We are saddened to report that former AWA Women’s Champion Candi Devine has passed away. She was 63.
Candace Rummel was born on New Year’s Day in 1959. She and her sister Rose were huge wrestling fans and sought careers in the ring. The sweetheart from Nashville, Tennesse, got her first role in the business by running Lanny Poffo’s fan club. She was occasionally used as a ring girl for International Championship Wrestling in Kentucky while she trained.
Devine soon broke out on her own. She would compete across North America, winning championships in most places that she visited. Devine made a name for herself as a rival to Moondog Fifi.
Her career was almost cut short due to a freak in-ring accident. She and Amy Monroe’s heads collided during a botched throw attempt. Devine’s injuries required plastic surgery to fix. Her long recovery time made her fear that she would never return to the ring. She disproved all who doubted her, including herself, by coming back stronger than before.
Former AWA Women’s Champion Candi Devine passes away
Devine is best remembered for her feud with Sherri Martel. The pair first collided soon after Devine joined the American Wrestling Alliance in 1985. The duo would spend years battling each other. Their war would spill over into Wild West Wrestling. When Martel moved on, Devine still had plenty of competition to face in the AWA. She battled the likes of Madusa (WWF’s Alundra Blayze), Judi Martin and Wendi Richter.
Whether it was in singles or mixed tag team matches, no woman could make it to the top without making an enemy out of Devine. She would hold the Women’s Championship a record four times. She also has the honor of being the final holder of the title.
When the AWA closed down, she had yet another career resurgence. She was in high demand with the sudden boom in women’s only promotions. She would be a dominant force in Ladies Professional Wrestling Association, and Women’s Pro Wrestling, competing as “The Goddess”.
Devine competed at Universal Wrestling Federation’s only pay-per-view. It would be Rockin’ Robin who became the first holder of the title that night. While Devine spread her interests across multiple promotions, she did not forget about the belt. She would get the title in 1994 by defeated Tina Moretti (WWF’s Ivory).
She never officially retired. While she stopped competing full time in 1995, she occasionally returned to test out up-and-coming stars. Most of these matches would be for online women-only promotions, like LadySports and Slammin Ladies.
She was inducted into the Cauliflower Alley Club Hall of Fame in 1994.
Devine had been working as a physical trainer in her native Nashville. She made a non-wrestling appearance on Divorce Court when she legitimately sued ex-boyfriend Tom Burton in 2009. She suffered a collapsed lung last year and had been dealing with complications since.
Our thoughts and prayers are with former AWA Women’s Champion Candace and her family during this difficult time.
“Another sad day in the world of wrestling as we learn Candi Divine has passed away. We send our sincerest condolences to her family, friends, and fans the world over. May they find comfort in the wonderful memories left behind during this most difficult time. R.I.P. Candi.” – Cauliflower Alley Club
Another sad day in the world of wrestling as we learn Candi Divine has passed away. We send our sincerest condolences to her family, friends and fans the world over. May they find comfort in the wonderful memories left behind during this most difficult time. R.I.P. Candi. pic.twitter.com/E6n9YyKQsz— CauliflowerAlleyClub (@CACReunion) February 9, 2022
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