On the most recent episode of Legends With JBL, WWE Hall Of Famer Alundra Blayze spoke about being the first professional wrestler to pose for Playboy, how she got her start with WWE, Vince McMahon taking care of her IRS debt, and being homeless, among other things.
Blayze credited fellow WWE Hall Of Famer, Greg 'The Hammer' Valentine with putting WWE officials in touch with her.
"I was really excited and honored when I did receive that phone call (from WWE) and that phone call wouldn't have happened without Greg 'The Hammer' Valentine. And I think he called Pat [Patterson] and said, 'you really need to check out this woman. She's unbelievable with all her skills in Japan.' And right away, with Pat's connection to Vince, and, 'bring her in'. So that's how that came to fruition. It was because of Greg."
When she finally did sign with the WWE, McMahon treated her very well, Blaze says, recollecting that he understood when she did not want to give WWE the 'Madusa' name, a name she came up with to work in Japan. She liked it because it was easy for Japanese fans to chant and it also had the extra feature of highlighting that she was 'Made In The USA'.
"I was speaking to Vince on the phone. He liked the name 'Madusa,' but I wasn't able to give it up. I didn't want to and I'm telling him and realizing that on the phone," Blayze recalled. "I'm like, 'oh my God! I'm getting fired even before I'm even hired!' I just told him, 'no, you can't use my name!' But right away, he said, 'that's alright. We'll come up with another one.' He was so awesome. Vince was amazing to me. Vince was so good to me through my whole career in the WWE and I couldn't say anything bad."
Blayze also revealed that she was homeless for about a year prior to her WWE run due to an $80,000 IRS debt--a debt that Vince McMahon took care of for her.
"I lived in my car. My car got repossessed and I was on the streets," she said. "People don't know that I've lived on the streets for awhile and I rose above that and I got a call. And so when I finally got my contract, I was going into WWE, he says, 'is there anything I can do for you?' Anything this or that? And I said, 'yeah, you can pay off my IRS bill!' And he goes, 'how much do you owe?' ... The next day, he sent a check and paid my IRS bill. He was amazing."
In a final reveal, Blayze says she was the first pro wrestler to do Playboy, but after the photos were taken, she decided against signing the release for the the publication of the pictures because she wanted to be taken seriously as an athlete in Japan.
"I did Playboy before it was even big in WWE. ... I did not sign the release because that was the time I was negotiating and wanting to go to Japan and I did not want to be looked at that way. I was serious. So yeah, they're floating around (out) there," she said to JBL. "I've got a picture for you. Just kidding. I have the pictures."
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