There was an Easter many years back where my mother gave me a foot tall chocolate bunny, which blew my mind because I'm a chocolate fiend and couldn’t wait to devour that thing. Much to my dismay later in the day, my fantastical bunny was in fact a hollow bunny, not one made of solid chocolate.
If we were to transition to the world of pro wrestling and the recent announcement of The Fabulous Moolah Memorial Battle Royal that is taking place at WWE Wrestlemania 34, it would seem like my hollow bunny and The Fabulous Moolah have something in common.
If it were up to the WWE, viewers would accept the battle royal and the woman its named after as I initially accepted my deceptive chocolate bunny, looking great on the outside. However, just like my once beloved bunny, the person the match is named after seems to be nothing more than a hollow soul.
On the outside, The Fabulous Moolah is a former 4x WWE Women’s Champion, 5x NWA World Women’s Champion, 2x NWA Women’s World Tag Team Champion, JPWA Women’s Champion, USA Women’s Wrestling Champion and a World Women’s Junior Heavyweight Champion. Moolah would also be inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame in 1995, a worthy moment for a pioneer in the women’s wrestling world…or so one would be led to believe according to the WWE.
The hollow part of Moolah is the woman who has been accused of much wrongdoing in her life and career, including accusations of having her trainees perform unwanted sexual acts, scamming the trainees out of money, drugging the trainees, keeping a stronghold over the women’s title (especially in the WWE), monopolizing the sport of women’s wrestling to suit her needs and so on.
Jeannine Mjoseth performed as Mad Maxine and Lady Maxine during her time in the business and when she was told about how the WWE was honoring Moolah, issued the following statement to Ryan Satin of Pro Wrestling Sheet:
The Fabulous Moolah was a real-life heel. A lot of women paid to train at her school and then went out on the road. They risked life and limb in their matches and she repaid them with the worst kinds of abuses. She skimmed their money, she ignored women who were badly hurt, she pimped women out to creepy men and on and on. She was not a mother figure. She was more like Kali, the Indian Goddess of Destruction. I met her in my early 20s and I had never met such a monstrous person.
I was smart enough to get the hell away from her and start my own independent career in Tampa as part of the Championship Wrestling from Florida. Luna Vachon, Peggy Fowler and I all left together, which I hope put a serious dent in her confidence, if not wallet.
I understand why Moolah was so grotesque. Her family was dirt poor and she determined that she was never going to be hungry again. But it doesn’t excuse her dog-eat-dog behavior. I’d much rather see WWE establish a named match for outstanding wrestlers (and decent human beings) like Susan ‘Tex’ Green, Beverly Shade, Leilani Kai, Wendi Richter, Princess Victoria or Joyce Grable. They all put their hearts and souls into wrestling for decades and helped others along the way.
But wrestling isn’t PC. It’s about generating heat. And you can’t draw more heat than naming a match for The Fabulous Moolah. May she be the last of her kind.
Mjoseth was one of the lucky ones because she worked with the late Luna Vachon and Peggy Fowler (Peggy Lee Leather) to get to Florida and out of the grip of The Fabulous Moolah. However, a plethora of other women were unable to escape the grip that Moolah had over them, which is where the true heart and soul of Moolah was shown.
If one were to listen to the family of Susie Mae McCoy, better known as Sweet Georgia Brown, it would be a wonder that Moolah is in the WWE Hall Of Fame, much less having a memorial battle royal named after her. The family of McCoy accused Moolah of assisting in the repeated rapes of McCoy (whether Moolah was physically involved wasn't specified), druggings and also turned intentionally into a drug addict so Moolah and her then husband (Buddy Lee) could control the wrestling star.
The sad thing about all these accusations is that it doesn’t end with Sweet Georgia Brown, because a plethora of other wrestlers have accused Moolah of similar things. Ida Mae Martinez, Luna Vachon, Sandy Parker, Wendi Richter, Debbie Johnson and others could all be added to that list for those that Moolah took advantage of.
Penny Banner is another highly respected star of the women’s wrestling scene of yonder and even she has accused Moolah of pimping out the women who trained under her.
Banner spoke about this in the past, with a Redditor by the name of RicsFlair posting the following quote from the book Sisterhood Of The Squared Circle:
"It's wrong to speak bad of the dead, but the comments in the mainstream press and even AP wires come dangerously close to making Moolah seem like some kind of saint, and from a pro-wrestling point of view as some kind of legendary tough shooter. That's utter bull♥♥♥♥. I want to clear up a couple of points, while taking nothing away from Moolah's ability to have a strangehold on women's wrestling from mid '60s to mid '80s in North America.
Lets get this out of way first, so I don't have to dance around the subject - Moolah was a pimp. From her sprawling 42 acre estate in Colombia, South Carolia, Moolah would send out her half-trained underage female-wrestlers to "photo shoots" that would by the standards of today be considered pedophilia and pornography. She sent trainees to wrestling promoters in set numbers. Renting them out to promoters in bulk, with the understanding that the girls would have sex with the promoter and all the wrestlers on the roster who wanted them. Promoters liked free sex, but what they also liked is for boys not to go outside looking for it and possibly running into trouble. Sex on a road with a steady and pliant group of semi-attractive women in return for money, that is what Moolah offered. The women that were sent out on this tours were not told of this "arrangement" ahead of time. They found out about it on the road. Those that refused to have sex with promoters and wrestlers, were raped. (see: Luna Vachon's, Sherri Martel's, and Susie McCoy's shoot interviews).
