For all of the success that Alundra Blayze experienced throughout her career, it can easily be argued that her time in the ring was also a case of right place, wrong time.
At the height of her career, Alundra Blayze appeared for both WCW and WWE throughout the 1990’s, but was sadly one of few female wrestlers in both companies. At the time in North American wrestling, if there was a women’s match on the card it was seen as nothing more than filler, that is if they got on the card at all.
Women were primarily valets, managers and interviewers rather than in-ring performers on the level of their male counterparts.
While Blayze won multiple WWF (WWE) Women’s Championships, it is her second run in WCW, appearing as Madusa that she is most well known for. More specifically, debuting on WCW Nitro in 1995 with the WWF Women’s Championship and throwing it in the trash live on air, at the behest of Eric Bischoff.
Blayze is often credited as being a pioneer of women’s wrestling and something of a forerunner of the ‘Women’s Revolution’ which would follow in 2015.
Appearing on WWE’s The Bump, Blayze has described how she feels that WCW didn’t fully utilise the women that they had on their roster, adding that she was always pushing for me.
“WCW did not utilize the women fully,” said Madusa. “I mean, we were in an era at a time that it just didn’t happen. I was pushing for more and more and more for women, and let me tell you, it was difficult.
“But I did not give up. I did not take no for an answer and I found another way respectfully. However, I got a lot of pushback and I feel that, they thought they did the best they could. But I also saw the other alternative; well if Japan is doing this, why in the hell can’t we?”
The woman formerly known as Madusa, also commended Paul Heyman as someone who tried to hep her change perceptions and develop women’s wrestling.
“I feel, too that Paul Heyman, it was him that helped me make that transition again and keep pushing further and hopefully change the whole thing for women’s wrestling,”
Blayze also recalled one special night in 1999, where still in WCW, she became the first ever female WCW Cruiserweight Champion pinning Evan Karagias. The WWE Hall of Famer revealed how she felt thatshe’d changed the history of women’s wrestling.
“He let me wrestle him,” said Madusa. “Him and I worked so well together, and I go, ‘I’m really sorry about this. I’m sorry that they’re doing this, and I apologize.’
“He’s like ‘Duce, please, this is entertainment, we’re gonna make each other look good.’ And he was amazing to work with. And so when I won that Cruiserweight title, I thought, this just changed the history of women’s wrestling.”
Alundra Blayze retired from professional wrestling in 2001, before briefly returning to action at WWE Evolution in 2018, competing in a battle Royale to earn a shot at the WWE Women’s Championship.
Former WCW President Eric Bischoff has also recently spoken about the lack of a women’s division in mid-90’s WCW commenting that there weren’t enough talented female wrestlers to build a division around.
H/t to Wrestle Zone for the transcription.