In 2014 at WrestleMania 30 the WWE held the first Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal (won by Cesaro). One of the biggest stories heading into WrestleMania 34 in New Orleans on April 8th should have been the fact that there is going to be a women's Battle Royal this year. And it has been. But not for the reasons the WWE was hoping for.
One of the biggest new stories in wrestling this past week has been about the WWE initially naming the event the Fabulous Moolah Memorial Battle Royal - after the longest reigning woman's champion in the history of the organization - but also one of it's worst people ever.
The backlash over the naming led the WWE to do a 180 and change the name to the WrestleMania Women's Battle Royal (as if there are no other women that deserve to have it named after them - but that's a whole other conversation). But the question question now becomes: if they have removed her from the Battle Royal name, why haven't they blacklisted her as well?
Is it a judgement on the horrible things she has done as compared to other Superstars who have got the "blacklisted" treatment. Is it something they plan on doing soon? Or, is it all about taking a PR wait-and-see approach?
HULK HOGAN AND JIMMY SNUKA
Two examples of WWE Superstars who have gotten the blacklisting treatment by the organization are Hulk Hogan And "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka.
Hogan was blacklisted back in 2015 after leaked sex taped also revealed The Hulkster saying some very racist things in regards to her daughter's black boyfriend and others. Also in 2015 the WWE blacklisted Snuka after he was charged with involuntary manslaughter and third-degree murder for the 1983 death of Nancy Argentino.
Both men had their Hall of Fame profiles removed from the WWE.com website and their names pretty much scrubbed from the site completely - with a few exceptions. Try doing a search for either name on the site today and you won't find any related results.
WHAT DID MOOLAH DO?
Up until last week, most WWE fans probably associated the name Fabulous Moolah with being a seminal female wrestler and, to quote from her Hall of Fame/Bio page on the WWE website, "the longest reigning champion in the history of her chosen sport - or any sport for that matter - and she established a legacy that made her name synonymous with women's wrestling in a career that spanned over 50 years." But that has all changed.
While there had been accusations and whispered stories known amongst those in the WWE organization and some fans, the wider public wasn't really aware of the horrible things that Moolah did throughout her career. But the backlash over the Battle Royal naming brought it all to the surface - namely the allegations regarding abusing her trainees, sex trafficking and facilitating rape.
Pro Wrestling Sheet contacted Jeannine Mjoseth, who got her start with Moolah, and this is part of what she had to say about the not-so-Fabulous lady:
"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."
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WHY HASN'T MOOLAH BEEN BLACKLISTED?
The WWE has shown that they like to control the conversation and the story of their history and to show that they won't stand for certain things from those that they honor. And blacklisting superstars who have done horrible things is a key tool in doing that and makes a very powerful statement. But what does the WWE consider a "blacklistable offence?"
There is no doubt that involuntary manslaughter and attempted murder as well as aggressive, hateful and racist rants are all horrible and deserving of the website scrubbing that Snuka and Hogan got. But is the fact that Moolah's Hall of Fame profile is still on the website a sign that the WWE doesn't consider abuse, sex trafficking and rape facilitation as bad? How else are we to read such inaction?
Now, just because they haven't done it yet, doesn't mean that Moolah won't have her profile taken down and her name scrubbed from the WWE site. However, it has been over a week since the Battle Royal announcement and the mega-backlash that followed.
Whereas, the Hogan blacklisting happened in one day and Snuka was charged on a Monday and scrubbed from the site on the Wednesday just two days later. So, the WWE can move quickly when they want to. But in this case it would appear they don't want to.
With WrestleMania and the Hall of Fame Ceremony right around the corner this is the biggest show and celebration of the brand there is. And if they were to blacklist Moolah that would become another huge news story and that is the last thing they want in the front of the public's mind heading into WrestleMania weekend.
Are they just hoping that changing the name of the Battle Royal was enough and that the story will quietly go away and not be part of the news cycle by the time April 8th comes around? Unfortunately, that is a very plausible explanation - and one that hopefully the fans and maybe even the superstars themselves will force the organization to acknowledge and answer for one day.
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