PFB - WWE’s First Female Ring Announcer Was an Oklahoma State Graduate

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Greenhorn
Feb 17, 2018
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WrestleMania is the biggest event of the year for WWE, and it takes place this weekend in Tampa, Florida. As the opportunity arises, I always like to connect unique stories to Oklahoma State, and here is one of those opportunities.

It’s somewhat rare that I come come across historical stories related to Oklahoma State wrestling that I don’t already have some level of knowledge on. In covering Oklahoma State for years, I’d never stumbled across this one and thought it was worth sharing.

I wrote a few months ago about the Oklahoma State legacy in professional wrestling. It’s quite impressive and includes a number of Hall of Famers in the industry.

One of the most notable Oklahoma State grads in pro wrestling was Leroy McGuirk. He wrestled for Ed Gallagher and was a two-time All-American at Oklahoma A&M and a NCAA champion in 1931. He ended up as the NWA Junior Heavyweight Champion and a wrestling promoter in Tulsa for years. Famed announcer Jim Ross even recently credited him on Twitter for giving him his start in professional wrestling.


Mr McGuirk and Bill Watts started my pro wrestling journey in 1974.
Leroy was my first broadcast partner and he was totally sightless.
I’ve been blessed with amazing mentors.
https://t.co/65OGGB9UQb

— Jim Ross (@JRsBBQ) December 13, 2020

Mr. McGuirk had a daughter in 1955, Michael Kathleen McGuirk, and seemingly passed on a bit of his professional wrestling acumen to her, though it’s said he never actually wanted her to go into a career for it.

Mike McGuirk grew up in Tulsa and later attended William Woods University then Oklahoma State from 1974 to 1978 and graduated from OSU with a degree in broadcasting. She did some indirect work with the WWE, at the time WWF, lending them some of their families’ wrestling rings when they worked in the Oklahoma area.

This story, written in 2017 by Kari Williams, details her career in the WWF and the barriers she broke as she became the first female WWF ring announcer and the first female commentator in the industry.


5/1/88: newly-minted babyface Bret Hart is introduced by Mike McGuirk, making her debut as a ring announcer.

Gorilla & Bobby on the call.

cc: @ladyannouncer pic.twitter.com/I84LthUD0g

— OVP – Retro Wrestling Podcast (@ovppodcast) May 1, 2020

Extending beyond the significance of being the first female ring announcer in the WWF, she was also the announcer for some huge moments in the industry. In a debut for the Undertaker, before his actual debut a few days later, she announced one of his first entrances ever.


12/9/90: "Kane the Undertaker" is in action on WWF Wrestling Challenge.

This was actually taped days before Undertaker's Survivor Series debut, hence Mike McGuirk's announcement of "Kane". pic.twitter.com/fH1eLnpKbA

— OVP – Retro Wrestling Podcast (@ovppodcast) December 9, 2020

Not only was she the first female ring announcer, but she also was one of the first women to do ringside commentary for the WWE.


11/6/87: The all-star commentary team of Bruce Prichard, Mike McGuirk, and Pete Doherty welcome us to an evening of wrestling in Houston. pic.twitter.com/P55CnQ5NFv

— OVP – Retro Wrestling Podcast (@ovppodcast) November 6, 2020

She did her last show on Halloween in 1993.


10/31/93: Mike McGuirk makes her final ring introduction on WWF TV as she introduces the Quebecers.

Even after 5 and half years, Bobby Heenan gets to throw one last jab in too pic.twitter.com/nZDH8YS2bK

— OVP – Retro Wrestling Podcast (@ovppodcast) October 31, 2020

In a 2017 interview, McGuirk credits her experience at Oklahoma State for the positive impact it had on her career.

“I believe watching all those years and hearing various announcers, some really good, and the voice training I had at William Woods and at Oklahoma State University in broadcasting had an impact on my presentation and timing,” McGuirk said.

It’s just a really interesting footnote in all of the stories regarding Oklahoma State, to learn that such a significant person in the professional wrestling industry has ties to the school, and via her father, also to the wrestling program.


4/22/1988

Mike McGuirk made her WWE debut as the first female ring announcer on Wrestling Challenge from the Civic Center in #WWESpringfield, Massachusetts.#MikeMcGuirk #WomensWrestling #WomenOfWrestling #WomensDivision #Herstory #WWE #WWELegend #WWELegends #WWEHistory pic.twitter.com/sH0ccZpiLO

— Instagram: AWrestlingHistorian (@LetsGoBackToWCW) April 22, 2020

The post WWE’s First Female Ring Announcer Was an Oklahoma State Graduate appeared first on Pistols Firing.

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