The legendary female wrestler, Madusa, who was known in WWE as Alundra Blayze, recently looked back to the time that she was released by WWE—WWF at the time—and states that she doesn’t believe Vince McMahon was thinking straight at the time, and he was making rash decisions in what was a difficult time.
Why was it a difficult time for McMahon? Well, he was dealing with lawsuits and scandals at the time—specifically IRS investigations and the federal government was breathing down his and his company’s neck because of allegations of steroid use within his company…
Madusa herself wrestled for WWE after successful runs in Japan and in WCW throughout the eighties and early nineties. She debuted in the pro wrestling industry in 1984 and was trained first by Eddie Sharkey.
It was in 1993 that she would start with the then World Wrestling Federation, and in the two years or so that she was there, would become the Women’s Champion for the company—the championship something that the company only brought back in 1993.
Interestingly enough, Debrah Anne Miceli is Madusa’s real name, and she wanted to wrestle using the Miceli name, but McMahon refused to pay her for the name she had trademarked, as per Wikipedia.
This should perhaps have been a foreshadowing for all parties involved of where the relationship would go for a spell at least down the line, but regardless, she dominated in the then women’s division and helped elevate other women at the time in the company, and is most definitely today not only a trend setter for what a female wrestler is, but she is certainly the precursor for the new generation we see today.
Sadly, equally legendary is her exit from the company, and all because of a now infamous incident regarding a trash can. She was released from WWE in 1995 and she still had the championship!
Well…she told Eric Bischoff, who ran WCW—she had subsequently signed with the WWE competitor after her release— and Bischoff told her to bring the belt over…and he convinced her to throw the belt in the trash on live television. Quite the message that sent, and she was blacklisted by her former employee for 20 years.
It has been considered the first shot—or an early shot—in what was to be the Monday Night Wars between both companies. Madusa recently reflected on this as she spoke to the The A2theK Wrestling Show (link to video below):
“I knew it wasn’t deliberate…(I was) getting ready to leave and FedEx came to my door and handed me a FedEx and thank God I opened it. I open it and it was a letter and I’m like, ‘We will no longer be needing your services in the WWE.’ I was like, ‘What? What the hell? What? This is a rib, right? This is a joke.’ Nope…
Called the office, that’s what it was. Just let me go. I was still their champion. (Vince) wasn’t thinking right … He wasn’t in his right mind and when I say that, I knew it wasn’t hurtful or deliberate…
He was going through the steroid scandal then which was huge, he was going through the IRS scandal and all the, you know, personal crap and afraid s*** that they needed to downsize because their doors almost closed right then.”via Wrestling Inc. (Transcription)
*Be sure to pre-order her biography that she promotes in the above video, The Woman Who Would Be King: The MADUSA Story, by herself and Greg Oliver, HERE/ECW Press