Over the last 25-30 years pro wrestling has evolved from being portrayed as a legitimate and serious sport to becoming another form of entertainment-sports entertainment. One of the biggest changes has been the role of the fan and their interaction with the wrestlers. Wrestling events are bright and loud. There are pyrotechnics and theme music. The fans are encouraged to make signs, chant catchphrases, and wear the merchandise of their favorite wrestlers.
However, there was a time when the fans were literally left in the dark. The lights were focused squarely on the ring. While the fans were heard, their interaction was frowned upon. Occasionally an overzealous fan would rush the ring only to be escorted away by the event security or police. Sometimes, a fan would get too close to the wrestlers and might find themselves on the receiving end of a fist or boot-or worse. During this era, one fan in the Northeast stood out amongst the darkness. She was known by all as "Mrs. Krieger"-Georgette Krieger.
If you attended wrestling shows in the Northeast cities of Baltimore, Washington D.C., and New York in the 70's and early 80's you couldn't miss this little old lady. Not much is known about Georgette except that she was born in 1899 and lived in the southeast section Baltimore known as Canton. She regularly attended shows at the Civic Center, and would travel to Madison Square Garden for the monthly big event. Georgette always sat ringside where two things were constant; she loved the babyface wrestlers, especially adoring Bruno Sammartino, and she would boo the heels unmercifully. In the days before barricades, Georgette would pound the mat from the outside of the ring; thumb her nose, and occasionally would give a (clothed) moon to show her displeasure when the heels had the upper hand in a match. She was such a regular spectacle that others fans thought she was planted by promoters. This was not the case. She was a fiery old lady that loved her WWWF/WWF wrestling. Georgette was loved by the fans and even the wrestlers themselves-especially the heels.
Vince McMahon then a commentator would occasionally acknowledge her presence at events. Wrestlers even remember stories about her. Stan Stasiak recalls one December show in the mid 70's where Georgette was heckling him severely. He turned around got right in her face and yelled in her native French, "Ferme ta gueule et joyeux Noel!" which when translated means, “Shut your yap and Merry Christmas!" Other wrestlers were not as affectionate. At a show at the Capital Center on October 17th, 1981, Angelo "King Kong" Mosca was wrestling Tony Garea. During the match Mosca was drop kicked out of the ring, landing right in front of Georgette. As he was getting up she pointed her cane toward him and started yelling. He grabbed her cane, causing her to fall back to her seat. He then proceeded to break it over his knee, and then went on to use a piece as a foreign object before getting the pin fall. Later, Mosca was told by other wrestlers, that Georgette was using a sawed off Washington Capitals hockey stick to walk (given to her by the arena staff). The other wrestlers made sure that Mosca understood that they were NOT happy with his method of gaining heat. Mrs. Krieger's cane was soon replaced by an "anonymous donor".
Georgette Krieger was a super fan way before they existed. She was named wrestling's all-time number one fan and was honored by the WWWF with an in-ring ceremony featuring Andre the Giant in 1979. She passed away in January of 1982 at the age of 82.
By John Volino
As unique content strictly for the Professional Wrestling Historical Society