The backlash continues over WWE announcing the first-ever Fabulous Moolah Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania 34, which will feature female wrestlers from RAW, SmackDown and NXT. Many fans are outraged that WWE would name the match after Moolah, with WWE even disabling comments on the video above for the match on YouTube. While Moolah is a WWE and NWA Hall of Famer and NWA Hall of Famer, as well as a four-time WWE Women's Champion and a five-time NWA Women's Champion, her controversial past it being brought to the forefront.
Moolah, who passed away at the age of 84 in 2007, has been accused of corruption and "pimping" out female wrestlers during her era. Luna Vachon, Wendi Richter, Leilani Kai and others have discussed Moolah's checkered past, with several of the allegations being denied by Moolah.
"Moolah did send girls out to this guy in Arizona and pimped them out," Jeannine Mjoseth, a former student of Moolah who briefly wrestled as Mad Maxine, told Slam! Wrestling in 2014. "I actually spoke to him on the phone and asked him what he was looking for. He said, 'If I'm spending all this money, you know what I want.' That was part of Moolah's way of making money. She was just a bad person. Moolah didn't have a good bone in her body."
The son of African American female wrestler Sweet Georgia Brown, who passed away in 1989, also told some disturbing stories to the Free Times in 2006 of his mother's experiences during the time that she trained and worked for Moolah. Brown was Moolah's first black student, and her family implied that Moolah and her common-law husband, Buddy Lee, would exploit her physically and financially.
A petition was launched at Change.org to change the name of the battle royal, which is nearing 10,000 signatures. Fans have also been contacting Snickers, which is a sponsor of WrestleMania. While WWE has not responded to our request for a comment regarding the backlash, Mars Wrigley Confectionery US, the parent company of Snickers, called the decision to name the battle royal after Moolah "unacceptable." Below is their statement that we received:
We were recently made aware of the World Wrestling Entertainment Inc's (WWE) decision to honor a former wrestler during the upcoming WrestleMania 34 event. As a principle-based business that has long championed creating inclusive environments that encourage and empower everyone to reach their full potential, this is unacceptable. We are engaging with the WWE to express our disappointment.
Guess they actually realised it was actually a pretty serious matter the fact that Stephanie of all people acknowledged it and they didn't just change the name of it on the quiet.