The reason women's pro-wrestling in North America was and still in large part today considered a joke and just an opportunity to oggle at tits and asses is largely in part thanks to the way Moolah trained her girls and how Moolah wrestled. Moolah was not a good worker. Her wrestling style considered of hair pulling snapmare, headlocks, clotheslines and nothing else. Those that argue that women's wrestling was always like that and Moolah did nothing to change it are ignorant. In the '30s and '40s, female wrestling employed shooters and they wrestled in the traditional sense of the term. Tits and asses were used to advertise and get them in the building, but the girls worked longer and more technically sound matches than today. The champion was always a shooter, and the matches for the championship and leading up to the main event had to be high caliber. The reason Japanese women's wrestling was light years ahead of North American's is because of one person and one person only - Moolah. Mildred Burke, the original women's champion, popularized female wrestling in the world in the '30s. Japan, Canada, Mexico and America can trace women's wrestling directly to her. She used a hard hitting style and outside of being an attractive woman, her matches were no different from the men's matches of her day. Moolah was inspired by Burke, but could not work as well as her. Moolah was not a good worker and so the style she passed onto her trainees once she took over women's pro-wrestling in North America was Moolah-based. Moolah was never a shooter."
Lets move to the present and address the company behind this in WWE. WWE can't please all of their fans, that will never ever happen and quite frankly, is a virtual impossibility to accomplish. However, one thing the WWE can do is to not alienate their fan base and much hatred has spewed against the match and company honoring Moolah.
Since the memorial battle royal was announced, a movement has begun on social media to have letters emailed to Snickers, which is the main sponsor for ‘Mania 34, about the person The Fabulous Moolah really is instead of the person the WWE makes her out to be.
Mitch LaRose of Headplaces.com sent one of those messages to Snickers, which he shared on Twitter:
I've sent this letter to @SNICKERS parent company regarding @WWE's decision to put #FabulousMoolah's name on the #WM34 battle royal.— Mitch LaRose (@MitchLaRose) March 14, 2018
Perhaps "The Sensational Invitational" instead? Honoring Sherri Martel, a beloved wrestler and personality who wasn't a sex trafficking tyrant. pic.twitter.com/yf7IrfG94r
Some say that “ignorance is bliss” and in some occasions, it truly can be…but this here is not one of those occasions.
To prove that theory about ignorance, just take a look at some of the Twitter posts made by the current stars of the WWE women’s roster on the memorial match:
Fabulous Moolah Memorial Battle Royal you say?! Amazing! #WrestleMania— Peyton Royce (@WWEPeytonRoyce) March 13, 2018
The women keep making history. Can’t wait for the Fabulous Moolah battle Royal at @WrestleMania.— Jonathan Coachman (@TheCoachrules) March 13, 2018
The #FabulousMoolah deserves such an amazing honor!!! She showed the world what a woman can do and I can't wait to see what the women of @wwe and @WWENXT will do in her memory!!! https://t.co/t3eLmRRtXb— Ember Moon (@WWEEmberMoon) March 13, 2018
What an incredible announcement!!! I had the distinct HONOR of working with The #FabulousMoolah & couldn’t be happier for her to be honored like this AND all the amazing female Superstars that will be taking part in it! ---- #womenshistorymonth https://t.co/nP2WmAcXyQ— Lilian Garcia (@LilianGarcia) March 13, 2018
While some on the WWE roster are potentially ignorant of the real Moolah, most fans aren’t and some have taken to Change.org to get the name of the battle royal changed. As of this writing, the petition has gotten 8,047 of the required 10,000 signatures and it has only been up for less than two days.
Here is what the petition’s author wrote on the front page, echoing a good number of what WWE fans and wrestling fans in general think about honoring Moolah:
So today WWE announced The Fabulous Moolah Battle Royal that will be taken place at the grandest stage of them all, WrestleMania 34. But the big problem with that is the person who is associated with that award was an evil woman who did nothing for Women’s Professional Wrestling. Fabulous Moolah pimped out women ... we are currently in the #MeToo era, are you really trying to say that you endorsed her behaviour?
This isn’t right at all, if you want to have a Battle Royale, name it after someone worthy, like Miss Elizabeth, Chyna, Trish, Lita, Sensational Sheri, Jacqueline, Alundra Blaze...
Need I go on?
We hope all Wrestling fans will take the time to support this petition because if you think this is right you are just as bad as them.
In the last few years, one of the biggest accomplishments achieved by the WWE and the women who step foot in the squared circle is that they are finally getting the respect they deserve. Women wrestlers all over the world have been given bigger opportunities to show their craft on larger stages, both inside and outside of the WWE ring and each one of them should be proud of that.
However, a sad thing is that at the moment we are not talking about those women, we are instead talking about the worlds largest wrestling promotion honoring a woman who did more to destroy the sport than she did to build it.
There is never anything wrong with the WWE honoring its celebrated and distinguished past, but there is something wrong with pushing a women’s revolution while honoring one who drugged, pimped out, financially destroyed and ruined the lives of so many women. The women who compete in the square circle nowadays luckily do not have to deal with the majority of what Moolah put the ladies of yesteryear through, which is maybe the best legacy The Fabulous Moolah has left behind.
At WWE Wrestlemania 34, many of the women from Raw, Smackdown and NXT are going to try and throw each other over the top rope to win the first ever Fabulous Moolah Memorial Battle Royal, but is it a prize any of them truly wants to win?