The wrestler known as Madusa and Alundra Blayze spent many of her prime wrestling years working in companies where women’s wrestling was not a priority. As Blayze in WWF, she was the face of the revived women’s division in the early ’90s and feuded with Bull Nakano and Bertha Faye only for the division to be cut just as she started a feud with Aja Kong in 1995. (“I was pissed off when Vince let me go,” she told Fightful in a recent interview. “Why would he just let the women go and continue with just the men… Why did we get let go? I understood because Vince was going through a lot with IRS and steroid problems. He was trying to downsize. But why not let some guys go? Why the women?”)
After infamously throwing the WWF Women’s Championship in the trash, she again feuded with Nakano in the new WCW women’s division largely staffed by wrestlers from GAEA Japan, but that didn’t last long either. Madusa spent the late ’90s mostly as a side character in male wrestlers’ storylines or in comedy intergender feuds, and her career in televised wrestling essentially ended when WWF, from which she had been blacklisted following the trash can incident, bought the company. However, Madusa says that when she was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2015 she was told by Vince McMahon that, “You are the reason, and you are where we’re going in the future. You are the type of woman we need. You are the role model of what we’re going for.”
Though Blayze says she’s “living vicariously” through what women are getting to do in WWE now to the point where she gets “teared up when I see what’s happening. I’m like, ‘I should have been born later,'” she does think her era of women’s wrestling is underappreciated. She points out that women from the Attitude Era, especially Trish Stratus and Lita, get the most credit for being game-changing women in the industry, and “There’s nothing wrong with Trish Stratus or all the other girls. It always starts right there. It always starts at the Attitude Era and forward. F*ck that. It’s a forgotten era behind that.”
Do you think Blayze’s era of women’s wrestling is still under-respected by WWE? Sound off in the comments!