The name Alundra Blayze is synonymous with women’s wrestling and rightfully so. Long before the Women’s Evolution and decades before Ronda Rousey, Becky Lynch, and Charlotte Flair headlined WrestleMania 35, Madusa Miceli was the standard-bearer for women in professional wrestling.
Blayze reached the pinnacle of her profession when she became WWE Women’s Champion, but things were never easy. The WWE superstar faced the loftiest of expectations, but carried a weight that would have suffocated most people.
In an era where women were seen more as an afterthought than as WrestleMania headliners, Blayze became WWE’s most recognizable female star. Although the company ultimately failed at rebuilding its Women’s Division, it wasn’t due to any lack of effort from Alundra Blayze. She fought valiantly, often giving everything she had.
Blayze is widely recognized as being ahead of her time, a woman wrestling twenty years too early. She is a WWE Hall of Famer and a Monster Truck legend. Some even argue that she single-handedly started the Monday Night Wars between WWE and WCW, but more on that later.
Blayze was a revolutionary presence in the division and paved the way for the industry to become what it is today. Despite having a blow-hot, blow-cold relationship with the WWE, her impact cannot be forgotten.
The WWE Hall of Famer recently sat down with Sean Mooney and revealed five things wrestling fans may not know about her.
#5 She overcame a difficult childhood
Madusa Miceli is a fighter. The Italian-born superstar overcame insurmountable odds on her way to the WWE Hall of Fame, including a difficult childhood.
Miceli opened up on the Prime Time with Sean Mooney podcast,
“Being an only child and having a distant relationship with my mother and never knowing who my father was – my father never knew I existed – he never knew I was born and I never knew who he was….We were on welfare and food stamps. I remember those days. I’m sure my mother tried and did the best she could at increment levels of life. She’s my mother, you know. I love her, but we went through some things and it totally changed my view and the trajectory of which path I took.”
She opened up about the difficulties of growing up without a mentor,
“I never had that mentor, that man in my life that did me right – to show me the way…..I would have done anything to have love, just to have my mother tell me she loved me one time or to have a father around just to show me something that I didn’t have to teach myself on my own….just to have a father to show me the ropes when it was hard. I will never experience that. I wouldn’t know. I don’t even know what it’s like to send a Father’s Day card. I never had a Birthday card from a dad saying, ‘I love you.’ It was such a void.”
Miceli says she came out of the womb with a fighter’s mentality and that’s a good thing. Life hasn’t been easy and the path was paved with struggle. Sadly, she was bullied extensively as a young child and beaten daily at the bus stop. Desperate to make a change, she began working at 14 and hasn’t looked back since.
#4 She is the prototype for today’s female wrestlers
Alundra Blayze was ahead of her time and so much so that WWE struggled to provide her with adequate competition. The athletically gifted WWE superstar was ready for a Women’s Revolution that wouldn’t come for another two decades.
When Blayze was finally recognized for her in-ring accomplishments at the 2015 WWE Hall of Fame, she ran into Vince McMahon. The two hadn’t seen each other since 1996.
Miceli recounted the reunion on the Prime Time with Sean Mooney podcast,
“I turned around and was like, ‘Hey! Oh my God, you look amazing.’ He said, ‘Thank you.’ Then there was a big hug and the first thing that came out of my mouth was, ‘I am so sorry,’ and he said, ‘Hey, it’s all right.'”
Miceli was apologizing for publicly trashing the WWE Women’s Championship on WCW Nitro when McMahon said something that she is unlikely to ever forget,
“He said something like, ‘You are exactly what we want. You are the type of woman – the style and where we’re gonna go.’ He didn’t say role model. He said, ‘Mold of where we’re going.’ I was like, ‘What?’ Then he just kind of looked at me and I knew what he meant. He’s gonna go for real women’s wrestling….and look where we’re at today.”
The women’s division has undergone massive changes over the years and the key word to ideally describe this is ‘Upgrade’. From just being eye candy’s to headlining Wrestlemania’s, the strides taken have been massive.
Plenty of Divas over the years have pulled the weight, with Alundra being one of the most prominent names to do so.
#3 She was terrified to get the WWE Hall of Fame call
Alundra Blayze is one of the most accomplished female wrestlers in history. She spearheaded the Women’s Revolution twenty years in advance, is a multi-time champion and a deserving Hall of Famer, but then there was the incident.
On the December 18, 1995 episode of WCW Nitro, Blayze threw the WWE Women’s Championship in the trash can and started the Monday Night Wars in the process. Blayze later admitted regretting the move, which earned her persona non grata status with WWE.
