As announced on Raw, WWE is continuing the Women’s Revolution of providing gimmick matches for both genders, as seen with the Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber. At WrestleMania, the first-ever wrestler-themed battle royal will take place, mirroring the men’s Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. For the women, the match will be named after former WWE Women’s Champion The Fabulous Moolah.
As a competitor, Moolah is arguably the most popular woman in pro wrestling history. Spanning decades of competition, Moolah dominated the women’s title scene, holding the title for very long spans from the 1950s to the 1980s. In addition, Moolah became the oldest Women’s Champion in WWE history, defeating Ivory for the title at No Mercy. At the time, Moolah was 76 years old. The career of the Fabulous Moolah would earn her a spot in the 1995 WWE Hall of Fame.
Despite these uncharted accolades, the announcement of WWE honoring Moolah by having the women’s WrestleMania battle royal named after her received a significant amount of backlash from the WWE Universe.
WWE’s announcement on social media garnered a swarm of negative responses, with some even comparing her to Casey Anthony, Jimmy Snuka, and Chris Benoit. In addition, there have been claims that Moolah used others as “sexual pawns” in order to secure her spot at the top of the women’s division. It has also been alleged that Moolah would accept payment for talent to come to her wrestling school, but used it for different reasons other than training.
According to Deadspin, the transition of WWE spending more time recognizing Mae Young – with both her time while being a character in the WWE as well as having a women’s tournament named after her – could have been due to the company trying to phase Moolah out of major recognition as a result of the scandals that are associated with her name.
The WWE Universe is so serious about removing Moolah’s name from the battle royal that a petition has been issued with nearly 9,000 signatures (as of this article) of the 10,000 goal — and the number is rapidly increasing.
Would This Revolt Actually Be Successful In Removing Fabulous Moolah’s Name?
Since WWE is a publicly traded company who has removed wrestling elements such as heavy profanity and blood from their programming due to presenting it as a PG product, the backlash from this announcement could overturn the decision.
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer stated that if the pressure is strong enough from a mainstream perspective to change the name, then WWE would do it to satisfy their market base. However, he does not expect WWE to make that change.
With the uproar of The Fabulous Moolah being associated with the women’s battle royal for WrestleMania 34, the hope is that people do not get so surrounded with the controversy that they forget the amazing talent who will be a part of that match. Based on the petition, it does look like the WWE Universe is not going anywhere until Moolah’s name is removed.