For weeks, WWE rumors continued to suggest there would be a women’s battle royal named after former wrestling star Fabulous Moolah at WrestleMania 34 this year. That speculation was correct, but due to concern over Moolah as a controversial wrestling star, rumors claimed the WWE would have to change the name. It appears those newer rumors have been confirmed, as WWE is backing away from using the former champion’s name due to allegations against during her time in the wrestling business.
The women’s division has grown leaps and bounds since that era, and since the days when the women were referred to as WWE “Divas,” known more back then for being eye candy rather than wrestlers. The current women’s division has now had their first-ever Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber matches in 2018. The Rumble match main-evented the pay-per-view as another first for the women. The plan was to further give the women their spotlight with a battle royal, which will likely feature mostly female superstars not already involved in WrestleMania matches. It appears that match will still be scheduled but without its previous title.
On Thursday, Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Newsletter indicated on his Twitter page that WWE announced they’ve dropped the Fabulous Moolah’s name from the title of the match. Another tweet from Ryan Satin of Wrestling Sheet gave further information about the official announcement made by the WWE.
The company gave a very brief statement without mentioning the Fabulous Moolah in it.
“After further consideration, we believe it’s best to proceed with the name ‘WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal.’ What remains most important is that this historic match is part of WWE’s unwavering commitment to the Women’s Division.”
In addition to the above statement, WWE appears to have removed some articles or content from their website, which first relayed the news of the Fabulous Moolah Battle Royal for WrestleMania 34. Other Fabulous Moolah articles, photos, or videos remain active on the website, as well as the former women’s champion’s biography page.
The concept of the new women’s battle royal was originally going to have a similar theme as the men’s match, which is named the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. The men’s battle royal has taken place over the last four years at each of the WrestleMania PPVs, with the winner receiving a large trophy created in late WWE star Andre the Giant’s likeness. It was believed that something similar was going to be given to the winner of the women’s match.
As Newsweek noted on Thursday, among the allegations that were brought up with Moolah’s name were stories about her “stealing wages from young female wrestlers, as well as coercing them to provide sexual favors for promoters and wrestlers in the business.” These sorts of connections were brought up by a number of fans as part of their concerns that Moolah’s name was being attached to a brand new battle royal to honor the newest generation of women’s stars.
The controversy surrounding the match name was brought to the attention of the latest WrestleMania sponsor, Snickers. As Cageside Seats indicated, fans contacted Snickers with letters and also signed a Change.org petition. That petition received over 10,000 signatures. Eventually, that parent company for Snickers, Mars Wrigley Confectionary US, said they contacted WWE to express their “disappointment” over the decision to honor Moolah via the WrestleMania 34 match.
Stephanie McMahon tweeted out about the decision to listen to the WWE Universe and stressed the importance of having this historic match to honor the division.
As far as the name change goes, the big match appears to have a plain name at the moment, but Dave Meltzer believes WWE could possibly attach another name to the match title. When a fan asked who Meltzer felt the WWE could name the women’s battle royal after, he replied with Mildred Burke or Trish Stratus, while the fan suggested Wendi Richter.
The women’s battle royal will take place on Sunday, April 8 at WrestleMania 34 live from Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.