For years, she closed the door on professional wrestling and doubted whether a reconciliation would ever be possible. Then her phone rang.
She told Sean Mooney,
“I never thought anyone respected me. I didn’t think anyone liked me….I never watched it one day. I closed the door. I moved on and did Monster Trucks for 18 years and then I got a call to be inducted into the 2015 Hall of Fame and I was scared to death. I was more scared of that than giving my damn speech.”
It was Scott Hall who broke the ice and made things a bit easier for her,
“Scott Hall (Razor Ramon) said something to me when I was inducted….He said, ‘I never got to say this ‘Duce, but a lot of us guys, we never wanted to follow your match. We never wanted to go after you and Bull Nakano.'”
It was high praise from the WWE Hall of Famer and Miceli began to look at things a bit differently,
“I think that’s amazing. For 25 years, I thought I was just a piece of crap, really. That’s how I felt….I hide it well, but I’ve gone through a lot of stuff.”
Miceli described being a part of WWE again,
3″It’s the greatest feeling. I will say this over and over. It’s so good to be back. It’s an honor. It’s great to mend fences and just to have that acceptance back was so amazing. I was scared about people welcoming back, but every person there – it was totally opposite – they welcomed me with open arms.”
#2 The title in the garbage incident isn’t what you thought it was
The incident was the most talked about event in wrestling in 1995. The image of WWE Women’s Champion Alundra Blayze making an unannounced appearance on the December 18th episode of WCW Nitro only to dump the WWE Women’s Championship in the trash will forever be seared into the minds of wrestling fans. For better or worse, the incident will always be remembered, as it lit the fuse for the Monday Night Wars.
Many thought that Blayze was simply being disrespectful and throwing a tantrum in a full-on public display of sour grapes. They couldn’t be more wrong. Miceli never really wanted to trash the title and had every intention of returning it to Vince McMahon, but Eric Bischoff had other plans.
Mick Foley picked up on the true meaning behind the incident and let Miceli know at the 2015 WWE Hall of Fame,
“He said, ‘I drank the Kool-Aid. I was believing everything everyone else was saying when you dropped the title in the trash can. I never understood why, but it was the start of the revolution. It was about equality.'”
Blayze desperately wanted WWE to build their Women’s Division and did everything in her power to ensure that happened, but the company simply failed to match her efforts. The move was Blayze shining a light on the lack of attention that was being paid to WWE’s Women’s Division.
According to Miceli, “There was hardly anyone to wrestle. It just became stagnant. I was lost and I was struggling.”
Blayze was never able to fulfill her goal of revolutionizing women’s wrestling, which is why she was “baffled” by her firing.
She talked about Vince McMahon having been disappointed over her decision to trash the WWE Women’s Championship, but countered with, “Why wasn’t it a thing for me being disappointed because he let the women go?”
For years, female Superstars were making much less than their male counterparts. Blayze, the top female star in the wrestling industry, never topped six figures, despite working with wrestling’s most lucrative company. She described the discrepancy in pay as “horrific.”
#1 She wanted to drop the WWE Women’s Championship to Luna Vachon
While WWE found it difficult to provide Alundra Blayze with adequate competition, the company often overlooked Luna Vachon. Vachon was terrifying with half her head shaved and painted. She growled and contorted like a woman possessed and was believable as a legitimate WWE Women’s Championship contender.
Alundra Blayze agreed and wanted to drop the Women’s Championship to Vachon,
“We were in Canada and I wanted to drop the belt to her so bad and WWE wouldn’t let me. I was like, ‘Come on. It’s her hometown in Canada. Just one time – the kid never had the f*cking belt.’ They were like, ‘No!'”
Blayze was never one to take no for an answer and had other plans. Despite what she was told by creative, she had every intention of dropping the Women’s Championship to Vachon.
The WWE Hall of Famer revealed,
“I told Luna. I said, ‘I’m wrestling you. I’m going to drop the belt to you tonight.’ She was like, ‘Oh no, no, don’t. No ‘Duce. No Madusa.’ I said, ‘Yeah, I’m gonna do it. What are they gonna do, fire me? If there’s anything I want to remember, it’s you winning the title one time.'”
Vachon didn’t have any of it,
“She refused. I was laying there and it was a house show too. I was just laying there and I wouldn’t even kick out. She would pull my head up by my hair to pick me up, so I wouldn’t be counted out and she’d go, ‘That f*cking, f*ck, you’re gonna get me fired, if you don’t f*cking kick out!’ I was like, ‘Are you kidding me?'”