Posted March 25th, 2015 by jshannon

WWE Hall of Fame Profiles: Alundra Blayze

Jay Shannon profiles one of the greatest female wrestlers of all time.

Several fans have written to me, complaining that “Alundra Blayze” will be induced into the Hall of Fame, not Madusa Miceli (her other identity). I understand their discontent with the choice to use Miceli’s WWE name but it’s not an original concept. They did the same thing with Scott Hall by putting in Razor Ramon. This profile will focus on this fantastic woman’s entire career, under all her identities.

The Beginnings:

Debra Lewandowski was very much into sports while in school. In 1984, she decided to try a run as a professional wrestler. She received her training from two of the most respected trainers in the business, Eddie Sharkey and Brad Rheingans. Her first two years were a serious struggle as she would often work for as little as $5 per match. Two years after her debut, Debra was given a chance to work in the Minnesota-based AWA. She took the last name of Miceli. Her first name was switched to Madusa. Most fans believed it was based of the mythical creature whose extreme beauty was offset by her dangerous side. It fact, the name was a shortening of MADe in the USA. Initially, Madusa feuded with Sherri Martel. When Martel left for the WWE, Madusa did her first stint as a manager. She led such men as AWA World Champion, Curt Hennig, Kevin Kelly and Nick Kinishi to the ring. During this same time, Madusa defeated Candi Devine to win the AWA Women’s title. Madusa would later drop the Women’s title to another WWE Hall of Famer, Wendi Richter. 1986 was a great year for Miceli as she became the first woman to win the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Rookie of the Year award. She would later join “Diamond” Dallas Page’s Diamond Exchange group.

After a successful 3-year run in the AWA, Madusa made her first tour of Japan. She won the IWA Women’s title while there. She only held the belt for one day before losing it back to the woman she took it from, Chigusa Nagaya. Madusa also feuded with Luna Vachon. The most memorable match in their feud was Madusa and Eddie Gilbert vs Luna and Cactus Jack (Mick Foley). Luna and Jack lost and Luna lost her hair. After 2 years, Madusa returned to the States.

Madusa went to WCW, where she became a member of Paul E. Dangerously’s (Paul Heyman) “Dangerous Alliance”. She was partnered up with “Ravishing” Rick Rude valet. Eventually, Paul would kick Madusa out of the group. She did get her revenge by beating Paul at the November, 1992 edition of Clash of the Champions. She would remain with the company for a few more months before heading to the WWE…and a serious name change.

A Blayze of Glory

In 1993, the WWF decided to revive its inactive Women’s Title (and division). Madusa was recruited as the leading female for the rebirth. There was one small problem: Vince McMahon Jr. was not willing to pay Miceli for her trademarked “Madusa Miceli” identity. After some major negotiations, Miceli accepted the new identity of “Alundra Blayze”. Blayze went into a six-women tournament for the restored Women’s title and won by finally defeating Heidi Lee Morgan on December 13th. After winning the title, Blayze went to the W WE Brass to request new women be brought in to strengthen the division. The first addition was Bull Nakano. Blayze and Nakano would trade the Women’s tile, back and forth, over the next few months. Blayze was attacked, later, by Bertha Faye. The attack allowed Madusa to take some time off for cosmetic surgery.

After a four-month hiatus, Blayze returned. In August, she dropped the Women’s title to Bertha Faye. She would get the title back on October 23rd (starting her 3rd reign). She was never defeated for the title. Blayze was released by the WWF, as part of a major cost-cutting move. The title was vacated and retired. The belt, however, would remain with Blayze until an infamous incident where she “trashed” it.

Back to WCW and being Madusa

Madusa returned to WCW during the December 18, 1995 edition of Monday Nitro. At the urging of Eric Bischoff, Madusa came out on live television and literally threw the WWF Women’s title into a waste basket. That move would get her banned from the WWE for almost 20 years and led just about everyone to feel that she would never be allowed in the WWE Hall of Fame.

Madusa had much more leverage in WCW and she used that to bring in several Japanese wrestlers to face her. Bull Nakano returned for one of the most exciting women’s matches in that or any era. She also feuded with Akira Hokuto. Madusa lost a Title vs Career match at The Great American Bash and took another 2-year hiatus.

In 1999, Madusa returned to WCW as one of Randy Savage’s entourage (Team Madness). Madusa eventually split from the group and entered a tournament for the WCW (Men’s) World Title. She was eliminated from the tournament, twice. She then went into managing Evan Karagias. She would lead Evan to the Cruiserweight Title and eventually turn on him and take the Cruiserweight Title. She became the first woman to hold the Cruiserweight title. She then went into a nonsensical feud with Oklahoma (Ed Ferrara). She would lose the Cruiserweight title to Oklahoma at Souled Out 2000.

Madusa switched to a trainer position at the WCW Power Plant. She had a final feud with Torrie Wilson. When Madusa learned that Vince McMahon was about to purchase WCW, she chose to leave the failing company. Madusa walked away from wrestling, completely, in 2001. She was disgusted with where women’s wrestling was going. Competition was replaced by gimmick matches, such as Bra and Panties Matches, and Madusa did not wish to be part of that environment.

After Hanging up the Boots

Madusa was trained for the Monster Truck industry by Dennis Anderson. Over the next few years, Madusa won several championships. In 2005, Madusa became the first woman to compete in the Super Bowl of Motorsports. In 2008, Madusa took a position as Executive Vice-President of Major League of Monster Trucks. She was injured in October, 2014, during an Monster Truck event in Australia.

In Conclusion:

Madusa Miceli/Alundra Blayze was a trail blazer in professional wrestling. She helped rebuild the Women’s division in several organizations. She stood up to the authority figures in wrestling and walked away when what she loved was perverted into a side show environment. She is also the Poster Girl for the “Never Say Never” philosophy of wrestling. She very much deserves her position in the WWE Hall of Fame, no matter what name they induct her with.


–Jay Shannon

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