Sing as Bertha Faye in 1995
|Birth name||Rhonda Ann Sing|
|Born||February 21, 1961|
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
|Died||July 27, 2001 (aged 40)|
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
|Cause of death||Myocardial infarction|
|Professional wrestling career|
|Billed height||5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)|
|Billed weight||260 lb (120 kg; 19 st)|
|Billed from||Walls, Mississippi (as Bertha Faye)|
|Trained by||Mildred Burke|
Rhonda Ann Sing (February 21, 1961 – July 27, 2001) was a Canadian professional wrestler. After training with Mildred Burke, she wrestled in Japan under the name Monster Ripper. In 1987, she returned to Canada and began working with Stampede Wrestling, where she was their first Stampede Women's Champion. In 1995, she worked in the World Wrestling Federation as the comedic character Bertha Faye, winning the WWF Women's Championship. She also wrestled in World Championship Wrestling to help generate interest in their women's division.
Professional wrestling career
While growing up in Calgary, Sing attended numerous Stampede Wrestling events with her mother. She knew she wanted to be a wrestler from a young age and frequently beat up the neighborhood children. As a teenager, Sing approached members of the Hart wrestling family and asked to be trained, but she was rejected as they did not train women wrestlers at the time. Bret Hart, however, claims it had more to do with scheduling conflicts. During a trip to Hawaii in 1978, she saw Japanese women's wrestling on television and decided she wanted to pursue the sport. She later wrote to Mildred Burke, after a friend gave her a magazine with Burke's contact information, and sent her a biography and photo. Shortly thereafter, she joined Burke's training facility in Encino, California.
Japan, Canada, and Puerto Rico (1979–1995)
After a few weeks of training with Burke, Sing was scouted by All Japan Women (AJW), despite her inexperience. Sing's debut match in Japan was a tag team match with partner Mami Kumano, defeating the Beauty Pair (Jackie Sato and Maki Ueda) in January 1979. In Japan, she began wrestling under the name Monster Ripper. Although she found adjusting to the Japanese culture difficult, Sing held AJW's title on two occasions and was the first Calgary born wrestler to gain success in Japan. During her time in the company, the Japanese female wrestlers gave her a hard time because they did not like losing to foreigners. Sing also had difficulty because of her youth and inexperience in the ring. Sing, however, was comforted by New Japan Pro Wrestling's Dynamite Kid, who had also trained in Calgary. Sing won the WWWA World Single Championship from Jackie Sato on July 31, 1979. Despite losing the title to Sato six weeks later, she regained it on March 15, 1980. The title was vacated in August 1980.
After another stint in Japan, Sing returned to Stampede Wrestling in late 1987 and was renamed Rhonda Singh by Stu Hart, the owner of the company. There were plans to pair her with Gama Singh, but they never came to fruition. During 1987, she was named their first Women's Champion because she had defeated Wendi Richter prior to returning to Stampede. She held the title until September 22, 1988, when she lost to Chigusa Nagayo.
Over the next few years, Sing once again traveled throughout the world and wrestled for a number of companies, holding several titles. Between 1987 and 1990, Sing worked in Puerto Rico for the World Wrestling Council (WWC), where she held the WWC Women's Championship on five separate occasions by defeating Wendi Richter, Candi Devine, and Sasha in matches for the title. . As Monster Ripper on the WWC 18th Anniversary Show (July 6, '91), she faced and beat El Profe on a woman vs man match.
World Wrestling Federation (1995–1996)
In 1995, Sing was contacted by the World Wrestling Federation to help their ailing women's division. She, however, was repackaged as Bertha Faye, a comedic character who lived in a trailer park and dated Harvey Wippleman. (in an OWW radio interview Wippleman revealed that the two never got along well) WWF management originally wanted her to have an on-screen feud with Bull Nakano, but there was a change of plans after Nakano was charged with cocaine possession.
Sing made her WWF debut on the April 3, 1995 episode of Monday Night Raw participating in a sneak attack on Alundra Blayze, making it appear as if Blayze's nose had been broken. At SummerSlam, Faye defeated Blayze for the WWF Women's Championship and held the title until the October 23, 1995 airing of Monday Night Raw, where Blayze regained the title, ending Faye's reign at only 57 days.
Fan interest in women's wrestling sunk once again as the year closed, and Sing tired of working there. Moreover, Faye was frustrated with her gimmick. WWF management asked her not to perform the same power moves as the male wrestlers, so instead, Faye was forced to act as comic relief. After a year with the company, Sing asked for a release from her contract. She briefly returned to Japan, but did not like the new system, which did not guarantee payouts.
World Championship Wrestling (1999–2000)
In late 1999, she worked with World Championship Wrestling (WCW) briefly, appearing on several telecasts to help generate interest in a women's division. She was also a contender for both the WCW Cruiserweight Championship and WCW Hardcore Championship. In addition to competing in matches using her Singh and Monster Ripper gimmicks, she also made a couple of appearances with the Nitro Girls dance troupe under the name "Beef", for comic relief.
After leaving WCW, Sing took a break from wrestling. In 2001, she worked as a caregiver to the handicapped. On July 27, 2001, Sing died from a heart attack at the age of 40. Bruno Lauer disputes her cause of death in an interview with Online World of Wrestling Radio where he states that, "she took herself out." She never married or had children.
Championships and accomplishments
- Posthumous Award (2003)
- "Rhonda Singh profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-09-11.
- Laroche, Stephen (January 9, 2001). "SLAM! Wrestling Canadian Hall of Fame: Rhonda Sing / Monster Ripper". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-08-23.
- Wood, Michael (August 9, 2001). "Mourners salute Sing". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-11-05.
- Shields, Brian; Sullivan, Kevin (2009). WWE Encyclopedia. Dorling Kindersley. p. 26. ISBN 978-0-7566-4190-0.
- Wood, Michael (August 4, 2001). "Mourners salute Sing". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-11-05.
- Hart, Bret (August 4, 2001). "Singh earned much respect within wrestling circles". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-08-22.
- "Bertha Faye".
- "Bertha Faye's reign". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2008-08-22.
- McAvennie, Mike (February 15, 2007). "List This #9: Harvey's whipped". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2008-09-23.
- Wade (December 13, 1999). "WCW Monday Nitro - December 13, 1999". DDT Digest. Retrieved 2008-08-18.
- Big Mike (July 10, 2000). "WCW Monday Nitro - 07/10/2000". DDT Digest. Retrieved 2008-08-18.
- Muchnick, Irvin (2007). Wrestling Babylon: Piledriving Tales of Drugs, Sex, Death, and Scandal. ECW Press. p. 148. ISBN 1-55022-761-0.
- Gallipoli, Thomas M. (February 22, 2008). "List of Deceased Wrestlers for 2001: Johnny Valentine, Terry Gordy, Chris Adams, Bertha Faye, Helen Hart". PWTorch. Retrieved 2008-08-23.
- Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). "MEXICO: WWA Tag Team Title". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. p. 401. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rhonda Ann Sing.|
- Rhonda Sing on IMDb
- Rhonda “Bertha Faye” Singh at Find a Grave
- Rhonda Sing's profile at Cagematch.net, Wrestlingdata.com, Internet Wrestling Database