By now you’ve heard that WWE has taken the Fabulous Moolah’s name off of the WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal, after a fan outcry led Snickers, sponsor of WrestleMania, to put its foot down. What I’m here to say is thank god for Snickers. It would be nice if WWE had the decency and sense to make the right decision on their own, but barring that at least money talks.
Maybe you haven’t been on Twitter in the past week and you’re still confused about why everyone hates Moolah. After all, WWE has not been talking about her much recently, but she’s historically been its most honored female wrestling pioneer, with her close friend Mae Young as a close second. She was the first woman to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, and kept appearing on WWE TV all the way up until her death in 2007. Unfortunately, as we all know, WWE likes to write their own history. Moolah was friends with Vince McMahon and his father, and worked closely with them to bring her brand of women’s wrestling into WWE, so in WWE history, she’s the most important woman wrestler of all time.
In this era of “making history” and “women’s evolution,” and of a new breed of feminist fans advocating for the importance and validity of women’s wrestling, it certainly looks strange from the outside for these same fans to say that this one pioneering woman should not be honored, and in fact is best disavowed and forgotten. In the case of the Fabulous Moolah, however, it’s the right call.
To respect women’s wrestling and the many past and present female performers within it, you have to let Moolah go. There was nothing Fabulous about the way that she treated women, or what she did for the art of women’s wrestling. WWE may never acknowledge that, but the least they can do is stop talking about how great she was.