When the idea of a weekly women’s column was first batted around by us here at With Spandex, I have to admit I was hesitant. See, the idea was to highlight the horrible things that had either been done to or done in the name of women in wrestling. While that’s fair, and there’s more than enough infuriating and disheartening material to sort through, I think my initial reticence came from just that. The sheer amount of instances of misogyny, exploitation, and just straight up bad booking, bad ideas, and bad direction for talented female performers is staggering. While I do feel that those deserve confrontation, a weekly reminder doesn’t do anything to bolster the idea that women’s wrestling can occupy the other end of the spectrum. There were times where women got to shine in the past, and still get to do so today.
One of the most popular responses I’ve received in my defense of women’s wrestling is “Well I haven’t seen any good matches.” Here’s the deal: if you’re a kid and you can’t see it, you can’t be it. If you’re an adult, if you don’t see it, you can’t believe in it. It’s as simple as that.
So let’s see some, shall we?
August 29th, 1994: Alundra Blayze vs. Bull Nakano SummerSlam
The story of this match doesn’t begin with Bull Nakano. It doesn’t even begin in the WWE. Rather, this match is happening because of the longstanding feud between Alundra Blayze and Luna Vachon.
“She could have done anything. She was a beautiful girl and very intelligent, smart, good looking, of course, like her dad. All she ever wanted to do [was wrestle]. Her idol was my sister, Vivien, who was a wrestler. She had been watching her ever since she was four or five years old. That’s all she ever did. I told her she was a lunatic because all she wanted to do was wrestle. I thought it was the worst business a woman could be in. It’s not even a business for men.” – Paul Vachon
Luna Vachon, daughter of Paul “Butcher” Vachon, goddaughter to Andre the Giant, wrestled all over the place before landing in WWE: Florida Championship Wrestling, Tri-State Wrestling, the AWA, UWF, All-Japan. With that kinda of pedigree, she was bound to end up working for Vince McMahon. It was in Florida where she first wrestled against Madusa. Their feud continued in the Philadelphia-based ECW-predecessor Tri-State Wrestling.
When McMahon reinstated the Women’s Championship after three years of inactivity in 1993, Madusa was brought in to help revive the division. She was renamed Alundra Blayze, as Madusa had copyrighted her wrestling pseudonym, and McMahon did not want to pay to use her name. Blayze, with experience in the AWA, Tri-State Wrestling, All Japan, and WCW, entered into a six-woman tournament for the newly returned Women’s Championship.
Reunited after their feud in the independent circuit, Luna Vachon feuded with Blayze one again. During this time, Luna had been paired with Bam Bam Bigelow. After their on-screen relationship faltered, she sold his contract to the Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase so he could build his Million Dollar Corporation, and she could focus on the women’s strap. Alundra Blayze had requested more women to wrestle as champion, and Luna needed someone new to manage. Enter Bull Nakano.