Recently the WWE announced the “Fabulous Moolah Memorial Battle Royal.” In an instant, the backlash began to flood the WWE.
When the WWE announced the Moolah Battle Royal for WrestleMania I cringed instantly. Having always heard the mutterings of the type of trainer Moolah was and how she ran her business, I thought it was a poor idea.
In the coming days, the WWE would be bombarded with a barrage of negative energy on social media, and rightfully so. This is just another misstep by the WWE in relation to their “prestigious” monuments.
The Fabulous Moolah Memorial Battle Royal
The Fabulous Moolah has always been iconized by the WWE for her role in women’s wrestling. However, if you truly look into Moolah, you’ll see the dark truth. Now, I will also preface this by stating that a lot of what is thought of Moolah has become hearsay. There have been accounts that she pimped her students out to promoters and male talent in order to retain her spot as the top woman in the business. That she forced her students to give her portions of their earnings, which is a practice I’ve heard from other trainers as well, but they had to stay in her dorms and pay rent.
So not only did they pay to train but paid her rent as well as paid her a royalty from their bookings. In that time it would be damn near impossible to make a living with that much pay being stolen from the wrestlers. Pro Wrestling Sheet, when the match was first announced, got in touch with former student Mad Maxine, and she echoed much of the negative. The accusations go for days and throwing Moolah into the Google machine can lead to going down some very depressing rabbit holes.
But this week Ryan Satin of Pro Wrestling Sheet also released a video from Change.Org of former students that refuted the claims. I have heard far more negative of Moolah than positive. Joyce Grable, a former colleague of Moolah, said: “If she was gonna pimp somebody out, I woulda been number one on the list.” It feels like Gable is insinuating that because it didn’t happen to her, it never happened at all. Just because you’re not starving doesn’t mean world hunger is a hoax.
In cases like this, there will always be those that try and defend their colleague and friend. But these aren’t just new rumors started by a bitter former talent. These whispers have been around for decades and if anyone knew of them, it would’ve been the McMahons. They try and champion Moolah as someone who should be credited with the Women’s Revolution, but in fact, she can be credited with holding women’s wrestling back for decades.
That is where this truly starts to get sad, as this isn’t the first time the WWE has done this. Another WrestleMania tradition is also highly questionable on the morality scale, The Warrior Award.
The Warrior Award
The Warrior Award has been given out at WrestleMania for the last handful of years. The purpose of the award is to honor those that are trying to change the world for the better and have a strong fighting spirit. The namesake of the award though embodied very little, if none, of what the award is intended. Jim Hellwig a.k.a. Warrior was a star in the old WWF during the Golden Era of the 1980’s. The problem with memorializing the man is, he wasn’t that great of a person.
I know that sounds like an awful thing to say about someone that can’t defend themselves but the evidence is all there for us to see. It can be found on Youtube as I don’t feel comfortable placing it within this space, but during a speech, at UCONN he went off into an incredibly homophobic rant. It devolved into the point where the crowd was laughing at everything he was saying, not because it was funny, but because he sounded like a lunatic.
Warrior was also a man that when it was well known that Bobby Heenan was battling cancer, said he hoped cancer would defeat Heenan. This same man had skipped out on bookings with the WWE during his multiple runs with the company. Would demand more money from McMahon in order to perform at a contractually obligated event. It isn’t surprising that when you search YouTube for “Ultimate Warrior,” you’ll get as many results of former colleagues that disliked him. Not because they were jealous, but because he just wasn’t a good guy. Again, do the research and form your own opinion, it’s all there for you.
Ignoring history will harm the future
The WWE did a double step not even a full week after the uproar from the Moolah Battle Royal and changed the name. The thing that still irks me is that they did it in a half-assed manner. They changed the name to appease the fans who were rightfully upset but then chose to not award it to someone actually deserving. They could’ve walked the name back and given it to a number of legends in the business that would’ve upheld the prestige they were shooting for.
But, no, now we have the ever generic ”WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal.” With legendary women such as Sensational Sherri, Miss Elizabeth, Wendi Richter, it would’ve been a cake walk. I also feel that the Warrior Award should be renamed for someone that ACTUALLY encompasses what the award is supposed to reflect in its recipient. The obvious choice for me would be the first winner, Connor Michalek.
Connor “The Crusher,” was a young boy who at an early age was diagnosed with cancer. Though he had to endure many surgeries and rounds of chemotherapy, whenever he was shown you’d never be able to tell. Connor not only stole the hearts of all of those within the WWE but fans the world over. Always with a gigantic smile on his face, The Crusher truly lived each day to the fullest and would be the perfect choice for “The Crusher Award.”
The WWE is the world leader in this business and needs to start acting like it. With their television deal coming up faster than I think they realize, it’s a horrible look when your chief sponsor for WrestleMania has to tell you to change a match due to poor taste. For a company so heavy on their PR and Be A Star campaign, they often seem to be more talk than walk. And with them starting to stoke the fire of a bidding war, they need to be on their best behavior if they want to cash in.
The WWE isn’t doing themselves any favors by trying to rewrite the history of those that have played a part in their company. I’m hoping the next generation in charge of the WWE take some wiser steps, but only time will tell.