in on me. The New England Music Hall of Fame was going to invite her up to New Jersey for 80s Wrestle Con on May 7th. The goal was to reunite her with Susan Tex Green, Toni Rose, and WWE Hall of Fame Inductee Madusa, aka Alundra Blaze. I miss our talks; she was such a kind individual; the world lost a great person. We are dedicating the film to her,” said International filmmaker Christopher Annino.
Who did you enjoy going against?
Candi Devine: “There were a few of the ladies I wish I could have worked with more. I always loved working with Madusa her, and I had some great matches. I look forward to seeing her when I go to New Jersey; and I enjoyed Magnificent Mimi, and of course, Sherri and I had a blast in the ring. One match I really enjoyed was my match vs. Wendi Richter. I had a lot of respect for Wendi; she was a true professional inside and out of the ring, and Susan Tex Green I always had great matches with too.”
What was it like road?
Candi Devine: “Well, it wasn’t too bad I really enjoyed it, especially later on. I became good friends with Marty Jannetty because I was told to keep an eye on him and Shawn Michaels (laughs); those two would get into mischief. Mary and I later became dear friends, and we talk on the phone all the time. I’m like his big sister.”
How did you get started in the business?
Candi Devine: “I was friends with Randy Savage and Leaping Lanny Poffo I originally became the valet for ICW. I would also help with marketing and promoting. Basically, I was a ring girl; my duties were to escort the wrestlers to the ring and help them with their robes. I really enjoyed it and wanted to learn to become a wrestler, so I went to wrestling school Don Fargo (and) Joey Rossi taught me well. They beat the hell out of me to discourage me not to do it, but I survived.”
What wrestler inspires you?
Candi Devine: “Ric Flair, of course, styling, and profiling. I use to fashion my robes after him. I had a tremendous deal of respect for him. He was and still is an amazing wrestler.”
How did your wrestling career begin?
Candi Devine: “My first match was in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, at the National Guard Armory. I sent pictures and my resume out for a year. I then worked with South West wrestling and was the first girl ever to work against Moolah’s girls that didn’t train with Moolah. From there, I worked with Princess Victoria and Velvet McIntyre in some tag matches; then I was called up by Vern Gagne to come up to AWA.”
What were some of the best feuds?
Candi Devine: “Had a few against Judy Martin, but primarily Sherri Martel and I would have main event bouts on ESPN when back in those days it was unheard of. See Sherri, and I were divas before there was a WWE; we dressed up more than the other girls, and we put make-up on. But, like I said, I always had to be Ric Flair and be stylin and profiling.
What are your views on Pro Wrestling in the 21st century?
Candi Devine: “Wrestling now has changed before; they looked good and could work nowadays; they just look really good but can’t work. We had the technique and could carry a match and make it entertaining.”
What do you miss about pro wrestling full time?
Candi Devine: “Being the AWA women’s Champion four times felt fantastic I was on top of the world. And being around the people involved, we were like a family; the Road Warriors and Nick Bockwinkel were all nice people. I went shopping in the mall of the Americas in Manitoba with Nick Bockwinkel I bought a pink leather dress suit. I remember I went to work for Dino Bravo in Canada.
Dino nicknamed me the American brat because of my love for shopping. I remember hanging out with Andre the Giant at a place called the Stockyards in Nashville, Tennessee; he would order cases of wine. He could eat and drink more than anyone I have ever known. But he was a gentle giant and very intelligent. I guess I miss the traveling I met a lot of great friends.”
Heidi Waters is from Woonsocket, RI, and has a huge fondness of music, especially from New England. She is recently widowed and enjoys the Boston Celtics. She is originally from Bangor, Maine, and went to an all-girls school where she excelled in English literature. Heidi writes for the New England Music Hall of Fame