Every week, SLAM! Wrestling gets another email from someone claiming to be somebody’s ‘Number One Fan’.

But, to these eyes, the Number One Fan of all time is Ma Pickles.

Who, the youngsters ask?

Ma Pickles with Ilio DiPaolo. Courtesy Terry Dart.

The late Ma Pickles of London, Ontario was the greatest fan of Canadian pro wrestling ever.

From 1942 to the mid-80s, she faithfully attended pro wrestling in London. She always sat in the front row, right on the aisle where the wrestlers entered the ring. Villains in particular were in danger from her hat pins and her umbrella. And sometimes itching powder!

“She really loved wrestling,” said Sweet Daddy Siki in an interview with SLAM! Wrestling. “She was one of the best.”

Siki recalled while laughing how Ma would always pat him on the back.

The heels would love to bait her on, but “she never got mad” and “always had an answer for them.”

After her death, Jim Cressmen wrote in the London Free Press:

“At 4’10”, she barely rose to the knees of the wrestling giants, but they all took time to bow to London’s First Lady of The Mat.

Today, they pay their last respects.”

Ma Pickles died at 96 on January 26, 1989 in Port Stanley, Ontario.

And now, she becomes the first fan in our Canadian Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame.


Ma was the main attraction in London wrestling matches for years and anyone who saw Ma in action would agree. My favorite Ma moment occurred in the early 70’s. Ma came after Chris Tolos, climbing into the ring and hitting Tolos square in the middle of his back with her shoe, and snapping the heel from her shoe in the process. Ma, being a stylish woman in her own way, couldn’t let this shoe mishap spoil her evening. She proceeded to pick up her broken shoe, leave the ring, go back to her seat, take off her other shoe, go back into the ring, hit Tolos with her other shoe, snapping the other heel in the same fashion as the first; all at the same time the entire London Garden’s full house was yelling go get em’ Ma.
Morley Chertkoff